What is a Bicycle Boulevard?
The heart of the On-Street Bicycle Network is the system of Bicycle Boulevards. These routes circulate primarily through low-speed (30 mph or less), low-volume residential areas. They provide a level of bicyclist comfort similar to that of a trail system and are intended for a wide range of cyclist skills and abilities. Bicycle Boulevards also provide connections to existing off-street hike and bike trails as well as other on-street bicycle facilities.
Bicycle Boulevard signs are being installed throughout the city as part of the ongoing implementation of the On-Street Bicycle Transportation Master Plan. In total, more than 70 miles of Bicycle Boulevards routes have been identified. An interactive map of Bicycle Boulevards in McKinney provides an overview of the network and assists users in mapping a route.
The goal of these signs is to promote safety and awareness as well as to provide guidance to bicycle users of streets identified as Bicycle Boulevards.
How did the city determine what on-street bicycle facilities would be implemented?
Following a significant planning process beginning in 2010 that allowed the City of McKinney, its residents and stakeholders to create a vision for on-street bicycling in McKinney, the city adopted the On-Street Bicycle Transportation Master Plan (must be viewed in Internet Explorer or Safari) in June 2012. The city has since continued to enhance its on-street bicycle network to provide safe and comfortable routes for people of all ages and abilities whether bicycling for commuting, fitness or enjoyment.
How was the project funded?
Bicycle Boulevard signage is funded through a Federal Transportation Enhancement (TE) Grant that provides 80 percent funding with a 20 percent local match from the City of McKinney through a funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) which administers the project. The total cost of construction for the project is approximately $250,000 and design of the project was completed by the Engineering Department. The use of these federal funds allows the city to construct the project for a fraction of the cost of implementing the project with 100 percent local funds.
How were the sign locations determined?The 2012 On-Street Bicycle Transportation Master Plan included a Master Plan Map with recommendations for on-street bicycle facilities. Once funding was established, the city used this map as the basis for the Bicycle Boulevard plan while expanding and re-routing some corridors based on recent development, existing hike and bike trails, schools, etc. to best serve bicyclists. Approximate sign locations were placed upstream and downstream of intersections and along mid-block locations for longer segments to clearly delineate routes. Once approximate sign locations were determined, staff visited each location to determine and mark a recommended sign location. Sign location adjustments were made, as needed, to prevent conflicts with existing signage and were placed in a less obstructive location for adjacent properties. Upon determination of the sign location, and if a sign was placed along the frontage of a residence, door-hanger notifications were provided informing the resident of the proposed sign location and need. Staff met with several property owners prior to construction, and in some cases, worked together to consider an alternate sign location if available.
City of McKinney sign installation standard details were followed to provide the required lateral offset from the street and proper mounting height of the signs.
In all locations, signs have been placed within the existing City of McKinney street right-of-way.
Why are the signs so large?The city is required to meet regulatory sign sizes to ensure signs are visible from a distance and consistent with other sign locations. In the case of the Bicycles May Use Full Lane sign, the regulatory size requirement is 30” x 30”. In the same sense, the city cannot reduce the size of any other regulatory sign (stop, speed limit, etc.). The height of the sign is also based on specific requirements that prevent conflicts with pedestrians walking along the sidewalk. The addition of this supplemental Bicycles May Use Full Lane sign was determined to be an appropriate treatment for these Bicycle Boulevards as they inform motorists that public roadways / streets are required be shared by bicyclist by State law.
My street is already unsafe – why did the city identify it as a Bicycle Boulevard?
Bicycle Boulevards have been routed along low-volume streets with posted speeds that do not exceed 30 miles per hour. These routes are generally more comfortable for less confident cyclist and/or families who would not feel comfortable on a busy arterial street with faster moving vehicles. It is always the sole responsibility of the bicyclist to make sure they have the knowledge, understanding and ability to share the road with vehicles. Likewise, it is the responsibility of all vehicle operators to be aware bicyclists may be on the roadway and to treat bicycles as a road user. Education and awareness are critical for both parties (refer to Cyclist and Motorist Code of Conduct). These routes provide great connectivity throughout our unique and beautiful city, and in many cases without the need to ride along any arterial streets.
Concerns regarding speeding or other unsafe street conditions should always be reported to the Traffic and Transportation Department for further evaluation.
Are bicyclists allowed to ride on the sidewalk?
While riding a bike on the sidewalk is not prohibited, it should be noted that sidewalks are for pedestrians. Except for very young bicyclists under parental supervision, sidewalks are not for bicycling. Much like wrong way riding, sidewalk riding can lead to crashes since it places bicyclists in situations where others do not expect them.
If a cyclist chooses to ride on the sidewalk, these guidelines are strongly encouraged: Be courteous, ride at a low speed, stay right, pass left, clearly announce when passing, yield to slower users, stop at stop signs and wear a helmet.
Why doesn’t the city have bicycle lanes?
In consideration for retrofitting existing streets with dedicated bicycle lanes, at this point City Council has provided staff direction that the cost-to-benefit value of adding bicycle lanes to existing streets is not warranted. As the city’s roadway infrastructure continues to expand, bicycle lanes will be considered where they may provide benefit and connections to other bicycle facilities.
Where can I get more information on City of McKinney’s bicycle initiatives?
More frequently asked questions are available in our Bike McKinney FAQs.
The City of McKinney Engineering Department, 221 N. Tennessee St., can be reached by phone at 972-547-7475 or by email.
Please contact Gary Graham if you have questions that are not answered above.