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Simply said, we’re an active community, and it’s safer. On these larger roads, we’ve got to start thinking about more than just vehicles. There are pedestrians and bicyclists to think about. Whether motorists like these other users on that road or not, is irrelevant, these other users are on the road, and we need to safely provide access for all users.
On-street bicycle lanes are proposed preliminary design from University to Fifth streets along Jackson Boulevard, which would be the first in Spearfish. After the first 2 rounds of public comment bike lanes were originally proposed from University to 11th streets, which have since been cut back to University to Fifth streets.
The “pros” of protected bicycle lanes include:
The “cons” of protected bicycle lanes include:
Snowplowing has been a point of discussion since the project was first proposed. The City Departments will have to make decisions about the methods of snowplowing once the final designs are approved before construction.
Snow removal will be a challenge. There could be some additional cost in equipment and man-hours, especially as we learn. There are plenty of other communities with this type of road configuration in northern environments. We too will figure out how best to effectively and efficiently remove snow with this road configuration in our environment. Snow plowing is not as much of an issue with the roundabout. The medians and protected bicycle lanes are more so the challenge.
The City will develop a snow removal plan for the bike lanes prior to completion of construction. A likely scenario is that they will be used for snow storage for a number of days after a snow storm until it is convenient to remove the snow. Removing the snow from the bicycle lanes on the same schedule as the street may be necessary if/when on-street bicycle use increases to a point that it justifies the additional expense.
The overall project budget is currently estimated to be around $7.68 million.
The preliminary cost estimates, followed by recommended funding sources, include:
In October, the city council set Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) district Number 5 boundary around Jackson Boulevard, extending a full block to Kansas and Illinois streets in either direction along Jackson Boulevard, from Exit 12 to University Street. The TIF district was proposed to finance amenities above and beyond the roadway, water, and sewer improvements planned for the reconstruction project, such as
A TIF district is an economic development tool used to encourage development in an area.
It is a public financing system that uses future increases in property tax to reimburse the costs of public improvements built within a designated TIF district boundary. As real estate value increases within that boundary area, higher tax revenues result. That “tax increment” is then used to refund the costs of public improvements created to support the project, paid back to the source, which in this case would be the city of Spearfish.
Setting the boundary is one part of creating a TIF district. The next step is for a project plan to be created that describes the improvements to be paid for by the TIF district, their locations, and cost. The plan also presents a statistical assessment of the financial impact to the various taxing entities, including the city, county, and school district, and the project plan is then submitted for review. It is shared with the county and school district, who offer their input, and then the plan must go through the planning commission and city council for approval before the TIF district is created.
The project will be broken into two phases: the first phase includes the portion of Jackson Boulevard from Interstate 90 to Spearfish Creek, and the second phase includes the portion from Spearfish Creek to University Street, the phases are as follows:
If you’ve driven on portions of Junction Avenue in Sturgis; or Canyon Lake Drive, Sheridan Lake Road, or Fairmont Boulevard in Rapid City, you’ve experienced three-lane roadways with similar average daily traffic counts to Jackson Boulevard in Spearfish.
The conversion from 4-lanes to 3-lanes on Jackson Boulevard in Spearfish has been analyzed and recommended by the traffic engineers hired to analyze daily traffic counts, traffic flow, and safety.
For additional information, please review the Lane Conversion page.
The existing traffic signal at the Ames Street intersection does not meet current design standards. It would be difficult to design a signalized intersection at this location to meet these standards due to the skew at which Ames Street intersects Jackson Boulevard and the curve in Jackson Boulevard at this location.
For additional information, please review the Roundabout page.