Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More Bike Blvd News

I learned a bit more about the Bike Boulevards proof-of-concept at the BAB meeting last night:
  1. Bike Blvd criteria/best practice -- see the doc that the city planning intern put together: This doc explains what they are. Has some good pictures and also explains how to figure out if a street is suitable for a bike blvd.
  2. Basic design: street painting (giant letters that are made of dura stripe "BIKE BLVD"); unique street sign toppers (think of the brown toppers in Browns Addition); some signage along the blvd, though it's not clear what; and a tubular marker (the kind you can drive/plow over) in the center of each intersection.
  3. Arterial crossing comes in many flavors, but the idea at the moment for the Post/Wellseley crossing is to have giant yellow signs alerting drivers of crossing and a semi-protected median (about 10' x 4') in the middle of Wellseley for doing two-part crossings. There were a lot of questions around this design. Hopefully we'll have a bit of time to work some of these design questions.
  4. Cost is about $2k/block with about $30k as the minimum for arterial crossing.

As discussed in the last post, the city engineers are spec'ing out two "proofs of concept:" one on Post from Francis to Wellseley and another on Hatch St from 17th to 29th. And the timeline is still enforced; we're now down to one week. It's not clear to me if this is actually going to hit the street in a week or if it's going in front of the council for emergency funding in a week.

I do know that the idea is being pushed by Brad Stark. So that makes some sense given the overall campaign politics. I'm pretty sure I don't want to go down that road here, but I will say this: Mr Stark is appearing a bit vulnerable, and this appears to be a Hail Mary during the last few seconds of the game. We'll take it.

The general BAB consensus at the meeting last night was two fold:

  1. We love the city pushing hard and aggressively to get some bike blvds laid down as a proof of concept. We believe bike blvds may be just the ticket for much of the upcoming Spokane bike master plan.
  2. We cannot afford to rush the process. The proof of concept streets must be done right -- rushing through to meet a campaign deadline is not a wise move; let's make sure the design and street choices are right. There are a number of design/implementation questions that the BAB would like to spend a bit of time resolving. There is general agreement on Post as a route. Hatch does not seem like a good route for a proof of concept. This letter from BAB'er Bradley makes a great case for Arthur Street instead.

Lastly: there is an official opening for the SE Blvd road work and bike lane today. The official opening is where the Mayor comes and cuts a ribbon and such. There will also be donuts and coffee (see you there!). There were some press releases that went out and said it was at 10:30 today. That's wrong. It's at 2pm at 4th and Sherman at the Cancer Center parking lot there.

The SE Blvd bike ride celebration/opening is still happening this Sunday. No coffee and donuts provided by the city, but at least we'll be taking a ride.


Anonymous said...

Bradley's spot on about Arthur. It was the first and most viable north-south candidate that came to my mind when I heard you mention this concept a while back. Arthur between 29th and 43rd actually has a fair amount of surface deterioration and potholes (and I don't remember seeing it listed among upcoming bond resurfacing projects either) so it would be kind of interesting to see if becoming a bike blvd got it some more positive repair attention too.

liza said...

what about the most obvious/most used southbound route for cyclists: jefferson??? all the folks i know who ride from downtown take jefferson. you can head all the way up the south hill to high drive. at that point it becomes divided by a greenbelt. and from there, you're on high drive with a wide shoulder.

arthur is better than hatch, but it would end up being like a lot of the bike lanes in spokane...all over the map, not connected, or thoughtfully planned out.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I saw the article in the Inlander about this (just yesterday!). I'm really excited about it, and I think they mentioned Wall as a possible street for eventual implementation.