Revise the Bike Boulevard Plan!
This petition made change with 242 supporters!
Prefer Plain St. to a winding route? Now is your chance to voice your opinion! Sign the petition, write a letter, come to the meeting.
Ithaca is a wonderful city but we have a serious lack of bike infrastructure. That will change soon. The Board of Public Works has approved a Bicycle Boulevard system in the City of Ithaca that connects local schools and neighborhoods including Southside, Northside and Fall Creek. The idea of Bicycle Boulevards is to provide a network of traffic-calmed streets where individuals that are not comfortable riding in heavy traffic can have a safe, quiet alternative to get around town. Bicycle Boulevards will still be open to local car traffic, but will have lower speeds, and is expected to have fewer cars. The City has secured federal funding to start construction next year through the Safe Routes to School program in partnership with BJM, Fall Creek Elementary and Boynton Middle School. This is the first critical stage in development of the Bike Boulevard network. Done right, Bicycle Boulevards are a great opportunity to grow cycling in Ithaca.
However, there is an issue that needs to be addressed. The planned route that is slated to be built next year is difficult to follow and is less safe than it should be. Now is our LAST chance to change that and ensure that this new system will be as safe and usable as possible! Please:
· Read the rest of this notice and sign the petition by no later than 9am Monday 11/24.
· Consider attending the Board of Public Works meeting next Monday 11/24 @ 4:45pm to show your support.
The solution is simple. The Bike Boulevard network should use all of Plain St. from Cascadilla St. to Old Elmira Rd rather than the current proposed route of Plain to Cleveland to Corn to Buffalo to Park to Cascadilla. That makes a lot of sense, right?
Why Plain Street all the way is better:
· Directness: It's straight and direct.
· Safety: it has better crossings at dangerous intersections:
· Intersections: On Plain there is a flashing yellow light at Green St. which already works to slow traffic and might be able to be retrofitted or replaced to further improve this crossing.
· On Seneca, Plain is closer to the light at Albany which means it is easier for cyclists to find safe times to cross (city staff say that adding a light at Plain and Seneca is possible in the future as well).
· Plain St. doesn't require turning onto or off-of Buffalo St. and includes a traffic light where the route crosses Buffalo (current route requires cyclists to make an unprotected and uncontrolled left turn across traffic on Buffalo St. between Corn & Park)
· Crossing Guards: Plain St. has crossing guards at two intersections near BJM before and after school.
· Connections: It provides a direct route between BJM/GIAC and the Southside Community Center.
· For Drivers: Drivers know where it is (and therefore can avoid it if they don't want to drive slow)
· Easy to Find & Follow: It is simple for cyclists to understand and navigate. "Where's the Bike Boulevard? On Plain St!"
Local cycling advocacy groups Bike Walk Tompkins (BWT) and the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Council (BPAC) have penned letters to the Board of Public Works but the Board needs to hear from more individual citizens like you if they are going to change the route for the better. With this petition we can dramatically improve the Bike Boulevard system and create a more useful system of bicycle infrastructure in our great city! And now is our chance!
It is important to note that there is a potential trade-off with changing the route to Plain St. The trade-off is this: in a future phase in developing the Bike Boulevard network, the City will consider adding diverters to certain sections of the Bike Boulevard network to reduce car traffic volumes. Since Plain St. is close to the Fire Station and is an important emergency access route, traffic diverters cannot be installed in the future on certain sections of Plain Street. They could still potentially be installed on other streets or on other sections of Plain. The boards of Bike Walk Tompkins and BPAC have given this a lot of thought have concluded that it best to have the Bike Boulevard be on Plain Street.
The Board of Public Works will vote whether to keep the circuitous route or the changes we are proposing to keep Plain Street all the way at their next meeting Monday Nov. 24th, 4:45 in Common Council Chambers of the Ithaca City Hall. We will bring them this petition, if you can join us that would be even better. The more people they see supporting a better Bicycle Boulevard network the more likely it is that they will make the needed changes.
While this meeting is for concerns regarding the directness of the Bike Boulevards, looking to the future we will similarly be advocating for the following:
· Seriously consider the addition of an East-West route in the center of the City such as State Street or Court Street.
· Consider future extensions along Cascadilla Street, Cascadilla Park Place, and Spencer Street
For more info on what the city is currently planning see here: http://www.cityofithaca.org/departments/dpw/engineering/traffic.cfm
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Marshall McCormick needs your help with “Ithaca BPW: Revise the Bike Boulevard Plan!”. Join Marshall and 241 supporters today.