Voice your needs; take the Tempe Transportation survey

BikeActivistLet your opinions shape your community for years to come – voice your opinions in the City of Tempe Transportation Master Plan. This is an opportunity for cyclists of Tempe to tell the city what we need by way of bicycle friendly infrastructure.

http://www.tempe.gov/city-hall/public-works/transportation/transportation-master-plan-/transportation-master-plan-survey

This survey will be used for the Tempe Transportation Master Plan for the next 10 years. The city is asking for specific street names where residents would like to have bike lanes, protected bike lanes, bike boulevards and paths. They are also asking for lists of gaps in the current bike system. You have until June 15 to let your voice be heard!

Take the survey today http://www.tempe.gov/city-hall/public-works/transportation/transportation-master-plan-/transportation-master-plan-survey

There are also public meetings on May 29th and 31st, please attend and give your feedback: http://www.tempe.gov/city-hall/public-works/transportation/transportation-master-plan-

 Need some inspiration? TBAG has been advocating for the following changes in the Tempe bike system:

  1. A north-south bike route along the railroad tracks east of McClintock.
  2. Bike lanes on McClintock
  3. Bike lanes on Southern
  4. Bike lanes on Broadway
  5. Bike boulevards on the major bike routes such as College, Hardy, and Alameda
  6. A bike path along the railroad tracks from Tempe Town Lake to Kiwanis Park
  7. A bridge over the 1-10 at Alameda
  8. A bridge over the 101 at Alameda

 

 

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Tempe Bike Count 2013 Needs Volunteers!

 

TBAG will host the third annual Tempe Bike Count between March 26-28 2013. We need volunteers to help count bikes! You can sign up for just one shift on a single day, or more if you want. Sign up! Bring a friend!

Our goals for the bike count:

  • Document the number of people currently cycling and monitor how the number changes over time
  • Publish a report of findings from the bike count
  • Use the information to help prioritize infrastructure improvements and traffic safety
  • Share bike count data with the public, other organizations, governmental groups, and individuals

When:

The count will take place over three days. Each volunteer will count during commuting hours, one morning (7:00am to 9:00am) or one afternoon (4:00pm to 6:00pm). The same location can be covered over the span of the three days.

  • Tuesday, March 26th
  • Wednesday, March 27th
  • Thursday, March 28th

Training:
Volunteers are asked to attend one of the training meetings at the Tempe Transit Center 200 E. Fifth Street (near Forest and College avenues near the light rail station) in the Cassano Room on the second floor.

  • Wednesday, March 20th
  • Saturday, March 23rd

For full details on the Tempe Bike Count and to sign up please go to: http://www.biketempe.org/events/bike-count/

Afterparty:

We’re throwing an appreciation party at Boulders on Broadway for our volunteers!  Come turn in your count sheets, have a beer, and tell tales of the craziness you saw out there on the streets of Tempe.

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TBAG Advocacy Meeting – Sunday January 6th 7pm at Boulders on Broadway

Hey Tempe Cyclists!! Tired of complaining about the unsafe riding conditions, bike lanes which seem to end for no reason, non-existent bike crossing signals, etc. etc. Quit complaining and help us do something about it. 2013 is going to be a busy year for TBAG advocates. There are major street re-design projects for us to monitor and influence, including the Mill Ave Streetcar, University Drive, Hardy Drive and Broadway Road. We also need to follow the update processes for the Transportation Master Plan and the General Plan. And we have our normal monthly committee meetings to attend.

Bring your ideas and your calendar and get ready to sign up to help!! See you at our 2013 kick-off TBAG Advocacy Meeting – Sunday January 6th 7pm at Boulders on Broadway.

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Join the TBAG Tempe General Plan 2040 Advocacy Team

Most cities in the United States create “general plans” to guide future development and investment in their cities. These plans cover issues such housing, parks, and transportation. The City of Tempe is launching its general plan updating process – called “General Plan 2040.” You can learn more here, and to see the last general plan for 2030, visit here. The city will host a variety of public meetings to get feedback from residents about the plan. They will also post draft chapters for public feedback. The city’s bicyclists and pedestrians need a voice in this process.

The first public meetings are being held at the Tempe History Museum – 809 E. Southern Ave, Tempe 85282 on:

September 24th, 5-7pm
January 22, 5-7pm

If you’re interested in joining the TBAG advocacy team, please email me. We will need help to follow the process, attend all of the meetings and review draft documents to insure that the general plan includes a strong emphasis on making the city more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. We will have a meeting (details to come shortly) before the 24th to discuss our TBAG vision and priorities.

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Upcoming Public Meetings About Orbit, Light Rail Service

In light of dwindling sales tax revenue, Tempe has been forced to scale back its public transportation service, including aspects of the service that TBAG members strongly advocated for several years ago. There are two rounds of public meetings coming up, where Tempe residents can learn about proposed changes that will take effect in July of 2010, and provide public input. Attending these meetings and providing input sends a message to Tempe’s City Council that public transportation is important, especially for people with limited mobility options. Help shape what public transportation Tempe has, by attending the meetings and voicing your opinion!

More information about the meetings is available through Tempe’s website, here.

Meeting dates:
Round 1:
Tuesday, February 23 @ 6 pm, Don Cassano Room, Tempe Transportation Center
Monday, March 1 @ 6 pm, Pyle Adult Recreation Center, 655 E. Southern Ave.

Round 2:
Monday, March 29 @ 6 pm, Pyle Adult Recreation Center
Tuesday, March 30 @ Don Cassano Room

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Updates on Tempe’s Capital Improvement Projects

With all of the budgetary problems faced by cities and the state of Arizona, it’s often easy to lose track of good things that are still happening. As you may know, members of TBAG sit in on Tempe’s Multi-Modal Transportation Planning and Project Review Committee, where we learn about the Capital Improvement Projects happening in Tempe. These projects tend to take a long time to go from initial ideas to construction (years!), but they represent Tempe’s long-term investment in bicycling infrastructure. They also tend to receive a lot of federal funding, including funds from the Economic Stimulus Bill, so they have not been as severely impacted by budgetary cuts as a lot of the city’s operations. Stay tuned for news about the budget cut impacts, as they are going to have a huge effect on public transit in Tempe, and direct public involvement will be valuable for what the changes will look like.

To give you an idea of what’s going on behind-the-scenes, here’s a brief summary list of some of the current projects, and what’s going on with them:

1. College Ave. Streetscape: this project is getting close to construction. There were some design challenges that cropped up not too long ago, that mean more construction than originally intended, but you can expect to see construction beginning sometime around June.
2. Broadway Road Streetscape: This project was initially going to involve renovation of the section of Broadway Road between Mill and Rural, to decrease the number of vehicular traffic lanes so the road would have 4 car lanes (2 in either direction), a center turn lane, and a bike lanes. Then the idea of expanding the streetscape all the way to Priest came up, and further studies have indicated that the expansion is feasible and will happen. We don’t have exact dates yet, but you can spread the word: Broadway is getting bike lanes.
3. Western Canal: This one’s really exciting, and perhaps you’ve already been riding along the freshly constructed portions of the Western Canal. Tempe is just about ready to officially open the newly paved canal, which features some really cool covered pathways that provide protection from nearby golf courses, and which will feature two HAWK crossings. Here’s some more information about the crossings from Tempe In Motion. TBAG is really excited about this canal development, and will be organizing some rides to check it out in the upcoming months. You will notice, if you ride this canal, that there’s currently no way to get across I-10 on the western edge, or across the 101 on the eastern edge. If we want to be able to cross the freeways, we are going to have to speak up about that.
4. Crosscut Canal: Not a lot of people actually know where this canal runs, but it’s a canal that runs north-south through Papago Park. The north end of the canal is currently paved, and connects up to the Arizona Canal. The second phase of this project will involve paving the southern stretch so the canal will link up to the Mill Avenue/Washington intersection. That’s right, a connection that runs northeast across the park, taking you from downtown Tempe almost all the way to downtown Scottsdale. You can check out maps of the project, and provide feedback/support, here. Currently, the details for the bridge crossings are getting straightened out, and so soon you should start to see construction happening.
5. Tempe Town Lake Bike/Ped Bridge: Rio Salado Operations is overseeing the construction of a bicycle and pedestrian bridge that will run across the western dam of Tempe Town Lake. We got to check out some of the artist concept drawings (pretty!), and it sounds like this project is going to move ahead in the next couple of months as well.

Tempe has also assembled a map of all of the projects in progress. Check it out!

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Broadway Road Improvements Meetings coming up

The next Action Team meeting will be held Tuesday, April 28 at 6 p.m. in the Don Cassano Community Room located at 200 E. Fifth Street, 2nd floor.

The next City of Tempe public meeting will be held Monday, May 18 at 6 p.m. in the Don Cassano Community Room located at 200 E. Fifth Street, 2nd floor. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the progress of this project . The agenda will include reviewing public comments, reviewing the traffic study, reviewing design concepts, and discussing next steps.

For more info on the project, see: http://www.tempe.gov/Tim/Traffic/broadwayroad.htm

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Transit Commitee Report

(for those who don’t know, I attend the monthly Tempe Transportation Commission Multi-Modal Transportation Planning & Project Review Committee meetings)

There was a lot to discuss at this month’s Transit Committee meeting. Some highlights, in order from least to most exciting:

1. Traffic calming projects: Mitchell Park East-West is headed for construction. Maple-Ash is headed for another neighborhood meeting to discuss some potential closure points (suggested about a year ago; dropped from plan; resurrected again). Here’s Tempe’s report on those projects. College Ave is also heading towards construction–we had some discussion about reviewing the striping of the intersection at College and Southern; I’ll try to keep everyone posted on the status of that project.

Photo of Tempe's Bike Month Poster
2. Bike Month: It’s coming up soon! Tempe has just released their Bike Month flyer, which lists a slew of events for the month–pick up a copy at the Transportation Center or look for it around town. Check Tempe’s Bike Month website for details on all events. Two highlights include Bikeapalooza, a biking festival where TBAG will lead a community bike ride, and Bike to Work and School Day, where TBAG’s bicycle commuters will lead rides from each of the 4 other breakfast sites towards the Tempe Transportation Center and beyond to Phoenix and Scottsdale. Stay tuned for more information about TBAG’s involvement in those events and how you can help/participate.

3. **Broadway Road Restructuring Project**: For those who have asked about this for YEARS…Tempe has funding to modify Broadway between Rural Ave and Mill Ave with bike/pedestrian enhancements.

Here are 2 upcoming dates: On Saturday, March 14, from 9-12, there will be a walk-through along Broadway as part of the early planning phase. On Wednesday, March 18, at 6 pm, there will be a meeting in the Community Room at the Transit Center to review several concepts for the modification (i.e. several ideas for how to change things). Right now, Broadway is 3 lanes eastbound, 2 lanes westbound, with a center turn lane. Two potential concepts to reduce lanes and free up space for bicycles/pedestrians: remove 1 eastbound lane, or remove the center turn lane. One complication, however, will be handling the frontage road on the north side of Broadway.

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New bike lane striping at two Tempe intersections

Those of you who ride in northern Tempe have probably noticed the new red bike lanes at the intersections of College and Apache, and Ash and University that were installed a little over a week ago.

red bike lanes

The red “treatment” is a test and these two intersections were targeted due to their high bicycle use and unique automotive traffic restrictions (southbound traffic at both intersections is not permitted). Here is what Eric Iwersen, City of Tempe Transportation Planner, has to say about the new red lanes:

City of Tempe installed a new colorized surface treatment in the bike lanes at the intersections of Ash & University and College & Apache to increase the visibility of the bike lane and to emphasize and support compliance with the unique vehicle lane striping at these sites. The colorized treatment is an experiment and will be reviewed by the city for possible broader use in the community.

Tempe has issued an official press release on the new bike lanes, and Eric also appeared on Channel 3 (you may have to register to see the video) at the crack of dawn on Friday morning to discuss the new lanes.

Although I wish the lanes were a more bold shade of red (and reflective), I think they are a step in the correct direction. It is great to see Tempe testing new ways to increase visibility and safety for cyclists.

What do you think about the new red bike lanes at these intersections? Where else in Tempe would similar highlighting of the bike lane through the intersection help to improve cyclist’s safety?

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