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Bicycle/Pedestrian Commission proposes Phase II of Windsor Ash Bike Boulevard

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 | 10:29 p.m. CST; updated 10:14 a.m. CST, Thursday, February 16, 2012
A cyclist rides down Garth Avenue Wednesday evening. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission is going to propose a bike boulevard that would extend from the north end of the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail to Business Loop 70.

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.

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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.


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Comments

Richard Saunders February 16, 2012 | 1:37 p.m.

This article does a great job of avoiding mentioning the streets affected. For the curious, they are Aldeah, Alexander and Banks, and a short stretch of Worley.

And yes folks, West Blvd. has been renamed Providence.

Obfuscation complete?

(Report Comment)
Thomas Nagel February 16, 2012 | 2:35 p.m.

Is the grant proposal available for viewing?

That funding seems massive when most cyclist really just want and need bike lanes. At $460,000, would it people possible to add bike lanes on Business Loop 70? That would make it a lot safer when I'm biking to Aldi.

That being said, GetAbout is doing a great job making Columbia greener and safer! Keep it up!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 16, 2012 | 2:44 p.m.

("Bike boulevards are narrower streets where bicycles are encouraged and vehicles treat bicycles as cars...,")
Vehicles are heartless, mindless and soulless entities made from metals and plastic.
They do however, "treat" their owners with transportation when they are at their best. Bicycles are also heartless, mindless and soulless entities made from metals and plastic. They treat their owners with a seasonal alternative form of more physical demanding means to get around. How each vehicle "treats" each other depends on the user of each.
I for one will always treat bicycles as an obstacle to motorists, just as I treat jaywalkers. Bicycles mixed with automobiles impede motorists. Their shear presence with vehicles doing 24+mph creates an unsafe situation. Better to keep bicycles and cars in separate zones.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 16, 2012 | 3:20 p.m.

Of course there's less cars on Windsor; cars are unable to turn onto it from College. I believe Ash has similar restrictions as well. That means those 420 cars are clogging up intersections and streets elsewhere as they didn't magically disappear from the roadway.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle February 16, 2012 | 3:29 p.m.

As a lifelong bicycle commuter, sorry, I don't quite get it. Richard gets a +1 for his accurate and effective takedown of the article. The only thing I've got to add is Eastwood, which is the same road as Aldeah, but has a different name south of Broadway.

This is my neighborhood. I ride my bike on these streets almost every day (south of Worley, at least). I can tell you beyond any shadow of any doubt that there are not bike/car conflicts on these roads. There's just not enough car traffic. Nobody needs to put up bollards, or paint lines, or sharrows, or *anything* to get the people who drive on these roads to respect bicyclists. They already do. There isn't a problem to be solved here.

Also, why in the world isn't this north/south corridor designed to connect back with Garth (even shown in the picrture!) on the north end? It's the ONLY road that crosses I-70 without an interchange. The Garth/Texas intersection seems to be a magnet for turd drivers, but as a cyclist, I'll take that over having to deal with a highway interchange any day.

Of course, I roundly and solidly derided the Garth Blvd extension as completely worthless to north-south bike transportation. It still is, of course, but now that it's complete I absolutely LOVE it! I swear that trail was built almost exclusively for ME to have the absolute shortest, lowest traffic route possible between home and work.

The icing on the cake is the dual east-west trail connectors. When I'm not using the extension trail, I still "ride the hump" of the trail connectors, instead of taking the straight flat trail. It's fun, and it makes me happy.

Sarcasm aside, the Garth Extension trail is really designed to serve the needs of people roughly south of Broadway, east of "Providence" (formerly West Blvd), and north of the trail proper, who commute to the downtown/campus area to work or play. There are actually a LOT of people who live in that area and work on campus, and it gives these people a great option for using a bicycle, instead of a car, for daily or even occasional transportation.

So I really must somewhat retract my derision of the Garth Extension trail. While it's useless as a north-south corridor, it's the perfect piece of infrastructure to target those "1-2 milers" - many of whom can realistically switch to a bicycle for transportation.

One last point: you can hardly call Aldeah between Broadway and Worley a "paved" road anymore. The surface is completely trashed. It desperately needs refinished.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 16, 2012 | 3:34 p.m.

@John S:
I wonder if the Bicycle/Pedestrian Commission invited any of those 420 displaced motorists to give their input on extending this "bike boulevard" concept or invited Automobile Association of America's Mike Right to their one-sided conspiracy to strangle hold Columbia's motoring public?

(Report Comment)
Mike McMillen February 16, 2012 | 4:29 p.m.

Sounds to me like UN Agenda 21. check out infowars.com and the third hour.. Alex talks with activist, speaker and blogger Rosa Koire about the United Nations' Agenda 21. Koire is a forensic real estate appraiser specializing in eminent domain valuation.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 16, 2012 | 4:42 p.m.

One downside of the bike boulevard and its attracted (for lack of a better term) bikers is that one has to triple check before crossing Windsor when heading south on Melbourne and pray you don't hit someone on bike, especially those traveling downhill. The parking on the north side of Windsor gets so close to the intersection that it's amazing no bicyclists (that I'm aware of) have been hit since there is not much room to creep forward and look around the parked cars prior to crossing.

(Report Comment)
Ken Geringer February 16, 2012 | 8:35 p.m.

OK, so this proposed expenditure is really just dopey. Save the money. Let the bikers ride, let the drivers miss them, and use the money to buy food. Or heat. Or lights. Or health care. Or fixing potholes. Or ...

(Report Comment)

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