Last Friday I attended the Iowa Bicycle Summit 2007. I am going to initiate chage as a result of attending the summit in Sioux City. I am also pleased the Parks & Rec. Director attended the Thursday session which is meant for city officials, engineers, parks & rec. people, etc. The Friday session is geared more for advocates.
One of the things that I am hoping to change is putting one of the roadways in Sioux City on a diet. Riverside Blvd to be exact. I am going to advocate to turn this 4-lane individed roadway into a 3 lane roadways with 6' BL's on each side. Riverside Blvd is the section of State Highway 12 that runs through the Sioux City corporate limits. It runs from I-29 to Military Rd. It is mainly a residential area, speed limit of 35 mph. It is also the roadway used to access Riverside Park & the community theater. There are only 2 light controlled intersections, at Wright/W19th St. & again at Military Rd.
The notion of a 4-lane roadway is outdated, out-moted & not the safest as was once thought. You can move just as much traffic, just as safely, if not safer with a 3-lane roadway then with a 4-lane. This is only if the roadway is 48' wide or wider. Otherwise this will not work.
Putting Riverside on a diet is so easy & simple it is not even funny. All it requires is restripping the lanes. Let me say that again, all it takes is restripping the lanes. Very little if any cost to do so. Here is what the layout will be if this happens: a 6' BL on each side, a 12' travel lane on each side & a 12' turn/merge/quai-passing lane in the middle. There is your 48'.
Another neat thing about this is because no physical facilties were moved or changed it can easily be changed back to 4 undivided lanes if this does not work. Simply by re-stripping the lanes.
Now all I've got to do is "sell" this idea to the city, hopefully with the help & support of the Siouxland Trails Foundation.
What do you think? Are there roadways in your area that could stand to be put on a diet? Or any that already have been?