Columbus Opens City’s First Protected Bike Lane to the Public
While cyclists have already been utilizing some of the completed portions of the new bike lanes along Fourth and Summit Streets for several weeks, the new project officially opened to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony held yesterday afternoon by city leaders. The new installment includes the first protected lane in the City of Columbus, which runs along Summit from Hudson Street to Eleventh Avenue — a major thoroughfare in the University District.
“These new protected bike lanes are an innovative way for the City to continue promoting multiple modes of transportation,” said Columbus City Councilmember Shannon Hardin during yesterday’s event. “Hopefully, this investment encourages residents to bike to work and play as a way of saving wear and tear on our roadways, promoting healthy and active lifestyles, and doing well for the environment.”
The protected lane on Summit is just one part of the larger project, which is adding standard bike lanes on Summit south of 11th Avenue to I-670, and running northbound on Fourth Street from I-670 to Hudson Street. The full stretch will also connect commuters in Weinland Park, Italian Village and Downtown Columbus.
“Yay Bikes! applauds the City of Columbus for taking a such a bold leap with street design that accommodates the many ways people get from place to place,” said Yay Bikes! Executive Director Catherine Girves during yesterday’s opening. “The engineers’ willingness to accept input from everyday cyclists gives us great hope for the future of bicycling infrastructure Columbus.”
The next phase of the project will include the expansion of the lanes through Downtown Columbus to Fulton Street in 2016, following the completion of street resurfacing work that ODOT has planned for Third and Fourth Streets in the spring.
For an extended look at what the future holds for bike lanes in Columbus, CLICK HERE to read our extended interview from last February with city and community planners.