|Brooks St, Mount to Higgins|
Brooks St. from Mount to Higgins was repaved in Summer of 2010, adding in bike lanes, by removing parking on one side of the street. We measured Brooks Street at 41' from curb to curb most of the roadway. The road used to be striped as two 12'6" travel lanes with an 8' parking lane on each side. Bicycling on this section was challenging, with several reported crashes over the last couple of years.
With the new configuration, speeds seem slower making the road feel more livable. As part of the public process, we knocked on every door for people that would lose parking under option 4 below. We found roughly 85% supported losing parking in front of there house in order to gain a bike lane. About 5% did not care one way or the other and 10% were opposed.
Here were some repaving and restriping options that we analyzed and proposed in 2009 and 2010:
Option 1: Two 11' driving lanes, two 6' bike lanes, two 7'6" parking lanes. That totals 49'. That means 4' would need to be cut into the boulevard on each side. Not a good option because of too much space taken from boulevards and cost to cut into the boulevards (there is a moderate slope). *This option is moving forward from the City yet they want to get feedback from the citizens*
Option 2: Twp 10' driving lanes, two 5' bike lane, two 7'6" parking lanes. That totals 44'. Not a good option because the bike lanes would be too close to parked cars and the risk of 'dooring' would be high.
Option 3: Remove parking. Little on-street parking exists on this stretch of Brooks and also alleys and side streets make for good alternatives. Without parking, the road can be restriped as: 13'6"' driving lanes and 7'6" bike lanes. This is maybe an option, yet the widths would be wider than needed. The boulevards could gain space in order to have widths more like 6' bike lanes and 11' driving lanes. Removing parking on both sides may not be acceptable to the neighborhood.
Option 4: Retain parking on one side of the street, resulting in: 7.5' parking lane, 6.5' bike lane, 11' driving lane, 11' driving lane, 5' bike lane. That equals 41', meaning the curb line stays the same as today. This would likely be a good option. *MIST preliminary preferred option*
April 2010 Update: After a recent public meeting, the City has decided not to widen the street. This change is being made in order to preserve the historic boulevard and the street trees. The question of parking and/or bike lanes still remains. MIST supports options 3 or 4 above. We have since determined that removal of parking of both sides would be very feasible- it would be similar to Arthur Ave, which had parking removed 10 years ago to gain bike lanes, and is now one of the best biking streets in Missoula.
At the meeting, serveral people spoke in favor of parking and several spoke in favor of bike lanes.
July 2010 Update: City Council voted to support the request to remove one lane of parking and put in bike lanes on both sides. The project will be complete late Summer.
February 2011 Update: the street was repaved/resurfaced, with bike lanes on both sides. The road appears to be working well.