By Scot Key
Relative to our “flash poll” yesterday regarding the new road striping on Girard between Lomas and Indian School, here’s a recent photo taken by occasional Better Burque contributor John Fleck looking northbound on Girard just south of Frontier Ave. (just north of Jefferson Middle School):
Since this photo first appeared, there’s been understandable ridicule in the “community” of the bike lane stripe interrupted to fit the bike lane stencil. Very understandable ridicule.
Thinking back myself, I recall going to a public meeting, perhaps the last one before work began on the Girard Complete Street Project. You know, one of those meetings with table-tops covered with schematic drawings of proposed project work, and helpful staffers to answer questions.
My memory is certifiably horrible, but I can’t remember seeing any table-top drawing with such skimpy bike lanes. So I went to the Girard Project website and looked at what I do believe were the exact drawings shown at that meeting.
And from looking back at those drawings, and a bit of Google Mapping, I discovered something I certainly didn’t notice back at that meeting, but that seems to have been discovered by plenty of folks now, engineering firms and others involved in implementing the Girard Project included.
From the plans, here’s a cross-section look at the proposed improvements for much of Girard between Lomas and Indian School:
Looking for the little red marks I inserted to aid the eye, we see overall street widths of 41 feet (21/20, 20/21 and 20.5/20.5 respectively). Using that 41 feet, we see a strange 13 foot parking/bike lane section mentioned, but let’s focus more on the two sections that seem to have, to an extent, been implemented in the final project. That’s because if you check out Girard now, there’s one stretch with a parking lane, door zone, bike lane on one side of the street, and a skinny bike lane on the other, with the sides switching roughly midway between Lomas and Indian School.
Now let’s count up the total feet devoted to various elements of the Project:
- Parking Lane: 7.5 feet
- Door Zone Buffer: 1.5 feet
- Bike Lane: 4 feet
- Two Driving Lanes: 22 feet
- Bike Lane Buffer: 1.5 feet
- Bike Lane: 4.5 feet
- Total: 41 feet
Voila! 41 feet. Perfectly matching the 41 overall feet of roadway that unquestionably exists across Girard Blvd. Perfectly.
Only one problem…
It’s cheesy and slightly inexact, but taking a Google Maps bird’s eye view and its measurement feature allows one to measure streetwidths with some precision, while also not being killed by passing cars.
Here’s such a look down at Girard just south of Frontier Avenue.
Oh. That’s closer to 38 feet than 41 feet, isn’t it? Particularly, if one counts only one side’s gutter pan (aka “the gutter”) which we’re supposed to do here, as rules call for counting gutter pan in calculating car parking lane width, but not in bike lane width.
But that’s only one spot, Scot! At the very least, let’s take another look at Girard and Mountain:
Yes, looking via this method is somewhat inexact, but there is NO WAY Girard is 41 feet across at either of these points, even if you count both gutter pans.
You want confirmation of that fact: Look at the new striping done on Girard.
I believe the term QED is applicable at this point.
Meanwhile, yes, your humble blogger wishes he had known this way back when at the meeting with all the drawings on table-tops. He also wonders exactly when the far more important people in charge of designing and implementing this project discovered this fact.
As we sigh, heavily, let’s look one more time at one illustrative result from this discovery.