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trolley rail-trail for Ardmore Boulevard median

The grassy median in Ardmore Boulevard from Brinton Ave (slightly north of I-376/US30 interchange) to Electric Avenue (where it merges with Ardmore) used to contain a trolley line until 1967. This might be a good place for a trail, since it provides a safe route through this area, and connects from the city to the Turtle Creek Valley. Pedestrian traffic signals might need to be added. Perhaps the trail can be paved with permeable pavers, to match the park-like aesthetic and allow water through so as not to compound runoff problems, if there are complaints about this. Signs and similar may also need to be moved or redone; however, the trees and poles in the median don't seem to be in the way if worked around. What do you guys think?
2016-03-22 14:48:15
I was looking at that after Mike McDermott was killed. I decided it probably was not such a great idea. Riding between four lanes of high speed traffic would be pretty unpleasant and would feel dangerous. Looking at it again, I think it's a better idea than I thought then. At least the two neighborhoods would be connected, somehow, other than by car. Maybe you could put up jersey barriers in the more high speed sections, where the median is wider. I think you would have to move a lot of the poles out of the way.
2016-03-22 14:58:17
@jonawebb Regarding the poles, perhaps the trail can be on one side of the median (following where one of the two trolley tracks might have been) instead of in the median (middle :-) ) of the median. Another way it can maybe be done is by having one side of the median for pedestrians and the other for bikes (although this may necessitate crosswalks by some of the intersections, so pedestrians can connect from the median to the sides of the road, as most pedestrians would likely not be using this as a through route, but as a local one, as opposed to bikers, who will likely be using it as a through route, unless there are ways and reasons to go to the side, for example if businesses would want crosswalks). A third way it can be done is by having a kind of Penn Avenue style bike lane, but split into two separate directions with one on each side of the median, each following one track of the trolleys. Perhaps to make bikers feel safer, and drivers more alert to the presence of people in the median, bollards, or some other type of reflector, can be put up on the sides of the median; or perhaps the trail can be a few inches lower than the rest of the median, and the grassy median itself can be raised a little bit, if necessary. If done the second way, the trail would perhaps feel more like its own separate roadway, while fitting in with the parklike atmosphere (assuming residents etc. would complain about detracting from the atmosphere).
2016-03-22 15:27:17
I don't see a huge objection coming on the grounds of getting rid of the greenspace; how much relief do people get from driving past a grass strip at 40 mph or more? I think the biggest problem will be that people will object to connecting a black neighborhood with a white one with a walking path. The barrier is there for a reason.
2016-03-22 15:36:03
Having a bike lane in the median is a poor solution, long term. In general road design, there are good reasons we put sidewalks on the outside, and the fastest traffic in the middle. A complete redesign where the median is narrowed, car lanes re shifted toward the center, and (protected) bike lanes are created on the outside, sounds like the better solution.
2016-03-23 06:01:29
I'd thought about that, too. The problem is that there are highway entrance and exit ramps on both sides. I don't know how you'd work around that without expensive overpasses that would take up a lot of space. The median is much more practical.
2016-03-23 07:51:28
Hey, they have bike lanes in the middle of pennsylvania ave in DC and it works.
2016-03-23 10:26:11
Eastern Parkway in New York has bike/walkways in its medians (although there is a service lane on one side, not a full road, there are also sidewalks on the other sides of service lanes; the median ways are likely more for through traffic).
2016-03-23 10:46:34
The median of ardmore seems to be different than the center of most city roads, being that Ardmore is part of the Lincoln Highway/U.S. route 30, and therefore, most of the traffic, even at intersections, is likely through traffic which is going straight, not turning, so there would likely not be much interruptions to trail users at intersections, especially when combined with proper bike/pedestrian signals. It is similar to a highway with a median in the middle, and less like usual city streets. The median is also very wide (enough for two trolley tracks (of width 5 ft 2.5 inches -- Pennsylvania trolley gauge, so at least 10 ft 5 inches wide, and likely least 14 ft width), so it is not akin to most city road medians. As far as crossings of the boulevard, through main traffic lanes, to the edges, there most likely are not too many places which would warrant having crosswalks, since much of the road is surrounded by office building complexes etc.
2016-03-23 11:05:31
The section between Morrow and Brinton doesn't have any road crossings, and that's also the minimal reasonable bike / pedestrian path, since it's where the sidewalks end on either side and the highway entrances and exits start. On the Forest Hills side, especially, it would be good to extend it further, since Ardmore is a four to five-lane highway that is pretty dangerous to ride. Or you could do some road-dieting. I doubt Ardmore gets as much traffic now as it did back in the day.
2016-03-23 11:45:24