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City of Ithaca Bicycle Boulevard Plan: A plan for a network of low-traffic & traffic-calmed bicycling routes, September 2012

City of Ithaca Bicycle Boulevard Plan: A plan for a network of low-traffic & traffic-calmed bicycling routes, September 2012

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Published by Randall West
This plan has been developed at the request of the City of Ithaca Board of Public Works (BPW) to facilitate their review of the concept, route selection, and infrastructure improvements being recommended by the Engineering Office. This plan outlines the recommended physical design of the proposed Bike Blvd. network including an initial route selection, and a description of signs, pavement markings and traffic calming devices. This plan also includes a planning-level cost estimate.
This plan has been developed at the request of the City of Ithaca Board of Public Works (BPW) to facilitate their review of the concept, route selection, and infrastructure improvements being recommended by the Engineering Office. This plan outlines the recommended physical design of the proposed Bike Blvd. network including an initial route selection, and a description of signs, pavement markings and traffic calming devices. This plan also includes a planning-level cost estimate.

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Published by: Randall West on May 15, 2013
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11/20/2013

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City of Ithaca Bicycle Boulevard Plan
A plan for a network of low-traffic & traffic-calmed bicycling routes
The above photographs were taken in Tucson, San Luis Obispo, Portland, Minneapolis, Madison, Palo Alto, Columbia, and Berkeley
 Adopted by the City of Ithaca Board of Public Works on September 24, 2012
Prepared by:City of Ithaca Engineering OfficeSeptember 12, 2012
 
2
Introduction
 In recent years, the City of Ithaca has made a concerted effort to improveconditions for bicycle users; new bike lanes have been painted, new multi-use trails havebeen built, and many new bike racks have been installed. However, little progress hasbeen made in creating a City-wide network of on-street bicycling facilities suitable fornew riders, families, children, and others who prefer routes with lower motor vehicletraffic volumes/speeds that conveniently connect to key Ithaca destinations. To providefor these users, the Engineering Office, the Ithaca-Tompkins County TransportationCouncil, and volunteers have been researching the feasibility of creating a “BicycleBoulevard” network in Ithaca. Cities such as Portland, OR, Berkeley, CA, Tucson, AZ,Minneapolis, MN, and Madison, WI have successfully created such networks.Bike Boulevards are
not 
bike lanes, rather, they are low-traffic and/or traffic-calmed routes where bicyclists and motorists share the travel lanes and where bicycletravel is generally prioritized and encouraged over motor vehicle travel. In most cases,the routes do not impact on-street parking.Network designs differ from city to city butthey all share similar attributes such as:-
 
Traffic calming-
 
Signs and pavement markings-
 
Convenient routes-
 
Prioritize bicycle use
What this plan is, and isn’t
This plan has been developed at the request of the City of Ithaca Board of PublicWorks (BPW) to facilitate their review of the concept, route selection, and infrastructureimprovements being recommended by the Engineering Office. This plan outlines therecommended physical design of the proposed Bike Blvd. network including an initialroute selection, and a description of signs, pavement markings and traffic calmingdevices. This plan also includes a planning-level cost estimate. These are the key itemsnecessary for the BPW’s review, and subsequent approval.
Figure 1:
Image of a bicycle boulevard in SanLuis Obispo, CA
 
3In an effort to keep this plan as clear and to-the-point as possible, it does notdiscuss possible future expansions of the initial Bike Blvd. network and it does notdiscuss in detail how other existing and planned bicycling improvements tie into the BikeBlvd. network. The proposed Bike Blvd. network is just one component in the largereffort of improving bicycling conditions throughout the City of Ithaca. Other effortsinclude the installation of bike lanes and bike racks, and continued progress on theCayuga Waterfront Trail. Also, there are certain routes that were initially planned to bepart of the Bike Blvd. network (like an east/west connection between The Commons andthe West End) that were removed because standard bike lanes were deemed moreappropriate due to the higher traffic volumes, or were removed because they are plannedto be part of a separate effort (like a Titus Ave. spur, which will be part of an upcomingeffort to form a route up to South Hill).
Goals
The primary goal of this initiative is to increase the level of bicycle use within theCity of Ithaca, particularly in “The Flats” area. Though some people currently do travelvia bicycle in Ithaca, bicycles are not utilized to the level they could be. Improvingbicycling facilities will encourage existing bicyclists to ride more often and willencourage those hesitant of bicycling to give it a try. To achieve the goal of increasingbicycle use, two factors are addressed:1.
 
Safety – First and foremost, a reasonably safe bicycling environment isnecessary. Bicycle users face two key hazards: Colliding with a fixed object orfalling (most common types of crashes, but generally result in little injury), andcollisions with motor vehicles (which seldom occur, but can result in moresevere injuries). Even if certain streets pose little risk to inexperienced cyclistsor young riders, increasing the perception of safety or further reducing thepossibility of negative interactions would be important to increase ridership. Tomaximize safety (and the perception of safety), routes with lower motor vehiclespeeds and volumes have been selected, and, where speeds and/or volumes maybe too high, traffic calming measures could be used.

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