Thursday, November 12, 2009

JFK UPDATE: Plan Your New Year's Day Ride Now

Less than sixty days to go and counting for completion of the repaving of JFK Drive.
This resurfacing project has been a bit prone to delays in the past, so we checked on its progress. Good news. Rick Thall, Project Manager for the Recreation and Park Department, confirmed that the nearly $1.2 million contract has been awarded and that work began on November 2nd.

Construction crews from Esquivel Grading & Paving will complete curb reconstruction work before the actual resurfacing begins in another week or two, but sixty days -- with December 31 the last day -- is their limit for smoothing off the total job.

Pedestrian improvements with the project will include paving at each intersection and onto the adjoining streets past the crosswalks. Curb ramps and new paint for the crosswalks will follow. Bicyclists will no longer grimace from the current rattling ride, but a dedicated bike lane for JFK remains uncertain.

Thall confirmed that there will be a solid stripe painted outside the parking lane, but the line might not serve the same purpose as it does on the east end of JFK Drive. There the street is so wide that the stripe demarcates what becomes an unofficial bikeway. Thall notes that the west end of JFK is not as wide as the east end and does not have space for bike lanes in both directions.

"I'm working with MTA on this," Thall wrote in an email, "but if we are allowed to fully mark a bike lane, it would be in the west to east direction."

Unless the contractor completes the job early, plan on a huge celebration for the best ride of the New Year. Anyone up for a New Year's Day party in the park?


  1. Hi there! We love your blog and all the information it brings us regarding our lovely neighborhood. I would like to introduce you to a new weekend night bicycle delivery company based out of and servicing NOPA...and beyond!

  2. Personally I enjoyed biking on JFK before they put any striping in. It's like the 'woonerf' concept-- a lot of markings aren't necessary for people to figure out where to go. I never felt unsafe, either. Plus, it seemed more park-like.

  3. Friday the 13th may be NOPA's lucky day: night-time delivery of meals from Western Addition restaurants begins -- and good luck to you thisisdreaspeaking: love that you're doing the delivery by bicycle!

  4. Alexei: it's a really interesting discussion underway about whether more striping or less will result in safer sharing of the roads. We'll likely have a mix on JFK: defined bikeway on the east end, open (with border between parked cars) on the west least for some time.