Minutes from the Bikeways Advisory Committee

 

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Topeka Bikeways Advisory Committee

February 13th, 2014 Minutes

MEMBERS PRESENT:

  • Karen Hiller (Chair), Becky Pepper, Jim Ogle, Kurt Kidd, Brian Austin, Alan Apel, Artie Gonzales, Nick Xidis, Bill Riphahn (late)

 

STAFF PRESENT: Julie Anderson, Carlton Scroggins, Jeff Hunt,

  1. Introductions: The committee introduced themselves to new member Nick Xidis. He works at se2, is active in the Boy Scouts program, and is a bike commuter.
  1. Communications:
    1. Fundraising: Mr. Kidd noted that two contributions have been made since our last meeting: $250 from Jason Tanton; and $900 from Andy and Kristina Fry.

Ms. Hiller mentioned that both the Deer Creek Extension and Bikeways Phase II TA applications received unanimous votes to move forward.

  1. Action Item: none
  1. New Items/Discussion:
    1. 37th St, Gage to Burlingame: Mr. Hunt stated that this project is currently under design. He wanted the Committee’s feedback on how to approach widening projects, as many times Master Plans get outgrown in the years between when they are made and when implementation actually starts. The Plan calls for Complete Street design including bike lanes. Mr. Hunt said they were considering doing sidepaths instead of bike lanes. Discussion. Mr. Apel shared that originally it had been discussed to have the sidepath on the South side, but he thought on the North side was a better option. Mr. Hunt said that that is the preferred design choice at this point.
    2. Mr. Austin opened up a larger discussion on the issue of sidepaths or bike lanes. Mr. Apel shared that he felt safer riding in the street. Ms. Hiller brought up that the Plan states that 40mph is the threshold for using bike lanes or sidepaths, and recently the City increased the 35 mph speed limits to 40 since that is what people were driving anyway. Ms. Anderson stated that sometimes it is preferable to have a bike lane and sometimes a sidepath, and that each scenario would be different. Ms. Pepper stated that sidepaths can be expensive and should be considered in context. Mr. Hunt said that many times it is economically the best cost for the City to put in a sidepath because they are already doing the work to put in a 5’ sidepath. It was decided that the issue of putting in a sidepath or bike lane would be discussed on a project by project basis. Mr. Hunt also stated that there is a Public Meeting regarding this project on Monday, February 17th at 4:30 at the Light of the World Church.

Mr. Xidis asked about car/bike interference on sidepaths and if there could be signage at cross streets and driveways. It was discussed that many times this can alleviated through design.

    1. Mr. Austin brought forth some issues in design that have come up with Phase I that he wanted input from the Committee on.

6th St – Monroe to Van Buren. Sharrows vs. Bike lanes: width of road would mean 2’9” bike lanes, which is quite narrow. Ms. Pepper mentioned that design must follow AASHTO standards to be approved by KDOT. Mr. Austin suggested doing sharrows instead. Mr. Anderson suggested having a bike lane on the uphill portion and sharrows on the downhill. Mr. Xidis brought up the issue of how to handle bicyclists at intersections. It was suggested to have bike boxes. This section likely to have sharrows instead of bike lanes

6th/Golden: currently 5 lanes, but getting a bike lane in there would be tight. This is a very small length, and the rest of 6th St, from Market to Branner, calls for bike lanes. Mr. Ogle suggested we be consistent with what do and not have a hodgepodge of bike lanes and sharrows for just a few blocks. Ms. Anderson stated she would like the bike lanes for the rest of 6th and thought that having sharrows for this small portion was fine. Ms. Pepper mentioned that with KDOT possibly restructuring the bridge as part of a future project to do what would be best for the overall future plan.

4-way stops at 25th & Indiana and 25th & Arrowhead: Discussion about changing STOP signs. It was decided to leave these stop signs as is.

27th & Topeka: How to get across Topeka Blvd? There are currently no sidewalks or crosswalk. Ms. Pepper stated that if a crosswalk was installed vehicle counts would have to be done. Ms. Anderson asked if the crosswalk signal would be accessible to a person on a bike. Mr. Austin said it would be.

21st & College: Mr. Austin was unsure of where this project was. Mr. Hunt assured him it was still in process and would be forthcoming.

Golden – Shunga Trail to Seward: Discussion on how to get bicyclists from the trail to the bridge. Plan calls for sidepath, but are considering sharrows. The committee was okay with doing sharrows.

Route 14 destination: Plan is slightly unclear about where this route ends—at the Oakland Park or the RV park. It was decided that the route should go to the park.

Kansas Ave bridge: Plan calls for sharrows on NB outside lane. Suggested to also have Sharrows on the SB side, since the sidewalk is heavily used by pedestrians.

Kansas Ave to NOTO: The plan has a loop around Quincy and Norris streets because of the median right off the bridge. Suggested getting rid of the loop and having bicyclists used the median. Discussion on safety and if bicyclists would use the median regardless. It was decided to keep the loop, since cars must do the same, with the knowledge that we are providing a safe route and it can be used or not.

  1. Quick Updates: Ms. Anderson let the group know that the TA Grant Application was completed and sent in the mail that day. She has an electronic copy that she will send out to the committee.

Mr. Apel shared he will be attending the National Bike Summit in March in Washington, D.C. representing his district. He also mentioned that there will be a Traffic 101 class on March 10th and 24th at TCCP from 5:30-9. This class is a prerequisite for anyone wanting to attend the LCI training in Kansas City. We currently have two LCIs in Topeka—Alan Apel and Artie Gonzales.

 

Ms. Hiller shared that the Speed Limit ordinance will be at City Council March 4th. Bike Parking will be at the March Planning Commission meeting. Ms. Anderson will confirm if it is being read in February as well. Ms. Anderson also shared that the Bike Share meeting hosted by Topeka Metro went very well and lots of great input was received. Ms. Hiller is working on getting new members; Kristen Veverka has taken a new job and will no longer be a committee member. Her position is not being filled.

 

Next Meeting: Thursday, February 27th, 2014 in Sunflower Conference Room.

 

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