Help Bring Bike Lanes To MLK In St. Pete!

The City of St. Pete is well underway with the development of its Complete Streets Plan, creating improved transportation environments for all ages and physical and economic abilities to safely and comfortably move around the city. Complete streets are flexible and take into account their surrounding land use regulations and related transportation network connections.

With that, there is immediate opportunity to add bicycle facilities on Dr. M.L. King Jr. Street North with an upcoming resurfacing project. The City is asking you, the public, to share your ideas on its proposed alternatives, or your own thoughts if you’d like to see something different.

To make it easy, we’ve included a pre-written comment here, which we fully support, enabling you to copy and paste into the comment box if you agree!

With the proposals offered, I support:
* Seg 1: 5th-7th: Alt 2 with 6′ bike lanes
* Seg 2: 7th-9th: Alt 1 with 5′ bike lanes and 2′ buffer
* Seg 3: 9th-11th: Bike lanes should be continued and connected
* Seg 4: 11th-30th: Alt 3 with 7′ bike lanes and 2 NB lanes for accommodating the Highland merge

Voice your opinion HERE through November 17, 2017.

Project Details:

Resurfacing Limitations

Resurfacing Limitations

The City plans to mill and resurface Dr. M.L. King, Jr. Street from approximately 5th Avenue North to 34th Avenue North next year.  Resurfacing provides an opportunity, through the Complete Streets Program, to implement changes to the roadway striping that enable a street to be safer while continuing to move people across several modes and support business needs along the corridor.  

Currently, this Minor Arterial, A.K.A. a road to connect Major Arterial Roads, essentially from neighborhood to neighborhood, has a speed limit of 35 miles per hour. Posted limits aside, MLK has average speeds of 45 miles per hour with 34% of southbound vehicles traveling in excess of 45 mph. This creates a very unsafe condition for vehicles, bikers, and pedestrians with over 108 crashes in the 25-block span in the past three years alone.

2040 Projected Vehicles Per Day

2040 Projected Vehicles Per Day

With daily traffic numbers less than 10,000 vehicles per day, the volume is well within the amount to be considered for a Complete Streets program. Looking at projected traffic counts in 2040, MLK is only projected to see 12,500 trips per day in each direction. To give you an example of what this translates too elsewhere, Chicago looks at road diets for any corridor with just north of 20,000 vehicles per day, about half of where we currently stand.

Complete streets improvements will make the MLK safer to all users with lower speed limits and the potential increased bike infrastructure we’re supporting. That said, it’s important to note that while the vehicle speed is slower, the travel times often don’t change by any significant amount with complete streets projects as cars tend to travel at a more consistent speed. Think about traveling the 1st Avenues, if you travel at the posted speed you’ll have green lights the whole way. Folks that race from red light to red light travel at higher speeds but don’t get to their destination any faster. It’s a similar concept on complete streets. In addition, the slower speeds enable cars to travel closer together meaning more cars can fit in the same space, adding to the more consistent vehicular travel time. So, in short, more safety for all, while no real effect to cars. That’s a win in our books!

See a short video on this concept here. (The good stuff starts at 1:58.)

Coast Supported Alternatives

Segment 1 5th Ave to 7th Ave

Segment 1: 5th Ave to 7th Ave

Section 1: 5th Ave N to 7th Ave N Alt 2

  • One northbound lane could be converted to provide bike lanes on MLK.
  • VERY low vehicle volume on this section of MLK northbound.
  • The bike lanes would meet acceptable design standards though they would be adjacent to on-street parking.
  • All lanes would be at acceptable minimum widths, therefore, there would be no room to add a buffer space to increase bicyclists’ comfort.

 

Segment 2 7th Ave N to 9th Ave N

Segment 2: 7th Ave N to 9th Ave 

Section 2: 7th Ave N to 9th Ave N Alt 1

  • Convert the on-street parking to a buffered bicycle lane in each direction.
  • Parking isn’t utilized on this section of MLK as all businesses have their own large lots. (Walgreens, Advanced Auto Parts, Save-A-Lot)
  • Works in conjunction with the 5 th Ave N to 7th Ave N alternatives by continuing the single northbound lane and adding a two-way left-turn lane.
  • Medians would be provided where they would not restrict access to driveways.

 

Segment 4 11th to 30th

Segment 4: 11th Ave N to 30th Ave N

Section 4: 11th Ave N to 30th Ave N

  • Adds an additional northbound lane [from the previous sections] where it is needed to accommodate the northbound traffic merging from 8th Street N via Highland.
  • Would mitigate excessive speeding in the otherwise uninterrupted 60’ wide concrete corridor and create optimal conditions for all road users we outline above.
  • Use reclaimed space to provide buffered or physically separated bike lanes

You can find the full proposal and all alternatives on the City’s website HERE.   

Support bike lanes and complete streets on MLK in St. Petersburg by copying and pasting into the comment box HERE if you agree!

With the proposals offered, I support:
* Seg 1: 5th-7th: Alt 2 with 6′ bike lanes
* Seg 2: 7th-9th: Alt 1 with 5′ bike lanes and 2′ buffer
* Seg 3: 9th-11th: Bike lanes should be continued and connected
* Seg 4: 11th-30th: Alt 3 with 7′ bike lanes and 2 NB lanes for accommodating the Highland merge

Voice your opinion HERE through November 17, 2017.