Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Leaf Neckdowns show Excess Width in Travel Lanes

Light blogging this week it looks like...

As you've been riding around this fall and pre-winter maybe you've noticed places where leaf debris shows unneeded lane width in the roads.

Leaf debris on Winter Street just south of State Street
reveals excess lane width
Here's an example by Willamette University. (I'm not sure there's a term for the fall version, but the snow version's #sneckdown seems to have stuck. So this is a leaf neckdown.) Car tires sweep the leaves in the necessary and well-used space, but leave the debris intact where they do not travel.

The debris shows the road is plenty wide for an enlarged or buffered bike lane, no loss of parking, and normal auto travel lane.

The Downtown Mobility Study calls for upgrades to Winter Street just north of here, but these sneckdowns show that even short term improvements of simply narrowing travel lanes, without even altering existing parking or the number of travel lanes, could create meaningfully improved conditions for people on bike.

10 year vision:  Sharrows on Union and Winter, bike lanes on
High and Church, two-way conversion on cottage
The Downtown Advisory Board is moving towards the recommendations for Church and High Streets (Winter Street is outside of the urban renewal area), but here too the auto travel lanes are too wide.

15, 14, and 13 foot travel lanes are too wide
(Here again is the case for 10 foot travel lanes.)

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