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I’ve been reading about how New York City implemented change with temporary tries at solutions that were based on data driven assessments and then were assessed based on data that was collected from gps information available through Taxis

So the premise is that with temporary facility moves–say planters and not very permanent street paint, one might put a lane in where one didn’t exist, and then see how it is used. Or one might section off a street like they did around Time’s square and then see what happens–both in terms of use and in terms of traffic flow.  You can watch Janette Sadik-Khan speaking about their strategies on a ted talk here.

This idea of pop up street make-overs is one that is gaining popularity, and you can see an example of it at Macon Connects.



In Macon, they organized a temporary street redesign, brought in a bunch of volunteers, and created a network for moving people around. They also provide a clear bike path, along with an agenda of what needed to happen on each street in order to create the popup installation:


So I’ve been thinking about two things in response to reading Sadik-Khan’s text Streetfights

First, what would it mean to create a JMU connects concept plan, equivalent to the Macon one, but for this space, and what could we do in terms of street markings that would attempt to suggest alternative routes to students.

So this is just a quick and dirty and I have no idea what i’m doing attempt at  a bike map mock up:


Obviously, it’s not coherent, but it’s what I could get before my impatience won.

So I’m thinking specifically about a recommended bike route, mostly on existing roads, and often where there is already markings for bicyclists, but to add signs when markings quit, to suggest places where it’s just hard to interact with the buses in a way that feels safe–say going uphill on bluestone drive from the book store towards the quad, and having to stop for pedestrians and the buses that pull out at that stop sign/drop off.

Could we collect data now of how bikes use the quad, and other spaces, create maps that could be distributed both as an app and as hard copies. Create opportunities for students to try bicycling on the roads with people more familiar on roads.

And try marking some of the streets and one of the pedestrian/bicycle shared spaces with bicycle lanes differently.

So one of the options is advisory lanes–so here’s an example of one in New Hampshire, I think


And these same kinds of lanes are in Virginia near DC, and also in the Netherlands.  Below is a road as we mark it in the states, next to a similar road in the Netherlands, and these roads function in both towns and rural spaces.

image2 imageone

Here’s an image of one that was very busy which we navigated, as did the automobiles without difficulty.



So here’s my attempt to overlap them and show what it might look like, but you have to imagine that the center double line is gone.


I’m thinking specifically of roads like


If Bluestone were marked differently, with just dotted lines along the sides, (and this is of course a fantasy that one might be able to paint over the yellow double line for a trial period), what might we then be able to communicate to students about where they could ride their bikes quickly and safely?

This might not be a viable option for JMU, but I’d like to suggest that it makes sense to build bicycling facilities that indicate to students viable routes, and viable strategies, and then provide resources that help students acclimate to and try out these alternative and viable routes.