Broadway bike lanes: saved! (?)
Good neighborhood meeting tonight on the Broadway streetscaping project, though sparsely attended (despite heavy promotion by the city, West Broadway Neighborhood Association, and Providence Bicycle Coalition). Most comments were related to heavy truck traffic and speeding. Not one beef about the bike lane component of the project. Councilman Lombardi appears to favor it. It looks like a go. (Sound of knocking on wood; nothing’s absolute until we see it on the ground.)
A few points of interest:
1. The project extends from the Rt 6 offramp to Dean Street, a bit shy of a mile.
2. There will be bike lanes for nearly the entire length. That portion without dedicated bike lanes will have shared-use lanes, complete with “sharrows”, aka shared-use lane arrows, stenciled onto the street. Sharrows are a nice reminder to motorists that they are sharing the road with cyclists. These will be the city’s (and state’s, I think) first sharrows, and it sets a great precedent for getting sharrows elsewhere in the city in locations where we think motorists need that little reminder to share the road. Kudos to the Planning Department and the City Engineer for incorporating this.
3. We’re probably looking at a September start for the overall project.
4. There are the 3 PDFs that show the project plans, and here are their links: 1, 2, and 3.
5. The metrics of the lanes: 8′ parking lane, 5′ bike lane, 11′ motor vehicle lane.
6. The electromagnetic loops embedded in the asphalt at traffic lights, which trigger a light change when an auto is detected, will be altered so that they can tell when there is a cyclist waiting. Nice.