*This article has been updated to accurately reflect the City’s roadway plans on Marshall Street and Southern Avenue.
On Monday, at the City of Shreveport’s Infrastructure Committee Meeting, Assistant City Engineer Andy Glasgow, announced the next five streets that are being proposed for “Phase II” of Shreveport’s Bikeways Plan. As with the first phase, Phase II is piggybacking on streets that were already scheduled for re-paving. According to the proposal, the projected total cost of the bikeways network and signage for Phase II is $58,000, which was already allocated as a part of the Collector Roadways Asphalt Program in the City Budget. The proposal has not yet been approved, because there will be a public meeting for feedback and input before next steps are taken.
Phase II centers around connecting downtown to the Phase I bikeways and extending into west Shreveport. As any regular rider knows, there are two ways to get into downtown safely on a bicycle: Marshall Street or Texas Avenue.
On Marshall Street, the team hopes to slim Marshall’s unnecessary four lanes into two and add bike lanes. However, the vehicle lanes are listed as being 12′ wide, which some consider far too wide for the speed limit of the road (see road diet). If the lanes become narrower, this kind of “road diet” could create safer walking, cycling, and driving infrastructure. Plus, it is likely to help the businesses on the street, such as Red River Brewing. Marshall will connect to the bikeways already on Creswell St. and Gilbert Dr.
Texas Avenue is still a state highway, and, therefore, the City is in the process of coordinating with our State Department of Transportation (and the local Shreveport Common team), to create a more “complete street” on Texas Avenue. Texas Avenue is an entryway into our City and now also connects the new SporTan Intermodal Terminal to downtown. There is an opportunity to add parking all along Texas and safe bike lanes that could be used by any level of bike-rider. Additionally, the Shreveport Common group had been hoping to involve local Artists in some aspect of design elements, if regulations would allow it.
Sharrows (markings and signage only, no dedicated lanes) on Crockett Street will connect Texas Avenue to Marshall Street and a bike rider to the Riverview Park and the Aquarium. A sharrow, or a wide lane shared by cars and bicyclists with bicycle markings, conjure awareness to make cycling safer. Because Crockett is a one-way street, in order to connect back, Milam Street should be considered for a sharrow as well. (Or, let a girl dream: the City could turn Crockett into a two way street; research on thriving downtowns shows that bi-directional traffic supports walkability, which supports economic development.)
Southern Avenue and St. Vincent
Also on the list: bike lines on Southern Avenue and sharrows St. Vincent Avenue, which run nearly-parallel to the west of Fairfield Avenue into Caddo Heights and Cedar Grove. These streets, already great for bikers because of low traffic conditions, connect key locations like University Health and Sportran’s Southwest Transfer Hub into the public transit map.
Stay tuned for an announcement on a date and time for a public meeting where you can give input on the new plan.