7.13.2012

[creekwalk | hiawatha crossing]

Anyone who has walked/run/biked the creekwalk knows what a great amenity it is for the city.  These same people also are well aware of what is perhaps the worst moment along the entirety of the creekwalk -- the Hiawatha Boulevard bridge across the creek/canal.

When approaching from downtown, you are enjoying the creekwalk pathway until the moment you hit Hiawatha Boulevard and are confronted with 5 lanes of traffic and an abrupt 90° turn.  You are funneled onto an all-too-narrow sidewalk with absolutely no buffer between you and the speeding cars, and if you're on a bike you must dismount and take up nearly the full width of this sidewalk.

Short of building a dedicated bike/pedestrian bridge across the water, a very immediate, short-term solution for this is relatively simple:  Reduce the number of vehicle lanes by one [still allowing for two in each direction] so that the southeastern lane can become a dedicated bikeway connecting the creekwalk across this bridge.  The sidewalk can remain for those on foot, and the bikeway can be separated from traffic by a median for added safety.  The crude drawing above depicts this change [the green strip is the bikeway] -- we should demand a solution for this stretch of the creekwalk not only for the sake of improved travel but also our safety.

2 comments:

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