|Commercial and Kuebler (click to enlarge)|
About it the City says:
The intersection at Commercial Street SE and Kuebler Boulevard SE will get improved this year! Beginning in April 2016 and extending through December 2016, the City of Salem and its contractor will be adding dual left-turn lanes on all four approaches of the Commercial Street SE and Kuebler Boulevard SE intersection. A right-turn lane will also be constructed on Commercial Street SE in the southbound direction. This will help improve capacity and minimize travel delays through the intersection.Notice all the autoism here: "improved," "dual left-turn lanes," "improve capacity," "minimize travel delays."
For whom does this improve things? Not all road users!
|Looking east along Boone Road at Commercial - via google|
|New median (orange) may prohibit|
east-west crossing on Boone
Additionally, there is a complicated weave with the bike lane and turn lane here. If you are south-bound on Commercial, the curbside bike lane terminates just before the corner at Boone. Then, in the middle of the intersection and just south of it, there's the transition with the right-turn only onto Kuebler, and the bike lane is sandwiched between the through-lanes and the right-turn lane. There are two potential right-hooks here: Right-turns onto Boone and right-ward weaves for the right-turn onto Kuebler.
This makes me queasy.
|People using the dashed bike lane continuation|
have to contend with autos at highway speeds;
on foot, wide-radiused turns for high-speeds
|Looking down Glen Creek towards Wallace Park|
The proliferation of slip lanes also looks like it prioritizes auto turning movements at the clear expense of those on foot and on bike.
And if you are going east on Kuebler and wish to turn north onto Commercial - what a Rube Goldberg set of maneuvers you'll need to make! A lot of the turns here are really complicated.
No matter what you think of each individual component, in aggregate it's hard to say they improve things.
|MassDOT Separated Bike Lane Guide|
Bike and Walk Salem
It's true that, for example, we are grappling more deeply with things like connections on Union Street to the Union Street Railroad Bridge, but we are still struggling to get past sharrows. There is no definite plan yet for a fully protected bike lane anywhere in Salem. A bike boulevard on Winter-Maple is theoretical at the moment, and it is not certain it won't be a struggle to make sure it has robust design elements for non-auto traffic and is not a bike boulevard in name only, a line on a map. And out here, far away from the center of the city, on this near highway-level interchange, there's almost no evidence of the analysis in "Bike and Walk Salem." This is still 1980s engineering, not best practices, not even current 2010s design.
Still a generation behind.