City thinks about implementing bike boulevards, WWL
Saturday, Jul 16, 2016
By Wynton Yates, WWL
NEW ORLEANS – The conversation about bikes in New Orleans has always been a battle of pointing fingers at who does what wrong. Whether it’s bicyclists riding the wrong way or not observing street signs it’s drivers not giving bikes enough space. Now some city officials are entertaining the idea of separating the two with bike boulevards.
“It’s really clear for the drivers and the bikers as to who’s supposed to go where,” explained Mayor Landrieu’s Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin.
Kopplin says that the boulevard would not be a bike-only thoroughfare but access to cars would be limited.
“Every couple of blocks traffic will be diverted so you’ll have to take a right or a left. So if you wanted to go from downtown to uptown and go 20 straight blocks you’d pick a different street rather than the one that’s a bike boulevard” said Kopplin.
Kopplin says the boulevards would be interior streets that run parallel to major roads. That way bikes are in one space while cars are in another, but everyone gets to where they need to go.
There are bike boulevard’s in cities like Tucson, Arizona and Berkley, California. Dan Favre with Bike Easy New Orleans says he has ridden similar boulevards in Minneapolis and Montreal
“You don’t feel the speeding traffic and the risk that is involved cars that are moving through at a thoroughfare kind of speed” says Favre.
Farve believes having these kinds of discouragement for cars is also good for the residents who live in these neighborhoods.
Farve says “streets get more of a ‘park in the front yard’ kind of feel where you don’t have heavy traffic passing through your street and instead you’ll see more people walking and more people biking.”
City officials say they do not have immediate plans to implement bike boulevards and they are still working out possible kinks.
(© 2016 WWL)
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