Monday, February 8, 2010

Bicycle Plan to be Updated

Sorry for the late notice, I've been buried under a small mountain of reading lately and I didn't get to it. The City is updating their Bicycle Master Plan, and this update includes a list of coming Class II Bikeway projects (Class II facilities are bicycle-specific facilities in existing rights-of-way, aka bike lanes). This Eastsider particularly likes the proposed lanes on Iowa from MLK to Columbia, which will connect the magically-disappearing lanes on MLK to the lanes on University, which run all the way downtown, as well as the extension of the Blaine/Third Street lanes all the way to Vine. However, my most-wanted project- correcting the glaring omission of Central Ave. between Victoria and SR-91, which is currently a very unpleasant place to bike- is not on the list.

The new Bicycle Master Plan will be presented to the City Council at the evening session of tomorrow's Council meeting. That's 1830 at City Hall. Consistent with my status as a pain in the backside of various local government entities, I intend to attend and make my displeasure known.

9 comments:

k said...

Off Topic

The TNOW meeting is on a THURSDAY and not a FRIDAY.

k said...

Off Topic

PE article about Transit in the IE http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_W_busboom06.43a1a42.html

JN said...

When did I say that T-NOW was on Friday? It's Thursday, this I know, for the website tells me so.

k said...

I received a reminder message that the TNOW meeting was on THURSDAY, which I had not noticed.

I have a meeting each Friday from 10 to 11:30 so it is difficult to get to the Friday TNOW meeting.

So I was glad about the change and wanted to to pass on the reminder that the date had changed.

JN said...

I'm surprised I didn't see you down at the Council meeting, k.

k said...

Thur, Feb 18 at 1 pm I attended the Riverside City Council Transportation Committee meeting. During public comments after the scheduled items where heard, I mentioned that at the monthly TNOW meeting held in February, that RTA folks and others including University students had discussed that they wanted late night bus service. That although RTA had no money for such service, there was discussion of what service was needed, and ideas for funding it. Public comment is kinda sorta limited, but I said that it would be good if all the City Council persons could discuss with folks in their area what was needed or ideas about late night bus service, such as for UCR students to get downtown evenings or for hospital folks to get to and from work or for regular citizens to get to the Tyler Mall, Plaza or downtown for dinner.

The response from the Council persons acting on the Transportation Committee was essentially a very loud silence. One said, and I do not recall who, was something to the effect that they had no money.

So no discussion ensured. No sharing of ideas or comments that perhaps only a test run on Fridays and Saturdays could be tried and everyone should think of ways to fund the test. NONE of that. Only silence.

Interestingly later in the Development committee there seemed to be money for more advertising campaigns to try to draw citizens to shop, eat, and spend money in Riverside; and moving forward with consideration of redeveloping the shopping center where Staters is out on Mary (Staters representatives were present but not the other owners of property, though it was said they were sent some type of notice or query).

Needs and Wants. Where or where does the money go.

k said...

Oh, just noticed your comment about my absence at the evening Council meeting at which the Bicycle Master Plan update was discussed.

I did attend the 3:00 p.m. Council meeting but there was a death in the extended family and the wake was held at the same time as the evening Council meeting, and I did not attend related to matters associated with the wake.

In my many times at City Council chambers, I only recall seeing anyone else speaking about bicycle matters when the Master Plan was approved and bicycle folks showed up en mass for that event, and they took a group photo. Since I spoke on that issue they included me in at least one photo outside the City Council chambers -- though I have never seen that photo.

That said, the bicycle folks, I believe, where behind the scene toward any positive change for folks who ride bicycles in Riverside. They take the path of a very positive approach of appreciating any small successes, and do whatever they can to encourage the City of Riverside to do more.

Anonymous said...

I keep reading about Riverside's "master plan," similarly the city boasts about winning a bronze for a bicycle friendly community. I think someone is kidding. While there are "bike lanes" all over Riverside, a simple white strip of paint just is not enough. I bike a lot around Riverside and I feel I am a fairly adventuresome rider. However, the ultimate goal would be for people of all ages and levels to ride as a first choice for enjoyment as well as commute. To accomplish this, Riverside really needs more class one lanes on streets like Magnolia and Blaine. I have seen other cities accomplish this simply by placing k-rails and concrete planters between the bike lane and the cars.

I live by UCR but work off of Riverside Drive just before the 10 freeway. Its a 7 mile commute. However, I feel extremely uneasy about making this commute on a bike because of the traffic, much of it trucks. Riverside drive connects (from Rialto) to Main in Riverside, which, of course, moves downtown. Main has class 2 lanes (a stripe), but it soon runs out as Main becomes Riverside Drive. Again, creating a class one by placing k rails and cement planters would be a quick solution. Similarly, the current cement sidewalk (which peters out as Main becomes Riverside) could be replaced with decomposed granite. This would encourage walkers and joggers. Creating a series of class one lanes between Riverside and neighboring cities would truly be a milestone in creating inviting places for people to ride for recreation as well as commuting.

I would really like to see this move forward. How can I help? alex_lowry@sbcglobal.net

JN said...

Alex-

Bike lanes are a pragmatic solution for a transportation system based on the automobile. Paint is cheap. K-rails are not. The fact of the matter is that there really is little difference between a striped lane and a separated lane in terms of safety- few cars will cross the white line of a bike lane, and those that careen out of control at a cyclist in the bike lane would likely smash through K-rails as well. If you'd like to see more bike lanes, tell your councilman. If you'd like to see concrete-lined class 1 paths, find the money. (Not that I wouldn't like to see class 1's sprout everywhere... but there's a political reality to be confronted here.)

As far as your particular commute situation goes, Riverside has little say over bike facilities on Riverside Drive. The point at which Main becomes Riverside Drive, where the sidewalks and bike lanes end, is the city limits. If you want to improve facilities on your commute, speak to the City of Rialto.