To whom it may concern:

  Thank you for providing the opportunity for public comment on the Transportation Improvement Program for Fiscal Years 2007-2010.  We the undersigned are users of the transportation system who often use bicycles for transportation or recreation

 Intents of the plan regarding cyclists:

        We appreciate the intents, and would like to help ensure that the plans and implementations truly reflect them, especially maximizing connectivity, improving safety and convenience, and considering all users.
           We would like to see Complete Streets, " designed and operated to enable safe access for all users (see www.completestreets.org )

Most common bicyclist users:

        Experienced cyclists:  20% of bicycle users who bike  80% of the miles

        People motorists are most likely to encounter on a bicycle.

        Like motorists, prefer direct routes, minimum of stops and access to all destinations.  (Malls, colleges, etc.)

        Different from children or occasional riders, whose needs also need to be considered

Two Priorities for bicyclists:

  • Wide curbside lanes; 15 feet whenever possible.*   
  • On-road routes even and especially when sidepaths are available; sidepaths present major safety problems.
    • Not recommended where there are frequent crossings
    • Sidepaths in plan have frequent crossings.
    • Separate paths are more dangerous than on-road facilities because
      • driveways and roads are extremely hazardous
      • visibility is compromised,
      • cars do not expect quickly-traveling people on a path,
      • right-of-ways are unclear
    • We experience these hazards - they are not hypothetical!
    • Sidepaths should be available for those they’re appropriate for, but not marked as bicycle paths.

Other specific issues:

        General “neighborhood maintenance.”  Can “complete streets” be a goal?

        Curtis Road (p.11 of TIP) – “pedestrian overpass.”  Overpasses  present a significant hazard for cyclists and inconvenience for motorists when they encounter us.  A pedestrian overpass should be usable by cyclists, which will require considering the much higher speed that cyclists travel.  The AASHTO guide has standards for this. 

        Other Curtis Road improvements:  We’d like to see the “Complete Streets” standards applied here.

        Curbside lanes 15 feet wide if possible

 Current best practices and industry standards:

        AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities.  (https://www.transportation.org/)

        Current facilities do not reflect these standards.

        League of Illinois Bicyclists (LIB) information: http://www.bikelib.org/roads/aashto.htm (summarizes AASHTO information)

        Ed Barsotti (exec. director of LIB) is available for consultation for creating complete streets that meet all users’ needs.

        Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Commission:  Urbana has one.  We’d like to see Champaign and Savoy follow suit, and to use that resource in planning and implementing transportation plans.

       We know liability is a concern in planning these facilities.  It would seem sensible, then, to use accepted standards (AASHTO) in designing them.

Ideally, we would like to see bicycling as an integral part of the transportation system, not an optional extra, or at selected locations.  This would truly be in better keeping with the stated goals of interconnectivity between destinations and origins (which is a significant problem in C-U) and safety and convenience for all users. 

            Thank you for considering our input.

 

            Sincerely,

 

 

On Street,”  Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/de/onstreet.htm 9/8/05; accessed 6/4/06.

 *From the site bicyclinginfo.org (UNC Highway Safety Research Center):

 In urban areas, paved shoulders are not normally provided on major roads. A wider outside (or curbside) lane allows a motorist to safely pass a cyclist while remaining in the same lane and this can be a significant benefit and improvement for cyclists, especially more experienced riders. A wider outside lane also helps trucks, buses, and vehicles turning onto the major road from a driveway or wide street.

Critical dimensions

14 feet (4.2m): recommended width for wide outside lane width must be useable and measurement should be from the edge line or joint of the gutter pan to the lane line

15 feet: (4.5m) preferred where extra space required for maneuvering (e.g. on steep grades) or to keep clear of on-street parking or other obstacles.

Continuous stretches of lane 15 feet or wider may encourage the undesirable operation of two motor vehicles in one lane. Where this much width is available, consideration should be given to striping bike lanes or shoulders.