More bikes, fewer cars on Humboldt Street 'bike boulevard'

Since the trial conversion in mid-August of a 1.5-mile stretch of Humboldt Street into Santa Rosa?s first official bike boulevard in mid-August, more cyclists and fewer motorists are using the street.

And those motorists still driving portions of the 15-block straightaway between Lewis Road and Fifth Street are driving a a bit slower per than a year ago.

Those initial results will be presented at a city-sponsored meeting set for 6 p.m. Thursday to solicit input from Humboldt Street residents, cyclists and motorists to determine if the project can be tweaked to make it safer and more efficient.

The two-hour meeting will be held at the Steele Lane Community Center.

?The goal of the meeting is to find out what is working and what can we improve,? said Nancy Adams, a city transportation planner who is heading the street conversion project.

Adams said the city still has four months to study the bike boulevard?s impacts before the City Council, likely in January or February, will decide whether to spend $200,000 to install permanent traffic circles and other improvements that reduce the two-lane street to a bike boulevard.

The initial findings for four segments of the route include:

-- Bike counts: During a six-hour period broken into two-hour periods in the morning, mid- and late-afternoon, the number of cyclists riding the combined four sections rose from 385 to 485.

-- Car counts: The number of cars over a 24-hour period dropped from an average of 2,887 to 2,333 cars, or 554 fewer cars a day.

-- Traffic speeds: Depending on the section, motorists drove a half-mile to 1.9 miles per hour slower.

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