Key elements of Alternative 3 included:
- Class II Bike Lanes - provides safe space for cycling and discourages sidewalk cycling
- Back-in angle parking (video) - improves drivers’ sight lines when entering/exiting parking spaces; makes it easier to pull in and out of parking spots; eliminates the risk of “dooring” for cyclists; grants local businesses possibility of transforming angled spaces into outdoor dining/seating areas.
- Narrower Lane Widths - calms traffic, discourages speeding
- Bulb-outs at Intersections - shortens crossing distances for pedestrians
- New Pedestrian Crossings on long blocks where none currently exist - removes barriers to walking
- Relocation of Bus Stops to the far side of intersections - improves traffic flow and transit times since buses stop after traffic signals, not before
- 200+ Canopy Trees in medians and sidewalks - shade in summer/cleaner air
- Public art and more (visit project website for details)
However, the concept was not without its detractors then. And a small but vocal group who feared the proposed changes would result in traffic congestion and hurt local business back in 2012 has succeeded in persuading the City and staff to consider a watered-down alternative. Pictured below, the new proposal would NOT widen sidewalks, plant new parkway street trees, or install back-in angled parking. Although Class II Bike Lanes remain in the proposed design (in part due to several million dollars in grant funding already secured by the City for pedestrian and bike improvements), the lanes would now be in the "door-zone" of the parallel parking, making them less safe than the lanes alongside the back-in angled parking unanimously voted upon and approved by the City Council in December 2012.
It is thus critical that local residents and patrons of the district once again take the time to share their thoughts on and support for the original proposal. Especially if you live or shop in Temple City, or would be more likely to do so if it was more bike/ped/transit friendly, local decision makers need to hear from you!
Comments can be submitted via email to the below copied addresses. Sample points and a template letter of support also follow. For more info about the Las Tunas Project, check out the City’s project website (www.lastunasdr.com).
Public comments should be submitted to the following addresses:
A Few Benefits of People-friendly "Complete Streets"
- Reducing speeding - Implementing a road diet and narrower lane widths will reduce speeding, and thus increase safety for both motorists and vulnerable road users like pedestrians and bicyclists (e.g., research shows that danger increases significantly with speed - pedestrians struck by automobiles driving 40mph have an 85% chance of dying; at 30mph fatalities drop to about 45%; and at 20mph only 5%.)
- Class II Bike Lanes in each direction will
- Increase safety for vulnerable road users.
- Decrease sidewalk cycling.
- Make shopping by bicycle a safe and viable alternative.
- Back-In Angled Parking (video) - benefits include:
- Increased safety for motorists entering/exiting parking spaces and bicyclists using bike lanes (e.g., eliminates risk of “dooring” - collision when door of parked car opens in front of oncoming cyclist).
- Additional, convenient, storefront parking.
- Easier and faster than parallel parking for motorists to enter/exit parking spaces thereby reducing traffic congestion.
- More separation between moving traffic and pedestrians.
- Driving less saves residents in fuel and automobile maintenance costs.
- Investments in bicycling/walking infrastructure encourages residents to patronize local businesses, rather than those outside City limits.
- “Bike Lanes May Benefit Small Businesses” - See Video on NBC News
- Increasing the number of people walking, cycling and using alternative modes of transportation will help decrease pollution.
- Integrating active transportation into the lives of everyday residents will have long-term physical and mental health benefits for the community.
- Only 4 square miles and flat, local trips in TC can easily be made by bicycle and/or foot.
- Investing in safe, dedicated infrastructure makes cycling and walking more viable for residents of all ages.
Sample Letter of Support (please personalize)
-------------------Template letter (please personalize)----------------------
Temple City Council
9701 Las Tunas Dr.
Temple City, CA 91780
RE: Support for a Safer, Calmer, More Vibrant Las Tunas Drive
Honorable Mayor Chavez, Members of the City Council and City Staff,
As a member of the public who [lives/rides/shops] in Temple City, I wholeheartedly support your efforts to make Las Tunas Dr. a vibrant business district that is easily accessible by foot, bike, transit and automobile.
In particular, I support the use of the following to the existing street design:
- Wider sidewalks
- Shorter, protected pedestrian crossings
- New pedestrian crossings on long blocks
- Back-in angled parking
- Buffered bicycle lanes
- Narrower travel lane widths
- New street trees for parkways and center medians
- Bus stop improvements
- Public art
These improvements would make Las Tunas safer for all road users - motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users - as well as create a healthier, more active and vibrant streetscape. Rather than speed by existing storefronts as is currently the norm, visitors to the City would be greeted by a greener, calmer Las Tunas Dr., a destination rather an east-west cut through for non-residents and commuters.
As local leaders, you have the power to realize a truly pedestrian-, transit- and bicycle-friendly downtown. I hope you will take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead the City into a healthier, more sustainable future.