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Lancaster Plan for Trails and Bikeways Public Workshop 06/29/2011

July 1st, 2011 at 7:11

Members of the public gathered at Mariposa School in Lancaster on Wednesday evening to meet with city officials and consultants to offer their opinions on what is needed to improve bicycling, walking, horseback riding, and mobility for the disabled within the City of Lancaster.

Gathering for Workshop

Members of the public gather for the workshop

After brief talks by city official including April Bartlett, chairwoman of the city’s architectural and design committee, and Berna Mayer, Antelope Valley Partners for Health board member, Ryan Snyder of Ryan Snyder Associates gave a presentation on the planning process so far, the work that they have done to date, and shared the draft maps of the plans that have been produced.

Prior to this workshop, several public meetings have been held with cyclists, equestrians, walkers, and disabled people to address what kinds of things they feel would make Lancaster the kind of place they would like to live in, what would make it a healthier, more vital community, more walkable and more livable. This process began last September with monthly staff meetings, meetings with an advisory committee consisting of stakeholders, and public workshops. Snyder and his staff reviewed background documents, did extensive field work, and created draft maps.

Ryan Snyder

Ryan Snyder presents the draft plan

For bikeways, a network is proposed that connects the whole city, making bike travel easier both north-and-south and especially east-and-west. These improvements will include the standard Class I, II, and III bikeways, but also colored and buffered bike lanes, wider shoulders, and small paths. Pedestrian improvements will include wider cross walks, higher visibility, curb extensions, bulb-outs, perpendicular ramps, crossing islands, signs and pavement markings. Barriers to the disabled will be addressed to fix inaccessible bus stops and missing curb ramps. Equestrian trails will include trailheads, parking, and sitting areas. Jogging loops will be created that include earthen trails, decomposed granite trails, and rubberized sidewalks.

The vision of the plan is to create a street system that is bicycle and pedestrian friendly, reducing walking distances, offering more route choices, making local streets quieter, dispersing traffic and reducing reliance upon arterials for all trips. Some of the ways of doing this involve increasing connectivity with paths and greenways to reduce walking distance and smaller block sizes to increase walkability. Roundabouts at some intersections can slow speeds, increase capacity, and achieve a reduction in fatalities and serious injuries.

After the presentation, Mr. Snyder took questions from the audience. He said that the plan will include wayfaring signs on the trails and that there would be a bicycle parking program that could require bike parking for new development.

Brian Ludicke and Ryan Snyder

Brian Ludicke, Director of Planning, and Ryan Snyder

Everyone then went outside for two exercises. The first exercise involved walking around a mini-roundabout. Some folks were designated as cars, some as pedestrians, and others as bicycles, each playing that role as they maneuvered around the structure to get an idea of how it works.

Paul Avila and Larry Schuster

High Desert Cyclists President Paul Avila and HDC member Larry Schuster on the roundabout

For the second exercise, two people were chosen to walk on grids that were laid out with three large dots. One grid was laid out resembling a connected grid street system. The other grid resembled cul-de-sacs. The dots were in the same positions on each grid. Each person was asked to walk from point A to B to C on their grid and were timed. The lady that walked on the first grid took 7 seconds to traverse it, but it took the person who walked the second grid a full 25 seconds to reach the finish on that grid. This was quite an effective way to make clear how important connectivity is in the walkability of a neighborhood.

Grid exercise

The grid exercise

Returning inside and given little sticky red and blue dots, participants were asked to look at the various maps of bikeway, walking, intersection, equestrian, and jogging trails, and put the dots in places they felt should take priority, red dots for higher priority, blue dots lesser priority.

Another meeting will be scheduled for the fall to go over the final draft plan. A date has not yet been set.

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One Response to “Lancaster Plan for Trails and Bikeways Public Workshop 06/29/2011”

  1. Streetsblog Los Angeles » Today’s Headlines Says:

    […] Bike Planning in Lancaster Moves Forward (Biking in the AV) […]

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