NorthRdSidewalk

Selectmen Jul 12,

  • 20 year investment/opportunity: Vision 5-7 years from
    • pedestrians
    • bicyclists
    • SRTS 8 years later will have kids w/ the skills and now the infrastructure to walk/bike to Middle and High Schools
    • slower traffic
    • healthy old and thriving new shade trees
    • cleared sidewalks
    • paths/connections to nearby conservation land
    • extensions or plans to extend the improvement
    • underground utils!
  • Specific comments
    • current sidewalk is inside util posts
      • continue it as far as possible
      • whenever there is an opportunity for a 50-100 yard stretch to put sidewalk inside poles, do so
      • ADA allows some flexibility for passage by obstructions (eg util pole)
      • 4' shoulders w/ 2' storm drains (at least 11 of them) do not constitute a 'bike lane'
      • 3' is considered a comfortable distance between (experienced) bicyclists and passing cars
  • Shoulder comments
    • west side (no or minimal curb) prevent at sharp, large dropoff onto the dirt
    • cape cod berm - use the lowest profile shoe that meets DPW needs (runoffs, etc)
  • Big Comment
    • the current 5' (+ 3' buffer) sidewalk and 4' shoulders are minimal given the traffic and speeds
    • the west side shoulder will also be used by pedestrians
    • try to save some trees: moving the white line 6" or even 12" in does little or nothing
    • let's assume to accommodate bare minimal bike/ped accommodation, the marked trees will need to be replaced
      • go back and now move the white paint lines, 12", then 24" farther west towards the ROW
      • 4000 ft stretch, ~90 % can accommodate the 2 ft expansion w/ no added tree or stone wall changes
      • expanding 2' will give us 5' shoulders, ie 'bike lanes'
      • if necessary at couple places where the 2' encroaches too close to a tree, stone wall, etc., back off to 4.5'
      • MM bikeway @ 12', is sometimes only 11' wide; 5' bike lanes on Hartwell Ave are 4.5 at a couple points
      • target 5' shoulders; at some tight portions back off 6", even a ft;
      • if DPW approves, back-off 3' grass strip to 2.5' (as per Cathy's suggestion) assuming no granite curbing
      • trees are extremely valuable; and even more beneficial when there are people there walking, biking, jogging
      • State and Federal Transp Agencies

Ray LaHood, the current U.S. Transportation Secretary, issued Federal guidelines and standards last March and also challenged states and towns to go beyond minimum requirements for bicycle and pedestrian access and provide facilities for all ages and abilities. He has signed and released recommendations that include the following key points:

* Treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes;
* Ensure convenient access for people of all ages and abilities;
* Go beyond minimum design standards;

State has the Paulson Bill, and in June issued their GreenDot policy, setting goals to

* Reduce greenhouse gas (GHO) emissions
* Promote the healthy transportation modes of walking, bicycling, and public transit

* finally, if we do the 5' "bike lanes", people will literally stop you on the street and thank you for this
* Arlington has bike lanes, Lexington, Carlisle; this is a wonderful opportunity for the town to start the transition to a more bike friendly community, and we won't have another chance on North Rd for 20 years.

  • will formal BAC recommendations be accepted in Aug?

END

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