Safer Bike Lanes on 18th Being Appealed

Is that door about to open & knock us into the bus behind us?!

UPDATE: The Appeal hearing has been moved to Thursday, May 9th 2-3pm at 859 Willamette Street, Suite 500 (the Buford Room).

An appeal has been filed with the City of Eugene in response to the Administrative Order to remove some car parking on 18th Avenue (on the south side from Friendly Street to Van Buren Street and on the north side from Van Buren Street to Polk Street). That is the section of 18th that has car parking on both sides and bike lanes that range from 3-5 feet IN the door zone. For those who have ridden it you know it’s a sketchy, uncomfortable, and unsafe area to ride. Of the whole stretch of 18th that has bike lanes (all the way from Agate to Willow Creek) this is the only section that is like this. There are small sections west of City View and between Alder and Agate that have parking on one side and the rest of 18th has bike lanes, 2 travel lanes, and a center turn lane.

The existing lane configuration places 2 travel lanes, 2 bike lanes, and 2 parking lanes within 42′.  As a result, all of the existing lanes are substandard width.  Existing parking lanes are often less than 7′, bike lanes at or below 4′ and travel lanes are less than 11′.  The proposed striping layout would widen parking lanes (8′), bike lanes (6′) and travel lanes (11′).

Here is the layout of the existing road in one section (click to make larger). Near Jackson the parking lane is 7′ and the bike lane is only 3′:

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 3.25.44 PM

 

And here is the proposed change for that section. Note the near doubling of the bike lane width and the removal of car parking on the south side. There will still be a bike lane in the door zone but at least the bike lane will be much wider as well as the parking lane AND the travel lane, making for a lot more breathing room and a lot safer and more comfortable biking in this stretch of 18th Ave.

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 3.25.25 PM

Yikes- tight squeeze
Yikes- tight squeeze

Now, because of the appeal there will be a hearing held on Thursday, April 18th at 3:30pm at 859 Willamette Street, Suite 500 (the Buford Room).  It also means that people should submit testimony on why this is an important change for the city to take.

There are three options for submitting testimony:

  1. Send a written statement to the Hearings Official, c/o Tom Larsen, Traffic Engineer, PW Maintenance, Building 15, 1820 Roosevelt, Eugene, Oregon 97402, or by E-mail at: tom.c.larsen@ci.eugene.or.us. For testimony to be included in the Appeal Hearing packet prepared before the hearing and provided to the Hearings Official, the written statements must be received by 5:00 p.m., Friday, April 12, 2013.)
  2. Submit a written statement at the appeal hearing.
  3. Attend the appeal hearing and speak to the Hearings Official. Your spoken testimony will be recorded.

Overall it’s unfortunate that there even needs to be this kind of process for something that should be standard practice. Why does the city have to provide parking for private vehicles on public streets and do so over public safety?  Shouldn’t there be standard policies that the city follows that increases public safety and equal transportation options over extra parking spaces?  There are a couple other administrative orders out right now for other parking removal that would make room for safer bike lanes (with potential for appeals) and we’ll try and keep you posted on those as well. Now go write that e-mail to the hearing’s official.

Author: Shane MacRhodes

Contributor & co-editor. Papa. Active Transportation Professional. BEST Board Member.