Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Morristown Planning Board to discuss bike plan addendum

I caught this from Kendra on Morristown Pedal Pushers:

Tomorrow December 2nd, the Morristown Planning Board will be discussing an addendum to their bicycle plan. This addendum gives some actual proposals for street improvements to aid cyclists and where those improvements should go. A copy of the Morristown Bicycle Plan Addendum can be found here.

My quick, ten minute review of the plan seems to indicate that the consultant has come up with some good ideas to improve cycling around the town. Morristown is full of wide multi-lane roads, many of which seem ridiculously overbuilt for the traffic that they handle and are also engineered for high traffic speeds (Lafeyette and Madison Avenues are perfect emamples). Others are really busy much of the time, like South St and Speedwell Ave and would seem to pose more difficulty to accommodate both cyclists and the high motor-vehicle traffic volume. Oddly enough this addendum seems to find solutions at this time for the narrow roads with higher traffic volumes than the overbuilt ones. This isn't at all bad since the busy roads also happen to be in areas that seem to have more bicycle traffic and/or take local cyclists to places in town that they need or want to go.

I must admit however that I am concerned about the proposed use of "Sharrows" on Speedwell and Sussex Avenues shown on page 43 of the document. The image of the intersection seems to place the Sharrows dab-smack in the door zone of parked cars. If they propose to use "Bicycles May Use Full Lane" signs then the Sharrows should be placed in the center of the lanes or at least out of the doorzone. Still, this might be a detail better clarified in the text and I do again confess to having only spent little more than 10 or 15 minutes reviewing the plan.

What was really interesting was the crash analysis. A high percentage of crashes seemed to have been caused by cyclists riding on the sidewalk and when using the crosswalks. This seems to fully support those who espouse Effective Cycling techniques and who say that riding a bike on the sidewalk is a very dangerous.

Again, if you live in Morristown or in the area, make sure you show your support of the plan but also don't be afraid to bring up your concerns. Just make sure you do so politely and in a way that won't result in a scuttling of the entire proposal since there really seems to be some really, really good stuff in this plan.

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