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Hi John:

The question one must ask, are we serious about the necessary "infra" to allow all to bicycle for all urban trips--an infra pretty much unavailable here or anywhere in the U.S.  

My experience in field checking Vermont towns and cities along with roadways in general in the past centered on ease and feasibility of converting busy intersections to roundabouts--found about 90% of our intersections can be converted with existing or with adding adjacent unobstructed right-of-way.  (And about 90% of those conversions would be single laners.)   With traffic generally unchanged or declining in our urban areas since the early 90s, vehicle demands on our urban streets are reduced.  But until the last year I never considered bicycle accommodation issues at intersections.

Note most of our major thoroughfares in Burlington are designated in the City Transportation Plan as bicycle streets or streets accommodating bicycle traffic. 

For the past year have looked with "new eyes" on accommodating cycle track in built up areas. You often here the claim that our streets are inherited from a century or two past with constrained rights-of-way making retro-fitting to accommodate bicycling very difficult.  One way to think of this is the current  busy arterial street widths in a majority of cases can accommodate the 12 feet of width (a wide parking lane) necessary for a minimum 2-way cycle track.  

What makes North Avenue somewhat unusual is the 66 foot right-of-way with relatively low parking demand compared to North Winooski or even North Union from North Winooski to Main Street.  Yes, feasibility on most streets will depend on finding ways to free up parking trough a planned process to make space available for cycle track.  The question about getting "serious" about bicycling depends on facing up to the need to first and foremost provide cycle track.   Some can be provided through using space adjacent to sidewalks at the sidewalk level as well as at the street level. 

So far--Montpelier and Manchester Center are examples--it appears right-of-way are sufficient in many cases to handle traffic and cycle track.  Costs in some cases will be substantial since green space may be reduced and/or street reconstruction required.  Note a very important aspect of making space available for cycle track is installation of roundabouts because then literally miles of turn lanes (Montpelier a perfect example) become available for cycle track use with no sacrifice (or even improvement) in service to vehicle traffic. 

The first step is to look at each corridor through a planning process to determine the feasibility of cycle track and roundabouts at key intersections to assure safety for all modes--that is part of the task in the North Avenue study we are no involved with. Next stop, studies of every major urban corridor in the City, the region and the State.  This is not the first time a bicycle mode planning initiative has been undertaken--we went through a similar cycle in the mid-1990s when regional and town bicycle plans were done,  Now we just add cycle track to the ingredients to a new transportation brew.

                     Tony

             

  


On Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 2:44 PM, John Foss <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Tony,

Excellent presentation of what is possible with existing right of ways / corridors in NL. Or, is that what is possible in cities only after the creation of city wide expanded rights of way corridors - sometimes created post war?

Is there an existing and/or partial inventory of existing rights of ways in and around Burlington that can accommodate that form of NL style construction without demolishing existing adjacent buildings?  

Buying up expanded rights of way corridors in Burlington seems like a multi-generational vision that will compete with other social programs for vision and cash.

Is there a workable half-measure vision?

John

On Apr 1, 2014, at 10:15 AM, "TONY Redington" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

The best description of U.S. urban (and Burlington) bicycling comes from a visitor, Dutch blogger Mark Wagenburr (NL Bicyclist) in this video:

http://www.upworthy.com/a-dutch-guy-is-disgusted-by-america-but-he-has-a-hell-of-a-point?c=reccon1

Carol Ode of Burlington's North End found this video.  If we are serious about bicycling then we need to commit to the "infra" (Mark's great new word for infrastructure).  Dutch busy streets feature 16,000 miles of protected bike lanes (cycle track) and lots of roundabouts.   This goes a long way to explaining why even with mostly young adult men biking in the U.S. our urban bicyclists experience injury rates 25 times the Dutch/German average rate in those nations where everyone of all ages, skill and gender bicycle--most without wearing a helmet.    

As an older bicyclist, am a "sider" (sidewalks, sidestreets and backways) after years of riding on busy  Vermont city streets and once in a while on narrow shoulders along 50-mph highways.

Mark's NL Cyclist home website:

http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/about/




       Tony  Redngton

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Tony Redington
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OUR “INTERSECTION SAFETY BELT” FOR ALL—THE ONE-LANE ROUNDABOUT & Compact Slow and Safe Multi-Lanners!



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OUR “INTERSECTION SAFETY BELT” FOR ALL—THE ONE-LANE ROUNDABOUT & Compact Slow and Safe Multi-Lanners!



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