June 29, 2017 09:58 PM
A temporary demonstration for Duluth's first-ever on-street protected bike lane is now open on Michigan Street downtown.
The temporary bike lane are identified by green markers beginning on Michigan Street and 6th Avenue. It stretches for about a half-mile down to 3rd Avenue West.
James Gittemeier with the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Interstate Council says it's been a project years in the making. This is the first phase in implementing this portion of the project.
"The city of Duluth put together a plan for Duluth bikeways that was back in 2013," said Gittemeier. "Since then, lanes have been put in on London Road and they are being put on fourth street right now."
So what is a protected bike lane? It means bikers and motorists will be separated on the street by more than just markings on the ground- but a physical barrier like a curb or planters.
"Cities across the state are moving to protected bike lanes," Gittemeier said. "Part of this demonstration is informing the community and giving them a chance to get a feel and a look at what a protected bike lane looks like."
Gittermier says the goal is to bridge what he calls the "gap connection" between the Cross City Trail that goes into downtown Duluth and Duluth's Transportation Center.
"There's a three block segment there, a gap, where if you're a cyclist you can go one way because Michigan is a one-way street but you can't go the other way so this facility allows that counterflow movement," Gittemeier added.
It will also provide a safer route for cyclists.
"The comfort component; that a person that is in a protected bike lane feels much safer and much more comfortable than riding near cars," Said Gittemeier.
The plan is for the permanent bikeway to be a two-lane bikeway. Right now, however, getting all the questions answered during this testing period is the first step.
"Does this kind of bike facility work on Michigan? This demonstration project will help us answer some questions that we have," Gittemeier added.
The demonstration will run through July. During that time, there will also be a survey period for people to weigh on the project.
How to participate:
July 11: Press conference at the Duluth Transportation Center, 10 a.m.
July 12-14: Sidewalk Days
July 18: Walking Workshop with Toole Design, 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Updated: June 29, 2017 09:58 PM
Created: June 29, 2017 06:43 PM
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