A recent FDOT project on Hwy-40 in Ormond Beach provides a lesson in how not to do bike/ped improvements:
The beautification project along Granada Boulevard in Ormond Beach was designed to slow down motorists while making it more attractive for pedestrians, businesses and others.
Signs soon began popping up along the newly paved section of the busy thoroughfare urging motorists to share the road with bicycles.
Jack Gonzalez, though, says he finds himself these days riding in the gutters. “It used to be a lot safer, you would at least have some space,” said Gonzalez, who owns The Bike Shop on nearby Yonge Street.
Gonzalez isn’t the only one concerned about bicyclists riding on the main road through the city’s downtown. One elected city official believes there is a potential for disaster. “It’s a tragedy in the making, I just hope and pray it doesn’t happen,” said City Commissioner Troy Kent, whose zone includes downtown and who recently took up biking.
Earlier this year, crews transformed a section of State Road 40 from Washington to Beach Street by narrowing the lanes and adding medians in an attempt to slow traffic and make the road more pedestrian-friendly.
To be precise: what the FDOT did was to add a median barrier. It is a highway engineering solution to increase the throughput on a major arterial. Medians encourage drivers to go faster, without worrying about oncoming traffic. To make room for the median, the outside lane was reduced to 11′. Previously, cyclists had a wide outside lane, but now they have to ride in the middle of 35 mph traffic. But don’t worry — FDOT added Sharrows so now it is more bike “friendly”.
If FDOT had actually been serious about slowing traffic, they would have implemented a road-diet.