To the Honorable, the City Council:
In response to Awaiting Report Item Number 13-04, regarding a report on the feasibility of using pylons as a means through which to separate cyclist from motor vehicles and installing side guards on all City-owned trucks, Acting Public Works Commissioner Owen O'Riordan reports the following:
The Department of Public Works recently met with officials in the City of Boston where truck guards have been placed on several of their vehicles. As a result of such the Department of Public Works, as a pilot program, is proposing to retrofit three trucks with side guards. Specifically, a rubbish packer, a large dump truck used in snow operations and a clam shell truck will be retrofitted. We will evaluate the performance of each through the winter and spring of 2014 and will make a determination at that time as to whether the guard installation should be expanded to include additional trucks in our fleet.
With regard to pylons and stanchions, the City's monthly street sweeping program and winter snow clearing program make putting them along regular bike lanes impractical. They have been used in a small number of places and we have experienced challenges regarding durability and maintenance. We continue to work with The Community Development and Traffic and Parking Departments and with the community in examining additional opportunities for improving bicycle facilities with our street reconstruction projects, such as separated cycle tracks on Western Ave and Concord Ave and creating a buffered bicycle lane on Huron Ave. We expect to continue to explore these possibilities as new projects come on-line.