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Old 08-06-14, 08:31 AM   #51
genec
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Shoehorning a bikepath into a major road isn't a difficult as you might think. As said above, most roads already have large right-of-ways that could accommodate bike ways. That said, planning for the bikeway as part of a road project is a better way of going. Perhaps the Denver area is just more forward looking but many of the roadways that have been built here from scratch have had bikeways as part of the project. I've mentioned C-470 which was designed and constructed with a bikeway. But we also have E-470 (a private toll road) that has a bikeway along a good part of it as well as US36 reconstruction that has a bikeway that has been completed ahead of the road project.

Your area probably gets Federal funds for bicycle projects as well. In a former life, I work with local and state planners on projects that got funding from US Department of Transportation. There is supposed to be a small set aside on each state's funds from USDOT for bicycle facilities. I'd suggest looking into how your state uses those funds.
I tend to agree... especially with your comments regarding existing ROWs that exist near major roadways... Often there is room set aside for at least an additional lane, if not more... I have recently seen a new HOV lane added to an existing freeway without widening the freeway footprint at all...

And as you acknowledge, planning ahead and including bike facilities can make the job easier... so why the heck are so many road projects done that end up "adding" bike lanes/paths as a last minute "bastard step child." One such project I can think of was the conversion of a farm highway to a limited access freeway... this changed the dynamics of the road, and it was realized that a bike path would be required to allow cyclists to go along the same route they used for years. But the bike path required it's own environmental impact study, which delayed the path and the delay drove up the costs. Had the path been planned with the road... the EIS could have covered both as well as allowed using the same build crew and equipment to reduce costs. This happens all too often.
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Old 08-06-14, 03:03 PM   #52
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That is awesome. I assume that bike paths parallel to the roads are well patrolled by policemen and well lit?
Not patrolled at all and not necessarily well lighted. But I prefer them that way.

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I tend to agree... especially with your comments regarding existing ROWs that exist near major roadways... Often there is room set aside for at least an additional lane, if not more... I have recently seen a new HOV lane added to an existing freeway without widening the freeway footprint at all...

And as you acknowledge, planning ahead and including bike facilities can make the job easier... so why the heck are so many road projects done that end up "adding" bike lanes/paths as a last minute "bastard step child." One such project I can think of was the conversion of a farm highway to a limited access freeway... this changed the dynamics of the road, and it was realized that a bike path would be required to allow cyclists to go along the same route they used for years. But the bike path required it's own environmental impact study, which delayed the path and the delay drove up the costs. Had the path been planned with the road... the EIS could have covered both as well as allowed using the same build crew and equipment to reduce costs. This happens all too often.
Part of the reason that I know about the planning process is that I got involved in it. Traffic engineers are, by and large, car people. Most people in the US are. They don't think about bicycles and bicycle facilities because it's just not on their radar. In my experience, it hasn't been a case of active hostility but just plain ignorance. It's up to us to educate them.

One of the reasons that we get bikeways planned into the project is because of the success of the bikeways. The Summit County bike paths bring in enough people during the summer that the ski areas actually have a summer season now. Other towns have copied this model (Leadville, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Aspen, etc) to get people to come there and spend money. Money, especially tourist dollars is a powerful motivator.
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Old 08-06-14, 03:51 PM   #53
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Not patrolled at all and not necessarily well lighted. But I prefer them that way.
That is interesting. What is the crime rate like along the paths?
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Old 08-06-14, 04:00 PM   #54
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That is interesting. What is the crime rate like along the paths?
Low but the crime rate in Colorado isn't all that high to begin with.
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Old 08-07-14, 08:37 AM   #55
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Not patrolled at all and not necessarily well lighted. But I prefer them that way.



Part of the reason that I know about the planning process is that I got involved in it. Traffic engineers are, by and large, car people. Most people in the US are. They don't think about bicycles and bicycle facilities because it's just not on their radar. In my experience, it hasn't been a case of active hostility but just plain ignorance. It's up to us to educate them.

One of the reasons that we get bikeways planned into the project is because of the success of the bikeways. The Summit County bike paths bring in enough people during the summer that the ski areas actually have a summer season now. Other towns have copied this model (Leadville, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Aspen, etc) to get people to come there and spend money. Money, especially tourist dollars is a powerful motivator.
I tend to agree. Bikes, as well as peds need to be on their radar. I got involved with a local project due to a bike lane being routed right to a freeway on ramp. I went and talked to the engineer (near by in a construction trailer) and he justified his decisions by stating "it is in the design standards book.") Sure, the standards showed bike lanes near intersections... but failed to include the issue of freeway on ramp.

No doubt it is a matter of innocence (with probably a touch of "I drive..." and "not my job..." but that certainly doesn't make it right.

You are right, we cyclists have to get involved.... that is the only way things are going to change. I like that aspect of tying in tourist dollars... Locally the leaders here still don't understand that cyclists also want the same things as other tourists and good bike paths can also draw more tourists.
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