COLUMBIA — The Bicycle/Pedestrian Commission proposed a $460,000 project at its meeting Wednesday that will add Phase II of the Windsor Ash Bike Boulevard.
The plan includes a bike boulevard from the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail north to Business Loop 70 and Parkade Plaza. There is also talk about a potential bike boulevard connecting to Phase I of the Windsor Ash Bike Boulevard.
Bike boulevards are narrower streets where bicycles are encouraged and vehicles treat bicycles as cars, said Scott Bitterman, supervising engineer for the Public Works Department.
The project also includes minor intersection improvements, such as adding countdown timers at crosswalks. The funding for the project would come from the GetAbout Columbia grant, but there are currently several projects competing for the money.
“The next step is for City Council to decide on which project gets the funding,” Bitterman said. “It’s possible nothing could be done (with Phase II).”
Phase I of the bike boulevard runs east and west along Windsor and Ash streets from Ann Street to Tenth Street.
Phase II was initially proposed with Phase I, but the board decided to postpone it to see how well the Windsor Ash Bike Boulevard was received, said Ted Curtis, GetAbout Columbia's director.
Curtis said since the bike boulevard has been constructed, there have been more bicycles and fewer cars in the Windsor and Ash streets area, which signifies positive results.
The commission compared conditions in the Windsor and Ash streets area from 2010 to 2012:
- Vehicle traffic decreased from 942 vehicles a day to 522, a 45 percent reduction.
- Bicycle traffic during a measured four-hour peak time, during the morning and late afternoon, increased from 33 to 71 bicyclists, a 125 percent increase.
- Vehicle speeds decreased 2 mph — from 26 mph to 24 mph
The commission did not discuss if, or when, the council would approve the proposal.