The bicycle and pedestrian advisory commission met Monday to hear information about major street improvements, a comprehensive plan language update and the fiscal year 2016 work plan.
The meeting opened with a discussion of four bike lanes that needed street cleaning — W. Peace Street, Hillsborough Street, Saint Mary’s Street, and Lassiter Mill Road. City staff representative Eric Lamb talked about the street sweeping program and how it operated on a complaint basis, which had been going up as the city increased bicyclist infrastructure.“Maintenance isn’t sexy, so they say,” said Lamb.
New Bike Lanes Added and a View from the Chairman
During the staff reports section, Lamb noted that Raleigh Boulevard and Spring Forest Road now had bike lanes. The portion on Spring Forest Road extends from Fox Road to Falls of Neuse Road, with just a couple of gaps in between. He added that a 27-mile project to add more bike lanes to Raleigh was underway, with Hillsborough Street scheduked for completion in the month of June.
Michael Dayton, chairman of the BPAC, talked about his experience in Denver and how that made him reflective of his time on the BPAC. He talked about the need for strong work plan to guide the commission during their efforts.
“Let’s look at it and see what we want to do from the bicycle-pedestrian side of things,” Dayton said.
Four Comprehensive Plan Items and Community Outreach
Dan Howe, a new member on the BPAC, gave areport about the comprehensive plan language update. He said there were four areas being considered: barriers to pedestrian activity; the sharing economy, which included the bike sharing program; on-street bicycle parking; and designated commuter routes.
Under the new business section, commission members took time to celebrate the events that had taken place during bike month in Raleigh. They noted that the Instagram contest had gotten good feedback, the capital city bike ride had amassed 30 riders, and that bike to work day had been a success.
“That’s what it takes to do outreach and that is what it looks like,” Paul Nevill said.The Fiscal Year 2016 Work Plan: A More Focused Approach
The fiscal year 2016 work plan discussion centered on items that could be modified or taken out. The document guides the BPAC every year in terms of what projects they choose to work on. It is presented to council and adopted, which led to a “kitchen sink” approach, where the commission lists numerous items that may not be worked on, just so they have the opportunity to do so if needed.
Howe said it would be useful if the commission narrowed down their objectives to have a more focused approach.
“But at some point you have to zero in on what we want to accomplish and not make this a kitchen sink,” Howe said.
Dayton gave committee leaders instruction to go over the document in their committees, to find any areas that needed alterations. Commission members agreed that it was necessary to include language about expanding social media outreach.
Alan Wiggs wanted more discussion about mid-block crossings. Lamb said that they had actually more compliance with the “shark’s teeth” yield sign and that Capital Boulevard was not the worst road in terms of passenger-vehicle fatalities. The city had seen some improvement there.