Residents in the Oak/Hickory historic district are expressing anxiety about an impending battle between the city street planners over parking bans in the name of bike lane accommodation. According to the city, parking must be eliminated on both sides of both streets in order to accommodate wider traffic lanes for both cars and bicycles. The city purports that the current Hickory parking clearance in the historic district is too narrow and unsafe. Simultaneously, the city wants to add 6 foot wide bike lanes running the full length from Bonnie Brae to Carroll on Oak and Hickory. This is has been coming for since at least March, as the NTDaily has previously reported.
I measured the street in front of my house on W. Hickory, and the bike lane was 5′ wide, with a 4″ stripe. The right lane was 10.5-11′ wide. The left lane and parking lane was about 22′ total, so maybe 11′ for the lane and 11′ for parking. Street engineer, Bernard (Bud) Vokoun, wants to widen the existing drive lanes to become 12′ wide. By comparison, minimum interstate highway lane width is 12′. Minimum interstate shoulder width is 10′. Basically, if the lanes become wider, the bike lanes or parking are squeezed out, creating a polarizing fight between the neighborhood and cyclists.
The city sent out a written notice, dated June 17, describing the potential changes and announcing a neighborhood meeting with the Traffic Safety Commission. The meeting will be held at 5:30 PM, July 6 (Monday) at the City Council chambers on McKinney St.
If you live/own property within 500 feet of the proposed changes to Oak and Hickory St, you should have received a notification letter about this upcoming meeting. If you didn’t receive a letter, call Doreen at 940-349-8923, or email her.
Here’s the letter: