Thursday, January 3, 2008

Proposed bike lanes on South Shore Drive in Clear Lake

The City of Clear Lake will be considering a proposal for reconstruction of South Shore Drive, from 2nd Avenue South to 12th Avenue South, at their next meeting on Monday, January 7, 2008, 6:30PM at City Hall. This meeting is open to the public, and all cyclists are encouraged to attend. Clear Lake has done some nice things to promote cycling, and we'd like to see this project succeed.

The main motivation for this project has been upgrading the water and sewer systems which are quite aged. That part of the project has not been emphasized in the publicity about this project. Buried deep in an article in the Globe Gazette this morning, (1/3/08) was the statement, "The project also includes replacement of the 90-year-old four-inch water line located underneath South Shore Drive. That’s among the oldest infrastructure in the city, Flory said." "
We need to do better for fire protection,” Flory said. "An eight-inch water line will be installed. It will increase to 10 inches from First Avenue South to Fourth Avenue South. Under the proposal, the underground work including sanitary sewer, storm sewer and manhole improvements will be completed this year. The paving, which will include new curb and gutter, would be done by June 2009."

Most of the public attention has been focused on the proposed parking changes and rerouting of northbound traffic from 12th Avenue South to 4th Avenue South. The proposed change would create a southbound bike lane as well as a northbound bike lane, separated by a single southbound lane for motorized vehicles. There would be parallel parking on the west side of the street, as there is now. However, this parking would actually be extended further south, past 10th Avenue, gaining street parking rather than losing it. Traffic from the south would turn right at 12th Avenue, then turn north again on 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, or 10th Streets. (Keep in mind that, in general, avenues are east/west and streets are north/south in Clear Lake. It gets a little hard to follow in some areas due to the shape of the lake.)

In addition, this project would allow mature trees along South Shore Drive to remain. Other variations of the change, to accommodate motorized vehicle traffic in both directions, would have eliminated most or all of these trees.

I attended an open meeting in October about the project. Most of the attendees were South Shore Drive residents, and there was widespread agreement on this option. I would like to see lots of support from cyclist at the meeting next Monday, 6:30PM, at City Hall in Clear Lake.

The Globe article

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