By Benjamin Harris
As part of the ongoing JFK/Market Street protected bike lane pilot project, organizations have been studying the lane, its usage, and how folks in the area feel about the lanes. As a cycling advocacy organization, we felt it was our duty to ask cyclists how they feel about the lanes.
Because sure, protected bike lanes make streets safer for pedestrians and drivers, but if cyclists are safer and more likely to use these streets now that they have in the past, that’s worth knowing. So, we wrote and publicized a survey for cyclists to tell us how they feel about the protected bike lanes on JFK and Market Streets.
A wide range of users who live and work in many different parts of the city responded and are using the new bike lanes, including many commuters who list other forms of transit as their primary mode of transportation.
Since the JFK Blvd and Market St protected bike lanes opened in June, cyclists have been able to enjoy a less stressful ride through center city which can often be daunting on a bicycle.
Routine and occasional cyclists vastly agreed that the protected bike lane pilot has made the conditions along JFK Blvd and West Market Streets better and should become a permanent addition.
Most respondents said they now ride on JFK Blvd and Market Streets more often because of the protected bike lanes.
The largest issues were that both lanes aren’t long enough, and should be extended to 30th street, while connectivity around city hall and the general lack of enforcement were also heavily cited.
Support for protective infrastructure like curbing or landscaping was nearly unanimous.
Other issues that were not as largely highlighted but are still very important are visibility and vulnerability at intersections with left turning vehicles, the need for better bike lane connectivity, obstruction enforcement, and pedestrians using the bike lanes as an extension of the sidewalk and not looking before entering.
Overall, cyclists’ views on the new protected lanes are very positive, and see this as a step in the right direction.
If you haven’t yet used either or both of these protected lanes I encourage you to take advantage of them, and we are working to make sure there’ll be more to come in the near future.
This information has been presented to the city as evidence the lanes should be made permanent, and extended. We will have the full results of this survey in this week’s Members Only email. To receive that bi-weekly email, click here and become a member.
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