Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Monthly BPAC update

The city of Medford Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting was this last Monday, and I'm going to try to make it a point to update everyone that reads this blog as to what's being discussed.

First up was the application for Lithia Motors' new Middleford commons structure and the plaza-like park out in front of it. Bartlett Street and an alley farther east will be widened slightly, and everything in between those two streets between 4th and 6th will be torn down to make this nice park. Officially, everything checks out, and I won't oppose it in committee because that's not my job to be political there.

Unofficially here in cyberspace and in my own opinion, it's just another example of how we're too car dependent. The streets will have parking on one side each, and it will just invite pedestrians to walk out in the middle of the block where the doors are, dash out between parked cars and get hit. I also think the park will be irresistible for transients.

Next up was the safe sidewalks to school program grant. The city is going to be constructing lots and lots of sidewalks, most of them will only be on one side of a given road, so kids can walk safer to school. I don't know, the feasibility of this program seems to be overrated. How many parents, after growing up with "Stranger Danger" and its ilk, are going to allow their children to walk to elementary school?

A last little bit for everyone who's interested, since it's a little difficult to find buried in the city's website - here's the link for the official bike lane map of Medford. I will warn, though, that the map is not all that accurate. There are some places marked on the map that don't actually have bicycle facilities, but some of it is accurate, and you can use it to plot some routes.

Remember, be safe, be seen, and be assertive.