At Tuesday night’s McKinney City Council work session, the Council received an updated presentation by Transportation Manager Gary Graham regarding the proposed city wide bike plan based on feedback and comments at recent meetings. The plan outlines a number of on street bicycle treatments for different types of roadways throughout the city. The city currently has 240 signs they have already purchased with funds from a Department of Energy grant that are meant to identify for motorists and cyclists that cyclists have the ability to occupy the travel lane on those roadways. The staff report suggested that 3-5 signs be posted every mile on streets delineated as bicycle boulevards. The city has until March 2013 to complete installation of the signs to be in compliance with the grant and will now move forward that they have received feedback from the City Council that they are in agreement with that portion of the plan. 

A detailed discussion ensued regarding the use of sharrows. Sharrows are markings on the pavement in the travel lane that indicate that cyclists have the right to use the travel lane on designated roadways. Sharrows are frequently used in conjunction with the signage discussed previously and several examples were provided during the staff presentation. The Council had concerns that the sharrows may prove confusing for motorists and suggested a 6- to 9-month public education campaign before the city began using sharrows on any city streets. 

Based on citizen and council input staff recommended that buffered bike lanes be removed from the city’s plan but would like to continue to pursue bike lanes on streets that will be newly created or expanded in the future. The plan outlines approximately 86 miles of bike lanes throughout the city much of which if focused in areas that are yet to be developed. Staff specifically asked for consensus of the Council to move forward with planning for bike lanes on a stretch of Virginia Parkway and Stacy Road from Highway 121 to Ridge Road– both of which will have design work completed shortly due to Regional Transportation (RTR) dollars that have been allocated to those projects. The staff also asked for council input regarding bike lanes on Highway 5 since the city will be entering in to the Highway 5 Corridor Study in the near future. The Corridor Study will be a 6- to 12-month process that will include considerable public input. The Council requests cost estimates for bike lanes on both Virginia and Stacy before they would agree to the design process to include the lanes and suggested that bike lanes on Highway 5 should remain an option during the study process.

The Council clearly stated the need to focus on safety and education as we move through phases of implementation of the plan and also indicated that they are not in favor or creating a construction project for the sole purpose of adding bike lanes but approach implementation as roads are being constructed or existing roads are being widened. 

To review the staff presentation regarding on street bicycle treatments visit: mckinney.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx and open the agenda for the Dec. 4 Council Work Session.