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:
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.
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:
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:
· Current facilities do not reflect these standards.
· 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.
*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.
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
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.