The "Delaware RaceWay" is becoming the "Delaware DeathTrap" for Bicyclists, WheelChairs with absolutely no consideration being made for pedestrians. After much attention from The Beaumont City Council, Bicyclists have clearly been given the cold shoulder. NO CONSIDERATION has been given to Bicycles, WheelChairs or pedestrians as Delaware, one of only three East-West through streets on Beaumont's posh west end, is reconstructed.
A 12" wide, 6" deep trench will be left open on both sides of the road, along the curbs, as a DeathTrap for bicyclists, WheelChairs & an ankle turner for pedestrians. These trenches are debris collectors and pose great threat if a bicyclist or wheel chair operator suddenly find themselves trapped in one.
Since Delaware was being rebuilt, we approached the city suggesting "Skinny Streets" to naturally calm traffic on this neighborhood roadway, where cars constantly drive ten to fifteen miles per hour OVER the speed limit. Speeding is not only dangerous to bicyclists, but to fellow motorists as well.
According to the U. S. Department of Transportation, "Skinny Streets", basically narrower lanes, naturally cause drivers of motor vehicles to become more alert and slow down.
Calmer traffic, slower speeds, means a safer neighborhood road. Not just safer for motorists, but for bicyclists and pedestrians as well.
Is it too late for Beaumont, Texas? No. Binary thinking and extravagant spending has been the bane of our community. If the project is not sensational, it’s not worth considering, has been the attitude. Beaumont needs "Skinny Streets" and “Complete Streets” on all their major through ways which would involve Signs & Sharrows. We're not talking about busting concrete, just changing how streets are striped. Beaumont, Texas leadership needs to re-think how it's streets are being striped- it’s literally that simple. It's all about the stripes. By simply changing the lane configurations, by changing the way the roads are stripped and adding appropriate signage, Beaumont, Texas could become a bicycle commuter, pedestrian friendly community. Gone are the days of their Laissez-faire, small town mind-set. The time has come to step up and modernize our fair city.
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