Jeramey Jannene

City Testing New Bike Lane Dividers

Say hello to the "wave delineator," installed on Hawley Rd. to enhance visibility of protected bike lanes.

By - May 4th, 2020 01:38 pm
Wave delineators on the N. Hawley Rd. protected bike lane. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Wave delineators on the N. Hawley Rd. protected bike lane. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The protected bike lanes on N. Hawley Rd. took on a new look this week.

Replacing the stand-alone plastic bollards in a handful of spots are wave delineators. Placed one after another, each wave consists of an arched plastic piece that is almost eight feet long and over two feet tall.

A half-mile-long, protected bike lane on Hawley Rd. was first installed last fall as part of a road diet that reduced the number of automobile travel lanes in each direction from two to one and reduced lane widths between W. Michigan St. and W. Vliet St.

Prior to the road diet, a Department of Public Works (DPW) traffic study found that 90 percent of drivers in the area were speeding, with eight percent exceeding 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. Approximately 14,600 vehicles a day travel the Hawley Rd. corridor. There were 122 crashes in the corridor between 2013 and 2017, resulting in 57 injuries. Four of the collisions involved pedestrians and four involved bicyclists.

The new wave delineators will not be in place permanently, at least not yet. “DPW is piloting these wave delineators on a no-cost trial basis at various locations throughout the city,” said DPW spokesperson Brian DeNeve. “They will remain on Hawley Road for a few weeks and then be relocated to evaluate their effectiveness in other settings and street configurations.”

The waves are from Madison-based Saris, which declares that  “Bicycle lanes should feel safe and inviting, the Wave Delineator makes that happen. The Wave Delineator is ideal for temporary pop-up bike lanes when communities want to create a demonstration protected lane or direct bike traffic during day or week-long events,” says the company’s product webpage.

N. Hawley Rd. is the third such corridor to have protected bike lanes installed in recent years. A protected lane was installed incrementally on Kilbourn Ave. from N. 6th St. to N. Van Buren St. over the past two years. The E. North Ave. and E. Locust St. bridges over the Milwaukee River also were given protected lanes in 2018. The latter two bridges have been a success according to DPW’s analysis, increasing cycling by at least 104 percent and reducing excessive speeding (vehicles traveling in excess of 40 miles per hour) by at least 50 percent on both bridges.

Wave Delineators

Protected Lanes in October 2019

Road Configuration Changes

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Categories: Transportation

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