Wednesday, September 26, 2012

10 Steps to Creating a Bike Lane

Ever wonder what goes into transforming a roadway into a bikeway? What a road looks like before and after a bike lane is installed? There are many steps that go into that process. Here's an overview.

Step 1
Step 1:  Start with a road. This one has a lane in each direction and parallel parking.

Step 2:  Measure, plan and discuss what can be done within the existing budget, right of way and curbs to accommodate bikes. Consider the role and place for pedestrians, bikes, cars, buses and emergency vehicles along the corridor. (It's about choices, people!)

Step 3:  Make a decision to install a bike lane.
(Step 3A:  Celebrate the decision to install a bike lane with maybe a press release, by telling local advocates)

Step 4
Step 4:  Get some experienced professionals to remove existing striping OR resurface the road. Chose paint or thermoplastic to mark the bike lane. In this instance, paint was chosen. So, on we go!

Step 5:   After the bike lane is marked, determine the locations of the bike lane pavement markings (aka guy on a bike) within the bike lane using recommendations from design guidelines, DOT recommendations, AASHTO and NACTO references. Mark these locations out in the field.  

Step 6
Step 6:  After predetermining the locations, lay down the stencils.

Step 7
Step 7:  Get your paint and reflective beads ready.

Step 8a
Step 8b
Step 8:  Paint the bike guy and then the arrow.

Step 9
Step 9 continued

Step 9:  Remove stencils carefully. (The paint will still be wet and there's no giant eraser that works on asphalt!)

Step 10:  Mark with cone. Let dry.

And....Voila! A completed bike lane. 

Okay, so obviously there's a lot more to it then that. The planning and approval process can take months. (If you noticed, there were quite a few parking spaces that were sacrificed in the name of this bike lane. However, that isn't always the case.)  It takes time, patience, collaboration and compromise. But it's not rocket science. And the affects are transformational.

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