Cycletrack Gets Green Light

CDM SMith City traffic commissioners gave the green light Tuesday night for the proposed west side two-way bike track along Edgewood Avenue, clearing the way for the $1.2 million largely state-funded dedicated cycletrack to become, after years of planning and community meetings, a reality.

It was the last vote needed for the two-mile long protected cycletrack from Forest Road to Park Street, which will be the largest in the state.

The plan, which had received approval from the City Plan Commission in June, was held up last month by the commissioners  when Traffic and Parking Director Doug Hausladen had been unable to provide official letters of support from the alders of the impacted areas.

Allan Appel Photo With official endorsements from West Side Alders Evette Hamilton, Adam Marchand, and Dwight’s Frank Douglass in hand at the Tuesday night regular meeting of the traffic commissioners, Hausladen’s plan received a unanimous thumbs up.

The plan requires the commissioners approval specifically because the cycletrack includes improvements to pedestrian crossings and intersections, new signals specifically for bike traffic, and fixing a problem intersection at Winthrop and Edgewood avenues.

The commissioners specifically, by their vote, approved the following traffic changes as part of the establishment of the two-way cycletrack:

• Establish a new traffic signal at Edgewood and Winthrop.
• Establish a new stop control with flashing beacon of bicycle traffic at the bicycle crossing of westbound vehicular traffic at the west end of the Edgewood Avenue Park mall 100 feet east of the West River.
• Establish new pedestrian phases added to signals at Howe, Dwight, Norton, and E.T. Grasso boulevard on Edgewood Avenue.
• Establish new bicycle phases added to all ten existing signals on Edgewood.
• Establish a new bike lane on Edgewood from Forest Road to Park Street.
• Establish a new counter flow bike lane added to Edgewood Avenue from Forest road to Park Street.
• Establish No Parking on the north side of Edgewood from 100 feet east of the West River to Yale Avenue.
• Establish No Parking on the north side of Edgewood avenue from Yale Avenue to Forest Road.

The city expects to start paving the cycletrack this fall, doing signal work over the winter, and striping and installing delineators in the spring, according to Hausladen, with a hope-for opening in the summer.

In contrast to last month’s vigorous discussion of a wide range of potential problem areas, commissioners on Tuesday night Tuesday’s meeting simply asked to confirm the formal buy-in of the alders. They also asked how Hausladen’s plan addressesa key area of concern they had expressed last month: the effect of the cycle rack-caused narrowing of the avenue around the schools along Edgewood, particularly, around the Amistad School at Edgewood and Day.

Commissioner Evelise Ribeiro asked again about school bus movement in the new narrow cycle-track environment on the avenue.

Hausladen reported that he had met with officials and leadership at three of the schools impacted—Edgewood, Troup, and Amistad—and “everyone is on board to work on a communications strategy.”

He said Troup and Edgewood will see “no impact” because most, if not all, of their transportation business takes place behind the schools off the avenue.

The alders have no issues? Amistad?” asked Commissioner Greg Smith, who last month had expressed some skepticism of the plan in the area of the Amistad School.

Hausladen told him that on Tuesday morning he, along with citywide school bus transportation coordinator Teddi Barra, had met with officials at Amistad. While they will be looking to “implementing some tweaks” to their transportation plan, “they’re concerned less with buses, and more with parent pick-up.”

The voice vote in favor of the plan was unanimous. (Click here to read about the previous debate and approval at the City Plan Commission.)

After the meeting, Hausladen wrote in an email, “Tonight’s Traffic Authority [vote] was the last local approval needed to officially bless the Edgewood Avenue project. The construction documents for the traffic signals are awaiting state approval. However, this is expected after answering a few more comments from the state of Connecticut.”

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posted by: Noteworthy on August 9, 2017  1:05pm

LOL - they’re going to work on a “communications plan.” BS alert.

posted by: Esbey on August 9, 2017  2:13pm

Finally.

This is much needed and well-planned transportation infrastructure.  It is the kind of transportation initiative that attracts residents and jobs. Educated young people are mobile and they place a high value on bike infrastructure. For that reason, potential employers also care about bike infrastructure and other urban amenities. Poor families in New Haven rarely have cars, so this helps them as well. 

The old-folk car-grumps will grump, because now it will be a little harder to drive across town at 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. Their time has passed.

posted by: Noteworthy on August 9, 2017  3:35pm

Esbey:

Your talking points are old, tired and trite. Bike infrastructure on Edgewood Ave is not needed. It is not that busy. This is just a BS project that wastes taxpayer money. The infrastructure should be where the bike traffic is and where one could make a reasonable argument for safety. There is no safety issue on Edgewood unless it’s riding through Dwight.

Are there speeders? Sure - but not likely at 40 mph. I’m on there every day - it just doesn’t happen that often.

But in any case, it will be a bike nazi wet dream. Enjoy.

posted by: robn on August 9, 2017  4:22pm

Rejoice cyclists!

Our evil plan to cruelly limit drivers to the speed limit and simultaneously destroy our own fertility is now complete.

posted by: TheMadcap on August 9, 2017  4:53pm

People will go where the bike infrastructure is. I use to never go down Elm because it was a nightmare, then they built the bike lane, and surprise, I go down it all the time now.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on August 9, 2017  5:11pm

With official endorsements from West Side Alders Evette Hamilton, Adam Marchand, and Dwight’s Frank Douglass in hand at the Tuesday night regular meeting of the traffic commissioners, Hausladen’s plan received a unanimous thumbs up.

Again sold out by Judas Goat Leaders.Like I said before.Give me a break.Bicyclists Are Taking Over The Streets.The Bicycle lobby who are against cars have lied continually to get their own way and will twist the facts to get what they want.What has Take back New Haven Doug Hausladen who will be mayor one day done for car owners?How about step up law enforcement on Bicyclists who break the law.

posted by: Esbey on August 9, 2017 2:13pm

The old-folk car-grumps will grump, because now it will be a little harder to drive across town at 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. Their time has passed.

Also to those of you who say just drivers hate cyclists. pedestrIans do to.

posted by: Esbey on August 9, 2017  5:19pm

@Noteworthy, “Bike Nazi?”

I think the internet tradition is that the first person to say “Nazi” loses the argument.  It doesn’t usually happen this fast, though.

posted by: William Kurtz on August 9, 2017  6:18pm

I’m trying to think of a clever retort to call attention to how Noteworthy thinks people lobbying for safe transportation infrastructure are ‘nazis’ while people accused of deplorable sexual abuse of children—I mean ‘alleged victims’—are given the benefit of every doubt. I got nothing. Sorry!

posted by: robn on August 9, 2017  6:48pm

There’s a South Park-esque NAMbLA-Nazi joke in there somewhere.

posted by: BenBerkowitz on August 9, 2017  8:24pm

@Esbey,
I believe it’s ‘Hitler’ that signifies a thread kill, but ‘nazi’ is a good leading indicator that one of us will be named Fuhrer within one of the hate filled rants to come.  I earned the title of ‘arrogant’ as well as an initiation into a ‘bike gang’ in one of the last threads.  But hey, it’s for the kids and you know…my life as I’m commuting on Edgewood. Kind of worth it.

Thanks to Alders, Doug, Mayor Harp, State officials, active residents, the cycling community, school leaders and the last administration who kicked this off for making this happen.  These improvements mean a lot to us who commute without a car on Edgewood every morning and they will mean a lot to many more for generations to come. This really matters for a healthier and safer New Haven.

posted by: Wyvernish on August 9, 2017  10:13pm

Yes, there are careless, inconsiderate, and endangering drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Any of them lessen the city’s quality of life and cast a bad light on caring, considerate, and safe drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. I drive, bicycle, and walk in New Haven, and I welcome this project along this route.

I do not appreciate being characterized as elitist, part of an all-powerful lobby, disproportionately favoring one mode of transportation at the zero-sum expense of another, being irresponsible with public expenditures, or being the dupe of those who I saw criticized in comments that accompanied the last article on this matter. Already I am seeing such comments, and their claims seem exaggerated and unduly harsh.

Correspondingly, I appreciate the courage and candor of those who have attached their given names to their comments. By acquaintance, I regard them as responsible citizens whose cares extend beyond their own selves, and I believe they have reputations in line with my assessment.

posted by: Kevin McCarthy on August 9, 2017  10:15pm

Esbey, a fair number of we old(er) folk bike. That number will increase as it becomes safer to bike across town.

Robn, what good is an evil plan if you blab about it? Next thing you know, you’ll be telling 3/5ths the location of our secret meetings.

More seriously, cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians need to be more conscientious about obeying traffic laws. Hopefully this will be addressed in the communications strategy.

posted by: HhE on August 9, 2017  10:24pm

Well said, William Kurtz and Kevin McCarthy.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on August 9, 2017  10:38pm

posted by: Kevin McCarthy on August 9, 2017 10:15pm

Robn, what good is an evil plan if you blab about it? Next thing you know, you’ll be telling 3/5ths the location of our secret meetings.

The cat is out the bag already

Bike Lanes Are White Lanes.

In her new book Bike Lanes Are White Lanes, the scholar and avid cyclist Dr. Melody Hoffman aims to complicate this story by examining the overlapping issues of urban planning, gentrification, transportation advocacy and racial inequity within the realm of bicycling. Through ethnographic research in bicycle advocacy circles in Minneapolis (alongside Milwaukee and Portland) Hoffman posits that bicycles act as a “rolling signifier.” In other words, a bicycle outwardly communicates different messages as it moves through different socioeconomic and cultural spaces. While some communities may view biking as an altruistic transportation choice, others see an everyday material necessity. Furthermore, the emergence of freshly painted bike lanes in gentrifying neighborhoods whose political requests and grievances were historically ignored or suppressed, sends a clear message.The national biking boom –– spurred by an increasingly health and environmentally conscious public –– usually first brings to mind “roadies:” white men in snug lycra folded over sleek carbon fiber frames, clipped into their pedals and clutching their drop handlebars. Yet, there is a far more nuanced bike culture, or cultures at play –– commuters, couriers, mountain bikers, BMXers and everything in between. Data collected by the Sierra Club and the League of American Cyclists in a study called The New Majority shows that most everyday cyclists are working people, immigrants and people of color. But these groups are not on the minds of urban planners when they draw up expanding bike infrastructure.

http://www.greenroommagazine.com/blog/2016/10/25/are-bike-lanes-really-white-lanes

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on August 9, 2017  11:48pm

I wonder will the mayor take a look at this.

We the Drivers, Pedestrians and Cyclists — A new Constitution for transportation safety.

We the Users of the Streets of the City of New York — the Drivers, the Pedestrians, the Cyclists — in order to form a more perfect Understanding, establish Rules, insure roadway Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the reduction of transportational Warfare, and secure the Blessings of Safety to ourselves and our fellow Users, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

Section 2

Drivers shall continue to purchase Insurance and obtain a license under rules ordained by the several States. But henceforth, they must submit themselves for recertification at a period of 10 years to ensure that they can still safely operate their Vehicles.Drivers must yield to Cyclists and Pedestrians in crosswalks and other times when Cyclist and Pedestrians have the right of way as defined by common Law. Drivers may not speed up to position themselves ahead of Cyclists and Pedestrians who are about to enter a crosswalk or assert their right of way.

Cyclists shall purchase Insurance, obtain a license under rules ordained by the several States, and submit themselves for recertification at a period of 10 years to ensure that they can still safely operate their Vehicles.Cyclists must yield to Pedestrians at all times. This does not mean a Cyclist can swerve around a fellow Cyclist who has slowed to allow a Pedestrian to walk safely. That Cyclist must also yield.Cyclists must stop at all red Lights between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. Cyclists may proceed slowly through the Light if no other Vehicles or Pedestrians are present.

Feel free to read the rest.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/users-streets-city-new-york-article-1.2839116

posted by: robn on August 10, 2017  5:53am

3/5,

Funny you should mention that because I was running an errand last weekend and it caught my attention that bikes were being ridden all over town by poeple of all colors and ages. Orange St and Sherman Ave.

posted by: William Kurtz on August 10, 2017  7:41am

Three-Fifths,

I don’t entirely disagree about the often lopsided distribution of better bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. But I wonder if you are carefully reading the things you are cutting and pasting?

Data collected by the Sierra Club and the League of American Cyclists in a study called The New Majority shows that most everyday cyclists are working people, immigrants and people of color.


Given that, wouldn’t it be better to argue that the needs of under-served areas and communities be better met, rather than a knee-jerk resistance to any development that doesn’t further privilege driving?

Put another way: since “most everyday cyclists are working people, immigrant, and people of color” and we also know that aggressive ticketing is an excessive burden on people with less money, how should transportation planners address the inequities in the system?

That’s a sincere question. If possible, I would prefer to hear your ideas in your own voice than a copied-and-pasted paragraph from an article about New York City.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on August 10, 2017  8:24am

posted by: William Kurtz on August 10, 2017 7:41am

Data collected by the Sierra Club and the League of American Cyclists in a study called The New Majority shows that most everyday cyclists are working people, immigrants and people of color.

But you left this out.But these groups are not on the minds of urban planners when they draw up expanding bike infrastructure.

Put another way: since “most everyday cyclists are working people, immigrant, and people of color” and we also know that aggressive ticketing is an excessive burden on people with less money, how should transportation planners address the inequities in the system?

But you do not have a problem when the aggressive ticketing is put on car drivers.The other day i was down town new haven.I saw cyclists running red lights riding on the side walk one almost hit a lady. cutting cars off.I even seen
cyclists riding on the l have even seen cyclists riding on the side walk with the poilce standing right there and nothing was done.Are your saying that cyclists should not obey traffic laws.After all they are come under the motor vehicles law.


That’s a sincere question. If possible, I would prefer to hear your ideas in your own voice than a copied-and-pasted paragraph from an article about New York City.

You must do not read my post.I do give my own voice.but I also use what I call data to make my point.In fact I am reading her book now..At least the mayor of New York goes after all.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is fine with the mass-ticketing campaigns by NYPD. “The bottom line here, first and foremost, cars, vehicles, are the number one challenge because their size and their speed make them the single greatest danger, but bicyclists have to get the message,” de Blasio said at a press conference in November. “They need to follow traffic laws too, and we have had targeted enforcement of bicyclists and we will continue to deepen that.”

posted by: HewNaven on August 10, 2017  10:10am

This is a great addition to our cycling infrastructure. But I see it won’t be ready until Summer 2018.

Where does a newbie bike nazi like myself go if he wants to begin lowering his sperm count right now? Are there existing bike lanes in other neighborhoods?

posted by: dtdt on August 10, 2017  11:29am

this is too little too late. for a city this size, this diverse, and this educated - there should already be a comprehensive multi-modal transit network in place. i blame our long history of disenfranchisement, which seethed immediately to the surface in these comments. having lived in a number of other small, medium, and large cities; i have never seen another with as toxic or palpable social disdain as new haven. and that toxicity is nowhere more present than on the streets. as long as we let Neanderthals feel that their bellowing about high taxes and drivers’ rights is legitimate, they will dictate the terms of our urban rage. in fact, this ‘longest-in-the-state’ cycle track is just a drop in the bucket compared to our number of gas-guzzling car lanes or compared to other urban new england cycle-infrastructures. this project is far too modest. we’re way behind, we’re getting further behind, and it’s because of an alien suburban vitriol that has somehow ingrained itself into the bustling city of new haven.

posted by: Kevin McCarthy on August 11, 2017  8:19am

3/5ths, thank you for your conments. I would appreciate your thoughts on how the city can better reach out to the community in bike planning. The city held meetings in Dixwell, the Hill, and Fair Haven over the past year for this purpose. But in all three cases, a majority of the participants were from outside these neighborhoods (I knew a fair number personally).

Many of the ideas in the NY Post article would require changes in state law. I staffed the legislature’s Transportation Committee for many years. I suspect there is limited enthusiasm for several of them, particularly those that would cost the state money. Back in the 90s, the legislature required older drivers to get their vision periodically retested in order to keep their licenses. Every couple of years, it voted to delay the effective date of this requirement, which would have had a modest cost. Eventually, it repealed the requirement without it ever having gone into effect.

Wyvernish, cyclists are not an elite. But the organized cyclist community is largely economically comfortable and white. Most of us live in East Rock, Westville, Wooster Square, etc.

HewNaven, there are bike lanes in various locations. The one on Orange Street gets a lot of use. But at this point, there is only the Long Wharve/Water Street cycle track and the Farmington Canal trail as separated bikeways.

posted by: BetweenTwoRocks on August 11, 2017  12:34pm

lol @ Noteworthy claiming nobody drives 40 mph on Edgewood Avenue. I ride my bike every day on there, I promise you people drive 40 mph. There are literally no roads people won’t drive 40 mph on in New Haven.

I’m also amused that THREEFIFTHS is so adamantly against bike lanes given how often the people he wants to protect—those who gentrify would push out of neighborhoods—often use bikes as a form of transportation. I guess people are on your side until they aren’t. As soon as those poor people start riding bikes on the street, they’re the enemy! Love it.

Thank you to Hausladen and everyone involved for pushing this infrastructure. It’s going to be a great boon for the city and will only make it more attractive for everyone but Noteworthy, which I consider a win.

The mind can barely contemplate the horror of forcing drivers to use any of the other thousands of roads in New Haven dedicated to cars. Or the lanes left on Edgewood Avenue. Truly, someday, they will build a memorial to the suffering you have endured.

posted by: RobotShlomo on August 15, 2017  11:21am

Courtesy of classic Top Gear.


https://youtu.be/G5i4CL4vlhw