Riding Columbus' first protected bike lane

The City of Columbus celebrated the grand opening of a new protected bike lane on Summit Street December 3. Protected bike lanes are physically separated from traffic and the sidewalk. The protected bike lanes are part of an effort to add standard bike lanes to Summit Street between East 11th Avenue and I-670, and on North 4th Street between East Hudson Street and I-670. The project which began construction in October 2014 is the first of its kind in Central Ohio. Along the way, Yay Bikes! collaborated with the Department of Public Service to provide ongoing feedback to city engineers.

To complete the resurfacing and bike lanes project, ODOT will resurface both 3rd Street and 4th Streets between I-670 and East Fulton Street in the spring of 2016.  Following the resurfacing, the City of Columbus will install standard bike lanes on both streets between I-670 and East Fulton Street.

In addition to a greater sense of security for bicyclists who are less experienced in riding with traffic on the street, bike lanes result in motorists driving slower because roads seem narrower.  While there are many benefits to protected bike lanes included in our roads, the addition of bus bulbs, queue boxes and a new type of traffic provide an opportunity to highlight tips for traffic safety.

MOTORISTS

  • ­ Be alert for bicyclists and obey al traffic laws, signs and signals. ­
  • Do not park in the protected bike lane.
  • Park in the marked lane between the travel lane and the bike lane.
  • Cars parked in the bike lane are subject to ticketing. ­
  • Do not drive in the protected bike lane.
  • Motorists can make turns across the bike lane, but must yield to people riding bicycles in either direction. ­
  • Look both ways before turning across the bike lane.
  • Through bicyclists have the right-of-way at uncontrolled intersections, driveways and alleys. ­
  • Do not block the bike lane or turn box when waiting to turn onto Summit Street from a side street. ­
  • Do not block driveways when parking.
  • Under City Code, motor vehicles that block driveways are subject to ticketing and towing.

CYCLISTS

  • ­ Be alert for motorists, pedestrians, bicycle signs and signals and obey all traffic laws, signs ­.
  • Yield to pedestrians and wheelchair users who may be crossing the protected bike lane. ­
  • Be alert for turning vehicles when approaching uncontrolled intersections, driveways and alleys. ­
  • Stay to the right and allow faster bicyclists to pass safely.
  • Be alert for other bicyclists passing. ­
  • Before overtaking and passing a slower cyclist, look to be certain there are no oncoming cyclists from the opposite direction or pedestrians about to cross the protected bike lane.
  • Once you are certain there are no oncoming cyclists or pedestrians, give an audible signal by saying “on your left” to the slower cyclist in front of you before overtaking and passing them. ­
  • Be aware the bike lane may weave as it approaches intersections to make bicyclists more visible to motorists.
  • ­ Use caution when exiting the bike lane.
  • If crossing Summit Street, wait in the green turn boxes to wait until it is safe to proceed.

PEDESTRIANS

  • ­Be alert for motor vehicle and bicycle traffic.
  • Look both ways, watch and listen for bicyclists traveling from either direction before crossing the protected bike lane. ­
  • Always cross the street at a crosswalk. ­
  • Use caution when crossing the protected bike lane at other locations, such as when entering and exiting parked vehicles. ­
  • The protected bike lane is for bicycles only.
  • Use the sidewalk when walking along the street if it is practical. ­
  • Do not stand or wait in the protected bike lane.
  • Use the concrete island bus bulbs to wait for buses.