Last week fresh paint went down on Saint Paul Street – from the Monroe County Social Services building north to School #8 near Avenue A. But wait a cottonpickin’ second… why’s that lane so darn skinny? How am I supposed to squeeze my Hummer through there?
OOH… I get it, it’s one of those new fangled BIKE LANES! And there’s one on the other side of the street too (behind the Pontiac in the photo above). Something else is different too. Take a look at the photo below taken from the same location prior to the new lane markings…
Four lanes for autos, but no room cyclists (unless you’re a total adrenaline junkie). And you may recall a lady named Bertina Forde. This is the spot where she was killed by a hit-and-run driver as she tried to cross the street about 5 years ago. Since her death, new brighter ped-crossing signs and a red-light camera have been installed here. These were just bandaids in my humble opinion. It’s the design of the street itself (and probably the location of the cross walk) which need to be addressed to make conditions safer for pedestrians.
The updated lane configuration is part of the City’s new approach to safer street design (keeping a step ahead of Governor Cuomo’s Complete Streets Law). Instead of four tightly packed 11-foot auto lanes, we’re seeing more streets being reduced to one auto lane in each direction with a center turning lane, and 4-6 foot shoulders or bike lanes. In some locations curb “bump-outs” are added at intersections to make crossing the street easier for pedestrians. And “curb-cuts” for transit stops (or on street parking).
This stretch of Saint Paul will also serve as an important link in the new El Camino recreational trail and is also part of the City’s recently adopted Bike Master Plan. As you can see from all the purple, red, and orange on this map (left), we have a ways to go. But this is a good start.
I just have one small critique… While I was taking the above photo I witnessed 3 cyclists riding on the sidewalks. Not a soul using the bike lanes! Perhaps we need a sharrow or two?
Tags: Bertina Forde, bike lanes, bike plan, complete streets, downtown Rochester, El Camino Trail, pedestrian safety, red light camera, Rochester, Rochester Bicycle Master Plan Project, Rochester NY, Saint Paul Street, transportation
This entry was posted on Sunday, August 28th, 2011 at 2:50 pm and is filed under Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.