The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) recently released a forward-looking design guide for bike infrastructure. It’s really a big deal, since MassDOT is in charge of lots of roads and intersections all over the state that have pretty meagre bike provisions.
Here in Provincetown, the biggest opportunity to apply the new guidelines are at the three crossings of Route 6, a 50-mph highway with one signalized crossing and two completely cross-your-fingers and run intersections. When Route 6 was cut through town in the 1950s, is was laid out as a 4-lane highway with a wide median. And little has changed since then. Even the single traffic light has no bicycle detector loop, so it’s easy to get stranded in the intersection at a red light (Note: Our intrepid deputy director of public works managed to include a bicycle detector in the upcoming Conwell St. Bicycle Improvements Project).
At last week’s Outer Cape Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan workshop, it was clear that the master plan process isn’t delaying near-term bicycle improvements. Martha Hevenor, planner for the Cape Cod Commission, said that the master plan is expected to be completed in the winter of 2016-2017.
Cape Cod National Seashore
Lauren McKean, a planner at the Seashore, provided an update on the plans for installing motion-activated bicycle crossing beacons at five locations in the Seashore, three of which are in Provincetown. She also announced that the Seashore is in the process of obtaining funding to rehabilitate the Head of the Meadow bike trail in Truro and that the project may also include a 0.6-mile extension of the trail. Funding will be in place next year so construction could possibly commence in 2017.
There were a number of great updates at the Outer Cape Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan workshop in Provincetown on November 12.
Route 6 Multi-Use Path Option Martha Hevenor of the Cape Cod Commission revealed that MassDOT is willing to look at putting a separated multi-use path alongside Route 6. This is a big shift, and hopefully shows a change in direction now that MassDOT’s separated bicycle facility guidelines have been released.
After years of starts and stops, bike lanes are finally coming to (part of) Conwell St.
On Monday, November 9, the Board of Selectmen approved the “preferred alternative” design for a sidewalk on one side and bike lanes on both sides of Conwell St. from Cemetery Rd. to Route 6. The vote was 5-0-0 in favor of this design.
There are three important bike-related meetings coming up in November, all in one week.
Conwell Street Bicycle Improvements Project Monday, November 9, 6 PM, Judge Welsh Rm. at Town Hall
This is the public hearing on the long-delayed Conwell Street Bicycle Improvements project, which seeks to add bike lanes on both sides of Conwell Street from Route 6 to Cemetery Road.
The “preferred alternative” design also includes a sidewalk on the western side of the road that would connect to the signalized pedestrian crossing at Route 6. Discussion of improving safety on this stretch of roadway have been ongoing for at least 15 years, so it’s great to see something actually getting close to construction.
I’ve often felt that the “share the road” message has done little to make roads any safer for anyone. So it was heartening to read of a new study from North Carolina State University that looked at whether people actually understand what those signs mean.
Please don’t follow the advice of these pavement markings at Herring Cove beach!
These “bike in house” markings are directing people on bikes to ride directly into oncoming traffic on the wrong side of a double-yellow line. They were painted in the road just in time for the 4th of July holiday weekend, one of the busiest in town.
Town has started enforcing the bicycle parking bylaw that prohibits locking bikes to street trees. A bike found locked to a tree will have its lock cut and be removed immediately. Plus there’s a $50 fine for violating a town bylaw.
According to the town’s beautification committee, trees get damaged by having bikes repeatedly locked to them. There are very few street trees in town — Commercial Street has only nine street trees, and they’re all relatively recent additions to the streetscape.
This week’s Provincetown Banner reported on the Board of Selectmen meeting where they approved the scope of work for the upcoming town-wide parking, circulation, and bicycle study. Reporter Peter Brown talked to Glenn Cannon of the Cape Cod Commission, and Cannon is quoted saying that a kick-off meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 18 at 5:00 PM in Caucus Hall at Provincetown Town Hall.
Selectmen Tom Donegan and Raphael Richter both chimed in with their perspectives. Donegan expressed interest in getting a better handle on the traffic flow at the intersection of Conwell St. and Bradford St. and at the Lopes Square entrance to MacMillan Pier and the waterfront municipal parking lot. He also said he’d like to have more data so the selectmen would have some backup for reviewing citizen proposals for traffic changes at the town’s annual traffic hearings. Continue reading Traffic study kick-off to take place June 18