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Downtown 2010 Plan Idea #4 - Broad Street

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Development Downtown 2010 Plan Idea #4 – Broad Street

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  • #81214
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Redefine Broad Street as the Civic Spine of the City

    Main CU Feature: 12 Ideas Laid Out for Downtown 2010 Strategic Plan

    Historically, Broad Street has acted as the civic spine for the City of Columbus. As such, Broad Street used to have a streetscape that reflected its importance. Today, Broad Street at eight lanes across, is as wide as SR 315. While the mansions have been replaced by office towers, there is still an opportunity to restore the grandeur to this once majestic street.

    Utilizing the same right of way that is available today, this concept for Broad Street removes travel lanes to create additional space for pedestrians, bicyclists and landscaping on both sides of the street. This is more than a street, it is a linear park of usable green space that activates the streetscape and enhances property values. Running from the Scioto River to the Near East Side, this is an essential east-west connection. By widening the sidewalk and adding landscaping, this new streetscape can accommodate not only pedestrians, but also bicyclists. Added trees and green space could also be designed to manage stormwater runoff, making Broad Street the most sustainable street in the Midwest.

    MORE HERE: http://www.downtowncolumbus.com/plan/broad-street

    #361726

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    Yes on improving Broad Street but I don’t know if I am sold on the bike idea. What if I need to make a left onto a side road? Looks like there may be some curb cuts to allow access out but that means I have to negotiate parked cars and oncoming traffic and buses vs. taking the lane and safely merging.

    #361727

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    I’d like to see a more detailed plan view of that cycle track. Like Andrew, I have some concerns.

    #361728
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    There is no detailed plan yet. We’re supposed to be making it happen! ;)

    Follow the link in the original post and share your concerns and ideas.

    #361729

    Nitsud Regnifloh
    Participant

    I see your concern with bike riding through Broad, but aesthetically, i am very pleased at least with the direction they plan to go. 8 lanes of traffic in and out is unnecessary and half the time not all lanes are even used during rush hour.

    Bringing some of Old Columbus back to the downtown area would be a nice contrast to the Broad/High development. oooooh, shiny.

    #361730

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    Walker wrote >>
    There is no detailed plan yet. We’re supposed to be making it happen! ;)
    Follow the link in the original post and share your concerns and ideas.

    Done. Overall I am happy that the city is putting greater attention on cycling, I am just concerned it won’t be done “right”.

    #361731

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I always rankle whenever I see the city talking about putting in bike lanes and the like, for the reason that lifeontwowheels points out. Most bike infrastructure steps such as bike lanes, paths, etc. are great for recreational cyclists but not so much for people who are actually trying to get somewhere. They also create the impression among some that those lanes/paths/etc. are where cyclists are “supposed” to be, instead of being places where cyclists can supposedly ride more safely and cars are not allowed.

    That being said, narrowing the lanes and creating a road diet will slow things down on the main drag and make it more attractive and easier for travel by cyclists.

    Fewer lanes means fewer lanes for a cyclist to have to cross in order to turn left, which increases safety for the cyclists. I’d also be in favor of removing street parking altogether in that section of town to remove the danger of being doored. Lowering the speed limit and putting in some red-light cameras at all the intersections would also help. Of course, it all means very little if enforcement of the speed limit doesn’t take place, but it’s a start.

    #361732

    psgorder
    Member

    I think the proposed redesign looks great. Having a bike path completely separate from the cars is the safest way to go, and it looks like that’s what they’re doing here. To turn left, a cyclist would just have to stop at the intersection and wait for the light to change, like a pedestrian on the same path would. I don’t have a problem with that, but then I’m just a recreational cyclist. :-)

    #361733
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    What do you guys think of the median-separated bike lanes in NYC? That’s what this idea reminds me of, except prettier. ;)

    Separated bicycle lane in New York City  (Manhattan), southbound 9th Avenue from 23rd Street to 16th Street

    #361734

    joev
    Participant

    How about a bus rapid transit development like Cleveland’s Euclid Ave.?

    #361735

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    psgorder wrote >>
    I think the proposed redesign looks great. Having a bike path completely separate from the cars is the safest way to go, and it looks like that’s what they’re doing here. To turn left, a cyclist would just have to stop at the intersection and wait for the light to change, like a pedestrian on the same path would. I don’t have a problem with that, but then I’m just a recreational cyclist. :-)

    Frankly there are better paths for rec cyclists than Broad.

    Separation really isn’t all that safe since it takes you away from the line of sight for motorists, couple that with speeds greater than a pedestrian, and you have some interesting and potentially dangerous moments when a vehicle is making a left or right onto a side street and the bike is on a tree lined separate path with the right of way.

    I’m not totally against infrastructure in general. The problem I have is that so much focus is placed on the physical part with no value or effort placed on outreach and education so motorists and cyclists know how to use the new infrastructure. Under ORC (pretty cure, or it’s city) a motor vehicle-after checking and safely merging-can turn right onto a side road from an on road bike lane. And a cyclist is given the right under city code to leave said lane for whatever reason.

    Without making this type of knowledge widespread, we run the risk of creating potential conflicts and dangerous interactions between the modes. Instead of real conversation, the infrastructure advocates tend to use loaded terms and set it up as a class issue between elite road cyclists and Joe 10 speed using the bike lane.

    #361736

    colrex7
    Member

    Eventually that right of way could be used for a streetcar that rolls right into Bexley and Whitehall. I’m sure Broad Street used to have a street car that went up there anyway. It’s hard to say now…but I can see a streetcar doing well on E. Broad Street. But I suppose a study would need to be done.

    #361737

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    Walker wrote >>
    What do you guys think of the median-separated bike lanes in NYC? That’s what this idea reminds me of, except prettier. ;)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rllayman/2660998236/

    I want to see crash data from NYC first.

    joev wrote >>
    How about a bus rapid transit development like Cleveland’s Euclid Ave.?

    I was thinking the same thing. The ROW on Euclid is mostly 99′ (1.5 chains). The downtown section of Broad appears to be about 120′. So you should be able to do the same thing Euclid did, but then add a second 10′ wide travel lane in each direction.

    #361738

    Analogue Kid
    Participant

    johnwirtz wrote >>

    Walker wrote >>
    What do you guys think of the median-separated bike lanes in NYC? That’s what this idea reminds me of, except prettier. ;)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rllayman/2660998236/

    I want to see crash data from NYC first.

    joev wrote >>
    How about a bus rapid transit development like Cleveland’s Euclid Ave.?

    I was thinking the same thing. The ROW on Euclid is mostly 99′ (1.5 chains). The downtown section of Broad appears to be about 120′. So you should be able to do the same thing Euclid did, but then add a second 10′ wide travel lane in each direction.

    I dont think BRT is a good idea there. Remember that historically E Broad Street never had a streetcar and thus doesnt have the density of the Euclid corridor.

    #361739

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    Analogue Kid wrote
    I dont think BRT is a good idea there. Remember that historically E Broad Street never had a streetcar and thus doesnt have the density of the Euclid corridor.

    That’s a fair point. The other problem is that the ROW narrows east of I-71 and west of the river, so you’re probably limited to just the downtown area before the buses would switch back to the outer lanes.

    I was thinking of it more as a way to create dedicated bus lanes downtown than doing the whole corridor with left-hand stops. Maybe some fancier right-hand stops and pre-paid boarding would be just as good though?

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