Our local transportation agency has begun a new attempt to eliminate the "bike-lane dead ends" around the county. They are calling their effort "Roadways to Bikeways."
You can read about it, and take a survey, by clicking HERE. (Please go to the link and take the survey if you are a cyclist, or would-be cyclist, in Ada County.)
The "major elements" of the project are to:
- review and inventory existing bicycle infrastructure,
- do bicycle "head counts,"
- prioritize deficiencies,
- create a map,
- develop a guide for use in future county roadway projects.
There's also an article about it on the daily newspaper's website - click HERE to link to the article.
According to the author, Kate Brussé, the plan is costing $250,000. (And ACHD spends about $1.7 million per year on bike lanes and sidewalks. That actually sounds low to me, if you're including sidewalks.)
(I've got a small stake in this - I'm the cyclist who's quoted, right at the end of the news piece.)
A couple comments:
This is not the first effort by ACHD to do this sort of thing. In fact, I was a "volunteer concerned citizen" a few years back, when they convened some local engineers and bike-riding citizens, to identify bike-facility disconnects, and suggest fixes. (My assignment was Emerald Street, and how to get from the Emerald/Orchard area - where the bike-stripe ends - to downtown.)
I'm not sure what became of that study, and/or why there is a need to redo it now. As much as I'm in favor of making our community as bike-friendly as possible, I'm not convinced that doing yet another study, and redoing tasks that have been done before, is the best use of taxpayer dollars. (I've still got my copy of that last study, if ACHD would like to borrow and photocopy it.)
Ms. Brussé didn't misquote me... but I'm not sure her article conveys the points I would like to make.
1) There is not a consensus, even among experienced transportation cyclists, that dedicated bike facilities are a 100% good thing. Why? Some non-cyclists will mistakenly assume that bicycles only belong in dedicated bike paths and lanes, unless there's also an ongoing educational campaign. (Bikes belong EVERYWHERE!)
2) For novice and occasional cyclists, bike paths and lanes are a good thing. One of the main deterrents to transportation cycling is the perception (whether accurate or not) that riding in the streets with motor vehicles is inordinately dangerous. A bike-stripe can change that perception.