MAG Town of Cave Creek Bike Study Task 6 Executive Summary and Regional Significance Report

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1 Page 1 MAG Town of Cave Creek Bike Study Task 6 Executive Summary and Regional Significance Report August 1, 2012 MAG Project #481

2 Page 2 Task 6 Executive Summary and Regional Significance Report Introduction MAG and the Town of Cave Creek developed a Bike Study and Main Street Design project to be used as a design guidelines and a master plan concept for the establishment of a bike lane corridor between Carefree Highway and Scopa Trail (east town limits of Cave Creek) along Cave Creek Road. This study describes improvements to pedestrian areas within the project limits of the existing Right-Of-Ways to promote safe and comfortable linkages in the town core area. Pedestrian and equestrian modes of transit and recreation are encouraged for the corridor shown in the graphic below:

3 Page 3 Project Description The current conditions within the Town of Cave Creek do not provide any facilities for on-street cycling within its current roadway network, requiring cyclists to share the road with motorized traffic in rural areas that may not have paved shoulders or that may have shoulders that drop off beyond the edge of pavement. These existing conditions within the project area have a variety of on and off road bicycle experiences at or near the Cave Creek Road corridors. The existing roadway is asphalt and has areas of paved and unpaved shoulders. Paved shoulders vary from as little as 6 inches to as wide as 6 feet. No bike lane striping, signage, or pavement markings exist. The project area falls within the jurisdiction of both the Town of Cave Creek and the Town of Carefree. Both municipalities maintain their own pavement within their respective jurisdictions. Cave Creek Road has posted speed limits of 45 mph in the south 2 miles of the project area and reduces to 25 mph in the Town Core, in roughly the area where the roadway changes direction at Spur Cross Road to the east limits of town at Scopa Trail. Native desert landscaping occurs along much of the corridor, and a landscaped median is present along the entire corridor length. A primitive offroad trail exists in short, disconnected segments within the existing right-of-way of Cave Creek Road. Some areas in the Town Core have an aggregate based multi-use trail approximately 6 feet in width. The current conditions of the pedestrian areas along the corridor have a variety of pavement types and conditions. There is a short segment of a concrete sidewalk near the new developments of CVS pharmacy and Lowes hardware store at the south end of the project area. No paved continuous paved pathway network exists until limited segments are found in the Town Core area. In the Town Core area, short disconnected segments of paved pathways exist at individual

4 Page 4 parcels exist. Each segment has a different path width and uses different materials. As noted in the previous paragraph, an aggregate based multi-use trail is also present in the Town Core. Much of the pedestrian environment in the Town Core is non-ada compliant. Site amenities and pedestrian environment facilities such as seating, bicycle racks, litter receptacles, way-finding signage, ADA ramps, pedestrian level lighting, designated crosswalks, and public area landscaping are lacking. The project included a scope of work performed by e group and YSMA to gather data on existing conditions and relevant planning / regulatory documents. A core group of stakeholders was identified and collaborated with on 3 separate public events to identify issues and community desires for implementing a bike lane and pedestrian main street improvements. Analysis of data gathered and community input led to the development of concept alternatives and eventually to a preferred concept design. The preferred concept was refined into an assessment report that identified design, maintenance, operation, infrastructure development, funding, and implementation issues and recommendations. The preferred concept was presented to the public during a Town Council event and led to support by the Council to move forward with identifying and pursuing funding sources to implement the concept in a phased priority sequence. The proposed project will result in a vision for bicycle lanes and improvement concepts for the entire length of Cave Creek Road between Carefree Highway and Scopa Trail, at the limits of the Town of Cave Creek. This will be the design intent concept for cycling along the entire corridor, and includes a main street pedestrian concept for the Town Core area. The project is located within Maricopa County in the northeast part of the county within the town limits of Cave Creek and Carefree, Arizona. This project study will develop the creation of a 4.5 mile spine of bicycle lanes from the intersection of Carefree Highway and Cave Creek Road (coincidentally the north end of the Phoenix Sonoran Bikeway) to the east edge of the Town of Cave Creek at Scopa Trail along Cave Creek Road. This linkage will provide cyclists in Cave Creek and Carefree a safe and comfortable route to the Town Core District, residential neighborhoods, and

5 Page 5 recreational trails and activity areas. In addition to the bike lane, a proposed off-road trail and shared-use path is envisioned for pedestrians, off-road cyclists, and equestrian users. A main street pedestrian district is part of this study and will provide a paved pathway system, landscaping, site amenities, way-finding signage, and comfort nodes as part of the enhancement of the Town Core. Key Recommendations The corridor of Cave Creek Road falls within the jurisdictions of the Town of Cave Creek and the Town of Carefree. At the southern end of the corridor, approximately 1 mile of the road is located within the Town of Carefree with Cave Creek bordering the right-of-way. A variety of right-of-way widths occur along the length of Cave Creek Road and vary between 80 feet and 130 feet in width. Different Zoning and Land Uses occur along the length of the corridor as well. Some areas are General Commercial and others are Residential, Multi-Family, and Town Core categories. These zoning and land use conditions drive the concept vision and design structure to be identified by 3 separate segment section types. These segment types are identified as Type-01 (Main Street Town Core Spine), Type-02 (Redline Roadway), and Type-03 (Business Core District). Bikeway and pedestrian configurations are depicted in the typical sections and communicate the recommended design alternative for this study. Each segment and section was developed from evaluating the existing conditions and the opportunities and constraints each presented. In conjunction with the existing conditions, other issues were examined with the bicyclists and pedestrians needs in mind to design the most appropriate alternative. The study identifies funding sources for the $7.2M project to implement the project in a layered and phased process. The priority of implementation is to extend the Phoenix Sonoran Bikeway north of Carefree Highway through segment 3 and 2 with a roadway development layer initially, and a secondary layer to address improvements beyond the edges of pavement. The complete project vision is to implement the 3 roadway segment types which include the following features: Typical Segment Type-01 (Main Street Town Core Spine),

6 Page 6 Limit the number of crosswalks to keep conflicts between pedestrian, cyclists, and motor vehicles to a minimum. Develop a 5 ft wide concrete bike lane at the same grade as the roadway. Road Diet lane widths to 11 feet and median to 10 feet. Add 8 feet pedestrian zone behind bike lane. Provide 3 foot buffer separation for landscaping and site amenities and 5 foot wide specialty pavement pathway. Themed pavements. In areas where right of way is greater than 80 feet, provide comfort nodes, micro parks, or an added landscape buffer behind the pathway. Pathway widths should also increase to 8 feet where possible. Signature Shade features. Provide landscape shade and retain rural character of Cave Creek. Provide signage for bypass bike routes of the core area (loop connections). Typical Segment Type-02 (Redline Roadway), The Roadway will provide a premium cycling experience and include the following design elements for the on-street bike lane: 6 feet width of high performance rubberized asphalt pavement. (Includes striping width) for potential cyclist racing or training. A 12 wide solid pavement stripe separating vehicle travel lanes. Roadway signage at approximately 1/4 mile intervals. Destination and linkage signage to nearby recreational facilities and networks. Off roadway paved shared-use path, 6 feet wide with a 6 foot landscaped buffer separation from the on-road bike lane. The desire is to keep Basic and Children cyclists separated from vehicle traffic and provide an alternative slower route. Off roadway unpaved shared-use path (trail), 6 feet wide with a 4 foot landscaped buffer separation from the paved path. This unpaved path will provide a dedicated route for equestrians rough terrain cyclists and joggers. A 3 foot or more outside landscape buffer is included. Specialty distance markers imbedded in pavement, and vertical stone markers for milestone distances. Red outside drainage pavement as erosion strip interceptor. Specialty pavement. Retain existing 12 foot wide vehicle travel lanes.

7 Page 7 Add deceleration and turn movement lanes with bike through striping. Native plantings in a bio-swale to retain regional character. Provide a Staging Parking Area at 1 mile intervals for recreational users. Typical Segment Type-03 (Business Core) 6 feet width of high performance rubberized asphalt pavement. (Includes striping width). A 12 wide solid pavement stripe for visual warning. Destination and linkage signage to nearby recreational facilities and networks. Detached paved pathway, 8 feet wide with a 6 foot landscaped buffer separation from the on-road bike lane. Curb and gutter is proposed for drainage. Off roadway unpaved shared-use path (trail), 7 feet wide with a 5 foot landscaped buffer separation from the paved path. This unpaved path will provide a dedicated route for equestrians rough terrain cyclists and joggers. Site amenities, pedestrian scale lighting, and landscaped shade in the 5 foot buffer zone. Retain existing 12 foot wide vehicle travel lanes. Native plantings in all buffers to retain regional character. Provide way-finding signage for all user types in this type zone. Include equestrian and bicycle staging areas for use at business destinations. Include shade for these rest areas. Promote bike user awareness in the zone through pavement markings and signage. Regional Significance This project study has regional significance by developing a critical missing linkage in the regional bicycle connection network of Maricopa County. The extension of the Phoenix Sonoran Bikeway north past Carefree Highway creates a connection to the Town Core and neighborhoods of Cave Creek and Carefree. This corridor also provides a bicycle linkage to the Town of Carefree and its town core. The main street and pedestrian design elements provide an additional mode of transit within the project corridor. For the town core pedestrian environment, this study provides a much needed

8 Page 8 plan for becoming ADA compliant and providing a network of walk-able connections to reduce micro jaunts of vehicle traffic. The addition of the shared use paved path provides connection to neighborhood communities with business and entertainment districts. The non-paved trail provides a dedicated network for the equestrian and offroad cyclist communities. These paths will additionally provide a safe network and protects the native rural environment and community culture. The benefits of connections, positive economic impacts, improved safety, and added user comfort are the major contributions to the regional significance of this project. A lesson learned from this project that can be applied to future pedestrian and bicycle focused projects would be to include engineering survey for better accuracy with the design of alternatives and concepts. This will add a better level of quantification for estimates and budget establishment for the preferred design concepts. Parking and access management to future improvements became a large issue that was under addressed on the project. This was not fully understood during project scoping. Providing local and outside the community egress to staging areas is critical to the maximization of bike and pedestrian project improvements. The impact on becoming a desired facility can tax the ability to access future bike, path, trail, and pedestrian networks in rural areas. A second lesson has been to include equestrian user groups in discussion of project development in rural communities. A comprehensive approach to the public outreach identified a passionate horse community in the Cave Creek area that considered equestrians as peer users for non-motorized transit. Sensitivity to impacts of the native desert and the visual environment is also a key lesson to learn from this projects development.

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