Showing posts with label 42nd Street. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 42nd Street. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mosh Pit 2013-11-13

  • Grand Forks hits up the federal government for street projects: The City Street Beat
    • 42nd Street
    • Multi-use path on Columbia Road
    • Multi-use path on DeMers
    • Speed-minder radar signs
    • Various road work, but interestingly enough the roundabout, Kennedy Bridge, and Washington Street rail overpass are on the list
  • $500,000 price tag on bikeshare in Fargo: InForum
  • Meanwhile, alternatives exist that might be cheaper for Grand Forks: Facebook (if you know any of these folks)
  • Grand Forks Streets was quoted on Streetsblog last year:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Public Input Meeting - 42nd Street MUP

A public input meeting on a new bike and running path on Grand Forks’ South 42nd Street will be held 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday [October 15th] at Century Elementary School, the city said.  The proposed path would extend from 17th Avenue South to 24th Avenue South. City and state representatives will be available to answer questions. 
To submit written comments, send them by Oct. 30 to David Kuharenko, Engineering Department, P.O. Box 5200, Grand Forks, ND 58206 or with “Public Input Meeting” in the subject heading.

I am in favor of a multi-use path if it is 1) wide enough to classify as such, and not a sidewalk, and 2) placed on the side of the road that is least likely to have additional driveways/curbcuts installed as development proceeds along this section.  I think these points are important because multi-use paths are no safer than sidewalks if there are many auto crossings.  See Idaho's metrics as cited here:

  • >8 crossings per mile, recommend against a multipath in favor of on-street facility
  • 5-8 crossings per mile, proceed with caution and consider on-street facility
  • 1-4 crossings per mile, use special care.
Building wide sidewalks (meaning that they contain many crossings and are not designed for higher-speed bicycle use) and calling them multi-use paths may come off as an attempt to artificially inflate the number of multi-use paths in town.  I don't think this is the case, but I would rather see on-street bicycle facilities along streets that have more driveways than the block of 42nd Street in question.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bike Lanes!

The bike lanes have been freshly painted on University Avenue where they exist, between Columbia Road and 42nd Avenue North.  Additionally, I was greeted with this wonderful sight on Tuesday on my way to a meeting at the CVB via 42nd Street North:
42nd Avenue bike lane 2013-07-30 13.08.03
Looking south on 42nd Avenue N.

The new striped bike lane starts at Gateway Drive (Route 2) and lasts until 6th Avenue N (on the east side) and aaaaaaalllmost University Avenue on the west side (this is a story for another day).  Slowly but surely, bicycles are gaining a little city-approved space on the roads in Grand Forks.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saturday Grab Bag 2013-04-06

Some things that have been on my radar lately.  First, in today's news:

Second, it's been a positive week in the American streets blogosphere:
Thirdly, some of the recent local/regional articles you may have missed (copies available on request):

Thursday, February 28, 2013

State of the City 2013

The State of the City address was yesterday.  You can find the summary information here (at least until next year).  Direct links are below.
- Speech text
- Speech video

Highlights include a new focus on downtown and the 42nd Street corridor, props for Choice Health and Fitness and the Greenway, and especially support for CAT riders in the form of a new mobile app (well, actually interfacing with an existing mobile app, RouteShout).

Lowlights include more praise for the Columbia Road widening project, which focuses on moving cars, not people.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Not just about bicycles - explaining Complete Streets

Some visitors to this blog may be wondering what is meant by "complete streets," when the majority of coverage has been about bicycles.  Part of the cycle-centricity stems from recent events: the idea of bikeshare in Grand Forks is a pretty big deal around here, so it's interesting to write about.  Another part of the bicycling focus comes from my personal experiences: I've been bicycle commuting in Grand Forks for almost six and a half years, and commuting year-round for about five of those years.  My discussions with people so far this spring have been focused on making it easier for people to ride because that's what I talk to my friends about.

It's not just about bicycles, however.  We can all recognize that, for many people, bicycle commuting is not an option due to work scheduling, transporting more than a couple kids around at once, needing to move large items, injury or illness, disability, or a combination of these and many other factors.  We have different mode of transportation because they are all good for different things, and this is where the complete streets model comes in.  A good overview comes from the National Complete Streets Coaliton:
Complete Streets are streets for everyone. They are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities must be able to safely move along and across a complete street. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work. They allow buses to run on time and make it safe for people to walk to and from train stations.
 Creating complete streets means transportation agencies must change their approach to community roads.By adopting a Complete Streets policy, communities direct their transportation planners and engineers to routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. This means that every transportation project will make the street network better and safer for drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists – making your town a better place to live.
Complete streets supporters aren't against any particular mode of transportation, but they are anti-bad-design when it comes to public infrastructure.  "Bad design" refers (as shown above) to transportation that is automobile-centric, a condition shared by much of the country but not necessarily most of the world.  We aren't out to tell you what choices to make, but we're here to tell you that you can have choices, and those choices should be integrated into the public space.

Some examples of non-complete streets in Grand Forks include
  • The South Washington Street underpass, the deteriorating sidewalks of which make it nigh impassible for the elderly during the summer.  The lack of snow removal on those same sidewalks closes it off completely during the winter.
  • The DeMers overpass, which has no sidewalks at all.  There are only limited opportunities to cross the train tracks in town, and this one, near downtown, excludes anyone not in a motor vehicle.
  • Both ends of the University Avenue bike lane, which dump a rider onto the sidewalk after crossing 42nd Street or Columbia Road.
  • The 42nd Street railroad crossing, which backs up traffic, causing pedestrians and cyclists (also stopped by the train) to breathe the same exhaust that the drivers are stuck in.
There must be a reason for this, of course.  Altruism is not entirely at play here, and many complete streets advocates just want a place for themselves on the road where they won't feel like they are going to die.  Additionally, however, there are a number of societal benefits from giving people choices when it comes to transportation, including (but not limited to)
  • Congestion reduction: more options means fitting more people in the road.  If it's sunny, ride your bicycle.  If it's raining, take the bus.  If you're helping your grandmother move, drive your truck.
  • Economic growth: the more people you can get to your door, the more money you can make.  Why disregard the part of the community that rides a bicycle or walks?  Pedestrian malls formed by closing streets to vehicles often become commercial hotspots.
  • Healthier society: by allowing people to walk or ride, we're making it easier for people to get the minimum amount of recommended daily physical activity.  For employers, healthier employees means fewer sick days.
  • Safety: by adding accessibility, drivers are required to pay greater attention, reduce speed, and lower the number of crashes.
  • Fiscal planning: by including complete streets designs early on new projects, money can be saved on making those same improvements later.
If these are ideas you can get behind, for yourself or for someone else, please do some more reading and start thinking about what we can do.  Of cities in North Dakota, only Fargo has at least some degree of policy relating to complete streets; with a little work, Grand Forks could be the first to design and implement a complete streets policy to make sure everyone is able to make the best transportation choices they can.