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Archive for Tuesday, August 11, 1998

CITY TO CONSIDER BIKE-CAR COHABITATION STUDY

August 11, 1998

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An engineering study would determine whether bicycles and automobiles can coexist comfortably on selected city streets.

Lawrence city commissioners will consider ordering a $25,000 study to look at the at-times uneasy relationship between bicycles and automobiles on nearly a dozen Lawrence streets.

During their meeting tonight, commissioners are expected to hire TranSystems Corp., for $24,495, to examine the mutual compatibility of drivers and cyclists on 11 streets considered popular by bicyclists.

The study would rate the comfort levels felt by drivers and cyclists alike, then come up with suggestions for helping both sides feel better about sharing the road. Possibilities could include adjusting speed limits, restricting on-street parking or even creating bike lanes.

The study would cost the city $4,899. The rest would be picked up by the federal government.

``I think that's a worthy investment,'' Commissioner Bob Moody said.

The commission's meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:35 p.m. at city hall, Sixth and Massachusetts. The issue is scheduled to be approved without public comment, unless a commissioner, city staffer or member of the public asks for a separate discussion.

City Manager Mike Wildgen said that the study -- scheduled for completion by early next year -- would help commissioners decide whether any of the 11 streets on the list would be appropriate for bike lanes or other bicycle-related improvements.

The study comes at the request of the city's Bicycle Advisory Committee, which this spring rated it among its top priorities for addressing the city's bicycle needs along with starting educational programs, installing ``Share the Road'' signs and hiring a new bicycle/pedestrian coordinator.

The compatibility study would use a formula developed by David L. Harkey, a transportation research engineer for the Highway Research Center at the University of North Carolina.

-- Mark Fagan's phone message number is 832-7188. His e-mail address is mfagan@ljworld.com.

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