July 31, 2012

High Street On-Street Parking

Things are changing in Columbus. In Summer 2011, COTA released a downtown operations plan which included various proposals to divert buses from High Street in order to allow for on-street parking. Ultimately, the study indicated that none of the alternatives were sufficient to allow for on-street parking. John Wirtz of Xing Columbus has an excellent overview of the COTA Downtown Operations plan.

One thing which was not discussed in-depth was the option adding parking without modifying COTA. This is likely due to the amount of buses going downtown. The Short North has unrestricted on-street parking, but it's not quite like downtown:

Now city planners are discussing adding on-street parking to High Street during off-peak hours. Peak hours are 7:00 - 9:00 AM and 4:00 - 6:00 PM. While I have my doubts that the convenience for people parking would add more store traffic than the people inconvenienced using transit, but I really just want to discuss the bike options. Let me repost the options:

The options are:
  1. 10' turn only lane  |  10' travel   |   10' bus/parking   |  5' bike lane on curb
  2. 10' turn only lane  |  10' travel   |     5' bike lane      |  10' bus/parking  
  3. 10' turn only lane  |  11' travel   |   14' bus/sharrows/parking
Due to bus conflicts, I would knock the first option right out. As we can remember, there is no bike/bus conflict; the buses (understandably) go into the bike lane:

Option 2 is interesting but due to the conflicts of cars parking, car doors opening, and buses merging into and out of traffic. Without research, I feel like drivers would give less room to someone in a bike lane than someone in a sharrow traffic/parking lane.

Option 3 is likely the best although it's odd that the travel lanes have increased from 10' to 11'. I would have preferred that the bike / bus / parking lane would have 15' instead of 14'.

Finally, I think the best option for bikers and transit users would be either Option 2 or Option 3 without on-street parking. Buses will be forced to merge into and out of traffic with higher frequency than in the Short North which will delay transit users and may increase the risk to cyclists.

Cool link of the day: A poster of New York City with ONLY bike lanes:

July 30, 2012

Columbus Densities

It's always dangerous to talk about average densities of cities. For instance, Columbus has an average density of 3500 people per square mile, but the maximum is closer to 25,000 people per square mile which is seen on OSU's campus. 

Looking at smaller snapshots of Columbus allows for better city planning and just as importantly, provides city planners with a better idea how transportation should be shaped. The other main piece of the puzzle, job density, I will go into depth tomorrow. But for now, the below was made using the 2010 Census information to calculate census tract densities. Enjoy.

July 19, 2012

Ride to the Crew

[Editor's note: This is a re-post from Yay Bikes!]

This upcoming Saturday, July 21, we are promoting a ride to the Columbus Crew game against D.C. United. Unlike most of our rides, this is an unorganized ride. If you're uncomfortable riding solo, try calling out on the Facebook event page to see if you can caravan with others: Ride to Columbus Crew.

Additionally, there are tickets available for $20 if you use the code "yaybikesrules" at the HSH/Ruby Tuesday's website. The tickets are for the Nordecke part of the stadium which everyone should experience once. The tickets can be picked up from Ruby Tuesday (at 1978 Summit Street) between 4:30 - 6:30 PM on the day of the game or at Will Call at the stadium.

The where:  Columbus Crew Stadium (Ruby Tuesday for ticket pickup for pre-orders)

The when: The game starts at 7:30 PM on July 21 but if you pre-order tickets through HSH/Ruby Tuesday's, you must pickup tickets between 4:30-6:30 PM. There will also be tail gating starting at 5:00 PM.

The parking situation: We're trying to scrounge up some parking accommodations. Check out here or Facebook for updates.

July 18, 2012

Water Balloons

Last night while commuting home, a water balloon was tossed out a moving car at my head. Thankfully, it missed.

That near miss made me realize how close I was to dying of drowning and that my last post ever would've been about COTA. Mea culpa, indeed.

People, I'm back. Let's talk more about bikes.

Oh, and one more note. As I was making a turn to go by West High School, I noticed these two teenagers leaving a car. One of them had a water balloon in his hand and they were mouthing silently to each other about something. I was certain I had found the culprits who tried to balloon me. I said nothing. Would you have?

Cool link of the day: Comes back tomorrow!
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