Bridge Bike Lanes Get Concrete Barriers
Barriers that will damage cars added for bike lanes on North Ave. and Locust St. bridges.
Concrete barriers have been installed at the start and end of the protected bicycle lanes on the Locust Street and North Avenue bridges that link the city’s East Side with Riverwest.
The move comes after drivers had repeatedly knocked over plastic delineators. After installing the protected lanes in June 2018, the city had to replace the plastic bollards with orange construction cones because so many had been destroyed by vehicles.
The new barriers, made up of 28 concrete walls commonly called “jersey barriers,” are more likely to deter drivers from swerving into them, or at least that’s the hope. The city also hopes they will attract more cyclists.
Department of Public Works (DPW) employees were on the bridges Wednesday morning lifting the new barriers into place. They will cost $14,780.
A city fact sheet on the project from 2018 states: “from 2012 to 2016, there were 221 crashes resulting in 80 injuries on E. Locust Street and 120 crashes resulting in 54 injuries on E. North Avenue, including 23 pedestrians and 23 bicyclists struck.” A DPW report indicates that prior to the lane’s installation one in five cars on the Locust Street bridge were measured going over 40 miles per hour. That means an average of two vehicles a minute flew by at least 10 miles per hour faster than the speed limit.
Are jersey barriers coming to the Kilbourn Avenue bike lanes that have suffered the same problem? Not yet. A DPW representative said the department is planning to increase the frequency of delineators on those lanes.
And as is all the rage this month, scooters are legally allowed to use the lanes. However, the gas-powered moped I saw cruise through the North Ave. lane is not.
Spring 2019 Configuration
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