Baby steps

My wife and I don’t have children, but the running joke in our circle of friends is to give us a participation ribbon for everything we do. Good job eating most of your breakfast, you get a participation ribbon! You see, this is because we think participation ribbons are dumb. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try your best even when you’re out-manned, that you shouldn’t explore your limits by giving it all you’ve got. It’s just that we’re not going to give our future children an entitlement complex by congratulating them on achieving basic expectations.

So it goes that any time a city or government entity does something good, I’m faced with the dilemma of whether to praise them for doing their job or not. MAG’s Twitter account sent this out yesterday:

In summary, both Carefree and Cave Creek will each contribute a little more than $9,000 to study and create a bike lane along Cave Creek Road and Tom Darlington Drive by 2015. This is kind of a big deal as the FY2014 engineering budget for Cave Creek is $175,000; the $9,000 equates to about 5% of that engineering budget. For the two towns they were highly incentivized to come up with the local matching funds with grants from ADOT through MAG are matched at 9:1. These funds are supplied from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) run by the FHWA, and supplied to the state DOT for distribution: 25% to MAG, 25% to PAG, and an additional 50% to use at their discretion.

For those of you unfamiliar with Cave Creek Road, here is a picture from Google Street View of Cave Creek Road just east of town:

Cave Creek Road

This road is currently the best east/west route through Cave Creek/Carefree going to and from Bartlett Lake. Adding a bike lane will add a layer of separation between drivers and cyclists that should welcome more people to utilize their bicycles for utilitarian trips between the two towns. It’s a small 4.5 mile sample of turning the public realm back over to people, but it’s most welcome news in two communities with large cyclist populations but zero bicycling infrastructure. Most importantly, it’s good to see two outlying communities working together for the betterment of all.

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