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In the words of the Doors “Strange days are here”. Wicked Wednesday has officially been changed to “Weird Wednesday”. Let me tell you about it Midtown.

I didn’t bike to work today, I was attending the Madison Bike Lane Meeting at Minglewood Hall. More on that later.

I arrived at Republic Coffee for some iced coffee. As soon as I took my seat I noticed a copy of the magazine “Heavy Metal” on the book shelf. Heavy Metal? I haven’t picked up that magazine in ages. Yes, a twisted space, sci-fi comic book for adults (or teens when I read the magazine in my youth). Time has not been kind to “Heavy Metal”. The art did not look as good as I remembered it, and the magazine didn’t appear to be very interesting.

I arrived home after work to pick up my wife to head to the Madison Bike Lane meeting at Minglewood Hall. The third meeting tonight had a good turnout. I took notes again and even recorded the event with my Ipod. I will have to post those notes at a later time. The meeting began with what has occurred in the past, where we are now, and where do we want to go with Madison. Read all of the notes I took from the meeting at the bottom of the page. (If I can figure out how to download the audio from the meeting I will post it here)

I was leaving the meeting and a woman was getting ready for her bike ride home. I chatted with her for a few moments. She lives a mile away from Minglewood Hall. She has SWORN to ride her bike on Madison no matter what the outcome is. Madison is to dangerous a street for me to ride on now, but I would do so if bike lanes were added. I told her I SPENT MONEY at Madison businesses while riding my bicycle. Repeatedly! Can ya give me a bike lane? Please?

After the meeting we headed to Republic Coffee for a BIG Cobb Salad. $10 for dinner for two. Good deal. Right when I am eating my salad, I notice an article in the Memphis Flyer out this week about the business owners who feel cheated by being left out of the Madison Bike Lane discussion. Really? I was at all three meetings at Minglewood Hall. ONE Madison business owner spoke up at the first meeting in a focus group. NO business owners spoke up at the second Madison Bike Lane meeting. And ONE business owner asked for clarification at tonight’s meeting, Madison business owners care about what happens on Madison? Really? The owners certainly did not make an impression on me at any of these meetings. Where are the 75+ owners who are concerned. If they all showed up, that would account for at least 75% of the audience. From what I could tell, the audience make up was of those who lived in the area (me) for the most part. And yes the cycling community was a presence as well. I do not claim to know or recognize all the Madison business owners, but if any majority attended the events, I sure didn’t see or more importantly didn’t HEAR what their concerns were. Remember, writing an editorial in a newspaper or even commenting on news stories in the newspaper will not get your point across. SHOW UP at these meetings. Get involved. Complaining about the outcome later in a newspaper will do you and your business no good. I gave up an hour and a half of my time on three different occasions, to make sure my concerns were heard. Madison business owners, where were you? As a business owner I would have made sure my concerns were heard and I would have made sure the other business owners were in attendance at all of these meetings. I guess the issue of what Madison looks like is NOT a concern to Madison business owners.

More weird Wednesday. As we were eating my wife pointed out this article in a magazine, “Teach your cat how to swim to save its life”. Now I have heard it all.

Come back tomorrow for more cat stories and iced coffee and bike lanes.

Bike meeting 3

Two possible outcomes

Four focus groups
Look at maps and drawings

The story so far.
History

Went over last two meetings.
Street milled then asphalt

Heart of arts plan

What can make Madison a great St?

What are other cities doing?

How do we make streets safer?

Complete streets.

Previous meeting notes.

Last meeting specifics

345 online survey responses
80% go to eat on Madison / 60% commute
50% shop
25% said they live nearby

15% live near Madison
50% in midtown

41 mph
Today Compare and contrast 3 and 4 lanes

Traffic measured at Neals and Overton

Daily average 12500- 13,000 cars

People treating Madison as 40 but speed is 35. commercial streets should be 30.

Other examples in other cities

Cone of vision
Slower. bigger cone of vision
Slow traffic more aware driver

Trade offs.
Maintain volume
Fewer accidents
Get more people

How is Madison used now?
Overton square a bit narrower

History of traffic on Madison
Why did traffic change?
12,500 average

204 available parking spaces

New information
Improved safety for all
More people
Unique  / artistic
Parking
Destination Place
Follow up / worked or not

We all agree:
Repair sidewalks
Improved crosswalks
New marked crosswalks at Minglewood and Morrison

Landscaping
Street furniture benches & trash cans
Ada accessible ramps at corners
Historic lighting
Market vacancies
Shared bike lanes

Disagreement
Space for bike lanes?
Parking on street?
Max capacity for cars

Pros and cons
Today, 4 lanes, 3 lanes
Capacity
Volume
Peak hour volume
Through lanes
Turning lanes
Stacking not including turn lanes

Today no protected area. 15 secs to cross street.
Pedestrian safe area. 8 seconds to cross with 3 lanes.

Speed – what are the obstacles in your way? Speed limited by traffic flow in 3 lane version.
Parking over 300 spaces

More parking, more landscaping.

Two choices
4 lanes with shared bike lanes
Has on street parking both sides

Or

Parking on north side only
4 lanes traffic
Shared bike lane
Motorists can go around cyclist

No parking either side
Shared bike lanes

Special places
Finos
4 +1 lane, shared bike lane
1 side parking

Overton
4 lanes shared bike lane no parking

Two diff sections with
Bike lanes you can only go as fast as cyclist

Give up turn lane? Parking? Dangerous situation arises.

3 lanes with bike lanes
Park on both side, turn lane, one lane each way

Changes from fast thorough fare

Overton
2 lanes parking bike lanes

Today and future traffic
Union 25 to 30,000
Poplar 25-30,000
Madison dropped. Why?
Mid 90’s Baptist hospital closed
Overton sq declined
6 lane street 40000 capacity
5 lane 35,000 capacity
4 lane 28000
3 lane 17000
2 lanes 12500

More Madison change to less lanes on union

Was growing 2% a year for 10 years

1985-1994

We should be at 3 lane street now. 40 years to reach 4 lane street.

Available growth
400 new Single family homes
400000 sq ft office
100000 sq ft shopping
50000 sq ft restaurants

Time before Madison reaches capacity

North Carolina
Drug store owner said things were getting better

Consensus
Excited about Madison St
Streetscape we all want
No consensus 4 vs 3 lanes

Both 4 and 3 lanes work
Issues for parking/ turn lane Risky,

Capacity would not be an issue
Computer model takes 4-6 weeks
To predict traffic

What modest changes would you make?

Break into focus groups

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