Thursday, March 20, 2014

Funny Bike Lane Points to Pringle Square Traffic Flows at Tricky Corner

Last weekend I spotted this dashed bike lane on Commercial between the intersection at Trade/Front and the new bridge across Pringle Creek.

Bike lane on Commercial - Boise on R, City Hall on L
Why is it dashed?

Well, the curb cut for a driveway where the blue loader is parked is a clue.

One-way right-in only driveway off of Commercial Street
There's going to be a right-in driveway (but not, it seems, right-out) for the nursing home and new four-story office building in phase II of the Boise North Block redevelopment.

Trade/Front and Commercial. With dual turns and a large radius corner,
speeds are sometimes too fast.
The bike lane is also functioning as a turn lane here.  With cars taking the turn quickly - in some cases "whipping around the corner" - I'm not real excited about the prospect for right-hook crashes as cars take two right turns in quick succession. The sightlines aren't very long here when you're turning the corner - not like the longer sightlines at the end of a block face when a bike lane transitions with turn lanes as people approach an intersection.  The dashed lane makes sense in the context of sharrows on the previous block of Commercial, but not so much in the context of the dual turn lanes. This may well need to be revisited later.

Much more exciting is the most recent rendering for that new building. 

Four-story office building for the North Block of Pringle Square
This is by far my favorite of all the concept drawings for Pringle Square!

Detail showing window elbow cornice thingys
and contrasting brick detailing
I love the brick facing to go with the historic downtown, especially the nearby Burke building of 1890, and the little eyebrow cornice thingy in many of the windows echos the big elbow cornice on which the name "waterplace" is mounted. The windows have a jaunty rhythm on the facade, and the whole is a nice blend of old and new. Looks like a winner!

Waterplace, CB|Two HQ
In other Pringle Square news, it looks like there will be a secure bike room for residents! The building may represent a significant step up in residential bike parking facilities for Salemites.

I think there will be a hearing at the Planning Commission for the revised plans, so there will be an opportunity to say more then.

Here's the previous iteration of the building for comparison:

August 2013 iteration of building, CB|Two


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

By email, a reader sends in a couple of dissents:

RE: Pringle Square and the right-in on Commercial. As there is an entry on Front St Bypass, I would guess that the number of “double right turns” will be low. Likely this was put in to allow access from Commercial St.

RE: Architectural renderings for Pringle Square and that building at State & Commercial....I find them less than desirable additions. The Pringle Square corner building with the contrasting brick looks like there were bigger windows at one time, and then due to whatever reason, they filled it up and put in smaller windows. But, these things tend to be the opinions of each individual.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Added a previous version of the building to the end of the note for comparison.

What I wondered about the Front Street by-pass driveway is if the faster speeds of the Parkway will make people not want to slow down for the turning movement, and then whether folks will prefer the Commercial Street entry, even when they might be arriving via Front Street.

However, you could be right that the number of "double right turns" will be low. It's something to watch once the building opens - which will be a couple of years off, I believe.

KandN said...
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