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Author Topic: Bicycle-less BRT Streetscape Coming to Downtown?  (Read 5021 times)

Abhishek

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Re: Bicycle-less BRT Streetscape Coming to Downtown?
« Reply #45 on: June 29, 2012, 08:26:22 AM »
Do you REALLY want to ride your bike in a JTA shared lane? In the last year JTA has taken out a dump truck, a school bus and a dozen or so automobiles, your bicycle might as well have a target painted on it.

It is a question of subjective safety. Bus drivers are required to make stop-schedules on time...they may even be penalized for delays. A bicyclist riding in front of them could delay their journey, thereby causing animosity. Moreover, riding on a bus-lane during rush hour will make a cyclist want to ride faster to keep up with the approaching bus behind, immaterial of the nature of the bus driver. This situation should be undesirable. Cyclists should not feel like they need to ride faster to stay in traffic.

Further, shared-bus-bike lanes will dissuade any novices from using these facilities, leaving only the more seasoned commuters to use this facility. Subjective safety is one of those concepts that many planners do not understand since they can not gather appropriate statistics around it. It is something that is felt. Unfortunately, the only way to feel it is to ride your bike in rush-hour traffic,  not from sitting in an office behind a drafting table.

I have presented the above argument to BPAC. Apparently (and sadly), the concept of subjective safety alludes most members of that group also.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: OCKLAWAHA'S PHOTO RANT
« Reply #46 on: June 29, 2012, 10:30:11 AM »

Quote
Do you REALLY want to ride your bike in a JTA shared lane? In the last year JTA has taken out a dump truck, a school bus and a dozen or so automobiles, your bicycle might as well have a target painted on it.

It's an issue of training - I think JTA would need to train all of its drivers to ensure they know how to drive around cyclists.

It's a little short-sighted to discount the idea. It's far from ideal, sure... but it's better than nothing. And it's not that dangerous. Many thousands of people bike daily in London and share bus lanes. The numbers of bus-related fatalities are low.

The way I see it, ANY FATALITIES ARE UNACCEPTABLE. Settling for a less then the 'ideal' will always make us second best and leave us in a position to play catch-up with our peer cities. Jacksonville certainly isn't London, or Bogota, or Los Angeles, any of those cities have a huge respect for bicycles and pedestrians and for whatever reason, we don't.

I would encourage our city officials to give more then lip service and a bucket of paint to this idea, WE NEED CURB or GRADE SEPARATED bikeways. Not only on Broad, Jefferson, Bay and Forsyth in the new BRT configuration, but a system of coordinated bike trails and sidewalks. Implementation wouldn't be that hard, consider for example, the arterial roadways where we could build 6 to 10 foot wide trails. Roosevelt to the Orange Park city limits, Atlantic/Beach Boulevard from the ICW to San Marco, Southside from Arlington to the Avenues, MLK from Main to Dinsmore, Main from Union Street to Airport Road. Once such a skeletal network was completed, a system of branch trails could be installed. Using whatever right-of-way is available and making our city lead the pack. It could be done with enough political pressure and will.

Adam W

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Re: Bicycle-less BRT Streetscape Coming to Downtown?
« Reply #47 on: June 29, 2012, 10:52:46 AM »
Fatalities are inevitable, sadly. And they happen even when you have dedicated cycle lanes.

On a side note, Copenhagen and Amsterdam, despite having extensive networks of dedicated cycle lanes, still have "sharrows" or whatever. The relative safety of those sharrows is mostly down to a combination of driver education and cyclist education.

I'm not opposed to dedicated cycle lanes. And I am completely in support of separate, dedicated cycle lanes at street level (but separated physically from the highway).

I do, however, think a workable solution would be a system of bikes sharing the BRT lanes. As a person who cycles to and from work daily in such lanes, I have no issue with it. I think a lot of the concern is misplaced or motivated by ignorance or fear.

But as I said, I much prefer the better solution and hope that would be pursued, if at all possible. I just fear it will be a hard sell. And drawing a line in the sand on this might mean you end up with nothing at all.

thelakelander

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Re: Bicycle-less BRT Streetscape Coming to Downtown?
« Reply #48 on: June 29, 2012, 12:24:41 PM »
Abhishek, great point about subjective safety.  It's one of the reasons I would never ride in a bike lane on a road like Beach or Southside Boulevard, despite them having "official" bicycle facilities.  The same goes for sidewalks along our arterial roads that are designed to meet minimum roadway standards.

Ocklawaha

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Re: Bicycle-less BRT Streetscape Coming to Downtown?
« Reply #49 on: June 29, 2012, 12:53:22 PM »
Abhishek, great point about subjective safety.  It's one of the reasons I would never ride in a bike lane on a road like Beach or Southside Boulevard, despite them having "official" bicycle facilities.  The same goes for sidewalks along our arterial roads that are designed to meet minimum roadway standards.

Shame that our mayor and council are so allusive that we can't get them to sit down with the bicycle clubs and community and hammer out a bikeway system with dedicated lanes, curb or grade separated from the roadways. A summit with a goal of setting standards and target dates for completion would give this city a huge boost.  Volunteerism and other 'complete' community involvement throughout the process would insure we have a bike system second to none.

And yes Adam, fatalities are inevitable, but that should never make us lose sight of a safety goal of ZERO fatalities in the design and construction of our USA version of the 'Cyclovia's'. Set a gold standard and strive to reach it is all I'm saying. As Lake pointed out riding in those official 'suicide' lanes is crazy. My favorite ones are where we have a busy 6 lane roadway and a double turn lane and the bike lanes cut across the path of the turning vehicles in order to hug the right side of the through traffic lanes. Being turned into a Mack/Wabash National sandwich, isn't my idea of good planning.

Adam W

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Re: Bicycle-less BRT Streetscape Coming to Downtown?
« Reply #50 on: June 29, 2012, 01:03:28 PM »
Abhishek, great point about subjective safety.  It's one of the reasons I would never ride in a bike lane on a road like Beach or Southside Boulevard, despite them having "official" bicycle facilities.  The same goes for sidewalks along our arterial roads that are designed to meet minimum roadway standards.

Shame that our mayor and council are so allusive that we can't get them to sit down with the bicycle clubs and community and hammer out a bikeway system with dedicated lanes, curb or grade separated from the roadways. A summit with a goal of setting standards and target dates for completion would give this city a huge boost.  Volunteerism and other 'complete' community involvement throughout the process would insure we have a bike system second to none.

And yes Adam, fatalities are inevitable, but that should never make us lose sight of a safety goal of ZERO fatalities in the design and construction of our USA version of the 'Cyclovia's'. Set a gold standard and strive to reach it is all I'm saying. As Lake pointed out riding in those official 'suicide' lanes is crazy. My favorite ones are where we have a busy 6 lane roadway and a double turn lane and the bike lanes cut across the path of the turning vehicles in order to hug the right side of the through traffic lanes. Being turned into a Mack/Wabash National sandwich, isn't my idea of good planning.

Don't they have cycle lanes at the St Johns Town Center? I think I saw them there. You'd have to be crazy to use those.

I agree with your sentiment about that aim being 0 fatalities. And I think a comprehensive approach must be taken - everyone needs to do his/her part to ensure the roads are safe. And I think the gov't needs to lead the way. By failing to provide adequate cycling resources, they're putting money ahead of lives. And that's not acceptable. Not to mention shortsighted - it seems clear to me that better cycle lanes (in addition to transport, etc) might cost more in the short term, but would eventually lead to a wider tax base.

toi

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Re: Bicycle-less BRT Streetscape Coming to Downtown?
« Reply #51 on: July 04, 2012, 04:09:34 PM »
Given the circumstances, consider looking at making a block east or west a really good bikeway.   A friend of mine and I have been researching Pearl St., from Springfield to the courthouse.  There is gracious plenty right of way width to make a great bikeway there, with little more needed than signage, paint, and ideally, a few plastic bollards.  It would provide a relatively protected route between springfield, downtown, the brt, the riverwalk, and Riverside (via the riverwalk).  Yes, there might be a gap of a few blocks between the courthouse and the riverwalk, but that is a relatively short distance. 

Tom Ingram

thelakelander

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Re: Bicycle-less BRT Streetscape Coming to Downtown?
« Reply #52 on: July 04, 2012, 09:06:41 PM »
Pearl Street would be a great street for a bikeway. Personally, I think all of downtown's streets should include bike infrastructure as they are repaved or striped. This week, I've spent time in Charlotte,Columbus, Chicago and Detroit. All four are actively building bike networks instead of isolated corridors.

Ocklawaha

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Re: Bicycle-less BRT Streetscape Coming to Downtown?
« Reply #53 on: July 05, 2012, 12:53:42 AM »


I'm posting this as an example, it's actually a Jacksonville road map from 1920, but those dark lines with a few modifications would be what i would promote as the start of a true bike network.

Within that network,

Every road would feature a sidewalk on one side, and a curb/grade separated bikeway or cyclovia on the other. Once the dark lines were filled in we could move into constructing connectors. Major routes that are largely without sidewalks such as Philips Highway, JTB, Old St. Augustine Road, etc. should follow this formula. In the case of our local FREEways I'd suggest that JTB and similar limited access highways should have a multi-use path running along the perimeter fences. This would work wonders in places like not just on JTB but also along Arlington Expressway, Hart Expressway, etc. A great model for these multi-use paths can be found in Clay County running the length of Flemming Island on the west side of Roosevelt, or the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail.

St. Johns County is moving along with construction of a new rail trail between St. Augustine to East Palatka along state 207, and the former Florida East Coast's original mainline through East Palatka.

Quote
Construction on State Road 207 bike trail begins
Posted: September 28, 2011 - 12:50am

The Florida Department of Transportation began construction this month on a three-mile, multi-use trail along State Road 207 in western St. Johns County.

The new trail will connect the existing trail, about a mile south of Vermont Heights to Armstrong Road.

A multi-use trail is a designated path for pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-motorized vehicles.

The trail will be 12 feet wide with multi-use asphalt and have 2-foot wide grass shoulders. It will cross S.R. 207 about a half-mile north of County Road 305.

The trail will also include a 130-foot long pedestrian bridge near the St. Johns County Fairgrounds.

The project should be finished by spring 2012 and cost around $1.3 million.

Construction on the multi-use trail will be near homes in some areas, especially as it gets close to Armstrong Road. People will be able to access their driveways during construction.

People should be cautious near the construction area. For information about this project, go to www.nflroads.com.

JayBird

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Re: Bicycle-less BRT Streetscape Coming to Downtown?
« Reply #54 on: August 28, 2012, 04:26:06 PM »
Great article and even better comments.  One thing I must say is that a plus to this is that JTA is planning for the future.  Everything is cyclical so in ten fifteen years dt might see a huge regrowth that would have thousands of cars entering the roadways during commuter rush hours ... And JTA would've planned ahead (I can't believe I even said that bc planning isn't their strong point, so maybe it's accidental forward thinking).  Also, I look at bike lanes as a luxury item.  A nice to have for those that use it.  But in all honesty, how many people use them?  Though I commute to dt from Fleming island everyday very rarely do I see bikes up 17 or even dt.  I tend to see more during the weekend out as recreational riders, and they cannot ride four and five across in a bike lane.  Currently, I am in NYC on business and I notice that the bike lanes here are hardly ever used.  When I asked why, riders say it is safer to be riding in traffic, where you are constantly seen.  Bike paths get overrun by pedestrians, cars and taxis constantly duck into them to let people out, and you have a much better chance of getting 'doored' if you are in those special lanes.  After watching this myself, it all makes perfect sense.  Now Jax has nowhere near the density of NYC, but one asks if you spend money to build something, will it be used and is it really worth it?  That being said, I am pro-bike lanes, just I think they are a luxury. 
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PeeJayEss

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Re: Bicycle-less BRT Streetscape Coming to Downtown?
« Reply #55 on: August 28, 2012, 05:03:31 PM »
^I think if you look at the cost difference between providing bike lanes and not, its fairly minimal compared to the cost of constructing/widening the road. Heck, if it can be done by just re-painting, it can't be all that costly, so its cheap luxury. Its like the return you get on cleaning and painting a new room. Actually, its better.

I'm personally for separate bike paths (either smaller "roadways" that are separate from the car roads - a la Netherlands - or at least ones on the same surface separated by barriers). I agree that bike lanes in themself are not particularly safe, except that they make it more apparent that a driver should expect bikers. If they were everywhere, maybe people would get the idea that bikers can use the road as well. Additionally, bikes should have the right of way whenever possible, and bike laws should be enforced more strictly for both bikers and drivers (many accidents are the result of careless driving, but many are also the result of a biker doing something against the rules of the road).

JFman00

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Re: Bicycle-less BRT Streetscape Coming to Downtown?
« Reply #56 on: August 28, 2012, 09:56:10 PM »
Great article and even better comments.  One thing I must say is that a plus to this is that JTA is planning for the future.  Everything is cyclical so in ten fifteen years dt might see a huge regrowth that would have thousands of cars entering the roadways during commuter rush hours ... And JTA would've planned ahead (I can't believe I even said that bc planning isn't their strong point, so maybe it's accidental forward thinking).  Also, I look at bike lanes as a luxury item.  A nice to have for those that use it.  But in all honesty, how many people use them?  Though I commute to dt from Fleming island everyday very rarely do I see bikes up 17 or even dt.  I tend to see more during the weekend out as recreational riders, and they cannot ride four and five across in a bike lane.  Currently, I am in NYC on business and I notice that the bike lanes here are hardly ever used.  When I asked why, riders say it is safer to be riding in traffic, where you are constantly seen.  Bike paths get overrun by pedestrians, cars and taxis constantly duck into them to let people out, and you have a much better chance of getting 'doored' if you are in those special lanes.  After watching this myself, it all makes perfect sense.  Now Jax has nowhere near the density of NYC, but one asks if you spend money to build something, will it be used and is it really worth it?  That being said, I am pro-bike lanes, just I think they are a luxury.

From home to work would be less than 15 minutes by bike for me, mostly on 17, but it'd be suicidal to ride a bike down it. Maybe if there were a protected bike lane:


Otherwise, there's no way in hell I'd want to pavement with cars going 50-60. Rarely have I ever seen a bike lane or BRT that is anything more than feel-goodery.

JayBird

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Re: Bicycle-less BRT Streetscape Coming to Downtown?
« Reply #57 on: August 29, 2012, 01:56:50 AM »
Agreed JFMan, I'm a Harley rider and I've had many close calls on 17, ESP between Timaquana and San Juan.  And PeeJay, yes seperate paths are much better, that's what we have on Fleming Island and it is very safe, well used and a great example of what can be done elsewhere.  And sometimes it is cyclists fault, but that can be applied to every mode of transportation.  Even though I ride my motorcycle safe, I see plenty complete fools on two wheels.  But planning for idiots only breeds more.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Bicycle-less BRT Streetscape Coming to Downtown?
« Reply #58 on: August 29, 2012, 09:02:44 AM »
Agreed JFMan, I'm a Harley rider and I've had many close calls on 17, ESP between Timaquana and San Juan.  And PeeJay, yes seperate paths are much better, that's what we have on Fleming Island and it is very safe, well used and a great example of what can be done elsewhere.  And sometimes it is cyclists fault, but that can be applied to every mode of transportation.  Even though I ride my motorcycle safe, I see plenty complete fools on two wheels.  But planning for idiots only breeds more.

+1


FACING NORTHBOUND.

Herein is the problem on JTA'S southeastern BRT route. Sidewalks on the southbound side only go as far as Reba Street (between Emerson and University, and on the northbound lanes there is virtually nothing until one reaches  a little north of Hudnall Street. Our problem isn't "But planning for idiots only breeds more," it's more like "Breeding idiots to do our planning."

Keep in mind that Philips is a spine route for the MAX BRT presumably because of ridership and a large percentage of transit dependent people and choice .riders (IE: riders that could drive but choose transit). If this were a 'Light Rail' project, we'd be planning complete streets, massive landscaping, new streetscape, sidewalks, bike trails etc. We'd be told that BRT is 'Just like rail-only cheaper. They'd be telling us new infrastructure is needed because ridership will require it, this begs the question, if BRT is REALLY 'Just like rail' how come we don't have to reinvent the street to make it work? Maybe it's not as 'just like rail' as the propaganda and disinformation would have us believe.

I would support laying out a 5' wide, asphalt bike/pedestrian lane all the way from Reba Street to the Nocatee Flyover. couldn't we just call this a 'need?'
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 12:11:28 PM by Ocklawaha »

JayBird

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Re: Bicycle-less BRT Streetscape Coming to Downtown?
« Reply #59 on: August 29, 2012, 09:53:27 AM »
As usual Ock, that is a great idea.  And yes idiots doing the planning is more apt.  I've often questioned, as many on here, how can JTA build BRT right along side future proposed commuter rail and at same time say they are planning for future rail?  And as for BRT, I've looked on here and haven't found it, but it may be somewhere here, has anyone shown the difference this would make?  I mean according to schedules you can choose from two or three buses to go from dt all the way to avenues mall ... Isn't BRT just a redundancy then?  I would think if traffic was really that bad where you needed dedicated lanes for a "high speed bus" then the best solution would be to build these bike lanes instead and let commuters combat obesity!  Plus, all the talk JTA does about money, isn't the cost per rider much less on commuter rail, SkyWay system or even a dt trolley system than a bus could ever be?
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