Originally published yesterday at 4:15, updated with a comment by Velo Bus Driver, who drives the 77 through this spot.
The somewhat controversial proposed removal of parking on one side of a ten-block stretch of Roosevelt between 75th and 85th has been put on hold until 2011. The project will move forward for the stretch between 85th and 115th.
David Miller, of the Maple Leaf Community Council voiced concerns about the proposed changes negatively affecting transit.
“I’m a fan of putting bike lanes in where they make sense,” said Miller, “but if we are going to put in bike lanes for the dozens or so bikers to use the road that disrupts service for the thousands that use Metro, that’s a problem.”
The concerns are mostly about the morning commute. Plans only include one southbound lane for this stretch, which is narrower than the rest of the Roosevelt sections with proposed changes. Currently, there is a morning parking restriction on the west side of the street, so buses can bypass vehicles that are backed-up, trying to get to the Interstate, said Miller.
Many have voiced concerns about the permanent removal of parking on this ten-block stretch. As I pointed out earlier, however, no one seems to be using it. Doug Campbell, a commenter at Maple Leaf Life took an even more exhaustive count of the number of cars parked in the ten-block stretch:
July 20 6:00pm: 4 cars parked
July 21 2:00pm: 5 cars parked
July 21 10:30pm: 6 cars, all above 80th
July 22 7:30am: 5 cars, all above 80th
July 22 11:30am: 3 cars south of 80th, 0 above 80th
July 22 2:00pm: 1 car above 80th, 2 below 80th
July 22 4:52pm: 1 car above 80th, 1 below 80th
July 22 6:22pm: 3 cars above 80th, 3 below 80th
July 23 12:45am: 4 cars above 80th, 2 below 80th
July 23 2:00pm 5 cars above 80th, 1 below 80th
July 23 9:45pm 5 cars above 80th, 7 below 80th
July 24 8:55am 7 cars above 80th, 5 cars below 80th
July 24 10:20am 6 cars above 80th, 0 cars below 80th
July 24 4:40pm 4 cars above 80th, 3 cars below 80th
July 24 8:40pm 8 cars above 80th, 5 cars below 80th
July 25 6:30am 8 cars above 80th, 5 cars below 80th
July 25 10:15am 4 cars above 80th, 5 cars below 80th
July 25 6:30pm 3 cars above 80th, 3 cars below 80th
July 26 6:30am 4 cars above 80th, 0 cars below 80th
July 26 4:25 pm 1 car above 80th, 2 cars below 80th
While Miller’s estimate of “dozens” of bikers is almost certainly way too low, a bike program that could negatively affect transit needs further study. If, indeed, the proposed plan would slow down buses during the morning commute, it should be revised. Hopefully SDOT can come up with a way to increase bike safety that does not hinder Metro.
UPDATE: Velo Bus Driver said the following in the article comments: I’m driving the 77 down Roosevelt every morning at about 7:50am and have never noticed any serious traffic. I actually split the lanes from about 75th or so because I need both lanes to make the right turn onto 65th – I’ve never noticed any large number of cars being delayed there. That’s one daily driver’s experience for you – take it for what it’s worth.
From Rick Sheridan at SDOT:
Prompted by community feedback, SDOT has decided to postpone the implementation of the plan between NE 75th Street and NE 85th Street until 2011 in order to perform additional analysis.
This postponement will allow us to conduct additional traffic and parking analysis over the fall and winter months. We anticipate the 15th Avenue Bridge reopening by that time and traffic on Roosevelt following more normal patterns. SDOT will return to the community in early 2011 with an updated proposal for that portion of the street.
We took this action in response to the more than 100 comments submitted about this project. The comments were diverse in that we heard support for additional bicycle facilities, more marked crosswalks and traffic calming. We also heard concerns about the impact of losing on-street parking and the possible impact on transit operations with only one southbound lane between NE 75th and NE 85th.
SDOT is planning to move forward with new bicycle facilities on Roosevelt Way NE between NE 85th Street and NE 115th Street. We will also install a new marked crosswalk at NE 90th Street as part of this work. We expect to complete the work this year.