First Protected Bike Lane in Phoenix

First Protected Bike Lane in Phoenix
Captured in Downtown Phoenix.

Three weeks ago, the city of Phoenix installed their first protected bike lanes as part of the Phoenix Transportation 2050 plan, however as they continue to plan for more protected bike lanes they face a few obstacles.

Monica Hernandez, the Public Information Officer for the City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department said, “Phoenix was designed for the vehicular element, with the number of driveways that do serve a purpose, but adding an additional (bike) roadway, poses a challenge.”

Hernandez also explained that alleyways and driveways pose problems to make protected bike lanes since you cannot create a buffer zone with flexible bollards; vehicles would not be able to enter or exit.

“It is great to see where Phoenix is going, improving their infrastructure to make it friendlier for all riders and pedestrians,” said Katie Woo, a senior at Arizona State University downtown campus.

On October 10th, the Street Transportation Department of Phoenix finished their first installment of the City’s 2014 Comprehensive Bicycle Master Plan, to create a safer environment for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists. The newly added bike lane is located along 15th Avenue between Van Buren and Jefferson streets.

The bike lanes feature a green, painted buffer zone with flexible bollards, to discourage any vehicles from entering the lane. This is the first installment of many that the City of Phoenix plans to install.

The Phoenix Transportation 2050 plan was approved by Phoenix voters in August 2015. It was developed by a citizen-run committee that advocated for transportation improvement for bikers, drivers, walkers and public transportation riders.

“Most important aspect, is living up to the voters wanted to see in the plan,” The Phoenix Public Transit Deputy Director, Joseph Bowar, said. According to the plan, Phoenix intends to add 1,080 miles of bicycle lanes.

“The whole idea is no longer looking at how to move traffic, but looking to design more friendly roadways for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists,” said Hernandez.

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