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Bike Lanes Coming to Fourth and Summit/Third Streets

Brent Warren Brent Warren Bike Lanes Coming to Fourth and Summit/Third StreetsA streetmix.net rendering of how Summit Street may conceptually look in Italian Village with a dedicated bike lane.
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A resurfacing project planned for 2015 could have a big impact on how cyclists travel through the University District, Weinland Park, Italian Village and Downtown. The City of Columbus has finalized plans to replace one lane of traffic with a bike lane on both Fourth and Summit Streets, from Hudson Street to I-670.

Parking lanes will remain on both sides of each street, with rush-hour time restrictions removed. The resurfacing and re-striping will be funded primarily by the Ohio Department of Transportation; work is scheduled to start in spring of 2015, with a fall 2015 completion date.

Still in the planning stages is the Downtown portion of the project, which will feature physically separated bike lanes on Third and Fourth Streets. Chief Mobility Engineer Bill Lewis said that they are looking at examples from other cities that have “cycle tracks” – the term for bike lanes that run along a roadway but are separated from traffic by a curb, landscaped median, bollard, or other means. Whatever form the Columbus version takes, the two separated lanes will be a first for the city.

A streetmix.net rendering of how Third Street may conceptually look Downtown with a dedicated bike lane.

Although there has been discussion in the past of converting Fourth and Summit/Third into two-way streets, city planning and operations administrator Patti Austin said that both streets will be one-way for “the foreseeable future,” citing the need to choose between two-way vehicle traffic and bicycle accommodations.

“You can’t do this type of bike infrastructure with two-way streets, you need those lanes for cars,” she said, adding that the bike lane will remove a lane of vehicle traffic and bring many of the same benefits a two-way conversion would, such as slower traffic and better accommodations for pedestrians and bicyclists.

In 2012, a national report revealed that Columbus was the second largest city in the US with no Downtown bike lanes.

For more updates and discussion on Bike Lanes, CLICK HERE to visit our Messageboard.

Conceptual renderings created by Walker Evans with www.streetmix.net.

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  • jpizzow

    This will be such an important step in getting more dedicated bike lanes into our urban neighborhoods. This should be the precedent that gets the ball rolling. This is the type of amenity that encourages more biking, not sharrows. Hopefully, this will also slow traffic down a bit on both roads, which currently resemble a highway at times. Very, very good news!

  • jpizzow — I agree that this is an important step, but sharrows are equally important. It’s unrealistic to expect every street to have dedicated bike lanes, especially ones without enough room, or that are already slowed down for traffic (Gay Street for example). Sharrows are a great reminder to bikes and motorists alike that the road needs to be shared by everyone.

  • columbus_jy

    I am ecstatic about this news. Cars have zero respect for people who bike or walk down these roads. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tailed by a car when I’m biking and I’m getting tired of looking 10 times before crossing the road when I have a walk signal because cars are flying into their turns. These streets have a long way to go toward being walkable. I hope that slower traffic and awareness that the roads aren’t owned by cars or shared will be a big boost.

  • columbusmike

    Great news. Hopefully the downtown portion gets started this summer…it’s sorely needed.

  • joshlapp

    This is such fantastic news and I agree with what jpizzow has said. My only question is how will the parking lane inside the bike land work? Wouldn’t it be more simple just to have the parking lane on the outside of the bike lane?

  • Ben_

    Right? From these renderings it looks like you have to hop a median and run over cyclists to park! This is an awesome step for Columbus though… better late than never!

  • agantt

    Glad someone else brought up the parking lane point. I was looking at these renderings for quite a while just thinking “How is this supposed to work?”

  • rory

    As I understand it there’s no median to hop over. The street is just being restriped to remove one lane of traffic and include a bicycle lane instead. The excuse that you can’t have two way traffic and bike lane – now that’s a new one.

  • bferriot

    I think this one in particular might be a good solution to some of the wide, one-way streets in Columbus, such as Spring, Long, 3rd, or 4th:

    3. Make the invisible visible. Clear sight lines can improve a street’s safety significantly. Curbs lined with parked cars can make it hard for a turning vehicle to see what’s in another part of the street. That problem can be addressed by removing some of the parking spaces closest to the corner — a process called “daylighting,” which increases visibility considerably (so long as parking enforcement is strict). Curb extensions that bring pedestrians further into the street have a similar effect.

    See what I’m referring to (#3) at http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2013/12/-and-after-guide-safer-streets/7867/

  • mbeaumont

    First off: YES YES YES. This is great.

    I also would like to hear why the city isn’t considering bike lanes separated by parked cars. Seems to make the most sense, but I am not a transit planner.

  • Guys, guys, guys! It says CONCEPTUAL three times up there. These are not official renderings. They’re conceptuals created with http://www.streetmix.net. I’ll work on getting them updated.

    Edit: Updated!

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Family_bike.jpg

    In Copenhagen, who pioneered this kind of thing, the bike lane is protected by the parked cars. That would entail flipping the positions of the parked cars and bike lane shown in the above illustrations. It’s a better system, but it also requires separate traffic signals for bikes, along with those for pedestrians and cars. So, it’s also potentially more expensive.

  • Just to clarify – and to reiterate what is stated in the article – the bike lanes on 4th and Summit from Hudson to I-670 will be striped only (no physical barrier). Those will be done when the street is resurfaced in 2015. The downtown bike lanes on Third and Fourth will have phyisical barriers, but the city has not determined exactly what this is going to look like..they are still in the planning stage.

  • fonzette

    Just for the record, there were separate bike lanes on High Street through campus when I came here in the late 80s, so this isn’t actually “a first for the city.” Those did have actual curb-type barriers.

  • lattethunder

    Any information on when/if there are public meetings about this? I wanna give my support!

  • Fonzette-
    The Campus Curb type bike lanes were not like what we are talking about here. If you want to call them bike lanes, I suppose your are correct, however, they were poorly designed and poorly maintained and no one is suggesting otherwise.

  • fonzette

    I’m not voicing an opinion about these proposed lanes or the old lanes (though if I were, I’d say the old lanes sucked). I’m pointing out that, despite a contrary statement in the article, this is not a first for the city.
    And it’s not a matter of me “want[ing] to call them bike lanes” – that’s not an opinion, that’s a fact. They were separate lanes created specifically for bikes. That only bikes were allowed in. Lanes for bikes. Bike lanes. That were there before now. So new ones can’t be first.

  • rory

    You should add a streetcar while we’re conceptualizing. ;)

  • Fonzette – Here is where I am coming from as a Bicycle Advocate, we continue to hear, “Columbus had Bike Lanes on the OSU Campus and they were always full of leaves, litter and glass” So your comment received my standard answer that these are not the kind of Bike Lanes that Consider Biking is advocating for. They were removed 15+ years ago, but people do remember them and some think this is what a bike lane is. I am just trying to clarify that Consider Biking does not offer them as an example of protected bike lanes. Yes – you are correct OSU had a curb lane that only bikes could use. You win the point.

  • lattethunder

    God, Jody.

  • Jeftrokat

    Stop agreeing with me!

    These are going to be a game changer for Italian Village! It’s about time and I also don’t think sharrows are worth the paint.

  • jpizzow

    I wonder if bike boxes will be included.

  • @Lattethunder Public Meeting

    January 16, 2014, 5 – 7 p.m.
    Schoenbaum Family Center
    175 E. 7th Avenue

  • I_am_Father_McKenzie

    Why can’t these be 2-way? If this is done it’ll be another 20 years before we get a chance to change these over to 2-way. That’s a huge missed opportunity.

  • @walker – maybe you could put flashing ants around the last line, in italics… It’s the only thing that says the photos aren’t part of the finalized plan, and it’s easy to miss.


  • @Angie – The captions under the photos also say they are conceptual! ;) I’m going with big bold red letters next time and embedded alarm siren sound effects. ;)

  • @walker – it would probably be sufficient to just add that these are cols underground renderings based on what’s been discussed and NOT renderings handed out by the city. That’s not clear from the how the renderings are presented.

  • I’m excited to use these once they’re ready. Very cool!

  • michael macarthur

    I was reading the article and had the same thought as Fonzette. Hard to understand why this provoked so much annoyance since it’s just a historical fact. Now, that being said, the thing I recall about the protected curb lanes was that when you reached a corner, you suddenly came into an exposed zone where right-turning cars were much more likely to collide with you. To them, you were invisible (and somewhat protected) to that point.

    Then again, I’ve been run off the road in the sharrows. Those protect you from the people who respect bikes. But there are a lot who do not.

  • Here’s a great video about complete streets with dedicated bike lanes in NYC. Thanks to Maryellen O’Shaughnessy for sharing.

  • Molly

    Oh my gosh, is that a median I see before me? On Summit and 4th? Between parked cars and a bike lane? This is huge! That would be incredible! Yes yes yes!

    And also, about sharrows, I want to clarify something here: there’s no “sharing” possible between a 2,000 pound steel environment-killer and a bicycle. That concept is ridiculous. In a fight, the car is always going to win, and it is likely to kill the person on a bike too.

  • substance

    Walker or Brent,
    can you take the Italian Village down. This does not represent the plan for the configuration in Italian Village.

  • At the time of publishing the article, there was no specific renderings/plans/visuals provided, so we created conceptual renderings. They are labeled “conceptual” as to not cause confusion.

  • substance

    I do see that it says conceptual in the fine print , but that beautiful graphic speaks more than a thousand tiny words. It is confusing since most readers don’t read two much.

    FYI , I do appreciate CU and I hope I am not being too much of a pest.

  • substance

    Maybe another article that speaks to the benefits of protected bike lane
    Could reference this http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/the-10-best-protected-bike-lanes-of-2013

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