Conwell St. Bike Lanes Move Forward

Conwell - p14 - Alt 1After 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.

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Toolbox: Sharrows

Courtesy of Bikeyface.com
Courtesy of Bikeyface.com

Sharrows (formally, “shared-lane markings”) are on-street pavement markings that are intended to remind people in cars to expect people on bikes on a street. They help to indicate bike routes, and they are useful to help people on bikes position themselves in the road and encourage them to “take the lane.”

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Conwell St. Bicycle Improvements, Fall Traffic Hearing, and Outer Cape BPMP Workshop

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.

Conwell St. Alternative 1
Conwell St. Alternative 1

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.

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“Share the Road” is meaningless

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.

May use full lane and Share the road signs
Courtesy of biekde.org

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Revisiting the two-way sharrows

Standard MUTCD sharrow
Standard MUTCD sharrow

Sharrows (also known as “shared lane markings”) are on-street pavement markings that are intended to remind people in cars to expect people on bikes on a street. They help to indicate bike routes, and they are useful to help people on bikes position themselves in the road.

Commercial Street, the main drag through town, is one-way for cars and two-way for bikes. It’s very narrow (about 22 feet, and narrower in places), has a narrow sidewalk of about 36″ on one side, with a parking lane next to the sidewalk for most of the street. The speed limit is typically signed 15 MPH.

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Wrong way at Herring Cove

Herring Cove - bike in house wrong side 2
What’s wrong with this picture?

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.

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No Bikes on Trees

Town Hall - violation bike on tree
A bike tagged with a violation at Town Hall

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.

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