Bike Lanes Coming to Fourth and Summit/Third Streets
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.
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.
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Conceptual renderings created by Walker Evans with www.streetmix.net.