Last night’s (Feb 8th) hearing was… interesting. The City’s proposal was quite good, I thought, addressing only that section of PVP between Rosebank Ave and Justice St. Currently, the roads on both sides of the median/stream have 2-way traffic, leading to tight squeezes and high confusion at intersections. Where the road meets Rosebank (at the east) and where it meets Justice (at the west), there are wide expanses of asphalt, with no striping to guide roadway users; while there haven’t been a great many accidents along the street, neighbors report that near-misses are a daily occurrence. Needless to say, there is limited room for bicyclists, particularly when there are cars parked and cars both coming and going. The city’s proposal has 3 general elements: (1) shrink the large asphalt areas by Justice and Rosebank by extending the median at the east end and adding an island at the west end, (2) alter the traffic pattern, creating a single lane of one-way traffic on each side of the median (eastbound on the south side, westbound on the north side), painting in travel lanes, stop lines and crosswalks, and (3) adding bike lanes to the stretch between River Ave & Justice St, between the parking lane and the car lane. Between River and Rosebank, the roadway is narrower, not leaving enough room for the bike lane; share-the-road signs will be installed here. If I recall correctly, the city is also proposing changing the posted speed limit from 15 mph to 25.
Per the normal pattern, those opposed to the city’s proposal spoke earliest, loudest, and most stridently; so loudly, in fact, that it might have seemed like the crowd was mostly opposed to the plan, even though there were really only 6 or 8 people stridently opposed. Ultimately, many voices also spoke in favor of the city proposal, thanking the City Engineer’s office and DPW for presenting a thoughtful plan which brings the “complete streets” ethos to the neighborhood. Word is that Councilman Solomon has already determined to support at least some elements of the plan, and will meet with the City Engineer for fine-tuning. What the end result will be is anyone’s guess at this point. It’s not too late, however, to ask Councilman Solomon to support the plan in its entirety; he can be reached at his city email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.