Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Peabody Avenue to Lose Car Lane, Gain Bike Lane

Posted By on Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 3:32 PM

click to enlarge BIANCA PHILLIPS
  • Bianca Phillips

The city has plans to give the 1.7-mile stretch of Peabody from Bellevue to Cooper a makeover that includes less lanes for cars this summer and wants public input to help determine exactly how the street should look.


The street will be resurfaced and bike lanes, along with traffic-calming configurations will be installed.


The city’s engineering division will present two different designs at a public meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 6, beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Idlewild Elementary.


Nicholas Oyler, the city’s Bikeway and Pedestrian program manager said both designs reduce the number of lanes going in each direction down to one. But, there’d be a two-way center turn lane and a striped parking lane.


Having only one lane going each way, Oyler said, should slow down traffic and “make the street safer for everyone who uses it.”


The difference in the two designs is the placement of the bike lanes.


The first is conventional, Oyler said, placing the lane between the parked cars and automobile traffic.


The second option flips the parking and the bike lanes, placing the bike lane between the parking lane and the sidewalk.


Oyler said this would allow the parked cars to act as a protective buffer for cyclists and pedestrians.


Either way, adding bike lanes to this portion of Peabody is crucial, Oyler said.


“This corridor is so critical from a connectivity and network standpoint because of where it is and the potential it has to link up other with other safe bike facilities,” he said.


Once completed, on the west the Peabody bike lanes will connect to the lanes planned for Martin Luther King.


On the east, Peabody connects to Cooper, a candidate to receive bike lanes this summer.


With the addition of bike lanes on Peabody and the eventual installation of the Shelby Farms Greenline bridge that will extend the Greenline to Tobey Park, Oyler said there would only be a one-mile gap from Cooper to Flicker in a “seamless network of safe bike facilities from Downtown and the Mississippi River in the west to unincorporated areas in the east.”


After public input on Peabody’s designs is gathered, design consultants will be hired. Oyler then anticipates the design being finalized in May and construction beginning in the summer.


The project should take about a month to complete after ground breaks, he said.


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