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.
-- Violations: Police conducted three-hour patrols of Humboldt on Sept 16. and 17, mostly to educate bicyclists and motorists about safety issues. Of the 193 people spotted violating the law, 113 were bicyclists, 27 pedestrians and 33 were motorists. Most of the cycling and vehicular violations involved lack of helmets by bike riders and failure to yield violations by motorists.
?There have been no reported accidents since the project has been in,? Adams said.
Humboldt has long been designated in the city general plan as a bike boulevard, a place where cyclists would be entitled to share the lane with motorists.
The shared system requires that motorists and cyclists follow each other in single file but it does allow drivers to pass bike riders when there is no oncoming traffic. To make that move more comfortable, the center lane stripes that once divided Humboldt Street into two lanes have been removed.
Adams said support and opposition to the bike boulevard is about equal.
So far, Adams said the biggest problem involves traffic circles installed at four intersections where the stop signs have been removed. The roundabouts require motorists to travel in a counter-clockwise direction and yield to cars already in the circle.
?There are still people having confusion about that. ?What we are hearing is that motorists are not yielding as they come up to the circles,? Adams said.
Installing stop signs on the east and west-bound streets leading to the traffic circles would create less confusion, she said.
Adams said she expects the number of cyclists using the street to climb.
?If it works for a handful of cyclists, it will encourage others to try,? she said.