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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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  • #361770

    tree_sketcher
    Participant

    Here’s my point with all of this. If you as a cycling advocate want to really make a difference and bring cycling to the forefront of people’s minds when they consider their transportation options, you have to engage as many types of folks as possible. Thats true with nearly anything. If we can make a few key streets in our downtown as bike friendly as possible for both super-cyclists and the average joe, then its a win-win. The broad street plan is an idea which acknowledges that our bike facilities in downtown are lacking and suggests a potential creative and very very visible solution that accommodates all kinds of cyclists. I personally think the details can be worked out later, but the cycling community should be very excited about this.

    #361771

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    tree_sketcher wrote >>
    Here’s my point with all of this. If you as a cycling advocate want to really make a difference and bring cycling to the forefront of people’s minds when they consider their transportation options, you have to engage as many types of folks as possible. Thats true with nearly anything. If we can make a few key streets in our downtown as bike friendly as possible for both super-cyclists and the average joe, then its a win-win. The broad street plan is an idea which acknowledges that our bike facilities in downtown are lacking and suggests a potential creative and very very visible solution that accommodates all kinds of cyclists. I personally think the details can be worked out later, but the cycling community should be very excited about this.

    Yet another issue. High visibility demonstration projects may be great in the short term but do nothing to address the complex issues long term.

    Boulevards, as John pointed out and I would agree with, are more than just changing the street signs. The simple act of making a very overt change, though, to an entire network of streets into recognized bike routes that are clearly defined and promoting educational outreach can go a lot further to bring cycling to the forefront and create lasting change.

    Even though more infrastructure changes might need to be made, changing signs and installing way finding could be done in probably just a year or so and create a much broader network that serves a greater number of people. Remember, promoting downtown is great but people need transportation options in their own neighborhoods for simple errands as well.

    #361772
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    FROM HERE:

    “I think it’s a good idea. I like any type of improvements that make the city better, more modern,“ said Columbus resident Dwayne Bates. “I don’t ride a bike, but if I did I would really like that. I think it would be an advantage.“

    I understand the differences between bike lanes & encouraged method of taking the lane… but what I don’t understand is the need for a one-size-fits-all solution on every single road. Not all bikers are the same, and not all streets are the same. If the hardcore cyclists are going to set their expectations at a level where every other person on the bike either needs to also be a hardcore cyclist, then we’re never going to reach a critical mass of bike riders in this city.

    As long as bike lanes can be done in a relatively safe manner, I see no problem with them being on Broad Street. I totally understand the issues with signaling and the danger of cars rounding corners, but it’s really only a slightly different set of safety issues compared to trying to ride on Broad Street as it exists right now.

    #361773
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Something else that stood out to me on this topic… from the bottom of this article:

    can we cycle the “last mile”?http://www.humantransit.org/2010/04/can-we-all-cycle-the-last-mile.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HumanTransit+%28Human+Transit%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

    A Portland bike planner told me recently that the city is now looking at European-style low-speed bike paths. These are generally separate from the street but adjacent to the sidewalk, like this one in Berlin, so they are slower and safer than on-street cycling. These should also be looked at wherever the access to a rapid transit station is the goal.

    http://urbanist.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83454714d69e201347fd74233970c-320wi

    In general, if you design your infrastructure for a 60-year old woman with two bags of groceries, you can make cycling attractive to a huge range of the population, and that really will help address the “last mile” problem.

    #361774

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    Walker wrote >>
    FROM HERE:
    “I think it’s a good idea. I like any type of improvements that make the city better, more modern,“ said Columbus resident Dwayne Bates. “I don’t ride a bike, but if I did I would really like that. I think it would be an advantage.“
    I understand the differences between bike lanes & encouraged method of taking the lane… but what I don’t understand is the need for a one-size-fits-all solution on every single road. Not all bikers are the same, and not all streets are the same. If the hardcore cyclists are going to set their expectations at a level where every other person on the bike either needs to also be a hardcore cyclist, then we’re never going to reach a critical mass of bike riders in this city.
    As long as bike lanes can be done in a relatively safe manner, I see no problem with them being on Broad Street. I totally understand the issues with signaling and the danger of cars rounding corners, but it’s really only a slightly different set of safety issues compared to trying to ride on Broad Street as it exists right now.

    I think you and others are missing the point, at least the one I am advocating. I’m not saying you should ride Broad and take the lane. I am saying that we should spend the money developing and utilizing the strength of our current infrastructure, the alternative secondary roads that exist along most of the major corridors, to accomplish what these smaller projects are striving for.

    I fail to see why these highly visible projects are so great when they are going to be fractured in parts. Having this off street path may be great for the 3-4 miles it will run but what happens when you get downtown and want to go off Broad or up High? We know High Street will have the sharrows but will the people using the off street path be comfortable being mixed in traffic on High?

    These projects do nothing at the end to allow cyclists to continue their journey. Developing a network of secondary roads will do that much better and still provide the slower speed and low volume of traffic that people claim they want. That infrastructure is already in place, it’s built.

    My position is pretty simple:

    Continue developing and connecting the trail network to connect gaps in the grid and our suburbs.

    Tie that into a well defined bicycle network that utilizes secondary roads, with traffic calming as required, marked with way-finding signs and clear designation as a bike road to both motorists and cyclists.

    Utilize sharrows and share the road campaigns on arterial roads in urbanized, commercial sections and properly designed bike lanes on more suburbanized, higher speed and volume roadways.

    That’s not a one size all position. It’s a comprehensive approach that allows cyclists to build their confidence and find the right route for them.

    #361775

    Core_Models
    Member

    Of course, if your plan is to develop retail, restaurant, and other business along those specific corridors…and therefore increase traffic there specifically, as opposed to making the world a better place for cyclists as a whole…the plan makes a great deal of sense.

    This plan seems to be a lot more about Broad Street and a lot less about cyclists…which is 100% OK with me.

    #361776

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    Core_Models wrote >>
    Of course, if your plan is to develop retail, restaurant, and other business along those specific corridors…and therefore increase traffic there specifically, as opposed to making the world a better place for cyclists as a whole…the plan makes a great deal of sense.
    This plan seems to be a lot more about Broad Street and a lot less about cyclists…which is 100% OK with me.

    One of the first things that came to mind, with the added space, was more room for patio space for restaurants and bars on that stretch.

    #361777

    Core_Models
    Member

    Yeah, my post isn’t intended to be anti-cyclist or anything. I think this part of the plan is just that, a plan for making this particular section of Broad more accessible, in order to build retail/restaurant/etc. along it. I think what’s happened would be similar putting a bicycle garage on Gay Street so cyclists can eat/shop/hang there easier, and having it be criticized because it doesn’t address the cycling advocacy issues of the city as a whole.

    #361778

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    Core_Models wrote >>
    Yeah, my post isn’t intended to be anti-cyclist or anything. I think this part of the plan is just that, a plan for making this particular section of Broad more accessible, in order to build retail/restaurant/etc. along it. I think what’s happened would be similar putting a bicycle garage on Gay Street so cyclists can eat/shop/hang there easier, and having it be criticized because it doesn’t address the cycling advocacy issues of the city as a whole.

    I’m not trying to pick on you or anything but this brings up an interesting point: why is it that on here we can have multiple page lengthy discussion about the pros and cons of [insert transportation project] yet when it comes to a cycling project people just want to accept it and move on?

    #361779

    Core_Models
    Member

    Because this isn’t a cycling project ;)

    #361780

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    Core_Models wrote >>
    Because this isn’t a cycling project ;)

    Sure sounds like it:

    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.

    #361781

    Core_Models
    Member

    This is a project to do a lot of things, benefiting cyclists in that area being an afterthought/ancillary benefit, IMO.

    #361782

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    Core_Models wrote >>

    This is a project to do a lot of things, benefiting cyclists in that area being an afterthought/ancillary benefit, IMO.

    I understand and on the whole, I love the idea. I’m looking at one component with a critical eye since it is part of the sell for this idea.

    #361783

    Columbusite
    Member

    I was an average joe motorist and there’s nothing hardcore about biking properly. It’s just as easy as driving a car (well, you do have to pedal too). Basically, a designated pedestrian/cyclist path isn’t necessary here. A wide sidewalk with trees will do. There really is a lack of trees on most Downtown sidewalks which makes them unpleasant on hot sunny days.

    #361784
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>
    I am saying that we should spend the money developing and utilizing the strength of our current infrastructure, the alternative secondary roads that exist along most of the major corridors, to accomplish what these smaller projects are striving for.

    I totally agree that Town/Bryden and Oak would make great bike-corridors.

    That said, I still think Broad Street should be narrowed for auto traffic. That’s the real project here. Whether that means wider sidewalks for pedestrians only or slower pathways for both bikes and pedestrians or dedicated bike lanes is the detail work.

    If the bike community doesn’t want to see bike lanes on Broad, then I’m totally game for submitting my feedback saying they should be pedestrian-only sidewalks.

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