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Bicycle lanes

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singlefin
(@singlefin)
Trusted Member

I believe the federal government once subsidized highway reconstruction at a higher rate if a bicycle lane was added to it. Always thought a bike lane along East End road and maybe something along Centerline Road would be awesome. I don't see anything like that on STX.
Does STT have any bicycle lanes along side any roadways? Anyone know why the local highway departments have never taken advantage of this opportunity?

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Topic starter Posted : September 13, 2016 9:19 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

No, STT has no bicycle lanes. Are you familiar with its topography?

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Posted : September 13, 2016 9:33 am
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

Wasn't there a plan for a bicycle lane on STX a few years back?

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Posted : September 13, 2016 10:00 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Wasn't there a plan for a bicycle lane on STX a few years back?

There was this in 2005:
http://atfiles.org/files/pdf/Operations-Management-Plan-St-Croix-Bike-Path.pdf

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Posted : September 13, 2016 10:15 am
singlefin
(@singlefin)
Trusted Member

Hills are no deterrent to a bicycle (aka The Beast). However, on STX I do agree, the topography is more conducive to bicycle use, with far more rolling hills than steep, grinding climbs.
As with all things, I know it comes down to $. Just intrested in knowing if the same federal grants for such projects in the states extend to the USVI.
With all the talk about protecting the environment, ect... I'm just surprised bike paths, along some of the most scenic roads in the world, have never been considered.
I'd pedal year round to Gallows Bay on a regular basis if I had the opportunity.

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Topic starter Posted : September 13, 2016 10:19 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Hills are no deterrent to a bicycle (aka The Beast).

The "hills" on St Thomas (better described as mountains) aren't the issue. The main issues are lack of space for bicycle lanes - on many roads there's barely room for two vehicles going in opposite directions; twisting turning narrow roads with totally blind corners, and steep drop-offs "protected" only by low guardrails in some areas.

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Posted : September 13, 2016 10:35 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

i wish there were bicycle lanes. especially near the time for the triathlon

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Posted : September 13, 2016 10:51 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

There is no reason why there couldn't be bike lanes, or properly constructed roads with shoulders, if the GVI wanted them. But for some reason they think laying asphalt over dirt is how a road should be made.

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Posted : September 13, 2016 11:27 am
singlefin
(@singlefin)
Trusted Member

That's my point Old Tart.
Up in the states they'll add about 4' of pavement to one side of the road, paint some lines along it, and designate it exclusively for bicycles.

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Topic starter Posted : September 13, 2016 11:28 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

So, those of you on St Croix, what happened to the 2005 proposal I linked?

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Posted : September 13, 2016 11:28 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Apparently, only continentals ride bikes so no real need to waste the money for their benefit.

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Posted : September 13, 2016 1:09 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Trusted Member

Apparently, only continentals ride bikes so no real need to waste the money for their benefit.

(tu) *-)

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Posted : September 13, 2016 1:16 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

That's my point Old Tart.
Up in the states they'll add about 4' of pavement to one side of the road, paint some lines along it, and designate it exclusively for bicycles.

What's done "up in the States" is totally irrelevant to our situation. On STT our volcanic rock mountainous terrain makes adding 4' to the side of any road a massive financial outlay totally unrealistic for the benefit of a mere handful of enthusiastic cyclers.

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Posted : September 13, 2016 1:23 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

So, those of you on St Croix, what happened to the 2005 proposal I linked?

"Cruzan Bikeways Inc. is a Park/Playground in Christiansted, Virgin Islands. In 2005, it received its exempt organization status from the IRS and now brings in $7,000 in annual income."

To try and answer my own question, my guess is that the government opted not to foot the bill. With an annual income of $7K, the company who made the proposal wasn't exactly in a stellar financial position to provide anything other than the proposal.

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Posted : September 13, 2016 1:33 pm
homeschoollady
(@homeschoollady)
Active Member

Everywhere on St. Thomas is not full of hills, people. Red Hook all the way to Nadir is mostly flat (ok by the traffic light is a little high, but not that high) and from there you can go up Brookman Road toward the Tutu Park Mall. I am sure we can find another doable route in addition to this, too. Besides, I see people biking up Raphune Hill and other really high hills, too.

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Posted : September 13, 2016 2:17 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Nobody is saying there are no cyclists on St Thomas, nor that there are no flat areas. There are a few biking aficionados here and they do their biking mostly very early in the morning before the main traffic flow starts up. The question was about constructing dedicated bicycle lanes and for the reasons stated it's not feasible.

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Posted : September 13, 2016 2:25 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

What's done "up in the States" is totally irrelevant to our situation. On STT our volcanic rock mountainous terrain makes adding 4' to the side of any road a massive financial outlay totally unrealistic for the benefit of a mere handful of enthusiastic cyclers.

The shoulders on the roadside are not put there for the "benefit of a mere handful of enthusiastic cyclers."

From the FHSA website:

Shoulders provide a number of important functions. Safety and efficient traffic operations can be adversely affected if any of the following functions are compromised:

>Shoulders provide space for emergency storage of disabled vehicles (Figure 7). Particularly on high-speed, high-volume highways such as urban freeways, the ability to move a disabled vehicle off the travel lanes reduces the risk of rear-end crashes and can prevent a lane from being closed, which can cause severe congestion and safety problems on these facilities.

>Shoulders provide space for enforcement activities (Figure 7). This is particularly important for the outside (right) shoulder because law enforcement personnel prefer to conduct enforcement activities in this location. Shoulder widths of approximately 8 feet or greater are normally required for this function.

>Shoulders provide space for maintenance activities (Figure 7). If routine maintenance work can be conducted without closing a travel lane, both safety and operations will be improved. Shoulder widths of approximately 8 feet or greater are normally required for this function. In northern regions, shoulders also provide space for storing snow that has been cleared from the travel lanes.

>Shoulders provide an area for drivers to maneuver to avoid crashes (Figure 7). This is particularly important on high-speed, high-volume highways or at locations where there is limited stopping sight distance. Shoulder widths of approximately 8 feet or greater are normally required for this function.

>Shoulders improve bicycle accommodation (Figure 8). For most highways, cyclists are legally allowed to ride on the travel lanes. A paved or partially paved shoulder offers cyclists an alternative to ride with some separation from vehicular traffic. This type of shoulder can also reduce risky passing maneuvers by drivers.

>Shoulders increase safety by providing a stable, clear recovery area for drivers who have left the travel lane. If a driver inadvertently leaves the lane or is attempting to avoid a crash or an object in the lane ahead, a firm, stable shoulder greatly increases the chance of safe recovery. However, areas with pavement edge drop-offs can be a significant safety risk. Edge drop-offs (Figure 9) occur where gravel or earth material is adjacent to the paved lane or shoulder. This material can settle or erode at the pavement edge, creating a drop-off that can make it difficult for a driver to safely recover after driving off the paved portion of the roadway. The drop-off can contribute to a loss of control as the driver tries to bring the vehicle back onto the roadway, especially if the driver does not reduce speed before attempting to recover.

>Shoulders improve stopping sight distance at horizontal curves by providing an offset to objects such as barrier and bridge piers (Figure 10).

>On highways with curb and enclosed drainage systems, shoulders store and carry water during storms, preventing water from spreading onto the travel lanes.

>On high-speed roadways, shoulders improve capacity by increasing driver comfort.

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Posted : September 13, 2016 3:31 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

What's done "up in the States" is totally irrelevant to our situation. On STT our volcanic rock mountainous terrain makes adding 4' to the side of any road a massive financial outlay totally unrealistic for the benefit of a mere handful of enthusiastic cyclers.

The shoulders on the roadside are not put there for the "benefit of a mere handful of enthusiastic cyclers."

I didn't say they were. The majority of roads on STT don't have "shoulders" period.

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Posted : September 13, 2016 3:34 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

Hills are no deterrent to a bicycle (aka The Beast). However, on STX I do agree, the topography is more conducive to bicycle use, with far more rolling hills than steep, grinding climbs.
As with all things, I know it comes down to $. Just intrested in knowing if the same federal grants for such projects in the states extend to the USVI.
With all the talk about protecting the environment, ect... I'm just surprised bike paths, along some of the most scenic roads in the world, have never been considered.
I'd pedal year round to Gallows Bay on a regular basis if I had the opportunity.

No offense but "the Beast" LOL. That hill is a speed bump compared to STT roads. Only the more hard core cyclers brave STT.

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Posted : September 13, 2016 4:10 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

The statements posted by the FHSA about road shoulders are certainly very useful but the committee that wrote it would be apoplectic if they convened on STT to make some minor local revisions - their own shoulders would be bowed in consternation.
Many places here you cannot even see the mangled guardrails when the un-maintained bush grows out and into the roadway. Although we receive Federal Highway funding, and they required the obscure route numbering system to qualify, it is difficult to imagine that some, if any, of our 'Federal Highways', which are essentially country roads, could possibly satisfy the safety requirements that exist in the continental USA.
Constructing 'shoulders' on most of our roads is an impossible task or at the very least a century long subsidy that would make our Public Works department the Grand Canyon of wasted federal tax dollars -[ which they would happily accept BTW]

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Posted : September 13, 2016 4:42 pm
singlefin
(@singlefin)
Trusted Member

You guys make it sound like adding a 4' shoulder to an already established roadway is like building the space shuttle.
For Example:
Let's use East End rd, from Christiansted to Cramer Park. There are sidewalks already established alongside the road in a few areas. The added asphalt shoulder could be added to where those cement sidewalks now begin/end.
A shoulder/bike path would be benificial for all the reasons Vicanuck'S FHSA statement made. A bike path would be like a little bonus.
When the new Asphalt plant gets up and running, id imagine the cost would be far less than imagined.
Besides, before Joe Biden retires in a few months, I'm sure he could funnel a few wayward Federal dollars in our direction. I'm sure he'd appreciate a newly paved road out to his place 😎

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Topic starter Posted : September 13, 2016 5:59 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

You guys make it sound like adding a 4' shoulder to an already established roadway is like building the space shuttle.)

The only point we're making is that on St Thomas it is exactly that. Apples and oranges.

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Posted : September 13, 2016 6:19 pm
singlefin
(@singlefin)
Trusted Member

Yea,
And there's absolutely no way they'll ever go ahead with that crazy Christiansted Bypass idea!

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Topic starter Posted : September 13, 2016 6:45 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Trusted Member

You guys make it sound like adding a 4' shoulder to an already established roadway is like building the space shuttle.
For Example:
Let's use East End rd, from Christiansted to Cramer Park. There are sidewalks already established alongside the road in a few areas. The added asphalt shoulder could be added to where those cement sidewalks now begin/end.
A shoulder/bike path would be benificial for all the reasons Vicanuck'S FHSA statement made. A bike path would be like a little bonus.
When the new Asphalt plant gets up and running, id imagine the cost would be far less than imagined.
Besides, before Joe Biden retires in a few months, I'm sure he could funnel a few wayward Federal dollars in our direction. I'm sure he'd appreciate a newly paved road out to his place 😎

So the government is going to have to buy 4 ft. of land on both sides of the road for the entire bike path. Where is that money to survey, document every map, pay for the land (which will have to be seized using eminent domain laws in many cases) and refencing for many going to come from. Not even talking about the paving cost yet.

Also, once you take 4' away from everyone's property, you are forcing a violation of law that states that you cannot build within 15 feet of your property boundary.

Given our governments inability to do anything complicated (Look at how long it took to do the bypass) I will bet that a bike path will never happen.

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Posted : September 13, 2016 7:07 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

Widening some these roads on STT 4 feet would created either sheer cliffs or would require literally removing a mountain. Scott Free, Hull Bay Road, even skyline would be monumentally costly. I pass bikers every morning at 530. They meet up at Drake's Seat and work toward 4 corners. I don't think they try going up Suicide Hill though

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Posted : September 13, 2016 7:28 pm
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