Bike Lanes and Light Rail 7th to 24th Streets along Washington & Jefferson Streets.

Many more photos here.

The following is an email thread of discussion of the work the City of Phoenix is doing for cyclists on the subject issues.

Bob & Bill:

Below is the response from Mike Cynecki, the City traffic Engineer doing the rework. As you can see, they are making it better, albeit slower than we want. Contrary to what I said is that the 9th St intersection is recognized to be fixed. Richard Moeur suggested a block of shared lane (both sides) along the business / bike roadway, to give a cyclist plenty of leeway as to when to try to move to the right. I like that more than another bike box that I suggested. Richard also suggested a good consultant.

What I’m saying is that the City is recognizing the problems and is helping. A total rebuild is not going to happen and antagonizing our friends is going to hurt us. We have a city budget crisis now and future light-rail expansions are coming. They are receptive now to our inputs. Keeping involved and offering reasonable suggestions are our best path.

A week ago, I was informed by a cyclist that there is another L-R vs. bike lane area that needs to be looked at. This is between Priest and theTempe Town Lake crossing. Haven’t had a chance to look there yet.

Gene

“Putting my muscles where my mouth is.” [tm]

Radar has written that bike lanes be eliminated and that shared lane markings be use in the right-most motor vehicle lane. I replied:

Use of shared lane markings, while established in some localities, have the same “unfamiliarity” factor as bike boxes in Arizona. Use of either will require education and compliance by cyclists and motorists alike. Trying shared lane markings in an area that was specifically designed for speedy high-volume motor traffic would harm more than help. Further, ARS 28-735 exempts motor vehicle drivers from the penalties when an injury occurs where there is a nearby bike lane. That would not be good. I don’t want the introduction of shared lanes to occur in such a motorist-favored area as Jefferson St. between 7th St. and 24th St. I believe we do not want to force good, but less trained cyclists to abandon a good place to ride, namely the business access/bike lanes on the left sides of the tracks. These people will be dis-enfranchised rather than ride in the “slot-car” lanes where the shared-lane markings would be.

Bob wrote:

As far as I’m concerned, the whole section of Washington/Jefferson from 7th Street to 24th Street, should have condemnation proceedings lodged against it and removed from any semblence of bikeability in the metro area. The whole section is an abortion in my opinion and should be ripped out and put together correctly (as if that would actually happen), and the all seeing, all knowing engineers that “engineered” this project should be reprimanded and sent for re-education as to what constitutes Bicycle Friendly facilities. I realize that there are some that did not approve of this finished project, but they are in the minority and constitute little political clout. In the meantime, I and many others will avoid the downtown area on our bikes until this exercise in stupidity is rectified! Bob.

— On Tue, 12/30/08, Mike Cynecki wrote:

> Subject: Re: 9th St & Jefferson St Bike Lane configuration.
> To: geneh@cazbike.org
> Date: Tuesday, December 30, 2008, 12:15 PM
> Gene – You make a good point and we have not forgotten about
> this issue .
> . . or the lack of bike detection along the frontage road at some of the
> signals. Richard Moeur had suggested we retain a good bike consultant to
> look at this issue and others along the LRT line and give
> us some recommendations. However, with our horrible budget
> situation, it takes away our ability to react quickly. One of the things we
> are working on is getting as-built paint plans to see exactly what was
> installed, and we will be seeking suggestions for alternate designs.
> Richard suggested that
> we designate a shared vehicle/bike frontage road for about 500 feet east
> of 9th St before designating the right side for bicyclists to allow for a
> larger merge area.
>
> I am a bit hesitant to install yet another bike box when we just asked the
> Feds permission (after the fact) to experiment with the three we already
> installed. However, it will still remain an option. Bike boxes are
> supposed to be at traffic signals. It may also be wise to extend the
> bike lane for a block and then (without a bike box) have the conversion
> over to the right side of the frontage road.
>
> Mike Cynecki
> Traffic Engineering Supervisor
> Street Transp. Dept.
>
> All:
>
> Since the Bike Lane issue vis-a`-vis Light Rail tracks and motor vehicle
> lanes has been an issue, one aspect has been lost. Lots has been said
> about the Bike Boxes now in place at 7th & 24th Streets at Washington &
> Jefferson Streets. This discussion has involved the proper use and
> designation of a bike box and the related knowledge and skills of
> motorists and cyclists alike, along with what education of each might
> actually occur. However, an actual safety issue exists at 9th St.
>
> Please see the attached diagram. A cyclist following the eastbound bike
> lane approaches this intersection on the far-left (north side of
> Jefferson). The bike lane continues beyond 9th St. adjacent to the
> light-rail tracks, as part of the business access / bike lanes.
> Unfortunately this involves another crossover of bicycle and motor vehicle
> paths. The crossover occurs within the intersection. Since a car
> approaching in the left m-v lane MAY proceed straight (and will not be
> signaling), the cyclist is risking a rear-end collision when attempting to
> cross to the continuing bike lane.
>
> During the on-site ride several weeks ago, traffic engineers that are also
> cyclists recognized that the decision time for a cyclist would actually
> occur before the car has visually indicated a turn or straight maneuver.
> Not a good situation should the cyclist guess wrong, even after using the
> skills we teach in our classes.
>
> Fortunately, I have a simple solution. That is, continue the bike lane on
> the far-left of the business access lane for another block to the east.
> Then provide a bike box for the cyclist to cross over when there is no
> ambiguity of what a motor vehicle would be doing.
>
> Gene


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1 Comment

  1. Who is incorrectly labeling in the diagrams the travel lanes as ‘motor vehicle’ lanes. There is no such thing. They are lanes that can be shared by all types of vehicles motorized or not. Based on the designs I see here sharing these lanes is a must for safe and predictable cycling.

    Like

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