Alameda Drive Tempe Bicycle / Pedestrian Proposal

Alameda / Tempe funding proposal http://www.azmag.gov/Documents-Ext/ModalApps_2018/BP/TMP-19-BPB-001_Complete-Application.pdf
Door Zone Bike Lanes figure prominently in the Alameda Drive / Tempe funding proposal

If you’ve never read one of these funding proposals before, they’re pretty interesting. This is one of some number of TA / CMAQ Application for FY 2018, 2019, and 2020 Projects submitted to MAG. Phew, lots of initials: TA / CMAQ Transportation Alternatives / Congestion Mitigation Air Quality. MAG is the Maricopa Association of Governments, who has some sort of process to score these things and recommend (decide?) who gets what. They also have relatively detailed cost estimates, e.g. this project’s bottom line is just shy of $2M total; the kicker is the cost split

  • $371,218 Local (Tempe)
  • $1,584, 282 Federal

Here is the full proposal from MAG’s website: Alameda Drive Bicycle / Pedestrian Improvements

The project would cover a length of 3 miles all along Alameda Drive, Tempe between Rural and 48th Street. 48th Street is the city boundary with Phoenix. Alameda is a collector, some sections front residential areas, other are sort of light industrial.

The Good

It would provide enhanced connectivity spanning a (new; It’s going to be built as part of its own project) bike/ped bridge over I-10, as well as a grade level crossing of Union Pacific RR tracks. The lighting, landscaping and ADA upgrades all seem worthy and attractive. The “bike boulevard” signage seems ok.

The Bad and the Ugly

The bicyclist improvements, according to the proposal include adding “buffered or protected bike lane”.

This is apparently because of “Un-safe Riding Conditions” that now exist (according to attachment 3 in the .pdf).

Really? Let’s go to the crash map… I see three, I’m not making this up, three reported bike-MV crashes on Alameda between Rural and 48th for a period of six years (2009-2014). None resulted in any serious injury.

Buffered or Protected Bike Lane fall under the rubric of innovative bicycle infrastructure. the most offensive (silliest? stupidest? most-dangerous?) part the proposal is the artist’s rendition of the buffered BLs. Sure enough they are squarely in the door zone, with that one bicyclist depicted merrily riding mere inches from the blue parked car. And the buffer is to the left of the BL, protecting bicyclists from the crash the (literally) never happened.

This appears to be a low volume, low motorist speed (low for around the Phoenix metro area) street.

DZBLs (Door Zone Bike Lanes) aren’t just bad, they can and do injure and kill people door-zone-bike-lane-removed-after-cyclist-killed