A neighborhood association in Land Park said it will support a plan to install bicycle lanes on Freeport Boulevard, as long as the city takes steps to mitigate increased traffic, make up for lost business parking and monitor the project’s long-term impact.
“It is impossible to predict exactly what will happen when bike lanes are introduced and vehicle lanes reduced,” Land Park Community Association President Mark Abrahams said in an email. “In short, we recognize that the changes proposed in the Freeport Boulevard Bike Lane Project have had a very desirable effect elsewhere in Sacramento and in many other cities, but that changing the layout of the street is really only half the project here. The effects must also be monitored and negative impacts corrected, or the project may well result in disaster, not success.”
The LPCA released a statement on Oct. 2 in support of the the Freeport Boulevard Bike Lane Project, which aims to add bike lanes to the segment of Freeport Boulevard between Sutterville Road and 21st Street during the scheduled resurfacing next summer.
The statement includes a list of changes that the organization says must occur for the project to succeed.
- City staff must still find ways to accommodate business parking on Freeport Boulevard to make up for lost parking spaces.
- Mitigation measures must be implemented to alleviate the “cut-through” commuter traffic on the east/west residential streets along Freeport Boulevard.
- The city should conduct a bicycle usage study to determine if bike-friendly policies are doing what they are meant to and increasing bike usage and safety.
- The city should review the project next summer to determine the consequences of the project.
- The city should keep itself updated on the adverse impacts of the project and work to lessen them in a timely manner.
Freeport Boulevard is home to a number of locally owned businesses, a high school, a community college, a senior living community, a park and many residences – all factors that had to be taken into consideration when planning the project.
Project Manager David Edrosolan said the city is still working out the details of the project, but hopes to have it ready to present to City Council on Nov. 8.
“There are two roadway segment options and four intersection options,” Edrosolan said. “At this time, we don’t know which one will be implemented.”
The LPCA said it conducted a survey that indicated the majority of Land Park residents support the option that would change Freeport Boulevard from two lanes in each direction with on-street parking, to one lane in each direction, with a center turn lane, bike lanes, and no on-street parking.
The LPCA is not the only group that supports the project. Freeport Boulevard attracts many bikers due to the proximity of McClatchy High School and Sacramento City College. The addition of bike lanes was proposed by students, faculty and parents at McClatchy High School in order to improve bike safety for students going to school, according to an article published in January in The Sacramento Press.
Edrosolan said that the community and bikers have been requesting a bike lane between Sutterville Road and 21st Street that also provides connectivity between north and south.
“We appreciate the input and opinions of all the neighbors and residents and businesses that are along the project route,” said Linda Tucker, Department of Transportation spokeswoman. “We take that into consideration also and choose a preferred alternative.”
The city’s transportation staff is holding a community meeting on Thursday, Oct. 25, with a short presentation about the Freeport Boulevard project and a chance for community members to ask questions. It will be held in the McClatchy High School cafeteria.
What do you think about the Freeport Boulevard Bike Lane Project? Does the LPCA have the right approach to it? And what do you think about the city’s efforts to be more bike-friendly?
The full statment from the LPCA: