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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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  • #361755

    colrex7
    Member

    The gentleman behind the table at the meeting said that it is meant for just downtown…but could definitely be expanded to Bexley if its something the citizens or the city want to do.

    #361756

    psgorder
    Member

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>

    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.

    My mother in law was a nurse. She used to say “You don’t want your tombstone to say, ‘She had the right of way.'” I understand that you are talking about bicyclists observing all the appropriate laws, but on a separate bike path, cyclists would have to be extra careful and STOP, and WAIT, and make sure that cars were not turning. We may be within our rights to charge across a side street, but it’s better not to if it means safety.

    I would add that the purple signs are awesome, and would be a welcome addition. Anything to make drivers more aware. I’m just saying that as the least armored persons on the road, we have to be extra careful, regardless of what the law says.

    #361757
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Regardless of whether these paths are used for bikes or pedestrians, I think the more important part of this is that Broad Street gets the road diet that it deserves and beautification that will make it a more pleasant strip to travel on no matter what your transportation method may be.

    #361758

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

    I am skeptical about this, since they have redone the routes, the “healthline” busses that run on the Euclid corridor are mostly empty, they run a bus something like every 5 minutes and sometimes there are 3 in a row with no passengers that the city is largely subsidizing. Not to harp on the subject, but waste of resources.

    #361759

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    psgorder wrote >>

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>

    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.

    My mother in law was a nurse. She used to say “You don’t want your tombstone to say, ‘She had the right of way.'” I understand that you are talking about bicyclists observing all the appropriate laws, but on a separate bike path, cyclists would have to be extra careful and STOP, and WAIT, and make sure that cars were not turning. We may be within our rights to charge across a side street, but it’s better not to if it means safety.
    I would add that the purple signs are awesome, and would be a welcome addition. Anything to make drivers more aware. I’m just saying that as the least armored persons on the road, we have to be extra careful, regardless of what the law says.

    I get what you are saying and I would tend to agree on the point that we should be safe. Safety comes not from deferring your rights but respecting your place within the current laws and traveling in a predictable, legal and safe manner. It makes it harder for those of us that do this when a driver is expecting us to do it all wrong, thinking we will defer to them when we do have the right of way.

    Walker,

    The road diet is great, I love the idea in theory. I will be interested to see what comes of it.

    #361760

    tree_sketcher
    Participant

    i think the whole ride in the street thing is fine for cyclists that are comfortable with it, we can put up share the road signage on Broad in addition to the off-street path.

    I think this concept proposes a bike facility that will be more comfortable for the portions of the C.O. public who would like to bike downtown but don’t want to be on the street. How many biking parents with the child trailer do you see cruising around downtown? Or kids?

    It absolutely infuriates me when avid cyclists promote cycling endlessly, then say something like “it’s very likely because you’re not driving your bike properly”. If you want people to get on board with cycling, don’t alienate them and make them feel stupid or inadequate. That is the dumbest thing you could do. There will always be weekend warriors or people that want to ride recreationally with their children and don’t want to ride on the street. Point being, if you want biking to continue to grow in popularity, there have to be different types of facilities for different types of riders. This is an example of that and will help to get the folks using the Scioto trail into downtown.

    #361761

    Columbusite
    Member

    Hence the side streets comment. A lot of cyclists are not riding properly and needlessly put themselves in situations that compromise their safety, perhaps even their lives in the case of “bike-lane syndrome” which results in getting doored or hit by right-turning vehicles at intersections, whether a bike lane is present or not it makes no difference. I’m just calling it like it is; bad cycling practices result in dead people. If more people want to bike that’s great, but not at the expense of real safety for perceived safety. Unfortunately, the city has demonstrated that they’re much too vested in the latter than the former by listening to consultants that don’t even rides bikes as transportation.

    If the city was serious about including cyclists in this plan then expert cyclists such as LO2W and myself would be currently working with the city as we speak. At the public input meeting on the bikeways master plan I pointed out the serious problems inherent with bike lanes as did others. And the plan still looks the same. I’m hoping the plan for Broad is modified a bit since I like it overall, but I won’t hold my breath. If I have to deal with motorists honking at me and yelling at me to get on the cycletrack as a result of its existence I can and will deal with it, but it’s off-putting for many and as I posted earlier there’s plenty of evidence that the cycletrack is not safer, not to mention that this one is planned to be shared with pedestrians meaning we’d see quite an increase in pedestrians getting hit by sidewalk cyclists riding too fast. Just think of current problems between some peds and some on the shared multi-use trails, but worse.

    #361762

    Core_Models
    Member

    Displaced Columbusite wrote >>

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

    I am skeptical about this, since they have redone the routes, the “healthline” busses that run on the Euclid corridor are mostly empty, they run a bus something like every 5 minutes and sometimes there are 3 in a row with no passengers that the city is largely subsidizing. Not to harp on the subject, but waste of resources.

    Again, people need to stop seeing BRT (or rail) as purely a mode of transit. Once they do, they’ll stop counting heads on the bus and start counting dollars instead.

    http://www.cleveland.com/arts/index.ssf/2008/02/euclid_corridor_project_helps.html

    Amid all the bad news about Cleveland’s economy, one big, positive number is sure to impress all but the most hardened cynics: $4.3 billion. That’s how much fresh investment — conservatively speaking — is being poured into the four-mile-long strip of land flanking Euclid Avenue, the city’s Main Street, between Public Square and University Circle.

    One big reason for the energy is the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s $200 million Euclid Corridor project, which is reshaping Euclid Avenue around a bus rapid transit line.

    #361763

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    tree_sketcher wrote >>
    i think the whole ride in the street thing is fine for cyclists that are comfortable with it, we can put up share the road signage on Broad in addition to the off-street path.
    I think this concept proposes a bike facility that will be more comfortable for the portions of the C.O. public who would like to bike downtown but don’t want to be on the street. How many biking parents with the child trailer do you see cruising around downtown? Or kids?
    It absolutely infuriates me when avid cyclists promote cycling endlessly, then say something like “it’s very likely because you’re not driving your bike properly”. If you want people to get on board with cycling, don’t alienate them and make them feel stupid or inadequate. That is the dumbest thing you could do. There will always be weekend warriors or people that want to ride recreationally with their children and don’t want to ride on the street. Point being, if you want biking to continue to grow in popularity, there have to be different types of facilities for different types of riders. This is an example of that and will help to get the folks using the Scioto trail into downtown.

    If you go back and read my comments, I am all for different facilities. I’m just not in favor of those that do more harm than good.

    Remember when you first learned to drive? How intimidating it was to be in traffic? The first time you merged on the freeway? How did you get over that? Did you take drivers ed? Go out and practice in a parking lot? Move to a residential road with low traffic volume?

    Same can be said with cycling. I grew up riding side roads and only used the sidewalk on busy roadways. That’s how I started riding as an adult and by seeking out advice gradually came to be more comfortable and confident. I think it infuriates me that people are either too lazy or too ignorant to seek out advice, study the laws or look at map to realize that “Hey, maybe instead of riding Broad I can ride x,y or z adjacent and be more comfortable”. We have the infrastructure in place already to support all levels of cycling, we just need to promote it’s use. Why spend the money where it’s really not needed when there are much worse areas to bike, where gaps do exist and create connection issues? Those are the places we need to be looking at first.

    #361764

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>

    alove wrote >>
    Blah blah blah
    We want more transit options, right? What’s wrong with expert cyclists riding on the road with a choice of riding on a SAFE, AWAY FROM CARS path?
    I’m tired of hearing about the dangers of creating bike paths. We want our community to become more active, right? I doubt the way to get people to increase their bicycle use is to force them to ride down streets like High and Broad. I am scared shitless whenever I do so and I ride in the sidewalk when appropriate, and I am not ashamed either.
    We need to be taking cues from Europe.

    A few simple changes, some marked signage (something as simple as changing the street signs from green to purple like Berkley did) and you can have a safe, well connected and non-threatening bike network at a much lower cost than uber-sexy Euro Broad St. This is a network that can easily tie into existing off road bike trails as well as projects like High Street Share the Road. It exists, it’s built…we just need to promote and utilize it.

    You probably already know this, but I want to make it clear that Berkeley’s bike boulevards involve a lot more than purple signs. Also, purple was previously an unassigned color for street signs, but the 2009 edition of the MUTCD has now reserved purple for toll roads. Pink anyone?

    #361765

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    johnwirtz wrote >>

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>

    alove wrote >>
    Blah blah blah
    We want more transit options, right? What’s wrong with expert cyclists riding on the road with a choice of riding on a SAFE, AWAY FROM CARS path?
    I’m tired of hearing about the dangers of creating bike paths. We want our community to become more active, right? I doubt the way to get people to increase their bicycle use is to force them to ride down streets like High and Broad. I am scared shitless whenever I do so and I ride in the sidewalk when appropriate, and I am not ashamed either.
    We need to be taking cues from Europe.

    A few simple changes, some marked signage (something as simple as changing the street signs from green to purple like Berkley did) and you can have a safe, well connected and non-threatening bike network at a much lower cost than uber-sexy Euro Broad St. This is a network that can easily tie into existing off road bike trails as well as projects like High Street Share the Road. It exists, it’s built…we just need to promote and utilize it.

    You probably already know this, but I want to make it clear that Berkeley’s bike boulevards involve a lot more than purple signs. Also, purple was previously an unassigned color for street signs, but the 2009 edition of the MUTCD has now reserved purple for toll roads. Pink anyone?

    O I know. And I would love for Columbus to consider those kind of treatments. But a great start would be promoting and marking those streets so people know they exist.

    #361766

    tree_sketcher
    Participant

    so if i am a weekend cyclist and want to cruise downtown on my weekend ride from the north burbs or the southside, you are suggesting that i should take side streets and really see nothing that i want to see. I personally don’t think we should banish the non-hardy cyclist from the main corridors; again the idea is to be as inclusive of cycling as possible. Thats why this plan makes sense; people want to ride down broad street; its a key civic street and may eventually create a much needed east/west connection between alum creek trail and scioto trail.

    Just so you all know, I’m a fairly hardy cyclist myself and bike to work and for fun. I give you guys all the credit in the world for advocating cycling and its virtues; its a key component of so many different issues (sustainability, public health, reducing energy consumption, minimizing parking needs, etc.) However, its important to keep in mind the other half of the world who own bikes and to be inclusive of them to the extent possible. If i’m a suburb-dwelling parent and want to take my young children on a bike ride through downtown, theres no way im going to take them through lesser-travelled side streets that i dont know very well, especially when a lot of the things I would want to show them are on the main corridors. Also, if im a tourist and rent bikes for my family, i want to be on the main drag and see the sights, not on lesser travelled side roads. Along the same lines, I certainly am not going to cruise down the middle of the main travel lanes on broad street as it is today.

    I guess i would think that cycling enthusiasts would be jumping up and down for a streetscape plan that offers different choices. If you want to bike in the street, go for it, the law encourages it already. You all mentioned more than once that cyclists need to be educated to properly ride in traffic. Thats fine, just keep in mind that most of the C.O. community is not at your level and never want to ride in traffic anyway. The goal of cycling advocacy should be to include these folks as well with facilities that fit their novice skills.

    #361767

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    The problem with sightseeing by bike, or car, is that your focus isn’t where it should be: on the road or on the path looking out for other vehicles or pedestrians.

    I love that you brought up suburban parents. You want to see real issues with the infrastructure and cycling? Head out to Morse/161/Cleveland North Columbus area or out east along Brice and 70. These are where the real issues exist. I personally don’t get why we are spending money to fix areas that really aren’t broken in the first place. If you want those parents to come downtown, we need the pathways and infrastructure right outside their doorstep fixed first.

    #361768

    Columbusite
    Member

    Just to clarify, it’s not hard to ride safely on Broad. You’ve driven down Broad, right? Just bike the same way and motorists will pass in the other lanes with no problem. I would just suggest the addition of a mirror. After all, if you wouldn’t drive without one, why bike without one? I think the comment about not wanting to ride with kids on the road says more about ourselves than anything else. Are we really so inhumane that we would endanger children on our roads? Still, a narrowed Broad St with signals timed for slower traffic would make it a much more attractive place for novices. The side streets all lead to interesting areas Downtown and if they were signed and sharrowed as bike routes with pink, wayfinding signs it would be easy to get around even for those new to the area. I just don’t see how sticking novices onto a system that greatly increases their chances of getting hit is worth doing. Separated facilities only exist outside of reality: intersections are always a factor that can’t be ignored. When you’re in front of motorists they see you. When you’re not they don’t. I prefer that they see me, especially since I’m not armed with 2000 lbs of metal.

    #361769

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    The goal of cycling advocacy should be to include these folks as well with facilities that fit their novice skills.

    And this I have a lot of issue with. Take a look at our trail system. It’s pretty decent but has some pretty severe gaps as some of you have mentioned with the east-west connections. Building out infrastructure takes years. How does that serve someone if they ride down a bike lane and it comes to an end with 40 MPH traffic and a freeway on-off ramp? Infrastructure takes years, basic education takes just a few weekends.

    I mean really? You’re happy just telling people not to challenge themselves and gain some confidence? I’m sorry but I try to challenge myself and learn in anything I do. Go back to my new driving comment. Would you honestly tell someone to just stick to residential roads that fit their novice skills? Or would you offer to work with them to get experience or suggest someone that could help?

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