Sunday, February 14, 2016

State Roads 2008 vs. 2015: Keep those bike lanes coming!

I recently realized that showing examples of road diets on state roads in the Daytona Beach area was much better using Google Maps street view than in Google Earth where the resolution of the older satellite imagery is poor.
This made me realize how much as changed since 2008, two years after I started traveling everywhere by bicycle in the area.  These roads are gradually getting friendlier, but mostly in patches, here and there, that lack interconnectivity.  These really aren't true road diets, the number of travel lanes for cars isn't changing, the lanes are just getting narrower in most cases.  Along with moving paint, curbs and sidewalks are often improved as well. (Screen shots from NYC DOT Street Design Manual).  
Animated GIFs from Google Street View

Above is Clyde Morris Blvd near the ERAU campus (2008 vs. 2015).  Back in 2008 this road had no sidewalk despite connecting a college campus to apartments and a major grocery store less than 1.5 miles away. In 2015 there's a shared use path on the west side between campus and the grocery store and short sections of marked bike lanes like this one.

I recall the first night I saw crews repainting US 92/ISB in front of Mainland high school.  How cool!  Improvements still needed: The shoulder isn't marked as a bike lane west of here and the bike lane vanishes at major intersections (ISB @ Clyde Morris and ISB @ US1).  Can't wait to see the paint moved again when the 7-foot buffered lanes eventually come in.   I see the majority of people on bikes on the sidewalk.  I reason that the car traffic is just too fast for comfort for most people even when they have your own lane.

Here's Nova Rd (SR 5A) just south of Beville Rd (SR 400).  This lane narrowing treatment a few years ago put bike lanes all the way south to Dunlawton Ave and parts south.  This road is very fast and the narrow bike lane doesn't provide much comfort, but very welcome.  Car speeds on ISB can be as high, but ISB is generally more congested so not as fast as Nova Rd.   North Rd north of Beville is awful all the way in Ormond Beach.  Seek alternative parallel routes for now!  N. Nova road needs a road diet!

State Route 40 (Granada) in Ormond Beach is so hit and miss.  Bike lanes come and go on this busy roads with "Share the Road signs" taking there place.  Not too comfortable.   Here's a good patch looking east at the Orchard St light.  FDOT and Ormond Beach need to prioritize vulnerable road user safety over parking and connect a continuous bike lane from west of I-95 to the beach.

Ridgewood Ave (US1/SR 5) just south of Beville got a makeover in 2011, with bike lanes and sidewalk improvements south of ISB through to Port Orange.  The speed limit on Ridgewood is slower than Nova or ISB, making this lane feel more comfortable.    The bike lane vanishes in a few spots, most critically when crossing ISB.  Bike lanes at major intersections is something FDOT and the City need to work on.