|Study Area with Streets under Consideration|
|full and partial credit in green; one fail and one deletion in red|
There are two alternatives for Church in the latest: Alt 1 - One-Way with Bike Lane, and Alt 2 - Two-Way with Bike Lanes. The one-way, Alternative 1, would use a buffered bike lane, and Alt 2 would use 1980s standard bike lanes with door zone hazards. Making left-hand turns from the one-way would be difficult. It's hard to be excited about either of these.
|Church Street Alternatives|
Proposals for High Street and Court Street get half credit. They are both more and less than the recommendations here. Making High and Court Street two-way + sharrows only makes sense with Church and State Streets having high quality cycle tracks. Church doesn't look to get them, and sentiment seems to be moving towards an incremental approach on State Street, which means a cycle track won't go there, either. Given this, the project team looked at bike lanes on High and Court. That's the more - but it's still probably not enough.
One part of the analysis that I don't understand is a product of the atomic nature of analysis. As I see it, you have to treat Church and High as a pair: They both go two-way together, or they both remain one-way together. Though it may be possible, it's not obvious how you can change one and not the other.
So High Street has the same options as Church: Alt 1 - One-Way with Bike Lane, and Alt 2 - Two-Way with Bike Lanes. Except there's 15 foot travel lanes in the one-way! There's no way we need lanes that wide. ( I'm not sure the project team always eliminated unnecessary car lanes or unnecessarily wide car lanes.) It's also hard to be excited about these.
|Court Street, Alt 2 - With 1980s style bike lanes|
|Cottage and Union with traffic diverter - Round 1 Concept|
On the other hand, most people I have spoken to are instead in favor of using Union as a pilot location for a robust cycle track in hopes that a successful installation will pave the way for a more rapid roll-out of cycle tracks in other locations. And there's real merit to that argument.
In general across all the alternatives on every street, there's too much angle parking and still a general preference for carspace rather than people space. Many of the bike lane treatments are old-school - and it would be nice to be new-school! In some cases the newly installed curb extensions (bulb-outs) at corners will need to be pared back in order to create room for bike lanes. It's possible that the City will need to rethink its strategy on curb extensions.
But, you know, almost all of the alternatives represent incremental improvement. They might not be optimal - but as has been often invoked lately: Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Several of the solutions won't get more families or new bicyclists downtown by bike, but for people who bike regularly, they'll be a significant improvement. It may be that making that robust menu of real choices for mobility downtown may yet take a few iterations of improvement, evolution more than revolution.
The full set of posters and presentations can be seen here. What did you think?
It looks like the project team will try to distill things into one set of recommendations, take it out for an open house in April, and then "stress test" it in the model to see how it operates as a full network.