Sunday, December 21, 2003

East Atlantic Bikeway Presentation

A presentation on the ongoing East Atlantic Bikeway feasibility study took place at Somerdale Borough Hall, Camden County
The corridor is 8.5 miles long from Oaklyn to Chews Landing Rd in Clementon
East Atlantic Avenue is a well known route that is used by local cyclists and in some ways acts as a bicyclists White Horse Pike,
there is a parallel rail corridor with one active track and an unused right-of-way that is mowed and is used sometimes by residents for parking.

Some highlights of the meeting
The study is being done by Key Engineers
Somerdale Mayor Gary Passanante is a pro active supporter of the project, Somerdale has been awarded $200,000 to implement their portion of the bikeway.
12 municipalities signed on to the project, but the State has told them that they must apply individually for their segments
Shared roadway is the only possible continous option, but there are opportunities for bike lanes in many segments but parking issues must be resolved, including removing parking. There are some segments where there is enough road width now for bike lanes.
An off-road path is possible but would not be continous, furthermore Conrail has been uncooperative and refuses to relinquish its unused right of way
Traffic calming or traffic reduction on East Atlantic Ave has not been looked at, apparently there is a desire locally not to interfere with the flow of through traffic because it is an alternate to the White Horse Pike (US 30)
A video of East Atlantic Avenue was made available at the meeting on CD
Two versions of the video were created, a slow deliberate version and a fast run video. Bot videos show several cyclists riding on Atlantic Avenue.

My thoughts:
County should take initiative to create a bicycle boulevard
1 - repave Atlantic Avenue and widen to the edge of the RR right of way
2 - install bicycle friendly drainage grates (note: replacing drainage grates should be a countywide project)
3 - Install Share the Road signs and sign it as "East Atlantic Ave Bikeway"
4 - Organize parking - replace perpindicular and angle parking with back-in reverse angle parking (This has been done in Pottstown and Wilmington)
5 - Install bike lanes where there is sufficient width to do so
6 - Install roundabouts at minor intersections (which are relatively infrequent), signalize major intersections
7 - Install bicycle friendly traffic calming devices in business districts

I think the multi-use path options should continue to be pursued to encourage local bike/ped travel, although that should not be signed as a continous facility nor should these segments be viewed as a substitute for a bicycle friendly Atlantic Avenue.