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|The bicycle accident analysis and bikeway evaluation identified the need for certain
bikeway improvements. Improvements are planned to improve safety and increase ridership
along the bikeways. The improvements are summarized in the following sections:
FIXED OBJECT HAZARDS
Metal posts installed on some of Eugene's separate bicycle paths to prevent cars from driving on bike paths, create a fixed object hazard to bicyclists, particularly at night. The posts restrict the path of bicycle drivers. This restriction was a primary cause of a reported head-on bicycle collision. The majority of the installations do not serve the function of restricting automobiles because a barrier is only across the bicycle path. Driving around the barrier is simple, although seldom reported. There have been no accidents in the past five-years involving motor vehicles operated on a separate bicycle path. There is no evidence that the problem of motor vehicles operated on bike paths is greater on paths not restricted with the metal posts.
The location of the numerous dents and scratches on the metal posts provides visual evidence that the posts are hazards. Dents correspond to the height of the axle of a bicycle, and scratches correspond to pedal heights. There is only one known severe injury accident involving a bicyclist striking one of the metal posts; however, the injury accident survey documented that this type of accident is almost never reported to the City.
|The City has developed and successfully used several alternatives to the metal posts. The figure above illustrates a barrier located at the west end of 15th Street (near Jefferson Street). As shown, the bike path branches at the connection to the roadway, and logs block the entrance to motor vehicles. Appropriate signing alerts the unaware motorist that the bike path is for pedestrians and bicycles only. The bike path is level with the roadway surface and does not cross a sidewalk as it joins 15th Street. Trimming the log ends at an angle would improve this barricade design. The five-foot-wide openings in the log barricade are narrow enough that bicyclists riding abreast might strike a pedal against a log end.|
|The figure above illustrates a barrier located at the east end of 16th Street (near
The bike path is level with the sidewalk and crosses the sidewalk before joining 16th Street. The bike path branches before it reaches the sidewalk, and the curb along the sidewalk acts as a barrier to most motor vehicles. Signing informs the unaware motorist that the bicycle path is for use by pedestrians and bicycles only. Branching the bike path and providing two five-foot wide curb cuts, allows two-way bicycle operation. No fixed object hazards are built into this design.
A third design used by the City is located at the intersection of the Amazon Channel Bike Path and 29th Street near Hilyard Street. This design uses a single curb cut, offset from the bike path. The bike path dead ends at the sidewalk, and a nearby curb cut connects the sidewalk to the roadway. The bicyclist is required to make a sharp turn onto the sidewalk, ride along the sidewalk parallel to the roadway, and then make a sharp turn into the roadway. Simultaneously maneuvering these turns and scanning traffic is difficult. The sharp turns were reported in the public hearing as being impossible for bicycles built for two riders. Bicyclists frequently cut corners to avoid these sharp turns. The single, five-foot-wide curb cut is not wide enough for safe two-way operation. These bottleneck the bikeway. Turns by bicyclists from the roadway into the curb cut are difficult because of the immediate sharp turn at the sidewalk. Although this design is an adequate barrier for most motor vehicles and contains no built-in fixed object hazards, there are several built-in problems related to the safe operation of bicycles. This design is useful for low volume bicycle paths intersecting a low volume road. However, when the potential of vehicle conflicts is high, one of the first two designs described is recommended.
RECOMMENDED ROUTE IMPROVEMENTS
Specific route improvements are listed below. The route numbers correspond to the route numbers assigned in the Bikeways Master Plan.
*Remove metal posts installed across the bike path
The accident analysis revealed several intersection locations with recurring bicycle accidents. Recommended improvements at these intersections are described below:
Citizens have demonstrated particular concern for completion of several routes in the near future. The route numbers listed correspond to the route numbers assigned in the Bikeways Master Plan. These routes include:
Each of the route additions is a location where existing separate routes "dead end", and the bicycle driver is then required to travel on major streets. The proposed route additions provide alternatives to traveling along or crossing River Road, Highway 99E, Franklin Boulevard, 18th Avenue, Garfield Street, Chambers Street, Amazon Parkway, and Hilyard Street. Each would be useful to the commuting bicyclist, due to connections with important destinations. It is recommended that each of these connections be given priority in the implementation process. The single most important item identified by citizens for encouraging them to ride bicycles more often, is the provision of more bicycle lanes and paths. Each of the routes described above, was requested during the public hearing or in the citizen questionnaire.
The accident analysis has identified that route additions are necessary in the following locations. The route numbers correspond to the route numbers assigned in the Bikeways Master Plan.
Each route should be striped as recommended in the Bikeways Master Plan. Chambers, 18th, 24th, and 29th Streets are identified as problem corridors. Friendly, Lawrence, and Lincoln Streets are adjacent to problem corridors.
BICYCLE FACILITY MAINTENANCE
Bicycle facility maintenance is important to the bicyclist. During the public hearing, more people described a need for improving maintenance than any other item. In the bicycle questionnaire, bicycle riders described better sweeping of bicycle paths as one of the four most important items that could encourage them to use their bicycles more often. The reconnaissance survey identified maintenance deficiencies throughout Eugene.
Bicycle facility maintenance problems include:
a. Large gravel reducing the bike path's usable width
b. Ponding due to settlement of pavement
The bicycle facilities are maintained regularly by the Public Works and/or Parks Departments of both Lane County and the City of Eugene. The sweeping schedules are adequate to prevent buildup of debris along a path. Specific problems have been the cause of citizen concern, rather than overall maintenance.
The City of Eugene has proposed improving maintenance by providing a "hot line" for informing the City of specific problems. It is recommended that the City implement this proposal, by giving the bicycle coordinator the responsibility of alerting the various maintenance crews of problems described by the citizens. The proposed "hot line" eliminates the citizens frustration of first finding the agency responsible for maintenance. In this manner, the citizens will be better served, and the maintenance agencies will be provided with the specific information that they need.
To assure that citizens can communicate the problems they note, the telephone number of the bicycle coordinator should be included in the telephone directory, and on bicycle maps and brochures distributed by the city. The bicycle coordinator should assume the responsibility of communicating the problem to the appropriate maintenance agency and making sure the problem is corrected.
NIGHTTIME RIDING PROVISIONS
The machine counters recorded bicyclists 24 hours a day, which included the dark hours of a day. A direct correspondence of the seasonal ridership variation shown in Chapter II, and the seasonal variation of available light was also noted. At the public hearing and in the bicycle questionnaire, citizens identified better lighting along the existing bikeways as one of the most important items that would encourage nighttime bicycle usage. Design standards recommended for various types of bicycle facilities and area classifications are shown in Table VI-1. The standards are adapted from the American National Standard Practice for Roadway Lighting, as approved on July 8, 1977, by the Illuminatory Engineering Society of North America. The area classifications include: commercial, intermediate, and residential areas. Commercial areas, such as the Eugene downtown mall, generally attract large numbers of nighttime pedestrians and bicyclists. Intermediate areas are characterized by moderately heavy use by nighttime pedestrians and bicyclists. Residential areas are characterized by low volumes of pedestrians and bicyclists.
Lighting is not provided on most of Eugene's separate bicycle paths, and the white edge line striping is not provided on many of the paths. The City of Eugene recently initiated efforts to provide lighting along portions of several bike paths. No other data is available at this time.
The recommended standards for illumination given in Table VI-1 represent average maintained levels of horizontal illumination. These represent minimum values, particularly where security, and bicycle or pedestrian identification at a distance is important. In special security areas, the requirements should be increased as indicated. Visual identification is directly related to vertical surface illumination. Consequently, higher pole heights require increased illumination.
The level and uniformity of lighting is an important consideration. The average to minimum uniformity ratio in illuminating bikeways where special security is not essential, should not exceed four to one, except for lanes in residential areas where a ratio of ten to one is acceptable. Where supplemental security lighting is used along a section, the uniformity ratio should not exceed five to one for the bicycle path.
The selection of mounting height, luminaire spacing, luminaire type and distribution is important to provide necessary contrasts without glare. Many luminaire designs suitable for bicycle paths are available to facilitate selection for each particular installation.
Except for the general overall lighting that may be present in commercial areas, store front lighting, private lighting, sign lighting. or reflections from structures on private property should not be considered to reduce the illumination requirements given in Table VI-1.
(1) Average maintained horizontal illumination