Update: There will be a city council review session on November 3rd 2016 to discuss the possibility of overturning the Tempe Bike Lane decision.
All Tempe residents are encouraged to let the council know your thoughts by emailing them at councilcommunicator
A small section of battered ballards ( or candlesticks ) in the fairly new Tempe bike lanes on McClintock Drive have been removed from what many people, including myself, considered an “Overkill” project. I wrote more about it in an article titled “Over Killed In A Tempe Bike Lane.”
Apparently, four strikes and you are out in ( a small portion of ) Tempe, because this small section of candlesticks was removed after the fourth time the city had to replace them within a couple of months.
Interestingly enough, there is going to be more discussion about the effectiveness of the bike lanes at a March 17th Issue Review Session, where city staff will provide a project update to Councilmembers concerning traffic volumes, signal timing and public feedback. Yes, this meeting is open to the public.
Get complete details from the City of Tempe web site here: Here’s part of what is stated on their web site.
At the March 17, 2016 Issue Review Session, staff will provide a project update to the City Council, including data on use of the bike lanes, vehicle traffic volumes and signal timing, as well as public feedback. The meeting is at 4 p.m. at 31 E. Fifth Street, Garden Level in the Council Chambers.
You can share your opinion with Mayor and Council by emailing [email protected] – Please let them know what your opinion is.
Here’s some more background:
In 2015, McClintock Drive between Broadway and Guadalupe roads was repaved as part of Tempe’s ongoing Asset Management Capital Maintenance Program. As part of this repaving project, McClintock Drive was reconfigured to include bike lanes on each side of the street, which required the removal of at least one vehicle lane on McClintock Drive. A minimum of two vehicular lanes, northbound and southbound, and a middle turn lane was maintained, as well as medians/center turn lanes and formal turn lanes at the arterial intersections.
The addition of bicycle lanes continues Tempe’s longstanding commitment to sustainable transportation and providing streets with accommodations for all modes of travel. The removal of vehicular traffic lane(s) in order to accommodate bicycle lanes is consistent with the Transportation Master Plan, which was approved by the City Council in January 2015 after a year-long public involvement process that identified McClintock Drive as a candidate for bike lanes.
I’ve talked to a LOT of people who actually live in South Tempe, and it is pretty hard to find anyone who agrees with the addition of these lanes and their barriers. Travel time has increased, and there just doesn’t seem to be a need for such a drastic change in an area where you don’t have a lot of bicycle traffic. As I mentioned before, I get it. I know that Tempe is and should be bike-friendly, and we need to be concerned for the safety of people on bikes. Many people who know me know that I’m kind of a transit fan. Yes, I’ve been to Tour de Fat, I have taken the time to meet the guys at the Tempe Bicycle Action Group, and I think they do a lot of awesome things. While they will certainly disagree with my criticism of these stupid ballards, I am sure we’ll find things to agree on again in the future. From comments I have seen from people who actually live, work and play in the area, the ballards / candlesticks were a pretty big waste of taxpayer money.
Here’s just a small sample of some of the comments I have seen.
“I sit two additional light cycles each way now if I go that direction. What has this done for the green city they want to project. Traffic backed up over a mile and half now but the folks making these stupid decisions only care about the perception and not the reality of what they have done. Feel good programs at work again! Bring on the idle time and brown cloud.”
“I agree. The bike lanes are ridiculous…..it was hard enough getting out of my neighborhood on McClintock now its worse”
“Thank you! Totally agree with you on this. I was just saying to myself ” what idiot came up with this idea” I think there was plenty of room for 6 lanes and the bike lane. Now traffic is the worst it’s ever been on McClintock. I have lived in Tempe all my life, this is one of the biggest bone-head moves we have seen right along with the pedestrian lights at the canal past Guadalupe.”
“What a Waste of money. Haven’t seen a bike yet. And traffic is more congested as a result of losing 2 lanes”
“Amazing..I still do not see bikes using the bike lanes. I would expect to see dozens ride past me as I sit motionless in two lanes of congested traffic that three lanes once carried. Point blank – who’s dumb idea was it.”
City buses and city fire trucks traveling the roads during rush hour can run in to very high traffic volumes during morning and evening commutes. I have heard residents and city officials raise concerns about these issues.
A couple of the Tempe City Council members have been very vocal with their support for this addition to our streets. Some, not so much. Maybe if said councilmembers traveled south of Broadway Road once in a while, the outcome would have been different? Not that votes matter when it comes to this stuff, but hopefully, people will provide some input at the March meeting about the ballards that line McClintock Drive.