Tuesday, May 18, 2010

MWVBTA Works to Update Bike Maps and Identify Low-Traffic Alternatives

Maps and links updated July 20th.

You might remember the excitement over Google's announcement that it had added a bike layer to Google Maps. The excitement was somewhat shortlived when it became clear that there were all kinds of crazy data and route suggestions. Many of the worst bicycling streets in Salem showed dotted green lines as if they were good routes. On this detail you can see that Marion Street has a dotted green line. The Union Street Railroad Bridge is also missing. As it currently exists, the Google map layer isn't very useful.

The 2006 Salem-Keizer Bike Map is better in many ways, but it's still out of date. It doesn't show the Union Street Railroad Bridge, either. And it displays in graphic form the City's now out-dated philosophy of creating a bike route system primarily of bike lanes striped on busy roads.

With support from the City and from the Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study, the Mid-Willamette Valley Chapter of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, is working on updating the bike map. Our goals are two-fold: To update the map with new facilities, like the Union Street Railroad Bridge; and to identify a network of low-traffic streets that substantially parallels the network of bike lanes on busy roads. We want to find bike routes for everyone, not just skilled urban bicyclists who are used to being in traffic - where would you bike with your entire family?

We've got started with several draft maps, and we invite your comments and suggestions.

Here's the updated map in its entirety as of July 18th! (2.7MB pdf)

Here's a list of the draft maps in pdf form. The city is roughly divided up into quadrants
Legend, with color key
Keizer map
North Salem map
Northeast Salem map
South Salem map
Southeast Salem map
West Salem map
Here's a directory of the maps. If one of these links is dead, it's because we've posted an update, so check the directory for a more current version.

Drop comments and suggestions here. You can also email us screen captures or other marked up versions at salembikes [at] gmail [dot] com.

The work here will go to Google and into a revised 2010 Salem-Keizer Bike Map. It will also inform the Bike Element update to the Transportation System Plan.

Thanks to Jeff Leach for the expert mapping work!


Mr.Thomas said...

On the North Salem map, State St should remain blue right up to 24th St. 24th St is also a reasonable medium traffic street to ride in to get to the Chemeketa bike boulevard and/or Center St.

Emily said...

I think the city needs to clear some blackberry bushes and put a path on Hawthorne between the street and I-5. No one is biking on Lancaster.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Thanks! Keep 'em coming!

Re: Potemkin Bike Lanes on Lancaster. NE Salem is so difficult because of the development patterns - and I-5. The only E-W connections that cross I-5 are busy arterials; there are no low-traffic alternatives. With the way streets also filled in, there are very few N-S connections that are not busy streets. The neighborhoods are really disconnected via the ramified street hierarchy of arterial-collector-local.

Lansing and Fisher are two streets we use as alternatives and are thinking about ways to improve. Hawthorne will get some work from the road bond - so more of it will have bike lanes, but it will also get turn lanes and be "improved" in ways that will speed up and increase traffic volumes. A separated facility along Hawthorne that parallels I-5 is an idea to throw into the Bike Plan update!

We also need N-S routes in between Lancaster and Cordon. Ideas?

tbucktoo said...

Riding in 13th from S. Salem, the stretch from Mill St. to Union is hazardous: no lane, curb and blackberries.

You can take the pedestrian blvd. to the east side of the RR tracks, but the access from Mill St. is gravel and dangerous.

Capitol St. heading north would be a great place for a bike lane, more convenient than the stop and go of Winter, more direct when going to N. Salem, Keizer, Portland Rd. and the Kroc Center.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

See here for details on the plan to fix the gravel on the Promenade entry at Mill and 12th!