Thursday, October 7, 2010

2nd Avenue bike lanes

This has been a frustrating project. There's so much history here. Councilman Rush has done a great job of distilling the essence of the issue on his blog post here.

The hierarchy of argument/pushback from the City Engineering department usually goes like this for most bike projects which can be baked into giant resurfacing/reconstruction projects:

1. We can't do the project because this is a bond project and the bond does not specify money for bike "amenities."
Answer: well, it turns out we can find the money through a grant/matching fund/etc...

2. We can't do the project because it doesn't conform with our local street standards.
Answer: well, it turns out that it does conform with federal/state standards (ASHTO, FHWA, etc). And further, other cities/municipalities do this kind of stuff all the time. And there's plenty of historical precedent for conflicting with our local standards when it's convenient to do so.

3. Saftey! Think of the children! We can't put people at risk. There's too many cars here for bike lanes! People in cars turn corners and change lanes all the time! I'm a cyclist too you know, but this is not safe.
Answer: We can show that other cities with much higher traffic volume and more turning/lane changing have actually shown a decrease in accidents when you narrow car travel lanes and put in well-designed bike facilities. You can keep the throughput while calming/slowing the traffic and making the cooridore safer.

4. Outside consultant experts agree with us.
Answer: Can we choose the experts then?

5. Strict father: Dammit. No! Because we're the experts and we say so!

1 comment:

Mark H. said...

I would rather see bike lanes on Riverside than 2nd. Riverside is more than wide enough, not much traffic and the lanes could go in both directions.