On Jan 29, 2016, at 4:36 PM, Carolyn Cairns <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
The main conclusion that Broadway width cannot accommodate a new bike path was presented along with maps of the north Broadway area where curb-curb width is the narrowest and currently as much as 6′ below the recommended 38′ (including two 11′ lanes, and two 8′ parking spaces). Sidewalk width is equally limited, ranging from 4 to 11 ‘, with 10’ being the guideline.
Carolyn, thx for your excellent notes. And thanks for speaking with me and fleshing out some of the info that Bob was good enough to share with me on a call following the meeting.
Is a bike lane on Broadway definitely out of the question? Bob seemed to suggest that it wasn’t possible because of space considerations. He also mentioned that making Broadway one-way was not possible because it would take away parking spaces.
I understand our challenge is to accommodate three competing interests: pedestrians, bicyclists and cars. If we take another look at making South Broadway one-way with diagonal parking, we might be able to do something for the first two objectives without creating any disadvantage for the third.
Note: The premise behind this idea is that diagonal parking allows a higher density of cars at the curb than parallel parking (someone with a real planning background will have to confirm that!)
Here are a few benefits to making S. Broadway one way with diagonal parking:
- More space for uniform, wider sidewalks. As noted in the McLaren survey — and as our personal experience has shown — our village has a walkable reputation…but really doesn’t have the sidewalks to deliver on that promise. Our sidewalks include lots of obstructions and insufficient width to accommodate two people passing each when strollers or pets are present. A one way Broadway could leave space to create wider sidewalks in the downtown area.
- A one way bike lane on Broadway: The problem with the “let’s move the bike lane to Franklin” thing is that it actually works against the stated goal of transportation alternatives: You effectively are discouraging using bicycles as a way to get to downtown businesses by shooing them off to Franklin, where the businesses…aren’t (for the most part). It’s less of a transportation alternative to downtown and more of a “bike by pass route.” It only makes sense to put the bike lane in a place that can lead people to our downtown businesses. As I think was noted at the meeting, the bike lane idea will encourage river village residents to ride bikes downtown as well as future visitors to the TZB SUP. It is assumed that more serious cyclists will NOT use these bike lanes but will continue to ride on 9W and Piermont Ave.
- Giving the South Franklin business district a shot in the arm. The businesses on South Franklin don’t get the same exposure that Main Street and Broadway shops do. By making S Franklin the street that recirculates the one-way BWay traffic, those shops will get more exposure, foot traffic, etc.
- Protected bike lanes: With diagonal parking, it only makes sense to put the bike lane in front of the cars. This would also remove the incentive for cars and delivery trucks to block the bike lanes; a problem that other municipalities has but we might be able to avoid.
I haven’t fully thought out all of the implications of this idea, including how to get traffic back to Franklin (Cedar Hill is obvious; Maybe Burd Street on the North side is one possibility?) and if this scheme can be extended to North Broadway (desirable, but challenging…and above my pay grade to figure out!). However, I wanted to bring up this idea to the committee and see if it was worth getting McLaren to take a closer look at the benefits of a one-way Broadway. It seems too early in our study of how to implement TAP to discard this promising idea.
Let me know what you think.