It has been a long while since we last spoke, and while it may seem like not much has happened, we finally have some good news. Both DOTD and the city have approved the final stage of our project, and we are now are coordinating with LAND for implementation of the vegetative design. We are very optimistic that the vegetation portion of the project will be completed by years end, and are thankful to the backers and community for their patience.
A list of accomplishments to date:
1. Lighting has been installed, so crossing the SPUP at night can be done with lighting.
2. LAND has completed the vegetative design, and we’re coordinating with them and the city on implementation, hopefully by years end.
3. Any matching funds received from the state will go towards continued beautification of the SPUP, with artists and designs currently under consideration
We’ll continue to keep the community updated as things progress.
A lot has happened since we last spoke. You may recall that we had been communicating with local government and DOTD for permission to access/improve the roadway, LAND architecture for vegetative enhancement and LUS for lighting. We can proudly say that 2 of the 3 have been accomplished, and the third is around the corner. LUS has installed our lighting!! Crossing the SPUP at night can now be done in the light!! LAND has completed the vegetative design!! We are simply awaiting DOTD’s approval for implementing the landscaping design. During this long process we have discovered that we’re really good at getting things done for free, and can proudly report that we’ve spent zero dollars of our awarded $5000. Add that to the matching funds that we’ve received from the state, and we can say with confidence that your patience will be rewarded. We’re still interviewing local artists for the interior visual enhancement, and are researching other ways to utilize the funds, making the SPUP as bike friendly as possible.
Those interested in seeing our progress can join us on July 11th at 6pm for the 3rd annual Mickey’s ride. Ride starts at Rotary Point, encompasses Mickey’s Loop, an eight mile loop through central Lafayette. Those interested can check out ForwardLafayette’s facebook page for details.
The Safe-Pass-Under-Pass (SPUP) now has a estimated completion date of June 1, 2018, and now that we understand (and are completing) the processes for changing up roadway that is managed by the state. We’re working with LAND Architecture on submitting the necessary paperwork to DOTD, allowing us to do a complete vegetative enhancement to the area surrounding SPUP, and are estimating to break ground on those improvements this spring. We’re working with LUS on replacing and enhancing the lighting under the overpass. The lights that have been ordered are on back-order; however, we expect to have those installed within the next 6 weeks. As we near action on those two fronts, we’ve begun interviewing local artists who will help create a visual aesthetic that will transform the SPUP from tunnel of gloom to an inviting pathway. This enhancement is becoming available to us following the acquisition of matching funds from the state, the disposal of which (as it relates to timing) is to be determined. All-in-all, we’re excited to project a completion by this summer’s Mickey’s Loop Ride. Be well, and thanks for staying engaged.
To those supporters (and backers) who have been patiently been awaiting movement on SPUP (the new acronym for Safe Pass Under Pass), thank you for your patience. Our goal to bring the best design possible while maximizing the funds provided is paying off, though it hasn’t come without a few trials. Shortly after being awarded $5K from civicside, we decided to try and make SPUP a type of private/public partnership, and applied for funds from the Department of Transportation and Development’s (DOTD) Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). The program’s goal is to work toward building a more balanced transportation system that includes pedestrians and bicyclists as well as the motoring public. The application process has been a bit of a roller coaster, but a year later (July/August 2017) we were awarded an additional $4K. Since a lot of our design was pending on matching funds, we couldn’t proceed until we were sure of the outcome of that process. The kicker…we can’t receive those funds until a later date…bare with me. We contracted with Michael Cullen of LAND Architecture to provide the plans for landscape development and beautification around SPUP. The “vegetative enhancement permit” is being submitted to Louisiana DOTD for approval (pending). We’re hoping that process is not as lengthy as the TAP application.
This quarter we also learned about “ownership” of lighting connections. The lighting for the SPUP was a mystery in-and-of itself. It took a bit of investigating to discover who “owned” the connections as they have not been active for years. We discovered that LUS did own them at one time, and they have agreed to replace them. They are in the process of purchasing and replacing the lights (approval is pending).
While our timeline has been adjusted since inception, we feel confident of our project completion date of March 2018.
It’s hard to believe that nearly a year has gone by since the first 24 Hour Citizen Project! We picked Safe Pass Underpass as a way to continue to improve Mickey’s Loop as one of Lafayette’s first cohesive bicycle paths. Mickey’s Loop is an 8-mile long trail consisting of bike lanes, sharrows, and sidewalks that tracks through the core of the city.
One of the most difficult spots on the pathway is a short leg on South College Road. There is an underpass for bikes there that is in need of better maintenance, and so we pitched that we would clean it up to continue to improve the Loop.
Our project has been slow in starting because we applied for a Transportation Alternatives Grant to enhance our original plans. We found out in late April that we didn’t receive it, so we have been refining our work and scope since then. Since that time, local firm Land Architecture has agreed to design the site improvements and apply for the DOTD permit (because we are required to have a licensed landscape architect apply for the permit). And to keep up momentum, we have conducted regular cleanups at the site, including a major cleanup following the August 2016 flood where we removed debris from the site. Most recently, a group of us participated in an annual bike ride to commemorate the establishment of Mickey’s Loop, an event that drew out about 75 riders, including Mickey’s parents.