Mayor’s Commission, New Dates, less Sharrows.

Hey Mayor Jones…..watch this:

New dates have been announced for the Mayor’s uber-lengthy, incorporate everyone commission on the bicycling and cycling, walking, scooting, commission on commissionery where such prominent leaders in the bicycle community come together to discuss policies at length and to never implement any of them. Ok, maybe a bit harsh, but I do have some training the whole “Public Sector” thing and unlike the untrained loudmouths who profess to know something yet have no formal education in the subject matter they speak of (ah Democracy…no there isn’t a better way but I don’t see Verizon taking a vote on where to build cell phone towers) I’m just a trained loudmouth with an axe to grind. Thanks to riderichmond.net for sending me a bunch of Spam e-mails when their account was hacked (it’s happened to me too, no worries) and posting this information about the dates when the commission will be meeting. As usual, it’s during the same time as when the rest of us will be at work struggling to cope with paying one of the highest personal property tax rates (thank you Petersburg!) in the state to live here for substandard services like crumbling 100 year old schools, and bike sharrows….oh wait, no still don’t have those. The parks are nice though. So following a couple more sessions I fully expect recommendations to be implemented by the end times when Jesus will sweep down and take us away on his Xtra-Cycle of salvation on a street paved with gold and painted with…..no, maybe just paved with gold. Here are the dates:

All meetings meet from 2:00 to 4:00 pm in the Mayor’s Conference Room, 900 East Broad Street, 2ndFloor

  • Wednesday, July 13
  • Wednesday, August 10
  • Wednesday, September 14
  • Wednesday, October 12
  • Wednesday, November 9
  • Wednesday, December 14

And Remember…take what I say in Jest….I just think it would be very simple to send a paint truck out to paint some sharrows….or just recruit some hispters and pay them in 12packs of PBR….it would be done in an hour or so and plus they are only awake at night this time of year anyway so there wouldn’t be much traffic to contend with.

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4 thoughts on “Mayor’s Commission, New Dates, less Sharrows.

  1. There’s also one June 16!

    FYI I believe they said it costs about $500 to put down a sharrow. They actually are more like a big plastic sticker, not just painted on.

    1. Amy,

      I think you are right about the costs associated with Sharrows but according to the study from Gonzaga I found with a google search this price was more reflective of the costs for all the infrastructure improvements per block including signage and sharrows at a spacing of 325 feet. Obviously the details would have to be ironed out but for $500-$600 a block you get some significant improvements. I don’t expect to see bicycle boulevards anytime soon but the development and acknowledgment of certain areas of travel as shared use thoroughfares for cyclists, autos, and others is the first major step this city could take to begin to even resemble the progressive urban competitors we face in the global marketplace for intellectual talent and youthful contributors to our urban environ. Right now, we don’t have squat and I consider this to be unacceptable policy for a city as ready for these improvements as we are here. (See page 8)

      http://www.gonzaga.edu/academics/colleges+and+schools/School+of+Engineering+and+Applied+Science/Center-for-Engineering-Design/10Projects/pdf/CE-02-Sharrows.pdf

      Secondly, Jones himself proposed a $90 million dollar increase for capital improvement projects next year primarily for roads and facilities. While I generally agree with the policy I am stating the proposal here simply to reinforce the fact that for the prices paid for improvements to bicycle networks in the city the rewards will be quite great relative to the investment necessary IMHO.

      http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2010/mar/22/budg22gat_20100322-124201-ar-8272/

  2. IMHO, the installation of numerous bike racks will provide more immediate impact than sharrows or lanes, at least in the city center. If we’re talking about cost savings AND bicycle promotion, the ultimate solution would be to allow a bicycle parking offset in the zoning code. Under this system (which I personally invented) property owners would be afforded a swap of mandatory car parking spaces for bike parking spaces. Maybe for each four bike parking spaces they provide they could reduce by one the required off-street car parking space. For example, if their type and size of business required 10 off-street spaces, they could provide 20 bike parking spaces and only five car parking spaces. At about 300 square feet per car parking space, that could potentially mean a huge cost savings for the property owner at no cost to the city. Further, this would have the effect of “re-densifying” the city with less space wasted on car storage, reducing the cost of property overall, and of course encouraging more cycling.

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