The grand opening for the Northside Bike/Ped Trail is scheduled for 10:00 AM Friday, November 2. Mayors Pete Buttigieg of South Bend and Dave Wood of Mishawaka will join in the event, which will be held at the former intersection of Logan St. and Northside Blvd. Limited parking is available on Northside Blvd with more on 36th Street between Northside and Pleasant St. The best parking for folks wanting to ride the ceremonial opener should ‘park and ride’ from the Veterans Park lot on Northside Blvd. just below and east of the Twyckenham bridge. (Remember: Twyckenham goes OVER the Blvd. and does not intersect.)
The latest (May, 2012) BMC bicycle maps are now available. If you didn’t get one during Bike to Work Week, they should soon be showing up in your local bike shop if they aren’t already there. If you’d like, you may also download a high-quality PDF of the map HERE, but note that it is a 4.2-MB download.
The City of South Bend, along with bicycle advocates has begun the process of collecting non-motorized traffic counts. On June 14, from 5:00 until 7:00 pm, eight volunteers joined the South Bend Bicycle Coordinator staff in conducting the counts at eight sites in and around South Bend.
All of the count sites were in South Bend, except for Juniper Road, which is in St. Joseph County, just north of the Notre Dame campus. All of the South Bend sites are on a Bike/Ped path or on a street with striped bike lanes; Juniper road was selected, largely because it is slated to be upgraded for safer bicycle traffic in the near future, and this count will make a good baseline. These same sites will be counted periodically, and additional sites will be added in the future. Volunteer counters were recruited from the Bike Michiana Coalition, Bike the Bend, and Indiana University at South Bend. In order to expand the program, additional volunteers will be needed.
With this count, Michiana is partnering and sharing data with the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Project whose effort provides a consistent model of ongoing data collection for use by planners, governments, and bicycle and pedestrian professionals.
New Wayfinding signs have been recently installed, joining the Bicycle Friendly Community signs which were erected earlier this spring.
A South Bend Bicycle Wayfinding Committee looked at several sign formats used in United States and European cities before selecting the final design. Chris Dressel, South Bend Bicycle Coordinator stated that the installed signs represent just the first phase of the project, and cover two bike routes: 1) University of Notre Dame to Downtown South Bend (via Colfax Avenue and Notre Dame Avenue), and 2) Riverside Trail from Darden Road to Angela Blvd. A total of twenty-four signs have been installed in Phase I, which consists of 16 decision signs and 8 confirmation signs. Mike Divita, a South Bend Planner who worked closely with the Wayfinding Committee compares the sign system to other U.S. cities and believes it is second to none.
Dressel thanked the Bike Michiana Coalition, Bike the Bend, and Grass Roots Media for providing support for the first phase and making planning for the next phase possible. The Bike Michiana Coalition and Bike the Bend, each contributed $2,500 to subsidize the signs.
Judy Lee, BMC President’s reaction was immediate. She said it is “like a dream. The hard work of so many is becoming reality.” Betsy Kwiatkowski exclaimed in an e-mail “I’ve already seen one sign and it looked awesome!” Glenda Lamont, of Bike the Bend agrees that it is “very good news indeed”, and already is looking forward to Phase II.
Most noteworthy, is the new lease agreement between Niles Township and American Electric Power Co. (AEP) that is in the works. AEP owns a high power line that goes from near the current Niles trail, down to the State Line; they will lease part of the property to Niles Township. Harry Thibault, chairman of the Niles Township Parks Board envisions running the trail down part of that property.