Friday, October 5, 2007

Diamond Drive, Phase I

In case anyone missed it, Phase I of the Diamond Drive reconstruction is close to finished, with the exception of the roundabout and a few other pieces of infrastructure. Any comments or suggestions greatly appreciated.

The bike lanes look pretty good. I'm really excited with being able to use them soon.

Not so sure of the safety of the parallel sidepath. These generally work well except where they intersect streets (see AASHTO guidlines). People crossing on foot or bike will have to watch for cars turning from Diamond, and I hope appropriate signage points this out. Given the added width of the road, I'm curious as to whether drivers will have crossing peds/cyclists on their radar or whether they will be thinking primarily about oncoming traffic. This was discussed in general terms at T-board meetings in the past, but the design looks a little close to the main road for my liking.

From John Allen's pages:

"Separation Between Shared Use Paths and Roadways When two-way shared use paths are located immediately adjacent to a roadway, some operational problems are likely to occur. In some cases, paths along highways for short sections are permissible, given an appropriate level of separation between facilities, as in Figure 16....(snip)... At intersections, motorists entering or crossing the roadway often will not notice bicyclists approaching from their right, as they are not expecting contra-flow vehicles. Motorists turning to exit the roadway may likewise fail to notice the bicyclist. Even bicyclists coming from the left often go unnoticed, especially when sight distances are limited."

Also, I hope cyclists keep in mind that they need active lighting whether on a bike path or bike lane--especially on a bike path, since they are more remote from cars and when crossing Range and Club roads, will be invisible to motor traffic if they are not using good lighting (I personally consider anything less than about a 10 watt halogen type light to be inadequate; consider the cost of a light vs. the cost of an ER visit.) Anything less that high quality lighting is suicidal--see my earlier post on bike lighting.

Other thoughts?

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