The city this weekend launched the first of several planned Greenways, marked routes aimed at getting citizens moving on bikes and on foot using quiet, low-traffic side streets.
The first route, the South Hill Greenway. runs from Old Town to 41st St and H Ave and passes the pool, the high school, an elementary school and the senior center. From north to south, the greenway takes L Ave from 5th St. to 20th, the jogs to J Ave, then follows 29th St to I Ave and across 32nd St to 41st St via H Ave.
John Pope, who chairs the committee responsible for drawing up a greenways plan and recommending routes for the South Hill Greenway and two more greenways currently being planned, stressed in remarks at the ribbon-cutting ahead of the inaugural ride, that the routes mean, “everybody can stroll and cycle without needing to be skilled at traffic.”
So, what's a greenway? As defined here, a greenway is a route featuring quite side streets that often parallel busy arterials and links neighborhoods together. These are routes that are supposed to be for cyclists of all skill levels with only modest grades. In the case of this route, however, there is a grade on 29th St connecting J Ave to 32nd St.
This first greenway is marked by bicycle route markings on the pavement and signs meant to guide cyclists and to warn motorists to expect cyclists. The city is expected to eventually lower the speed limit to 20 along the route and provide flashing lights to allow cyclists and pedestrians to more easily cross 12th Street at L Ave.
The next greenway, which is nearly done, is the Q Ave Greenway, from 22nd St to 34th St. It parallels Commercial Ave and R Ave. And, a third greenway, now in the planning stages would lead from Seafarers Way along 14th St and 13 St past Volunteer Park and further west on 2nd St.