On Monday, June 25th, 2012, the Planning Committee will meet to discuss the planned Minnow Lake Development that has been in the news recently. Item 5 on the agenda is the proposed development next to Blueberry Hill, between Minnow Lake and the big box stores on Marcus Drive. While this meeting starts at 5:30 p.m., we estimate that the Planning Committee will get to this item probably between 7:30 – 8:30p.m.
The SCU will have a presence there and Steve May will speak on our behalf.
Several members of the SCU attended an open house last week to see the plans and talk to the developer, and in discussions amongst us both informally, electronically, and in meetings, we seem to have come to a concensus on what cyclists would like to see in the development in regards to safe cycling infrastructure.
We are asking that our members endorse the statements below. If members wish to discuss our comments, we have a general membership meeting scheduled for the same day at 7:00 at reThink Green. We are open to holding the meeting at an earlier time (6:00 p.m.) in order to make adjustments to the statements. Or you can post your thoughts and comments on our Facebook page or as a reply to this post.
You can find all of the information in regards to the proposed subdivision here: Proposed Plans
Note: for those that are interested, this is a very interesting article that aggregates a number of cycling study findings in regards to cycling infrastructure design and cycling safety: The impact of transportation infrastructure on bicycling injuries and crashes: a review of the literature
SCU comments on the development:
- We applaud the developer for incorporating cycling infrastructure into their plans, and also for proposing to develop, at their cost, additional off road trails in the area as part of the new development. This is a great example of new development incorporating cycling as an important, mandatory component of new development design.
- We are concerned about the proposed roundabout, given that it will be in a very high traffic area and only the second roundabout in the city. The design of the roundabout is a single lane configuration with cyclists having to merge into traffic when entering the roundabout. The developer sited two studies to support their statement that roundabouts are safer than intersections with lights, and that it will have a traffic-calming impact. However, many studies conclude that while roundabouts decrease the number of automobile accidents, they increase the number of cycling collisions. Research seems to indicate that single-lane roundabouts are safer than double-lane roundabouts, and that the safest configurations seems to be those that incorporate bicycle tracks. The SCU’s position is that the roundabout, if implemented, needs to have the safest possible configuration for cyclists. We are concerned, given the volume of traffic on this road, that both cyclists and pedestrians will be put into dangerous situations while trying to navigate through or around the roundabout. Implementation will require education for both cyclists and motorists, and the roundabout will need to be monitored closely until everyone is comfortable in using it.
- We applaud the developer for planning to implement cycling infrastructure on Silver Hills Road. We have some concerns however that this is a separated two-way cycle track on one (east) side of the street. The lanes would abut the backyard of homes for its entire length, and would require cyclists to cross the sidewalk and two lanes of traffic to get to and from homes located on the west side of the street. Recent research has indicated that a new trend is emerging showing that on-road bike lanes are safer than separated lanes in urban environments. The SCU would like to recommend that on-road bike lanes be considered for this road.