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BPAC Minutes 7.7.11

July 21, 2011

Welcome to the first BPAC Meeting Minutes since our new mayor, Alvin Brown, took office. And just look at those fateful date numerals – 7 , 7 , 11. I’m not the superstitious type as surely a set of numbers couldn’t possibly make any amount of difference for our destiny, but for now I’ll accept it as a good sign. We need all the help we can get.

Many people showed up at this meeting. Many more than this committee was used to. Where it was once the usual 10 to 20, there were at this meeting, about 50. As shocked as the committee was, as hard-pressed as they were to keep the meeting within an hour by cutting us off and trying to keep us quiet, I believe we can do even better than 50. More warm bodies with each meeting. More voices.

BPAC Agenda, 5:30pm until about 7:00pm, 7.7.11:

Greetings and Introductions – Self explanatory

Context Sensitive Design Policy – Laurie Kattreh

Letter to Mayor Brown – James Reed / Linda Bremer

Acosta Bridge Update – Chris LeDew

SORBA Update – Troy Mayhew

Critical Mass – Kirk Tsonos

Old Business:

  1. Cyclist’s and Pedestrian’s Bill of Rights as BPAC Policy – Bert Shaw  /Valerie Feinberg
  2. Previous Motion – Solicitation of TPO involvement (Acosta Bridge).
  3. Previous Motion – Proposed DOT Operation and USE Feasibility Study (Acosta Bridge – Chris LeDew)
  4. Previous Motion – FDOT Presentation for Land Bridge Improvements (I-95 – Chris LeDew)
  5. Mobility Plan – http://www3.coj.net/Departments/Planning-and-Development/Community-Planning-Division/Mobility-Plan.aspx
  6. Bike & Pedestrian Page – http://www3.coj.net/Departments/Planning-and-Development/Community-Planning-Division/Transportation-Planning/Bicycle-and-Pedestrian-Planning.aspx

New Business

Public Comment and Adjournment

Notes from Koula with some additions by Jenny:

Sharrows on Loretto Road: Why is there no signage designating that the road is a sharrow, and what guidelines did the city use to put these sharrows down?

  • Answer from the Context Sensitive Streets lady, Laurie Kattreh: signage should be standardized, she thinks that’s “law” for signage to be standardized, but I’ve noticed that anything goes in terms of signage for bike lanes in Jax.
  • Answer from some dude, don’t remember whom: The sharrow was put down before there were clear shoulder/street width guidelines. That was a BS answer, but nonetheless there are some guidelines rules on the BPAC website in a PDF. (Answer possibly came from Jeff)

Context Sensitive Design Policy: Laurie Kattreh.

  • This is a road design guideline (it’s guideline only, not law/rule…)
  • Currently, the handbook is with public works and is still being revised
  • Laurie stated they are open to input; the idea is to get this into a design standards manual.

Letter to Mayor Brown: James Reed (avid cyclist) /Linda Bremer (from…Sierra Club I think?)

  • ‘Dangerous by Design’ website was mentioned as where the facts came from: http://t4america.org/resources/dangerousbydesign2011/
  • Some input was to include more fact/number-based statistics, which I personally thought was good. The draft will be updated for next month’s meeting and then sent to Mayor Brown.
  • Letter needs to be rewritten entirely. Too wordy. Several typos. No stats. Additionally, it would behoove several of those who feel comfortable enough with it, to write a personalized letter themselves. People react to the personalized.

I95-Baptist-Atlantic Blvd interchange: Chris DeLew, civil engineer

  • Surface road systems should stay the same. Paths for bicyclists/pedestrians should also stay intact while the overland bridge is being worked on.
  • The idea behind the overland bridge updates is to calm traffic and make it so cars don’t have to change lanes or speed as much.
  • There have already been a couple of public hearings on this project, but it seemed a few people in the room didn’t know a thing about this.

Main Street Bridge change: Randy (don’t know his last name- he’s a friend of Matt’s and an engineer as well and commutes to work about half the week, when it makes sense)

  • Randy asked if the Main Street bridge can be moved from a 4-lane bridge to a 3-lane bridge with a bike/pedestrian lane on one side.
  • This project is currently not in works, but was just a suggestion from Randy.
    • I like the idea of this, as the Main Street Bridge is much easier to cycle over and brings people straight from San Marco to the Landing area on the North Bank, so it would actually be useful to commuters and “normal” (read: non-club/road) cyclists.
    • Also, the speed on the Main Street bridge is relatively low, and would/could be ideal for families/kids especially if the bike/pedestrian lane was segregated, but that’s kind of a Copenhagen-esque pipe dream :)

Healthy Communities – San Marco- one of the two ladies sitting to our right a few chairs away brought up this topic.

  • The idea is to make communities more walkable, and therefore more healthy
  • Make safe places for kids to walk or bike to school without fear of automotive traffic/unsafe areas.
  • Serious issues regarding speeding in areas with high foot and bike traffic, namely San Marco Blvd and within San Marco Square, as well as Downtown and Riverside/Avondale/5 Points. Additions of speed humps? Signage indicating pedestrians?

Acosta Bridge: Get REAL bike lanes painted on here.

  • According to Chris DeLew, this is already in the works and just needs to be signed off on. This could happen within months, which is super fast.
  • Although this bridge is not ideal for biking for “average” folks, and is typically used by clubs, etc, it is something and was really easy to obtain since nothing physical has to be done on the bridge, only lines/signage painted on.

Acosta/Hendricks: missing link bike lane

  • Riverplace Drive: Can this be made 3-lane (2-lanes and one middle turn lane) with bike lanes on both sides? Chris DeLew said he thought that could be done, since the street is rarely used by cars. The area they were talking about is between Hendricks Avenue/Prudential Drive intersection, and the Acosta Bridge mouth. The idea was brought up because after the Acosta, there is no good way to get to Hendricks, which does have an established bike lane.

Critical Mass

  • Initiative: to keep Critical Mass from getting out of hand; to encourage sharing the road with drivers; to ride 2 and 2; to wear helmets; to signal with hands when turning; to stop at all stop lights and stop signs; to never egg on any drivers, especially road ragers.
  • Critical Mass of Jacksonville is a peaceful protest. Even with peaceful protest demonstrations, there will always be a certain amount of imperfections. We must feel this Critical Mass out and see how effective it is at raising awareness. It will be up to each individual cyclists’ discretion regarding their level of respect towards drivers. The point is to share the road, not to be rebellious and give cyclists a bad name.
  • My thoughts on Critical Mass for Jacksonville. We’ve been the 3rd most dangerous city in the US for bikes and pedestrians for too long. It’s a war zone out there. A peaceful protest is called for.
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