Vote Yes on 20-275; Bond to Fix Our Streets

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and they said “hey, I was reading this year’s voters pamphlet and thought of you…”. Wait. First of all what cool friends I have that they spend their Thursday night reading the voters pamphlet. Second, why would I come up when thinking of this Novembers election?

It’s pretty thin. Note that three opposition sections were purchased by one anti-tax individual. The other by someone who wants to see more for active transportation.

So they continued “…there was the bond measure with the piece about the $1 million a year for bicycle and pedestrian projects and I thought ‘cool’ but then I was reading the arguments against and I was like ‘wait a minute, maybe it’s not a good idea’. I should ask Shane.”

Okay so not only does my friend read about the ballot measure she also reads the arguments for and against. And she thought about asking me for my thoughts. #WellInformedFriendsRock

 

So this is (basically) what I told her.

The arguments against boil down to two points that I’ve heard:

  • We should be funding these street repairs in some other form (from our General Fund, not from a bond that supports “Wall Street”, gas taxes, etc.).

This isn’t a vote on how our bond funding system works. It’s worked well for us up to now to pay for these repairs and if we want to have a conversation about a different funding mechanism that keeps all our money local then we need to have that conversation in general as a community and writing off an important measure that is going to make our streets better for walking and biking isn’t the time or place. We’re working with the system we have here. That answer sucks for some people but like it or not there are times for dealing with the system you have and this is that time. These bonds have been good for walking/biking in the past and this bond is even better. We need it.

Continue reading “Vote Yes on 20-275; Bond to Fix Our Streets”

Summer Projects Wrap-up

It’s been a VERY active summer for repaving projects around Eugene and several of them have seen improvements for cyclists.

Here’s a quick recap on some of those projects:

5th Avenue  (Blair to High)

photo 1

What’s been done:

  • Improved pedestrian crossing at 5th/High
  • Removed parking on the south side of 5th Ave from Blair to Jefferson to fit wider bike lanes (including a door zone buffer on the north side)
  • Widened the remainder of the bikes lanes along the corridor and included buffer stripes where feasible
  • Smoooooth pavement

 

What isn’t going to be done (but should be):

  • Improve the crossing of Monroe at 5th Ave
  • Some traffic calming measures to make it feel more comfortable
  • More bike corrals to create good sidewalk environment & improve streetscape

18th Avenue (Westmoreland Park to Washington Street)

What’s been done:

18th Ave. repaving

  • Installed a new pedestrian island at Van Buren Street
  • Updated the pedestrian island at Friendly Street
  • Removed parking between Polk and Friendly to widen bike lanes to national standard (best part!)

What’s still left to do:

  • Final painting- let’s hope they get it right
  • Install RRFBs at 18th @ Friendly (scheduled for Summer of 2014 as part of SRTS grant)
  • Enforcement of parking (already seen some issues)

Pearl (between 18th & 19th)

What’s been done:

  • Installed buffered bike lanes (east and west side of street) and a bike box at 19th Avenue
  • Moved bike lane from left side of Pearl to the right side of the left turn lane (middle of street) to improve safety and reduce crash risk.

What’s still left to do:

  • install bicycle loop detectors (and remove signal actuator in left turn only lane)
  • colorant is supposed to be applied to the weave lane and bike box (delayed due to EWEB water main break)

What isn’t going to be done (but maybe should be):

  • Sign telling northbound traffic to yield to southbound traffic on Pearl/Amazon Parkway

Alder St. (18th to 24th)

Alder Sharrow

What’s been done:

  • Redesigned the entries at 19th Avenue and 24th Avenue
  • Installed shared lane markings on the whole stretch
  • Replaced camera signal detection with inductive loops at 18th & Alder (too bad).

What isn’t going to be done (but probably should be):

  • Prioritize Alder Street movement at Alder @ 19th!!
  • Better traffic calming measures
  • Finish bicycle boulevard from 24th to 30th (sharrows, traffic calming, and diversion)

 

There have been a few other minor projects I might report on later. Another major project, Willamette Street between 18th & 24th, is still being worked on and I’ll save that one for another post since there are several more weeks until that one will be done. Some of the highlights of that work are: southbound bike lanes from 17th to 23rd, northbound bike lanes on Willamette from 24th to 20th and Oak from 20th to 17th (plus the jog on 20th from Willamette to Oak), a bike box at 18th & Oak, and a curb extension on 19th to divert traffic southbound traffic and shorten the crossing for pedestrians.