The Avenue C bike lanes which UNT wanted to remove are up for discussion at tomorrow night’s Traffic Safety Commission meeting at City Hall in the council work room, 5:30PM. After outcry from concerned cyclists, UNT postponed the demolition, we met with the UNT College of Music, and now a new plan which includes sharrows on Ave C will be presented by city traffic engineers.
From the agenda for tomorrow night, behold:
Recently there has been some attention drawn to a section of Avenue C through the University of North Texas (UNT) campus. In 1987 the City of Denton added a raised section of pavement on the east side of Avenue C as part of a project intended to add a median to the street and narrow its cross section from Eagle Drive north to Mulberry Street in order to try to slow down traffic through campus. Avenue C was previously 56-feet from back of curb to back of curb (b/c to b/c). A 10’ section of striped paving identified as a bicycle lane was added on the east side of Avenue C along this distance and a 14-foot median was added. The northbound and southbound lanes are 15-feet in width from face of curb to face of curb.The UNT has asked the City to remove a section of the raised pavement on Avenue C at the southeast corner of its intersection with Chestnut Street in order to install a “loading zone” adjacent to its Music Department. This “loading zone” is really a misnomer. It is not a commercial loading zone that is typically approved through Traffic Safety Commission per Ordinance 93-089. It is a section of street that is signed for No Parking, meaning that vehicles may stop temporarily to load or unload passengers, etc. as long as they do not exit the vehicle and leave it. It will not be striped for a loading zone, but will instead have a 6-inch dashed edge line extended from the end of the raised section north to the turn lane at Chestnut Street.Southbound bicycles using the raised lane on the east side of Avenue C are placed in direct confrontation with vehicles turning right on any of the cross streets on campus and at Eagle Drive. This is an inherently unsafe installation; however, neither the City nor UNT have the funds to remove it in its entirety and change the configuration of Avenue C. For this reason, the City is installing bicycle “sharrows” (bicycle symbols with chevrons) in the lanes on each side of Avenue C and signage indicating that bicyclists are to share the road through the campus. This street has lower speeds by virtue of its configuration and speed limit, and the sharrow concept, while it has not been formally adopted by the City, is a recognized share-the-road marking that has been discussed with UNT for application in this case.