The Georgia Bikes Blog

Open for public comment- new EPA guidlines on school siting

From the EPA:

School buildings are fundamental components of the educational process and children spend more time in schools than in any other environment except their home.  More than 53 million children and 6 million staff occupy more than 135,000 public and private schools in the U.S.  A well located, thoughtfully designed, soundly built and efficiently operated school enhances the educational process by providing a safe and healthy environment for children, teachers and other staff.  State-of-the-art schools also provide many opportunities to enhance the educational process itself and to meet multiple community goals.  The decision to site and build a new school is a complex one.  These voluntary guidelines are intended to assist communities and community members in making the best possible school siting decisions.

The draft school siting guidelines are being made available to the public for a 90 day comment period.  The guidelines have not been finalized and should not be cited, quoted or otherwise referenced as representing final EPA guidance.

To submit comments on the draft guidelines, please go to the on-line comment form at: https://public.commentworks.com/epa/schoolsitingexiting EPA

For alternative comment submission methods, click hereComments must be submitted by 4 pm EST on February 18, 2011.

Check out GDOT's new design manual

The new Design Policy Manual from GDOT features a nice chapter on Bicycle & Pedestrian Accomodations (pdf).

Highlights:

There are two general types of bicycle facilities; on-road facilities including bike lanes or shared lanes; and off-road facilities such as shared-use paths, cycle tracks, or greenway trails. On-road facilities allow cyclists to circulate with traffic, allow easier access to destinations, and help cyclists behave more predictably. Off-road facilities may allow greater separation from high-speed traffic but need careful consideration at driveways, intersections, and constrained areas. These two facility types are not interchangeable and careful examination of their application should be conducted on a case-by-case basis. (emphasis added)

Bicycle accommodations shall be considered in all planning studies and included in all reconstruction, new construction, and capacity-adding projects that are located in areas with any of the following conditions:
• where there is an existing bicycle facility in place (including bike lanes, paths, shoulders, wide curb lane, and/or signage);
• if the project is on a state, regional, or local bike route; and
where there is a demonstrated need, with bicycle travel generators and destinations (i.e. urban areas, residential neighborhoods, commercial centers, schools, colleges, public parks, etc), or areas where such generators and destinations can be expected within the projected lifespan of the project. (emphasis added)

Bicycle accommodations should be considered on projects that are located in areas with any of the following conditions:
• within close proximity (i.e. 2 miles) to any school, college or university;
where a project will provide connectivity between two or more existing bikeways;
• where a local bike route is identified by a local government through a planning study;
• along bicycle routes that connect metropolitan areas and regional destinations;
on resurfacing projects in urban areas, the Department may consider restriping the roadway and narrowing travel lanes to provide additional shoulder width or wide curb lane. Restriping will be considered where space is available and where there is no significant history of sideswipe crashes. The Office of Maintenance will coordinate with the Office of Planning and Office of Traffic Operations to define an appropriate crash threshold for determining eligibility for restriping on a project-by-project basis;
• on projects where a bridge deck is being replaced or rehabilitated with Federal financial participation, and where bicycles are permitted to operate at each end of the bridge, the bridge deck may be replaced or rehabilitated to provide safe bicycle accommodations; and
any location where engineering judgment or planning analysis determines a need. (emphasis added)

Take a look the whole document.

Many thanks to GDOT for their support of safe bicycling accomodations!

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