More discussion on bikes and cars

edited October 2015 in Life

The attached link (see attached on www.salidacitizen.com) represents an interesting discussion about how cars fit into our culture.* I am thinking back to my last visit to forward-thinking, San Francisco. I recall the madness of the bike culture. On a morning tour I found myself in a massive bike lane, surrounded by, literally, hundreds of commuters. It was easy to pull into any coffee shop or store to spend money.

How does this translate to Salida? When I am driving my car on F street, I don't often stop on impulse. Conversely, when I am on my bike I don't always use F street—because of the cars.

This is just my experience, but progressively, with more traffic, and more tourism, the idea of a pedestrian mall on F street, replacing cars completely, feels right. Think about benches, fountains for kids and the sound of the river. Moving parking off of our retail epicenter might might also result in better retail foot traffic on surrounding streets. These are not new ideas, and they do not solve the general lack of public parking...oh, how how that railroad holds the keys. Anyway, enjoy this piece, and keep the dream alive. Having less traffic, and less pollution while making things more convenient for people who are walking or riding bikes sounds good—and it's increasingly easier to find data to show that it also makes good economic sense.

http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/salt-lake-city-street-removes-parking-adds-bike-lanes-and-sales-go-up

* Comparing tax receipts from a time when the economy was just recovering may not be the best comparison, but I believe cultural trends i.e.., more people riding bikes each year, will likely fortify the tax based argument in the attached press release.

Comments

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  • Your vision of F St is similar to mine, Bill. Gunnison is already exploring options to close lanes in their downtown and create just this kind of place to walk and shop with shade trees, garden spots and great places to sit and enjoy a meal, coffee or just take in the scene. With the bike culture and walk-ability that already exists in Salida it seems a natural progression for us to pursue. One of the reasons tourists visit anyplace is that it feels unique and Salida, with it's Arts District, festivals and historic downtown already has that vibe. I can only see how this will make it that much more special. I'm hoping the small deck outside Currents will be the beginning of how downtown continues to grow.

  • Comparing Salida to San Francisco or any other urban area is absurd. There are barely 6000 people living here. Bicycles are completely safe on any street in this town. Just follow the traffic laws and there's no problem. We do not need pedestrian pathways, which take away from parking spaces for residents who live downtown, citizens who use local services and visitors who come here to enjoy our community. I assume that you did not grow up here. Why is it that people who move here from other areas of the country think that they need to change Salida? Did you not move here because you liked the way it is? You are not considering the downtown retailers who support the economy, nor are you considering the residents of this community. Just ride your bike on the street as it is and enjoy the beautiful place that we inhabit. If you want to make a difference, find another cause.

  • AMEN... Altering the town's character to make things "better" for a single user group at the expense of everyone else that lives in Salida is just plain wrong, however it HAS been the mantra now since the influx of new folk started over 10 years ago.

    For a painful example, take the clusterf**k that is now US Highway 50. Instead of slowing things down, I've witnessed speeds in excess of 55 from folks trying to get around RV's and other vehicles that can't stay in the current narrow little lanes, (or the old lanes for that matter, at least then there was enough space to get around them without hitting the throttle) OR the turn lane for that matter.

    Vehicles hanging half in the turn lane and half in the lane of traffic, bicycles riding the wrong way in the new and improved bicycle lanes, cutting across traffic without so much as a hand signal or warning.

    On the bright side, the road surface is now trashed from all the deep grinding, and heading eastbound in the morning, the sun shines on the grinding which makes it virtually impossible to distinguish the striping from the grinding, further adding to the confusion.

    Yep, so much better.. Perhaps with the increased speeds CDOT will do another study and raise the speed limit to 60MPH..

    The law of unintended consequences hath struck again..

  • Bill, You've broken two cardinal rules for writing about and espousing change to Salida in one opinion piece.... First, you discuss removing a few parking spaces to allow for more tourists and easier bike access to downtown and thereby insinuating that cars must go elsewhere...you are now likely to be labeled as 'anti-car'. It doesn't matter if your idea about a pedestrian mall would likely bring more people into the downtown area to spend money while taking up precious room with their parked bikes. Second, Mr. Car Hater, you have the audacity to compare Salida to San Francisco? That practically proves that you couldn't have grown up here and now that you just moved here last year you suggest that we use an idea from somewhere else? And from that place? That's worse than saying your from Boulder! We don't need new ideas from somewhere else because we have our own! All kidding aside, and speaking of Boulder- I have lived there AND in Salida on and off / back and forth since the early 80's. I'll never apologize for living in another town nor will I back down from putting forth a good idea from elsewhere. When I had a place in Boulder and folks came to visit, 9 out of 10 times the FIRST thing they wanted to do was to ride their bikes down to the Pearl St mall and watch world class buskers and musicians while eating lunch or dinner outside on a bench located in what once was the middle of a street. And they couldn't have been happier to part with their money. The flatirons and beautiful hiking trails in the nearby local parks took a close second and third in the attractions department. If you want to see the perfect synthesis of retail and an inviting outdoor area brought together with good design and planning, look no further than the Pearl Street mall. Did I mention it's from Boulder? That's in Colorado for those haven't been. In fact, maybe a pedestrian mall would be a good idea for Salida... Hmmmm..

    Scott

  • I'm having a very difficult time understanding how accommodating bicycles as a legitimate form of transportation is a bad thing.

    And regarding Hwy 50, remember the entire community pretty much agreed we want to slow traffic down for a variety of reasons including public safety and potentially increasing sales in the businesses along the corridor. CDOT has a very narrow view on how that can be done and the city administration and council (some of them anyway) worked within the parameters to improve the conditions there. I'd suggest giving it a cycle of the seasons before passing judgement on its effectiveness. I'd even go so far as to suggest we remove a lane of traffic and create a parking lane as a possible next step. Before the anti change and anti bike group vilifies me, I'd also suggest you ask the Hwy 50 vendors what they think of that.

    Most of the comments I've heard and read against accommodating bicycles appear to be more rooted in the fear of change without any rational argument.

    Most disconcerting was the retired asshole fisherman in a white Lexus who just didn't have the time or patience to get to the bridge to look at the river while I was riding down F Street to work one early and empty downtown morning. He decided to try to pass me without moving to the left between the alley and the stop sign in a 15 mph zone, his bumper literally mere inches from taking me out as we approached the intersection. The idiot still thinks he is above the law and if he hurts someone it isn't his fault and he wouldn't care anyway. Sorry folks, but it's time to accept that bicycles are not only here to stay, but it is a growing segment of both our own little world and the rest of it around us too. My guess is it is better to get used to it than to injure or kill someone because of intolerance.

  • Personally, I'm not against bicycles, legitimate form of transportation or toys to bring the rider pleasure, either way I don't really care.

    There IS however an appropriate place for everything, the problem I have is the town, (and no, not everyone was for the re-striping of US Highway 50, the city council was 3 to 3 until the Mayor broke the tie, the survey the city did was hardly a landslide for any alternative, with a darn large group wanting things left alone) decided unilaterally to force numerous user groups into a inherently dangerous situation.

    Excerpt from (Source: A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets, AASHTO) Speed is a primary consideration when evaluating potential adverse impacts of lane width on safety. On roadways with narrow lanes that also have narrow shoulders, the risk of severe lane-departure crashes increases. Drivers on rural two-lane highways may shift even closer to the center-line as they become less comfortable next to a narrow shoulder. At other times, they may shift closer to the shoulder edge and are at greater risk of driving off the paved portion of the roadway (and over potential edge drop-offs) as they meet oncoming traffic.

    Horizontal alignment is another factor that can influence the safety of lane width reductions. Curvilinear horizontal alignments increase the risk of lane departure crashes in general, and when combined with narrow lane widths, the risk will further increase for most roadways. In addition, trucks and other large vehicles can affect safety and operations by off-tracking into adjacent lanes or the shoulder. This affects the safety of other drivers, as well as non-motorized users such as bicyclists who may be using the adjacent lane or shoulder.

    SO, my position would be, that in order to accommodate bicycles, we have increased the potential for crashes for ALL user groups. In mine, and others opinion, this was a patently bad idea, that has done little if anything to slow traffic, and arguably sped it up, and increased the danger factor for all users.

    The 2 bicyclists I have spoken to, related that the new bicycle lane is laden with rocks and other debris that the fragile (and apparently expensive) tires they use would be punctured if they rode there, one choosing to use the side streets with little traffic, and the other choosing to ride in the lane designated for motor vehicles. Hardly empirical evidence, but both alternatives make sense from a rational standpoint, and have been the historical use patterns by bicycles.

    I'm not afraid of change, its inevitable, except from vending machines, however I am afraid of poorly thought out (expensive and unnecessary) ideas that have a possibility of endangering MY life and the lives of people I care about.

    It would appear to me, from your missive that you care a great deal about yourself and the activities YOU choose to participate in, and very little about others, whom you suggest should suck it up and deal with the increased danger of a possibly fatal crash, so you can ride your bicycle in traffic on US Hwy 50.

    I respectfully disagree..

  • I am currently studying the impacts and benefits that riding a bike has on the environment, communities, individual health and the economy. I agree with Don, bikes are here to stay, and the biking culture not only in Salida, but across the USA is growing rapidly. Projects in both rural and urban areas to improve bicycle infrastructure are popping up everywhere (local examples - the Mineral Belt trail in Leadville & the Rodeo Run here in Salida). The benefits of riding a bike are extensive; it can improve physical and mental well-being, reduce noise and air pollution, and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. Riding a bike requires no fuel and thus emits zero carbon dioxide, a critical greenhouse gas (http://www.youcanbikethere.com/content/environmental-benefits-0). Bicycles and amenities such as greenways (bike & pedestrian only paths)promote economic growth. Leadville experienced a 19% increase in local tax revenue after opening the Mineral Belt Trail (HealthyMesaCounty.org/wb-summit).

    If Salidans want a healthy and vibrant community, residents should support and promote biking as a viable means for transportation and recreation. However, in doing so, roads must be made safer for all users, not just one group. Sure, people who drive may see someone on a bike not obeying the law, but this goes both ways. It is not as easy as "following the traffic laws and there's no problem." based on examples of near death experiences for bike riders. I was almost hit at the intersection of Moonlight Pizza and the Community Center. I was obeying the law and completely stopped at the stop sign. When I had the right of way a large van with tinted windows started to turn at me because the driver clearly was not paying careful attention and did not see me, coming within 1 foot of running into me. There is a specific reason as to why bike lanes, non-motorized paths, and shared roads exist; to increase safety for all users of the road. If you think about it, a bike lane funnels people on bikes to use the lane instead of ride all over the road.

    Altering the town's character to improve things for a single user group at the expense of others is not really accurate. Riding a bike is a zero-emission mode of transportation and recreation which helps reduce pollution and makes the air cleaner for everyone to breathe, not just people on bikes (http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/complete-streets/complete-streets-fundamentals/factsheets/climate-change). And if increasing Salida's walkability and bikeability can create a healthier community, aren't most residents benefiting? I am not anti-car, as I own a vehicle, but if we want to create a positive impact on the Earth, and not just in Salida, a shift away from our car-centric culture in America towards a culture that promotes all forms of transportation (walking, biking & public transit) is a step in the right direction.

  • I have been using the Highway 50 bike lanes since day 1. Are they perfect? No, there are some rough spots. Do I want my kid riding on Highway 50? No, I don't. But to me it feels a LOT safer than it did two months ago and for an experienced bike rider there should be no concern riding these lanes. I have also used one of the the "islands of refuge" when crossing the Highway as a pedestrian and that definitely made me feel safer.

    I have noticed the narrowed lanes when I am in my car, and it may slow me down a couple of miles per hour, which I believe is the reason this whole project started. I attended a couple of the Council meetings when the highway project was discussed and as I recall the state traffic engineer said that slowing traffic involved many components, many of which Salida has embraced.

    We have installed "islands of refuge" to make crossing safer for pedestrians. We have installed bike lanes to make biking on the road safer. We have narrowed the driving lanes to slow traffic.

    These three steps were recommended my a professional who studies traffic for a living and makes recommendations based on DATA and EXPERIENCE instead of gut reaction. I personally am happy for these changes.

    Change happens and I think these changes are for the better.

  • The new path extension along 120 out to Elevation Brewing is great, I bike and walk it. Any idea why many cyclists continue to use 120 and not the path, seems a lot safer to use the path? I do see many cyclists using the path as well.

  • edited November 2015

    Bikes are great. Somebody made a point in discussion last week that Salida doesn't really have to do anything to become a "bike friendly" town. Due to the gifts of fate, it already is.

  • edited November 2015

    When will hwy 50 be resurfaced and striped properly? All that money was spent to "beautify" and even though the intentions were good, it's a fail on execution....

  • Please elaborate what "beautification" money was spent on bike lanes and what you think failed.

  • Don't know about "beautification", it certainly looks worse now, and as far as fails, traffic moves considerably faster now than it did before. On the bright side, the lanes are so narrow that folks trying to use the turn lane generally don't realize they aren't in it when turning, causing traffic to swerve around them into the other lane.

    On a funny note, 2 of the posters here note "Bicycles are here to stay" as if it's some sort of revelation of great social and political importance.

    Yes, the device invented in the early 1800's is still in use today..

  • So you don't think new sidewalks, business entrances, lights, not to mention several refurbished buildings has improved the appearance of the stretch?

    And on a not so funny note, many posters in this and other forums, as well as much of the on-road behavior we see suggests bicycles arrived on the scene just this year.

  • My post specifically mentions proper striping and resurfacing....the "fail".

    Not sure why simple deduction didn't make that clear...

    Every grind mark, left over from the restriping, not only can be felt while driving...wait until water freezes in them..

    C.D.O.T. standards didn't allow that sloppiness when the intersection in Poncha was reworked.....

  • I wasn't referring to anything other than the mess they made of the highway road surface.

    Sure, the light posts, sidewalks etc are nice, but what was done to the highway, and the resultant dangerous situation that traffic flow has become, is a definite fail in my book.

    Given the conditions of Salida's secondary streets in general, and the massive public outcry to repair them, I would have thought that the money spent on fancy lights, sidewalks etc could have been better spent fixing the secondary streets as opposed to "beautifying the highway".

    I'm sure the tourists that flock to the area by the thousands to visit the businesses that line highway 50 are enjoying it, cause the tourists that drive across the country to visit OUR car dealers, auto parts stores, Murdoch's, gas stations, hardware store, furniture store, sign store, pawn shop, chiropractors, car washes, Pak Mail, McDonald's, .....

    Umm wait a second ?? These aren't tourist destinations..

    Rereading Ms. Judd's post, she seems to put great faith in the "professional" that conjured up this highway re striping boondoggle. Dear, just because someone does something for a living, doesn't mean that they are any good at it, OR that the solution that's good for is good for Salida.

    But glad you're enjoying it. Many of us that have to drive motor vehicles to conduct business and bring recurring tax dollars to the city, on the US HIGHWAY aren't enjoying it quite so much, if at all.

  • Liz- You might find this an interesting read. I definitely ride my bike (in town and on the surrounding trails), but this gave me a hard look in the mirror in terms of my impact on wildlife. -Cory http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/opinion/sunday/leaving-only-footsteps-think-again.html?_r=3

  • Thanks for sharing _cory.

    I never would have thought that just walking (hiking) would have had such an impact on wildlife. OR that Motorized travel is less detrimental to wildlife than human powered pursuits. Goes against everything the human powered set has espoused for decades.

    The most salient paragraph in the linked article, for me was:

    The challenge is to find a nuanced balance between enjoying nature and protecting it, recognizing that recreation does not necessarily complement conservation or preservation.

    Sums it up well I think. Even if it has little to do with the "bikes and cars" title of this discussion.

  • Thanks for the read Cory! The wildland-urban interface and conflict is becoming an increasingly serious problem as urban sprawl begins to border the natural environment.

    My focus is more on the transportation/utilitarian aspects of riding a bicycle. Everything on our planet is so interconnected, especially ecosystems. Yes, a cross-country skier or hiker could have more of a direct impact on wildlife, but what about the increasing greenhouse gases through the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, in our atmosphere? Studies show that we are causing our planet to warm, which is causing species to go extinct, patterns in the weather to change, loss of pollinators to name a few. To go back to discussing "bikes and cars", I can't agree that human powered modes of transportation are more harmful to the environment than motorized vehicles. But again, I'm more concerned with biking for transportation over recreation.

  • After a few weeks of driving Hwy 50 through town both by myself and along with my teenager-in-training and observing things related to comments I've read in here, I still can't see how that project can be considered a complete fail.

    The first thing classified as a fail is the grinding marks left where they removed the old striping. Yes, I could feel them, a little, but they hardly diminish my experience and I'm having a hard time imagining how they will create a safety hazard even with some frozen conditions. I suppose that could have been addressed with a complete resurfacing, likely to the tune of about a $3-5 million bill (or likely more) to the taxpayers. Thanks but I'll pass on that and live with the very minor grinding marks. I suppose doing nothing is an option, but it wasn't in this case.

    Another is the narrowing of the lanes. I have found myself driving slower now because of them. As I remember it, the city staff and leaders stated this as the number one goal and reason for the restriping in the first place, so that seems like mission accomplished in that regard.

    Then there is the issue of the narrower turn lane. Yes bad things can happen when one hangs their bumper over that yellow line while making a left turn. That scenario occurred often enough before the striping, and while I've been observing of late, I haven't found it to be a problem so bad to warrant an undoing of the work. I beat that drum plenty while teaching my teenagers about that stretch, and they aren't having any problems with it. Again, not such a big issue to warrant deeming it a complete fail.

    I can't say I 'enjoy' driving on Hwy 50 and tend to avoid it when I can. But the restriping has hardly made the area a death trap, a horrible driving experience, or anything else that could be deemed a complete fail. In fact, in can be argued that with the slower speeds that have resulted conditions have improved. I've heard many people who have stated that the new bike lanes are a huge improvement over the old format. I'm sure there are just as many who would disagree for varying reasons, but there were NO cyclists suggesting the old way was a good way by ANY measure. So that should be considered an improvement too.

    I know a lot of people come here from Howard, SLV, Nathrop and beyond to take care of business, shopping, chores, etc. You may not like it, but remember the people of Salida made their wishes known and the city leaders listened and acted to make it better for the people who live and work here. There are no perfect solutions that appease everybody, and I'd say the concerns expressed by city denizens have been addressed in a very satisfactory manner. I hope we can make further changes to slow things down even further, with Gunnison as a good model.

  • Well Don....I'm glad you're happy with the outcome and that your bias outweighs the crappy job that was done.

    You admit you feel the grinding marks while driving but apparently fail to identify how the driving surface was in better shape before it was "fixed".

    Be excited for your bike lanes, hell I will be too....

    It's just too bad that to accommodate one group, we had to take away from another...

    Do the job right the first time....simple..

  • Hey Dubs,

    As far as give and take, you hit that on the head. And that's not 'too bad', it's good. That's the only way it can work so that all viewpoints are considered in decision making.

    So what was taken away from you besides smooth pavement?

    And even if you supported the project in the first place, how would you justify the costs of a taxpayer funded complete resurfacing of all 3+ miles of new pavement vs. the grinding that is barely perceptible?

    While I am an obvious and ardent supporter of bicycles as a viable means of transportation that will improve the lives of all who choose to use it, how does that factor into my 'bias' in assessing the 'complete fail' as you describe it? My comments come from observations while driving, not cycling.

    The fact is this town is changing faster than can be dealt with right now, and our current city council is ill prepared to do so. While it may not be a perfect solution, at least they listened to local opinion and addressed it.

  • Don,

    Where do you (and others) keep coming up with "local opinion" being vehemently for this ?? IF I remember correctly, local opinion was decidedly ambiguous, some for it, some against it, and many if not most, looking for another option. The Mayor broke a 3-3 tie on the city council in favor of it. Shame that folks today have forgotten "What's best for everyone" is the right thing to do.

    Doing nothing was indeed an option, would have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money that could have been used for many much more pressing projects this.

    Here's a couple of salient points. Driving east in the morning sun, you cannot tell the 3/4 to 1 inch deep inch (yep, I stopped and measured them) grind marks from the newly laid striping, making choosing / staying in a lane difficult if you're not accustomed to the way things are now. "Barely perceptible" is hardly an accurate description. I will admit that ice gathering in the depressions is likely not an issue.

    Don't know when you were driving and seeing lower speeds, the majority of the time I'm driving the highway, I find myself behind other vehicles, and look down at the speedometer and see I'm going 50 or better. Given that the speed limit is 40, I fail to see how this is slowing down traffic. I slow down to the speed limit and traffic passes me on the right. Yep, that's safe..

    Perhaps CDOT should do another traffic study to validate your point. Bet it will garner results closer to my experiences than yours.....

    At least you admit that folks can't fit their vehicles into the turn lane, causing others to swerve into the next lane to avoid them. That's safe too !! Everyone's in a rush these days, the majority of the accidents that occur in Bighorn Sheep Canyon are directly attributed to excessive speed. Folks get stuck behind someone doing 40 MPH and no ability to pass, hit Salida with a 4 lane highway and try to make up time. It's human nature. Narrowing the lanes does nothing other than make a bad situation more dangerous. You want to slow traffic, take down the useless "your speed" sign and put a cop writing tickets there. THAT will slow traffic, AND generate revenue for the town.

    Finally, Gunnison as a model. Great !! I'm all for it. Widen the highway another 75 feet, put parking along the sides of the highway, increase the lane widths to 20 feet. I'd vote for that. Traffic moves slowly as there's a 35 MPH speed limit and the lanes are wide enough for folks in traffic to gawk and not worry about wandering out of their lane and hitting someone else.

    Just wait till the summer tourist season comes.. I'm betting the towing companies will reap the benefits of the new and wonderful re-striping.

    Yep, fail. Perhaps Epic fail.. Time will tell the exact degree of failure, but likely will not dispute the failure aspect. Poorly thought out, poorly implemented, and now we're stuck with it. Seems to be the hallmark of Salida lately.

  • My little knowledge on this subject comes from reading the Mountain Mail,so I may not be %100 correct here but according to the Mail it seemed like CDOT was going to change Highway 50 in Salida due to studies involving the mean speed of vehicles traveling this section. Cars were averaging speeds faster than the posted limits so CDOT required either increasing the existing speed limits in Salida OR narrowing lanes to slow traffic down. CDOT then asked the City of Salida for citizen input that they would weigh into the final decision. The final decision being made by CDOT not Salida city government. Correct me if I am wrong but I am not sure where pointing the finger of blame at the city administration is coming from. In my opinion, increasing speeds to 50 or 55 MPH would have completely eliminated ANY local bicycle traffic and created a much more dangerous situation than the current state it is in. Is it perfect? No. Is it a step in the right direction? Yes.
    Marshall- Your assertion that it is "human nature" for through traffic to break the posted speed limit to make up time is against the law and not really my main concern as a citizen, traffic/bicycle safety certainly ranks higher to me. The solution you offer is to widen the highway another 75 feet which would require removing businesses and displacing residents from their homes. Really?

  • Safety is indeed paramount, and no, that wasn't MY suggestion to widen the road, Don had suggested that We should make changes in an earlier post, "with Gunnision as a good model". Well, that's what they have in Gunnison. I'm sorry if you didn't realize it was a tongue in cheek scenario.

    Folks breaking the law by exceeding the posted speed limit should be a concern. Hence my suggestion to eliminate the "your speed" sign and replace with a cop writing tickets. THAT would slow things down. But that was too simple of a solution, instead of costing money, it would generate revenue, perhaps even support funding for another police officer. I suppose Salida is afraid of offending tourists or some such nonsense.

    You are mostly correct in your sequence of events as I remember. Salida asked CDOT for a speed study, CDOT said, Oh no, you do NOT want us to do this, if we do, and see that traffic is going faster then the speed limit, we'll raise the speed limit. Salida said yep, we want it anyway. CDOT did the study, came back to Salida and said, see, now we're going to raise the speed limit. (The law of unintended consequences prevails, despite CDOT warning the City).

    Salida then asked, what, oh what can we do to at least keep the speed limit at what it is ? CDOT sent an engineer who presented 4 options, one of which was to do nothing, and leave things as they were. Salida did a non specific survey open to most anyone who clicked on the link on the City of Salida website, and asked for opinions on the 4 options, the results were pretty ambiguous as I remember. As I remember, all 3 options included some manner of Bicycle lane. One option included "Jersey Barriers" where the turn lane is, you would only be able to turn at an intersection.

    The Bicycle lobby was pretty vociferous, latched right onto the bicycle lane idea, and I'm guessing many others thought that the city couldn't possibly be seriously considering any of the options. The council voted, yep a tie (imagine that) and the Mayor broke the tie (again, imagine that), in favor of the current mess.

    In MY opinion, I don't think this is about assigning blame, the city did what it thought at the time, was the right thing to do as once the speed study had been done, things didn't turn out how they hoped and they opened Pandora's box. Now, in a purely reactive stance, they did something, anything in order to close the box. This is what we got.

    Solutions conjured up on a reactive "Do something, anything even if it's wrong" stance rarely end well. And now here we are..

    At the end of the day, US Highway 50 is a main east west thoroughfare, it's not a small town sleepy street. No matter what one does to try and make it something it's not, it's likely never going to be ideal in everyone's eyes. Had things been left alone, traffic would have chugged along for years just fine, the city (and state) would have another 500K+$ to spend elsewhere and we wouldn't have the mess that currently is.

    Change it back, and accept it for what it is.

  • Marshall, Gunnison is actually in the process of a "Complete Streets" overhaul both on Highway 50 and possibly on 135 through main street. I met with Ken Colemen personally last year and his plan is to put in bike lanes, bumped out curbs and narrower driving lanes to accommodate ALL modes of transportation (pedestrians, bikes and motor vehicles) and thus increase safety for ALL users of the road. So when Don referred to what Gunnison is doing in terms of bicycle infrastructure improvements, this plan is what he probably meant - http://www.cityofgunnison-co.gov/council/epackets/2015/09.22.15_rs/03_draft.strategic.planning_09.22.15.pdf (page 2).

  • I see, nice checklist. Looks like Gunny is doing the exact opposite of what happened here in Salida. Making a list, checking it twice, getting a solid comprehensive plan together before acting on it. They seem to have a good handle on the issues, and are looking at the big picture.

    My point was in the earlier post, that the main street in Gunnison is about 3 times wider than in Salida, they HAVE room to narrow things down some and still maintain a degree of safety. Salida did not, and created a dangerous situation for everyone in their haste to interject bicycles into traffic under the guise of slowing traffic down.

    Well, it hasn't slowed traffic down any at all, in fact traffic is moving faster, and paying very little attention to the narrow lanes. The "Whatever you want to call it" blinking island has been taken out once already. I've almost been sideswiped, I don't have any supporting data to say accidents have increased or decreased from the baseline, however there have been quite a few.

    Nope, as time goes by it does little more than demonstrate that this was a patently bad idea, the summer traffic should create even more accidents. This new city council has been doing good things and taking a serious look at what the previous council did, stopping the pool contract being one of the notable accomplishments. Perhaps they will undo this mess and put things back the way they were.

    I know, unlikely anyone in a position of power would admit this mistake, and I'm sure the powerful bicycle lobby we have would vehemently oppose it, let's kill a few folks before admitting the mistake.

    It's a darn shame..

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