Carson City has striped new bike lanes on Colorado St between Saliman Rd and Roop St, both of which already have bike lanes. The overly wide travel lanes were narrowed, which will serve to calm traffic on the street.
The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has published an online guide to modern bicycle facilities, the Urban Bikeway Design Guide. This easy to use guide provides examples and specifications for a large number of progressive facilities of the sort that have long been used internationally and are becoming common in several large and medium sized north American cities.
Though Carson City has only some urban characteristics, there are nevertheless several great ideas here that could be used in Carson City to provide a safer and more welcoming climate for bicycling. For example, buffered bike lanes (buffered from motor vehicle traffic and/or parked cars) could make many people more comfortable riding on the street, as well as use up some of the excess pavement that exists on four lane streets with low traffic volumes (Saliman between Colorado and Sonoma, for example). Shared lane markings could replace “share the road” locations such as Hot Springs Rd, with the addition of “bikes may use full lane” signs rather than the “share the road” signs currently placed. Take a look at the guide, and I’m sure you’ll see a number of ideas that could be implemented here in Carson City.
The guide has photos, diagrams, measurements, clear language about what is MUTCD and AASHTO bike guide compliant, and links to projects where the treatments have already been successfully implemented.
Streetsblog has a post that introduces the guide.
Streetsblog Capitol Hill offers “Actually, Highway Builders, Roads Don’t Pay For Themselves,” debunking more car-centric myths. A few highlights:
- gas taxes pay for only about half, and that is declining, of the federal and state highways system, while the rest comes from the general fund
- local streets are mostly paid for by the general fund, or in a few cases developers
- no one is paying directly for the environmental and social costs of roads, so we all pay these hidden costs
- in most states, including Nevada, no sales tax is paid on fuel purchase, so that not only is the gas tax being dedicated to a specific use for roads, we are foregoing the sales tax that might pay for other things, and then having to pay general funds on top of that for road building; it is hard to imagine a better system for benefitting one mode of transportation over all others
In a Nevada Appeal article entitled “WNC student turns focus to transportation,” Mimi Premo was featured for her advocacy for transit in Carson City. The article details how her personal experiences of walking and wanting to use the bus to access WNC brought her to her passion. She is not (yet) a Muscle Powered member, but it is great to see many hands working towards our common goals of a “walkable and bikeable Carson City.”
The city has nearly finished a project to improve sidewalks along Saliman Road between Seeliger Elementary School and Colorado St. Eleven corners were improved with ADA compliant ramps (which help everyone, not just the disabled), and some rough sections of sidewalk were replaced. The best part from a Safe Routes to School perspective is that the drain inlet which used to be right in the middle of the crosswalk over Saliman at Damon Road was moved to the north, out of the crosswalk. This drain inlet was in the worst possible place. It’s one of those drains which both scared you and fascinated you when you were a kid, not the kind of thing you want to face first thing in the morning on your way to school.
A big bravo to Carson City Public Works for this project, which was funding by the regular sidewalk repair program.
Conversation with an Engineer: A cartoon on the relationship between residents and engineers, this one from Strong Towns, who also had the post Confessions of a Recovering Engineer which we linked to a week ago. Have a sense of humor, or stay away. These cartoons are a take-off on xtranormal iPhone vs. EVO cartoons. I think.
Anne asked that we cross-post the article Confessions of a Recovering Engineer from Strong Towns Blog, an engineer’s take on the profession and how we’ve gotten into our current fix by prioritizing speed over other values. The article has generated 46 comments in the last week, and comments are remarkably on-topic and intelligent for the Internet.