I would like to register my support for the Planning Committee’s Directive for the middle portion of the Anholm Bikeway (without diverters, only traffic calming measures), and my opposition to the Staff plan which relies on diversion of most Broad street traffic onto Chorro.
To reiterate some safety concerns regarding the staff proposal for a dual protected bikeway on one side of Chorro street, I’d like to point out that (including cyclists heading for Poly, who will continue straight down Chorro and not turn onto Broad), the plan will set up TWO intersections where cyclists will have to cut diagonally across traffic – in one of which they will have their back to oncoming vehicles. This traffic, I might point out, will be made even heavier by the diversion plan. Besides the increased likelihood of a collision from this arrangement, residents along Chorro are also still going to have an increased chance of a collision with cyclists coming from the “wrong direction” down the street when they are attempting to back out of their driveways. With the obvious deficiencies of the bikeway design, the city is bound to become involved in any lawsuits which ensue.
On a more philosophical level, I’d like to point out that the concerns of the neighborhood residents, who are obviously most affected by these changes, are being completely ignored in the staff proposal. In the most recent design charrette, 10 of 11 groups took out the ostensibly “required” diverters in their proposed designs, and the whole group there in voting placed diverters as dead last in their preferences for design elements.
Now, there is certainly the argument that inconveniencing a small number of people to enhance the greater good is a fair mechanism for civic improvement – for example, building a freeway through a neighborhood might negatively impact a thousand residents, while allowing ten or twenty thousand people a quicker, easier commute. This is a fair point. The staff bikeway plan, however, will negatively impact a thousand residents and over eight thousand drivers (by your own figures) in order to marginally improve the bicycling experience for (optimistically) a couple hundred riders. This situation is categorically unfair to the majority.
If you adopt the Planning Committee’s calming plan (without any traffic diversion), the majority of residents and drivers would have to agree that this is a reasonable first attempt at solving the problem, and then would not be able to seriously object to further changes if this solution proves to be unsatisfactory. Trying a milder solution and seeing what kind of improvement might result is a far better approach than imposing a demonstrably unpopular one.
Thank you for your consideration,