Monday, February 12, 2007

bike lanes and sidewalks slated for stadium blvd.

The AANews announces proposed construction on E. Stadium between Main and South Industrial. On-street bike lanes and a sidewalk on the south side of the street are included in the improvements. The project, slated for 2009, will make a mess of traffic, but the NMT improvements will be great. From the article:

Already there are ideas about a pedestrian connection from South State Street up to the East Stadium Boulevard overpass, as well as sidewalks along both sides of the bridges and walk-throughs below.
The city also plans to add a "path for pedestrians and bicyclists" along the west side of Main from Stadium to Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. That project would start sooner at a cost of $1.5 million. We're generally opposed to mixing bikes and pedestrians, but at least there are few driveways to cross along this stretch. We're also not exited about the prospect of a pedestrian bridge.
Engineers will consider whether a pedestrian bridge would fit the area and perhaps whether safety islands in the middle of East Stadium Boulevard would help pedestrians crossing it on football Saturdays, Nearing said.
In our walking experience, pedestrians avoid climbing stairs at all costs. We much prefer safety islands.

All in all, this is a great set of NMT improvements in an areas that is decidedly pedestrian-unfriendly, along with sorely needed bridge improvements. Despite the expected traffic delays during construction, everyone should be happy with the project- except for the Ann Arbor Golf and Outing Club.
Members are worried that, at worst, new sidewalks would mean realigning one or more holes on the course, which, in a domino effect, might mean changing the entire layout of the course, said Tony Werderitsch, board president of the club.
The proposed path might affect the course, as well as game day parking that the Club makes a nice wad of cash from during football season. And of course, the club is concerned about pedestrian safety:
A sidewalk along the club's periphery might encourage people to cross either Main Street or East Stadium Boulevard in the middle of the block, Werderitsch said.
Thanks for the concern, but the sidewalk not a threat to walkers, the auto traffic is. Surely there are a plethera of ways that the Club could better express their interest in pedestrian safety than opposing this project.


Scott said...

"For some time I have been stewing over the bike path issue in Ann Arbor, and now some new sidewalks are being proposed and planned. Well, I have been pushed over the edge."

One of the good people of Ann Arbor expresses his rage over the proposed sidewalks and bike lanes on Stadium and Main.

"What are they planning to connect to? How many people walk to either the U-M course or AAGOC?... So who are these sidewalks for?"

All questions that might have been better investigated before writing an LoE.

I debated making this a full-fledged post, but, for all the ranting, there is much content or logic to debate here. I would definitely post arguments against NMT improvements here, but they would have to be better reasoned than this.

Anonymous said...

"I am a member of Ann Arbor Golf and Outing Club and am worried about the impact these sidewalks will have on this beautiful tract of land."

This statement asserts that (1) golf courses are beautiful, and (2) sidewalks are not. I disagree on both counts. But, hey - we can agree to disagree on matters of taste, and just discuss the transportation issue.

"By adding a sidewalk, these control points will be stretched and unenforceable, allowing people to cross at will wherever they want."

Because nobody ever walks on that side of the street currently - nope - nor does anybody walking along a street without a sidewalk ever jaywalk. Obviously.

"Why in the world is a sidewalk needed along these two streets? The community has made do for many years without sidewalks in these locations."

Just answered your own question. The community has "made do", or "gotten by", or "survived" without sidewalks - isn't it about time we actually took care of the need? Maybe Mr. Mark can trying "getting by" without roads; I'll await his report on how that went...

a2cents said...

What happened to the public meeting at Pioneer HS Wed. 03/14 at 6:00 PM ? The city no-showed

Edward Vielmetti said...

The East Stadium bridge is being reduced to two lanes, as a result of an inspection that declared it unsafe for travel at its current loads.

Collision Concierge said...

Can we please get an update on this project with the results and impact of it? Thx