A few more thoughts on the evolution of Price Street

I have to say that I’m weary of writing about Price Street.

I’ve been writing for years about the dangers of having that two-lane, one-way, underutilized road slicing through two miles of historic neighborhoods, and I’m thrilled that we finally have an arrangement that will be of benefit to residents throughout the neighborhoods to the east and west.

Click here to read today’s City Talk column about Price.

Yesterday, several days after submitting that column I rode my bike on Price for very short stretches a couple of times.

In mid-afternoon, I was just going from 33rd to 37th on Price, but I decided to make an early departure from the street because one of SCAD’s student buses was coming behind me on the right hand side of the road. That’s the bus that stops at Anderson Hall and then swings onto 37th Street to get students at Wallin.

The markings were all finished. I was in the clearly marked lane, and so was another rider. Why in the world would a bus driver of all people think they should be on the right side of the road?

We still obviously need some serious enforcement out there. For a few days, the incomplete signage was a dangerous problem (which I note in today’s column), but now the danger appears to be ignorance.

4 comments for “A few more thoughts on the evolution of Price Street

  1. Greg
    February 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    I rarely use Price street but had the misfortune of attempting to drive through there last week. It was a complete disaster! Traffic was literally backed up for blocks, several blocks. CAT, SCAD and every other type of public transportation was trying to weave in and out of the new drive lane. There wasn’t a single sole utilizing the bike lane nor parking in the newly created parking space, at least that’s what I think they are. I had to exit the street and find an alternative route due to the unbelievable traffic congestion. I, for one, am never in favor of creating more traffic congestion and confusion and I think this new bike lane has done exactly that. If the goal was to further hamper tourist and resident’s ability to move efficiently and efficiently through this city, job well done!

    • bill dawers
      February 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks for the honest comment, Greg. I’m sure a lot of people will agree with you.

      It certainly didn’t have to be that way. The piecemeal signage and markings created all sorts of confusion. I probably would have blocked the whole right side off with orange cones for a week or so to get people used to one lane traffic there — and that would have been the perfect time to see whether any of the lights need to be green longer. (It sounds like from your comment that they do.) With just one lane, fewer cars can get through on a green, and some of those times might need extending — which should have been another entirely predictable thing to look at. I brought it up in my column before.

      Of course, the main reason you didn’t see anyone using the bike lane is that drivers were still using it. We had some really unsafe conditions for much of last week.

  2. John
    February 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    I drove on Price Street a couple of times last week and my experience was very different than what Greg described. All the cars were moving at or slightly above the speed limit. However, I did see an impatient motorist use the bike lane to pass another car.

    Tonight I pedaled all the way from Bay to Victory in the bike lane and found it very enjoyable. Bill, I think you may be on to something with the light timing. That might mitigate some of the problems Greg saw.

    I had hoped the new on-street parking would dissuade people from parking on the sidewalks, but that problem persists.

    • bill dawers
      February 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      I could imagine that for a few minutes at rush hour some of the lights need to be a little longer for Price St. traffic. That’s most likely a problem at Henry and Anderson because those two lights are so close together. If so, it’s a pretty simple fix and I hope the city moves ahead quickly.

      I hadn’t noticed the continued parking on the sidewalks in a few spots, but that’s also something that needs some stepped up enforcement — or for now just some stepped up warning citations with a friendly reminder that there are now legal on-street spaces. I’m puzzled after more than two years of planning some better notification processes weren’t in place and ready to go.

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