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wilcal

New bikeway to connect Downtown, Midtown and the Museum District on La Branch and Austin

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39 minutes ago, jsabo said:

Has there been any update on this? Is any portion of it finished and available for use? I am visiting in early March and was looking forward to biking wherever possible. Thanks.

 

The North-South routes along Austin and La Branch have not been started, though I ride frequently through downtown and these are still the best streets to ride on. Austin is usually especially pleasant, at least between Holman and Leeland.

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On 1/17/2020 at 12:54 PM, jsabo said:

Has there been any update on this? Is any portion of it finished and available for use? I am visiting in early March and was looking forward to biking wherever possible. Thanks.

 

Nope, it's evidently still happening but I'm not sure when. There was some additional drama brought up by some residents that opposed it at city council and they told planning to try to come up with solutions. 

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16 hours ago, wilcal said:

 

Nope, it's evidently still happening but I'm not sure when. There was some additional drama brought up by some residents that opposed it at city council and they told planning to try to come up with solutions. 

 

This months Bicycle Advisory Committee newsletter said that Hutchins is being developed first.

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On 1/25/2020 at 11:53 PM, hindesky said:

 

 

This is on Austin? Which cross street is that? I don't recognize it. 

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La branch is getting worked on as we speak. I'm not sure if they are done paving or putting in new crosswalks, but they have been hard at it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by X.R.
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12 hours ago, wilcal said:

 

This is on Austin? Which cross street is that? I don't recognize it. 

Crawford St.

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A member of the museum park neighborhood association just stated on nextdoor that museum park won’t have dedicated bike lanes and that the bike lanes would be shared with cars. 
 

I’m not quite sure how that would work or if there is even a purpose to do that. 
 

 

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Went to Phoenicia today for lunch........they were tearing up Austin St. in front.  I'm assuming (hoping) this would be related to the new bike path from Midtown.

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3 minutes ago, talltexan83 said:

Went to Phoenicia today for lunch........they were tearing up Austin St. in front.  I'm assuming (hoping) this would be related to the new bike path from Midtown.

 

Yes, this is! Great to hear they've started. Thanks for reporting in. I'll swing by to take some pics this weekend hopefully. 

 

There is pavement repair, two floating bus stops and bike parking on a raised island going on. The bike lane itself will be similar to the one on Gray, so mostly just paint with the concrete parking barriers added on top of the street. 

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I had this idea the other day, why don't we have a numbering scheme sort of like freeways do but for major bike routes?

 

It's not really that important for wayfinding, necessarily, since people have maps on their phones(though unlike a car you cannot look at gps while riding a bike without some kind of google glass device that doesnt exist. It would rather be a form of marketing. There'd be some legitimacy to being on a bike route that's important enough to have a number. Signs could be made, with a sheild design sort of like the interstate system. It would in some ways be a measure of commitment, to the contiguity of a trail.

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There needs to be better signage on the trails in general.  When you're biking, it's a lot harder to look at a map then if you were walking, so it's easy to take the wrong path and go half a mile the wrong way.  White Oak trail is a good example - if you're heading west, the split with the MKT trail isn't marked, and you need to keep right to go left onto it.  Going east, I made the wrong choice getting back into downtown for which trail to take - and I had my phone giving me directions.  A numbering system would let you have small signs with arrows that are still readable.  You could even have "North Bank" and "South Bank" for the bayou trails

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Man the Austin lane came up QUICK. As did the Cleburn lane and Polk right now. The Austin lane in midtown looks great, they still need to put together the Austin lane from Holman to McGowen and all of Downtown. But man, that portion is nice. 

 

Rode around the network the other day, Third Ward, Museum D, and Downtown will be set after all this is done. Even though Museum District has sharrows, the volume of the cars even pre-Covid is low enough that it doesnt matter. Also, I like that they outlined the parking on La Branch because it seems to have slowed traffic even further. There could be an additional lane going North-South in east downtown, maybe Hutchins street would be nice. With Polk and the Columbia Tap, East Downtown would be set too. I think Midtown needs something a protected lane going East-West.

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I'm still holding out for the bike lane on Alabama.  That would be a game changer for the Inner Loop.

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5 hours ago, X.R. said:

There could be an additional lane going North-South in east downtown, maybe Hutchins street would be nice.

The north-south traffic volume in east downtown is so low, and the streets are so wide, I don't think you need to have any more dedicated bike lanes - just ride on the street.  Emancipation is probably the only North-South street I would feel uncomfortable riding on, going all the way to Scott

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, but this is also about making people who don't feel safe riding now feel like they're not about to get hit by a car. The bike plan includes lanes on Alameda - I would argue for extending those all the way up Crawford. There is *zero* reason for Crawford to be as wide as it is.

 

Or to put it differently: the streets are so wide, that striping actual bike lanes is just formalizing the existing condition AND has the added benefit of helping people less comfortable biking on the street feel like they're supposed to be there and are relatively safe. 

Edited by Texasota
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On 4/21/2020 at 8:46 AM, cspwal said:

There needs to be better signage on the trails in general.  When you're biking, it's a lot harder to look at a map then if you were walking, so it's easy to take the wrong path and go half a mile the wrong way.  White Oak trail is a good example - if you're heading west, the split with the MKT trail isn't marked, and you need to keep right to go left onto it.  Going east, I made the wrong choice getting back into downtown for which trail to take - and I had my phone giving me directions.  A numbering system would let you have small signs with arrows that are still readable.  You could even have "North Bank" and "South Bank" for the bayou trails

 

There are some wayfinding improvements being made as part of the new bike lanes. 

 

There is a sign on the White Oak/MKT split, although I'll admit it's not great.

 

lkEHdhf.png

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is that sign new? I thought it had been there for a while.

 

I did notice a new sign on the bridge a bit farther down the spring st trail, warning of uneven pavement. you can pinchflat on that bridge if you aren't paying attention.

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16 hours ago, samagon said:

is that sign new? I thought it had been there for a while.

 

 

 

It has been there for quite a while...

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Yeah that sign has been there... just not very helpful for following white oak trail or mkt trail

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I don't think most people pay that much attention to trail names though. I think that sign is fine, but it might be helpful to include some destinations associated with each trail though. Especially once the White Oak trail connects through. Maybe expanded signs that *do* include the trail names would look more like this:

 

MKT Trail

  • Spring Street
  • Houston Heights
  • 19th Street

 

White Oak Bayou Trail

  • Stude Park
  • Cottage Grove

 

The reality is that pretty much everybody has a phone on them at all times though - I think it's more important that the City makes sure that Google Maps is kept up to date as bike projects are completed *and* that all trails and protected bike lanes correctly get the thicker green lines.

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I really don't like using my phone when biking - I usually have it tucked away where it won't leap to freedom, inevitably screen down on to a pointy rock.  I admit I'm probably in the vast minority though

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23 hours ago, Texasota said:

The reality is that pretty much everybody has a phone on them at all times though - I think it's more important that the City makes sure that Google Maps is kept up to date as bike projects are completed *and* that all trails and protected bike lanes correctly get the thicker green lines.

 

this is partly our responsibility as well. 

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It shouldn't be. The City should absolutely be maintaining, updating, and publishing basic infrastructure data. And it largely does - but I would prefer to see a more official process of (for example) updating and correcting bike lane/trail data on quarterly basis and, as part of that process, pushing it to Google Maps, Apple, etc.

 

On a similar note, I would love to see Metro provide Google transit data based on frequency so that all the bus routes on the high frequency network show up as lines like the light rail does.

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I took this route by accident the other nite and man this route is going to be long. I saw the chalk markings from Midtown thru Downtown. The finished section is beautiful! 

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5 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I took this route by accident the other nite and man this route is going to be long. I saw the chalk markings from Midtown thru Downtown. The finished section is beautiful! 

 

If only it extended down to Hermann Park as well :(

 

It'll just be "community bikeway" south of HCC with painted sharrows and wayfinding signs. 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, wilcal said:

 

If only it extended down to Hermann Park as well :(

 

It'll just be "community bikeway" south of HCC with painted sharrows and wayfinding signs. 

 

I'm think the portion south of HCC is already done. Last time I rode from Herman park to Downtown there the new sharrows were marked decently, frequently. and the traffic was low enough that it didn't feel dangerous to me.

Edited by jermh
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4 hours ago, wilcal said:

 

If only it extended down to Hermann Park as well :(

 

It'll just be "community bikeway" south of HCC with painted sharrows and wayfinding signs. 

Yeah I saw the sharrows and I wasn't completely disappointed. Because they were newly painted and visible to drivers, I could tell they were slowing down and paying attention. Lost of people were biking in and around the Hermann Park area.

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On 5/19/2020 at 7:41 AM, wilcal said:

 

If only it extended down to Hermann Park as well :(

 

It'll just be "community bikeway" south of HCC with painted sharrows and wayfinding signs. 

 

On 5/19/2020 at 7:52 AM, jermh said:

 

I'm think the portion south of HCC is already done. Last time I rode from Herman park to Downtown there the new sharrows were marked decently, frequently. and the traffic was low enough that it didn't feel dangerous to me.

 

it is done. I rode it a few weekends ago.

 

I was disappointed before they started it. I wish they had used Caroline south of 59, that road is underutilized and very wide as roads go, and has really great visibility, crossing Wheeler on Caroline sucks, so maybe they could have jogged over to Austin south of 59. as it is I will probably do it anyway, use Caroline, it just seems to be a much better street for visibility than Crawford, La Branch, or Austin south of 59.

 

as far as the official bike path in this corridor, it's whatever now, but doesn't make it the good solution.

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20 hours ago, samagon said:

 

 

it is done. I rode it a few weekends ago.

 

I was disappointed before they started it. I wish they had used Caroline south of 59, that road is underutilized and very wide as roads go, and has really great visibility, crossing Wheeler on Caroline sucks, so maybe they could have jogged over to Austin south of 59. as it is I will probably do it anyway, use Caroline, it just seems to be a much better street for visibility than Crawford, La Branch, or Austin south of 59.

 

as far as the official bike path in this corridor, it's whatever now, but doesn't make it the good solution.

 

13 year study found that painted (non-separated bike lanes do nothing. Sharrows are actually more dangerous.

 

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/05/29/protect-yourself-separated-bike-lanes-means-safer-streets-study-says/

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On 5/21/2020 at 10:19 AM, wilcal said:

 

13 year study found that painted (non-separated bike lanes do nothing. Sharrows are actually more dangerous.

 

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/05/29/protect-yourself-separated-bike-lanes-means-safer-streets-study-says/

 

ha, I guess if you can't convince people to pay for the safety of others, find a way to show that they are paying for their own safety too :)

 

Quote

“Protected separated bike facilities was one of our biggest factors associated with lower fatalities and lower injuries for all road users,” study co-author Wesley Marshall, a University of Colorado Denver engineering professor, told Streetsblog. “If you’re going out of your way to make your city safe for a broader range of cyclists … we’re finding that it ends up being a safer city for everyone.”

 

20 hours ago, wilcal said:

Progress on Austin St in downtown:

 

 

 

wow, they're moving pretty quick, on Monday they were still working from Polk to Lamar.

 

roughly a block a day to paint?

Edited by samagon
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I know back when they were doing Lamar they were going at a rate of one block (paint, armadillos, signals, and all) in a weekend, and not working on it during the week. 

 

If they are, instead, just doing paint first, then coming back with barriers and signals, then a block a day seems fine. Not especially fast, but pretty good, especially if they're working more than 2 days a week now.

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