Saturday, December 19, 2009

Phase III Now Open--and being swept!

Diamond Drive's old profile near the golf course. Note abrupt gutter drop
Diamond Drive's brand-new profile (note construction cones are still there!)

These are before and after shots of Phase I by the golf course ped crossing, in case we forget what put cyclists off. Click on the photo for a high resolution version.

Well, three phases down and one to go. Nice to see this progressing.

I'll be frank. Phases I-III were built in areas with limited turning and crossing points (the one big one being Conoco Hill) and where most cyclists are not making left turns, so they are nearly ideal locations for bike lanes. By contrast, Phase IV will be the nasty one as far as safety. There are so many turning and crossing points between Orange/Sandia and the Omega Bridge that I wonder if in-lane sharrows would be a better idea than bike lanes. I can see a lot of left hooks and right crosses happening if cyclists and motorists get careless.

It is going to be incumbent on everyone to use these lanes smartly and to be wary and alert for the usual mistakes that are made. And, don't run the red lights!

Any thoughts out there?


Lisa said...

I'm not a traffic engineer, but I plead with those in charge of Phase IV to leave a route through the construction zone or around it via Western Community (Sandia-48th-Trinity) open for bicycle commuters. Since I predict horrendous driving woes during this last phase of construction, I plan to commute by bicycle. However, bicycling through the construction zones during Phases I-III was so unpleasant that I rarely did it, and I'm probably more comfortable riding in traffic that many. Promoting bicycle commuting during this Phase IV by maintaining a bicycle route through or around the construction zone could reduce some of the congestion during Phase IV. But if cyclists are forced to ride with traffic and without a dedicated bicycle lane through the construction zone, many (like me) will choose to drive instead, adding to the congestion even though we would rather be in the saddle.

Neale said...

I think sharrows could work on Central, where drivers are now accustomed to lower speeds and frequent yielding. I think on Diamond you are going to hear from both motorists and cyclists that they want segregated facilities.

I personally would like to ride on a Diamond with sharrows, however.

Assuming I am correct in my guess about what everyone else wants, it would be worth considering painting the higher-traffic driveways with blue bike lanes, as implemented by the city of Portland.

The nice thing is that we're now arguing about how to apply paint, and not whether or not to widen the road to accomodate cyclists.

@Lisa: try the bus! Then you can not have to ride your bike through the construction, and still not contribute to congestion.

Lisa said...

The Atomic City Transit and LANL do not coordinate their bus/taxi services. LANL only coordinates with Park and Ride. I have missed meetings because I couldn't get from the bus terminal to TA-55 in a timely manner. The L.A. bus system works great for TA-3 but is undependable for most of the rest of us. Bicycling remains my best and most time-efficient commuting method during Diamond Drive construction.