Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bike Plan Draft Memos Released; First Look at Crash Data

Tonight the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the Walk and Bike Plan Updates meets second time. They'll be reviewing a bunch of documents, which have been posted on the City's site.

These include a bike analysis (see below for more), a walking analysis (47pp, 8MB), a safe school routes analysis (75pp, 12MB), and an ADA analysis (9pp, 4MB).

In the next week or so I'll have some more detailed observations. Hopefully others will chime in, too. There's lots to chew on.

But for the moment I want to cherry pick some highlights from Bicycle Needs Assessment Draft Memo (32pp, 5MB) - and to express in general terms a great happiness to see a pretty comprehensive look at the state of bicycling in Salem. It's only a step, but it's a great step.

Survey Response

One of things that struck me was respondents to the online survey.
Overall, the majority of questionnaire respondents were female (54 percent) and between the ages of 46-65 (43 percent).
This is a considerably higher proportion of women than women who bike in Salem. Of course, it was also a walking survey, and women may be more inclined to fill out surveys, but it was good to have a nearly equal split of men and women.

Most interesting was that 100 West Salem residents completed the survey, but hardly any commented on the map in West Salem. This disparity is interesting. It's not surprising that for 60% of them the drive-alone trip is their primary commute.

Northeast Neighbors, those who live roughly north of State street, east of 12th street, west of 25th street, and south of Sunnyview, bike the most! This is not surprising since they don't have to cross Mission; and Madison, D, and Chemeketa provide by prevailing standards good east-west access into the downtown core.

In general terms, as you'd expect, both hills and distance equals less biking.

Crash Data

Crash data was fasinating. The overwhelming preponderance of reported bike crashes in Salem are right- and left-hooks, conflicts with turning movements.

The bike crash corridors were also interesting, but I expected Lancaster to be number one, not three. At the same time, in small group sessions, people described it as the number one "hotspot."

Wallace at Glen Creek

Also surprising was that the intersection with the largest number of reported crashes was Wallace at Glen Creek.

It was great to see this intersection discussed in more detail, as it has been a central concern for a couple of years now.
The intersection of Wallace Road and Glen Creek Road experienced the highest number of reported bicycle collisions (with nine reported crashes between 2005 and 2009). Commercial land uses surround each intersection corner, while the Glen Creek Transit Station exists approximately two blocks to the east. Bike lanes exist on both roadways approaching the intersection, with the exception of eastbound Glen Creek Road where the bike lane abruptly ends upstream from the intersection to provide space for a right turn slip lane onto Wallace Road southbound. Eight of the nine reported crashes at this intersection consisted of a turning movement crash where a motorist failed to yield to a bicyclist. A funded capital improvement project is scheduled to upgrade this intersection in the near future. Since the proposed improvements include widening the intersection to accommodate additional turn lanes (which may further complicate bicycle travel in this area), special attention should be given to elements that can improve bicycle safety at this location.[bold added]

Other parts of the memo offered fewer things that stood out. Most of the problems are well known to Salem area bicyclists!

Still, this is a quick-hit first impression, and as these things go, sometimes you miss really significant details. Perhaps with some reflection and closer reading, a different set of data points and observations will rise to the top.

Good routes to schools, as opposed to commuter and shopping routes for adults, has got less attention in Salem, and the schools analysis might be an especially fruitful source of new ideas or insights.

Tonight I'll have more from the meeting, as well.

And here's a humorous bonus on Portland and "bicycle rights" if you've made it this far...we can't take ourselves too seriously!

1 comment:

Stephanie Matlock Allen said...

Caaarrrrs, man. Why???!!! ;-)