Thursday, October 14, 2010

Local involvement

I've never been too much involved with bike advocacy, other than riding a lot and telling people that I know that it's pretty awesome. But lately I've been thinking that I ought to get involved locally.

For life in the 'burbs, we have a pretty sweet deal. The South Suburban trail network is a good one, especially for recreational purposes. And it's not a terrible one for transportation. We live about in the heart of it too, and can head several directions to catch a trail. The local governments are making an effort to create trail connectors for gaps in the existing network, which is a nice step.

We live in the city of Centennial, a relatively new city (about 10 years old) about 10 miles dead south of downtown Denver. Centennial is working on a new Transportation Master Plan, which is a great opportunity for a pro-bike guy like me to have a say. They've done a few different things to seek public input, including a slick map-based comment system.

The comment system has been very insightful to review. My non-professional review of the current comments reflects the following:

1) Speeds are too high. This is a frequent comment in residential areas and even some major arterials. I didn't see any comments to the contrary. So, people want to relax and have a safe place for their kids to walk home from school.

2) 'X' is a good place for improve bike or ped infrastructure. This might be the most frequent comment I saw. People who ride every day know where there are weak spots.

3) Lots of comments about improving bus and light rail access, including striped bike lanes to/from the major light rail station in Centennial (Arapahoe station).

On October 20th the city is hosting an open house to discuss the TMP in our city. It just so happens to be at a library that I go by every day on my way home (if I take surface streets and not the trail). I plan on stopping by to offer my thoughts on 'Which improvements are needed' and 'Which improvements are the highest priorities,' as requested by the city's website here. Let's see if we can be forward looking enough to give something more than re-paving a priority.

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