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King Street needs bike lanes not a bike boulevard, reader says
Dear Street Smarts, Q: I think your column is very helpful and I applaud your neutral approach. My question concerns the King Street bike boulevard plan. The city had commissioned and received a comprehensive study and report from Bicycle Solutions, which concludes that a bike boulevard at this location is not feasible – that bike lanes were more appropriate. The two public meetings held found the majority wanting bike lanes and NOT a bike boulevard. My question for you to answer is why the city council has chosen to ignore this study rather than go ahead with installing bike lanes. Why do they want to waste so much time and effort on a redundant study by putting this project on the funded Capital Improvement Program list pending receiving an outside grant to fund a $300,000.00 study? I would appreciate your reply as I am becoming frustrated by the non-response from city offices. Sincerely, Mike Speviak via email A: Thank you so much for the compliment. I consulted with Chris Schneiter, public works assistant director for information about the project's process. “There were many emails and letters on the issue of a King Street bike facility prior to the City Council study session on the Capital Improvement Program, of which one of them was Mr. Speviak's,” he said. “The emails and letters are directed to council to inform them of the community's concerns prior to the Council deliberating and acting on their agenda items. They are part of the public record. Staff does not provide individual responses to each email and letter. That is not possible.” On April 12, council member Katherine Beiers made the motion to include the King Street project be included in the fiscal year 2013 budget, with anticipated grants. Council member Tony Madrigal seconded the motion and the entire council voting unanimously to approve it, minus the vote of Mayor Ryan Coonerty, who was absent. Schneiter could not provide information on the number of letters and emails received by the public regarding the project. But he did say most were form letters from supporters of a local cycling organization that supports the bicycle boulevard idea. But he did say the project isn't a done deal, yet. Schneiter encourages the public to attend and voice their concerns at the council's June meeting, where the budget and Capitol Improvement Program will be adopted.