Important Meetings for Safe Active Transportation Projects

Update/Reminder: The general meeting of the Friendly Area Neighbors is tonight 7-9 at the Washington Park Cottage (2025 Washington). I heard from the City that they are presenting at 7:30 pm and there should be time after their presentation for questions/answers.

24th Avenue Street Rehabilitation Project

In the last post I wrote about the City recommendation to install bike lanes on 24th Ave. (from Friendly  to Chambers) as called for in TransPlan and the Ped/Bike Master Plan. Through two community meetings information was shared and input was taken from neighbors and people who use the corridor.  No major opposition was raised at the most current meeting where the city gave it’s recommendation. However, yesterday the Friendly Area Neighborhood Executive Board sent a letter to the City  informing staff that they unanimously oppose the design favored by the City and to support a design to keep the current design with the addition of shared lane pavement markings (sharrows) and “Bicycle Boulevard” and “Share the Road” signs.

It is unfortunate that members of the board did not raise concerns at the meeting and that without any neighborhood input submitted an opinion that does not address the need to accommodate families who would like to feel more comfortable biking through this area.  Simply adding some symbols on the ground and signs on the route are not going to increase the level of comfort for cyclists who want to ride through this corridor. I’ll include a letter below from a Friendly neighbor, Hans Kuhn, who has been active with this project (and others) to encourage safe, active transportation in the neighborhood.

There is one more chance to give your important input. The FAN General Meeting will be held on January 19th from 7-9 at the Washington Park Cottage (2025 Washington Street). If you can’t make it to that meeting please consider writing a letter to City leaders and staff expressing your support of the city design which includes bike lanes and other safe and comfortable infrastructure changes (information below).

 

City Recommendations for 24th (Chambers-Friendly)

 

Willamette Street Bike Lanes

Another project that has been in the Regional Transportation Plan for years and has received hundreds of comments from the community is the need for safe and comfortable active transportation along Willamette Street by including bike lanes and improving the pedestrian environment.  A current project, the South Willamette Area Draft Concept Plan, addresses some pedestrian improvements and the need to improve the area for access but has no bike lanes on Willamette in the design and instead shows bikes using Oak St.  There is still a “Willamette Street Transportation Study” that will be done but having a draft plan now that adds some transportation elements like pedestrian improvements and a bike corridor on Oak but does not include the very important bike lanes on Willamette Street that previous plans, consultants and advisory committees have recommended for years is shortsighted and wrong.  The city is currently accepting feedback at the Concept Plan site.

There is also a meeting being held tomorrow, Friday January 13th at 5:30 at the Agate Alley Laboratory Restaurant (2645 Willamette St). Discussion will be from 6-7:30. The purpose will be to explore strategies and activities which will accomplish the goal of getting bike lanes on Willamette. The blog EugeneBicyclist has a great post with information from KVAL, Eugene Weekly, BreadBike, and Arriving by Bike.

Please take the time to give your input on both of these topics. Tell your story of why safe, comfortable active transportation options are important to you!

Here is contact information for city leaders and staff:

Eugene Mayor and City Council: mayorandcc@ci.eugene.or.us

City Staff: jon.r.ruiz@ci.eugene.or.us, reed.c.dunbar@ci.eugene.or.us, rob.inerfeld@ci.eugene.or.us, tom.c.larsen@ci.eugene.or.us (City Manager, Project Coordinator, Transportation Planner, City Traffic Engineer)

 

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Letter from Hans Kuhn regarding 24th Avenue Street Rehabilitation:

Dear Mayor Piercy, City Council, and others,

The attached letter from the FAN board does not represent the views of the citizens who live in the Friendly Area Neighorhood, nor does it represent the long-term interests of our city. It’s important to remember that the board did no polling, outreach, or even raise the issue at a general meeting of the FAN membership. The letter represents a personal opinion of the board and should accordingly carry weight as such.

It’s unfortunate that they chose to work outside the public process and chose to work the referees in an attempt to override the consensus that has been reached at well-publicized, and well-attended public meetings.

We are lucky to have an excellent design proposal coming from our newest transportation planner, Reed Dunbar, to improve access to our roads for all citizens. Our transportation system currently favors motorized traffic to the near exclusion of other forms of transportation. We have excellent policy documents that are supposed to guide our transportation planning, and bike lanes are indicated along 24th Avenue as part of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. Why create these documents if we never implement them?

I strongly support the design plan that has come out of the public process (remove one lane of parking, add bike lanes in both directions), and I expect that we will continue to move forward with it’s implementation. I hope that many of the people who support the design as well, will add their voices. I’ve copied some of these people on the message.

Sincerely, Hans Kuhn
2760 Polk Street

Letter from the FAN Executive Board

On January 9th, 2012, The Friendly Area Neighborhood’s Executive Board voted unanimously to oppose the removal of traffic calming features currently in place on 24th Avenue.  This removal is proposed by the City as part of the projected rebuild of that street between Chambers and Friendly Streets.  Those speed control measures have worked quite well as shown by the City’s own before and after speed measurement statistics.  The reasons for the Board’s decision are discussed below in the letter written by the FAN Board’s representatives at City meetings about the pending 24th Street modifications.

The Board voted unanimously to support a different road design for West 24th Avenue between Chambers Street and Friendly Street.  The design we support is two parking lanes and two shared lanes with the current bump-outs left in place and the double yellow lines down the center of the street. (That would be the “Figure C” as shown in the article submitted to the January 2012 Friendly Area Newsletter by Reed Dunbar, City of Eugene.)   We are also requesting a denotation of 24th Avenue from Friendly Street to Chambers Street as a Bike Boulevard with very large stenciled bicycles in both travel lanes and signage reading “Bicycle Boulevard” and “Share the Road”.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

Bernie Corrigan & Carlos Barrera
Co-chairs, Friendly Area Neighbors

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