Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Council to consider bike path move

Fourth Street corridor construction on schedule

Express Staff Writer

The bike path through downtown Ketchum could be moved to Fourth Street as early as July 1.

Members of the Ketchum Community Development Corporation met at Perry's Monday evening to discuss ongoing plans for the move. A presentation will be made to the Ketchum City Council Monday, May 7, and a decision is possible at that time.

The bike path on Sun Valley Road has been the "largest and most significant" ongoing safety concern in Ketchum, said Ketchum Police Sgt. Dave Kassner. The lanes completely disappear at the traffic light at the intersection with Main Street, and buses often stop in the middle of the bike lane, forcing families into traffic.

"If these people had really strong biking skills it probably wouldn't be so bad, but for anyone that's a recreational biker, it's not a good situation," Kassner said.

The bike path on Sun Valley Road has traditionally been opened only during summer months.

If moved to Fourth Street this summer, two distinct configurations will exist. For the three blocks where a new Fourth Street Heritage Corridor is under construction bikes will intermingle with traffic.

For the blocks where the corridor is not yet completed, however, bike lanes must temporarily be delineated, and that will also mean eliminating diagonal parking to make more space in the street.

"What's being proposed—along with moving the bike lanes to Fourth Street—is going all to parallel parking," Kassner said.

The configuration presented Monday includes two 10-foot automobile lanes, two 5.5-foot bike lanes and two 7.5-foot parallel parking lanes. That configuration would be temporary and exist until further portions of the corridor are built.

Parallel parking spaces take 20 feet, and diagonal spaces require 13 feet, so fewer spaces would result along Fourth Street, but additional spaces will be created on Sun Valley Road, where the seasonal bike path closure negated parking in the summer.

Kassner said he is researching methods of making the bike path crossing at Main Street safer as well. Possibilities include raised and/or uniquely colored crosswalks and signs.

Among the perks of moving the bike path to Fourth Street will be increased tourist traffic there.

"The idea for the whole corridor is to get people to treat it as a destination, to stop and shop," said Jason Miller, the CDC transportation director and co-manager of the PEAK/KART bus system.

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2021 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.