Saturday, April 17, 2010

diversion street

liz mahon, PBoT project manager for the division "streetscape design" project, distributed this memo at the BAC meeting last week. it does not purport to be bureau policy. what it purports to be is an internal memo, liz to roger, copy to the BAC, suggesting that certain language be added to the project report prior to its presentation to city council, addressing concerns expressed by BAC at an earlier meeting. her stated purpose in appearing before the committee last week was to confirm that this language sufficiently addressed those concerns.

if that does not give the appearance of public input from a bicycling constituency into the policymaking process, then you have to ask yourself what exactly BAC is.

and what the proposed language said was
(a) it acknowledged the existence of the clinton street bike boulevard as "a vibrant and well-established bicycle facility."
(b) it acknowledged BAC's expressed concern that diversion of division traffic onto clinton as a result of the project would be unfortunate.
(c) it proposed to monitor traffic counts between 12th and 39th, and specifically to take counts before the project is commenced and again after the project is completed in about two years.
(d) it committed, in the event PBoT found diversion did occur, to take "measures" to "prevent any further diversion," with input from "the community and residents on clinton," possibly including traffic calming devices "or passive/active diversion measures on clinton" between 12th and 39th.

someone expressed the concern that "any further" did not address the problem of remediation (i.e., bringing the counts back down), and liz said she would try to work on appropriate language. someone else asked what about diversion during construction itself, and liz said the project plan would provide for diversion that did not encourage motorist use of clinton. tom ralley noted that traffic counts on clinton at 26th are already right around 3k. roger suggested that was sort of the upper limit, clinton was an early rollout of the bike boulevard model, etc.

roger said the memo needed "a more comprehensive look."

the rest of the meeting was taken up with a discussion of the project review process. a subcommittee headed by robert pickett gave its report, proposing a more formal process for presentations by staff, and a mechanism by which the committee might pro-actively seek presentations on projects the committee itself identifies from PBoT's inventory.

another way in which the committee might be proactive would be in proposing projects or policy that PBoT has not already come up with. for example, the BAC might suggest to PBoT that the existing situation on clinton already needs to be addressed with calming and/or diversion, without regard to what further burdens might flow from the division streetscape project. i suggested as much to officer pickett. he seemed to take my point.

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