Bike Lanes were the first item on the agenda last night at the Regional Transportation Commission meeting, and Engineering firm Manhard Consulting, LTD was there to make their redesign presentation. The room was once again packed last night, but they weren’t familiar faces. Three of us from Muscle Powered attended, eager to hear the verdict.
As the speakers unveiled their redesign plan, it began to be apparent that things were looking good. Here’s a summary of the bike lane plan:
Summary of Changes to Include Bike Lanes
- Four lanes throughout project varying in width from 10′ to 11.25′ (10′ wide only at Long Street intersection)
- 5′ wide bike lane from Washington Street to Adams Street (Lane is measured from the stripe to the face of the curb, so subtract the width of the gutter)
- 4′ shoulder from Adams Street to Beverly Drive (again, subtract the width of the gutter)
- Left turn pockets at Washington, Highway 50/William, Corbett, and Long
The most interesting change to me was the left turn pockets. Last month the proposal was to fully delete the center turn lane. This new plan adds the turn pockets only where really needed, adding additional room for bike lanes, and reducing the amount of right-of-way property acquisition. More of the road can be utilized more of the time, and no space is wasted where you don’t need it.
Like I mentioned last month, the section from Adams Street to Beverly Drive is too narrow to include an official 5′ wide bike lane, so they are calling it a 4′ shoulder. I think this should still be wide enough for most cyclists, and there was talk that share the road signs should be installed along this section to enhance safety.
The commissioners asked a few questions after the presentation, but overall, the mood was great and they once again agreed that the additional costs to the project were minuscule compared to the overall project. The turn pockets are a good compromise between bicycle and auto facilities. The project is really shaping up and looks to be an improvement for all road users.
The next meeting will be in December, and will include a presentation and vote on the amount and usage of the funds available. Keep your fingers crossed! As for the rest of the crowd in the room, nobody got up and commented about bike lanes, so I’m not sure what they were there for. I left after the bike lane discussion, but the Clear Creek closure was going to be talked about near the end of the meeting. I’ll see what I can find out about this topic.