Sunday, January 1, 2012

Year in review; and some new ideas, too!

The following is a quick review of pedestrian & bike capital improvements in Laurel. The City:
  • added bike lanes on Cypress Street, including the City’s first bike box.
  • added sidewalk on 7th Street in Old Town.
  • added Laurel Lakes Drive near the Safeway.
  • added a 8’ wide hiker-biker trail on Van Dusen, south of MD 198.
  • added bike sharrows on Laurel Lakes Drive
  • widened the sidewalk on a large portion of Cherry Lane to 8’ wide.
  • Brooklyn Bridge Road was resurfaced by the County with wider shoulders near the gully. The wider shoulders make it easier on bikers and joggers.
  • MD SHa, at the City’s behest, installed sidewalk on Route 1 south of Cypress, completing the sidewalk network for the entire length of Route 1 in the City.
  • The bike lanes on 4th Street were completed
  • Bike parking was added to City Hall and to the new 5th Street Community Center.
  • Decorative period-style sign posts and sign backers were installed on parts of Main Street.
  • The crosswalks were widened on Cherry Lane at 4th Street.
Very good year for those not dependent on their cars.  Now, let’s keep up the momentum by:
  • Installing bike lanes on the Mulberry and Laurel Place to complete the north-south bike route through the entire city.  Conceptual plans have already been drawn up and can be incorporated into the CIP’s resurfacing project for both roads.
  • Updating policy and infrastructure goals/designs of the City’s Bike Masterplan.  This should be a winter-time project. I volunteer to lead the public hearings, draft  any policy changes and create the visuals, if need be.  But given that the masterplan is now attached to the City’s Uniformed Land Development Code, it is imperative to keep this plan updated and fresh.
  • Prohibit parking on Laurel Place. 
  • Consider policy changes that allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and signals as stop signs.
  • Installing cycle-tracks on Van Dusen and buffered bike lanes on Cherry Lane.
  • Completing the 8' trail south of the dog park.
  • Planting more shade trees along existing trails.
  • Finding a way to get more bus shelters in place – too many “sticks in the ground” are posing as bus stops, without shelters or even sidewalk leading to the stop.  This needs to change if we are going to encourage alternative transportation modes.
Have a great 2012, Laurel!

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