City leaders approve bike boulevards, other bicycle and pedestrian projects
The Lawrence City Commission approved $600,000 worth of bicycle and pedestrian projects this week, including the creation of what will be the city’s first bike boulevards.
The commission approved the spending plan for standalone bicycle and pedestrian projects as part of its consent agenda Tuesday. The project list is funded using money that has already been set aside for pedestrian and bicycle improvements. The spending plan includes bike projects, sidewalks, sidewalk ramps, and other pedestrian-related improvements. Here’s how the spending breaks down:
$350,000 for bicycle projects
• Design and construction of a bike boulevard on 21st Street, running from Iowa Street to Massachusetts Street.
• Design and construction of a bike boulevard on Lawrence Avenue, running from Harvard Road to Bob Billings Parkway.
Bike boulevards use measures such as traffic diverters, lower speed limits and speed bumps to decrease traffic volume and speed in order to prioritize the road for bicycles, according to the National Association of Transportation Officials. Cars can still use the road, but intersections often have traffic diverters or islands to reduce through traffic.
$150,000 for pedestrian projects
• Design of a flashing pedestrian beacon for the intersection of 16th Street and Haskell Avenue. The construction will be funded by a federal Community Development Block Grant.
• Design and construction of a sidewalk on the east side of Michigan Street, from Second Street to Third Street.
• Design and construction of a sidewalk on the south side of W. 27th Street, from Crestline Drive to Chipperfield Road.
• Design and construction of a sidewalk on the south side of Harvard Road, from Iowa Street to Hilltop Drive.
$100,000 for sidewalk ramps
• Design of new sidewalk ramps, compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, along 11th Street, from Massachusetts Street to the Burroughs Creek Trail. The construction will be funded by a federal Community Development Block Grant.
• Design and construction of new sidewalk ramps along the designated Safe Routes to School for New York Elementary.
The spending plan was developed using the city’s recently created prioritization policy for pedestrian and bicycle projects, which uses factors such as safety, housing density and proximity to priority destinations, such as schools, to rank the projects. The Transportation Commission unanimously approved the spending plan before it was sent to the City Commission.