One of the many items on the upcoming bond election is $143 Million for transportation. While this is a bicycle blog (mostly), I’m going to skip talking about bicycle stuff in that proposition. Plenty of stuff in there for two-wheeled folks: specific bicycle projects and general bicycle accommodation in street renovation (because our city planners are smart). And I’m not going down the wormhole of arguing about public finance, debt and budgets.
What I want to babble about is two “corridor improvement projects.” The city is currently in the process of gathering input on two troublesome corridors: North Burnet and North Lamar. What brought this to mind was a recent early morning journey on North Lamar. I was driving to Yellow Bike because I had a lot of tools for the work party. It was just before sunrise, morning twilight, with limited visibility. I witnessed multiple pedestrians darting between cars to cross the streets. All of them mid-street (i.e., not in cross walk). I also saw several people walking on the edge of the road (because there are no sidewalks).
Streets or Roads
As streets these two corridors are horrible roads. As roads they are disastrous streets . Very bad compromises between the need to both move vehicles and serve as a network of activity. Drive (bike, or walk) either of these stroads and you will see a confusing, disturbing dance of left turning vehicles, darting pedestrians, long queues of cars, crazy lane changing and many more cringe-worthy events. Stressful is a kind description.
There are very few places I won’t ride my bicycle. These are two places that I choose not to attempt. Just not worth it. I choose less direct routing to gain some comfort and less risk. It’s too bad because they could offer potential to be very convenient bicycle commute corridors.
Unfortunately Prop 12 includes some stuff on which I would prefer not to squander money. The “I-35 Improvement” project immediately comes to mind. I know some people think this is important…I tend to dismiss it as an oxymoron.
I will probably vote for Prop 12. Plenty of bicycle stuff. Lots of projects that could improve traffic for all users of the roads (which makes cycling easier).