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Old 02-01-17, 10:13 AM   #1
tcs
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McKinney's 'bike boulevards'

McKinney has mapped out some bike routes and signposted them as bike boulevards.

There are claims that the motivation was to get bicyclists off McKinney's main thoroughfares and onto neighborhood streets. I dunno, maybe, I mean that kind of thing has been going on in Texas since 1971 or so. Or maybe the city council wanted to say they 'did something' about, or for, the bicyclists, or maybe the chamber of commerce thought it would look real good when reported in national publications. Okay, but because the way McKinney has been laid out and planned, between the super blocks, creeks and freeways, only the thoroughfares actually go somewhere. Except for the small, old part of town, McKinney has a distinct lack of secondary streets that do anything other than get the neighborhood residents out to the thoroughfares.

Anyway, actual bicycle boulevards (1, 2) have a number of design elements that are entirely lacking in McKinney's as-implimented plan: lower speed limits, discouragement or actual prevention of auto through traffic, right of way enhancements at intersections and traffic control at points where the bicycle boulevard crosses a major arterial.

Here's one of their signs (it's the one directly behind the Neighborhood Watch sign):

20170131_090650.jpg

Zooming out, you can see this particular 'Bike Boulevard' crosses a major 40mph arterial with no intersection enhancements:

20170131_090650 (1).jpg

Between the way the city has been laid out and their low-buck implementation of their bike routes, their 462 new Bike Boulevard signs torturing through bits of neighborhoods are probably not going to make much difference to anyone on the ground.

Last edited by tcs; 02-01-17 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 03-15-17, 01:23 PM   #2
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I'm don't entirely understand the "bike boulevards" that they're implementing- is it just a series of signs? Bicycles already have the right to use the full lane in 30> roads, so if all they're doing is putting up large blue signs to let people know then that's pretty disappointing. On page 6 of this guide to bicycle facilities published by NCTCOG (http://www.nctcog.org/trans/sustdev/...Facilities.pdf), boulevards have "traffic calming devices" that "give priority to cyclists". Speed bumps, large road stencils, and yellow signs that say that give cyclists right-of-way seems like a much more appropriate "boulevard".

As for the boulevards being away from useful thoroughfares, I would much rather ride through neighborhoods that get me there 5 minutes slower than ride in a lane or on the side of a road with 30mph+ cars zooming past me, possibly angry that I distracted them from their phone call.

I think installing a stoplight specifically for cyclists at every intersection that puts a cyclist in front of cars moving faster than 30mph would make for a safer ride. It's just a matter of timing them so that they don't cause traffic congestion since that road is a main artery for the surrounding neighborhoods.

This is all of course if the city wanted to do everything they could to promote safe cycling while still respecting motorists. We have to demand more than is realistic or else we'll get short-changed with crappy signs.
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Old 03-17-17, 07:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Whynot1999 View Post
I'n don't entirely understand the "bike boulevards" that they're implementing- is it just a series of signs?
AFAIK, yep. It's a 1970s style 'Bike Route' scheme, but using 2010s 'Bicycle Boulevard' signs. McKinney will be able to report to Bicycling Magazine they now have 70+ miles of 'Bicycle Boulevards' - without having to go to the expense of creating the infrastructure of actual bike boulevards. A town gets points for 'boulevards' but not old style signposted routes in cycle friendly city ratings.
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Old 03-21-17, 02:24 PM   #4
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"...a distinct lack of secondary streets that do anything other than get the neighborhood residents out to the thoroughfares."
That describes a lot of Fort Worth as well. While Fort Worth has become more bicycling friendly there are still many neighborhoods designed exclusively for the automobile era, basically enclaves with no secondary route access or egress. It's either a busy multi-lane boulevard or nothing.

Many of these are built around shopping centers with useless tree lined sidewalks parallel to the thoroughfares. The sidewalks serve no purpose other than decorative because nobody walks in those areas. The most cost effective solution would be to convert the existing sidewalks and lawn strips to multi-use paths, and include traffic calming features such as places for cars to pull over safely out of the boulevards while waiting for openings in foot/bicycle traffic.

It would cost less to modify this existing useless infrastructure and would benefit the communities and businesses.
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Old 03-22-17, 10:09 AM   #5
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Many of these are built around shopping centers with useless tree lined sidewalks parallel to the thoroughfares. The sidewalks serve no purpose other than decorative because nobody walks in those areas. The most cost effective solution would be to convert the existing sidewalks and lawn strips to multi-use paths, and include traffic calming features such as places for cars to pull over safely out of the boulevards while waiting for openings in foot/bicycle traffic.

It would cost less to modify this existing useless infrastructure and would benefit the communities and businesses.
Industrial roads (in alliance especially) have 20ft grassy sides that would be perfect for adding both sidewalks and separated bike roads. This would make it easier for people from Roanoke/Trophy Club to tap into public transit.
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