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King Street Bicycle Lanes and Pedestrian Improvements
NEWS:: Based upon additional requests for clarification of the process for appealing the Director’s decision to install the bike lanes, the City Attorney has recommended that the City follow City Code Section 10-2-8. Although there is no direct procedural device that provides for an appeal, this section of the City Code has been deemed applicable. There was a public hearing at the Traffic and Parking Board meeting on Monday, February 24, pursuant to City Code Section 10-2-8 as part of a review of the T&ES Director’s decision to install the bike lanes between West Cedar Street and Janney’s Lane. The Traffic and Parking Board made the following recommendation to the Alexandria City Council:
TRAFFIC AND PARKING BOARD ACTION, FEBRUARY 24, 2014: On a motion by Mr. Ruggiero, seconded by Mr. Schuyler, the Traffic and Parking Board voted to reject the Director’s decision to install bicycle lanes on King Street, for safety reasons, and to defer for 60 days to allow proponents and opponents of the plan time to develop a compromise solution. The motion carried on a vote of five to two with Mr. Schuyler, Mr. Ruggiero, Mr. Johnson, Ms. White and Mr. Lewis voting for the motion and Mr. Cota and Mr. Posey voting against the motion.
The Traffic and Parking Board Docket can be found here. This recommendation will be considered by the Alexandria City Council at the Saturday, March 15 public hearing.
The portion of King Street from Russell Road to Janney's Lane was recently resurfaced and a temporary center line was installed. The City had received a number of requests from residents and civic associations for traffic calming along King Street. Throughout the outreach process for this project, it became very clear that safety improvements were needed along this roadway. The project is intended to slow vehicle speeds and provide a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists. Bicycle facilities are recommended for King Street in the City's Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan which involved an extensive public outreach process in the development of the Plan's recommendations. These bicycle lanes would provide a connection from the King Street Metrorail Station to the newly installed bicycle facilities on Janney's Lane.
Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee 8.19.13
City Council 3.15.14
Commission and Committee Letters of Support
DASH - Alexandria Transit Company
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How will emergency vehicles operate with these changes?
A. They are allowed to stop in bike lanes, and drivers can pull into bike lanes to let the emergency vehicles pass. Removing on-street parking spaces will make it easier for all traffic to yield to emergency vehicles, and make it easier for emergency vehicles to access homes along King Street.
Q. How will moving vans be accommodated?
A. They can use driveways or apply for a permit to park on the street, including sections of the street that have bike lanes.
Q. What if someone needs to stop on the side of the road for a delivery, carpool, drop off, etc?
A. The bike lane on the north side of the street is 5' wide so a vehicle that needs to quickly stop will mostly be out of the travel lane. The average vehicle is 6 feet wide. Cars in the travel lane will be able to pass the stopped vehicle without crossing the double yellow line. The City is not installing "No Standing" signs so it will not be illegal to briefly pull to the curb.
Q. Will bike lanes slow speeds on the street?
A. The moving lanes will be narrowed with the installation of bike lanes. This tends to reduce speeds by a few miles per hour. Narrowing travel lanes, especially in an urban area, is a widely used tool for traffic calming.
Q. The sidewalks on King Street are narrow - What are you doing to improve pedestrian safety?
A. The bike lanes will provide a buffer on both sides of the street and move cars away from the sidewalk. They will also help keep cyclists on the street and reduce pedestrian/cyclists conflicts on the sidewalk. The City also upgraded crosswalks in October 2013 along King Street, and will improve the crossing at Upland Place with the installation of a rapid flash beacon. In addition, the City will install a variable speed sign on King Street to slow speeds and improve pedestrian safety. City staff will continue working with the community to help identify additional safety measures that can be implemented. Staff has already reached out neighboring civic associations to begin discussions.
Q. The bike lanes end prior to the intersection of King Street, Callahan Drive and Russell Road. How are you providing a connection to the Metro?
A. The City has been awarded a federal grant to provide pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements to the intersection of King Street, Callahan Drive and Russell Road. City staff will be bringing this plan to the community for review and comments once concept plans are complete. With all roadway projects, phasing in implementation occurs. The resurfacing project on King Street provided the opportunity to make roadway marking improvements along the roadway that will connect to the future pedestrian and bicycle improvements at the intersection of King Street, Callahan Drive, and Russell Road.
See the 11.25.13 presentation HERE for answers to more questions.