Article by Jane Rands, Chair of the Fullerton Bicycle Users’ Subcommittee. From the Fullerton Observer:
A new concept to Orange County, known as a Bicycle Boulevard or Bike-friendly Street, is slated for a 2 week trial run on East Wilshire Ave from Pomona to Acacia in the fall of 2015. The IBI Group, under a grant funded contract with Fullerton, will be testing a new street design intended to improve bicyclist and pedestrian safety. The design will allow bicyclists and cars to share the street at speeds of 10-15 mph while enhancing the neighborhood with a calmer and quieter street.
Temporary “traffic calming” and “traffic diversion” devices will be selected from a standard set of tools that have been permanently installed in cities such as Berkeley (10 years), San Luis Obispo (5 years), and now Long Beach. A traffic circle could replace a four-way stop. A raised “slow-movement” intersection that puts the road at sidewalk level where the streets meet, would place pedestrians at a higher level of visibility when crossing the street.
Traffic diversions at entrances, such as Raymond or Lemon, or at key points along the route would allow bicyclists and pedestrians to pass through while diverting larger vehicles to signalized intersections. Limiting through traffic encourages automobile drivers to utilize faster, non-residential parallel streets, such as Commonwealth and Chapman.
Chicanes may also be used to reduce speed by reducing the width of the street. Chicanes up to 40 feet long can include attractive landscaping. But they also remove on street parking which is already at a deficit in this older neighborhood impacted by student parking from Fullerton College.
East Wilshire Avenue is a great candidate for a Bike Blvd and has been identified as such in Fullerton’s Bicycle Master Plan. It is a lovely tree lined street that is popular with cyclists. Nearby there are schools, the main post office, the transit station, and downtown.
If the bike boulevard is to be successful, it must meet the needs of both cyclists and residents who live on and around East Wilshire. On February 4, IBI invited the residents to attend a presentation where IBI answered questions and received feedback on the proposed options. There were 2 sessions at the Wilshire Auditorium with about 30 people total in attendance. The most often raised concern was the possible loss of parking. Mark Miller, the traffic consultant for the City, recommended that residents apply for parking restrictions with permits for residents only.
IBI will be bringing their plan to Fullerton’s Bicycle Users Subcommittee and to the City Council in the spring before returning to the residents again. After the two week trial in the fall, the council will review IBI’s study in late 2015 or early 2016 to determine whether to move forward with permanent improvements to establish Fullerton’s first bicycle boulevard.