Saturday, January 18, 2014

Condition of St Georges Bridge Bike Lanes "Deplorable"

By Nancy Waddell, White Clay Bicycle Club

For those of you who like using the Saint Georges Bridge to cross the canal, be aware that the bike lanes are in deplorable condition. The southbound is especially unsafe, and you are advised to ride at your own risk. Northbound has several duckies (plastic bollards for lane separation) missing and lots of debris on the lane but southbound is beyond words.

In addition to the damage and debris, DelDOT reintroduced right turn-only lanes. Apparently, they did a study and it was needed for cars going into Saint Georges. Therefore, the bike lane continues on the right, and in the final approach, you'll have to diagonally cross over 55+mph traffic to get onto the bridge. Notice in the video that I had to stop to make sure both lanes were clear - you can never tell when someone will
Then DelDOT Secretary Carolann Wicks
and Senator Tom Carper at the St Georges
Bridge Bike Lanes Dedication in 2010.

decide at the last minute to dart into the right lane. Once on the bridge the majority of duckies are missing, most likely from vehicles striking them. The duckies at the base were removed during reconstruction of the lane. At first I thought it was going to be made into a merge lane for cars coming out of Saint Georges but apparently that won't be the case.

I made the above video to share with some on the WCBC executive committee. They, as well as a few other people I know have informed DelDOT that it is a major safety concern. DelDOT indicates that construction isn't complete yet and the bike lanes will be restriped with permanent markings.

Cyclists take to the Saint Georges Bridge Bike Lanes soon after completion in 2010.

Poster's notes: 
Kudos to Nancy for bringing this issue to the forefront. For a complete history, including the opening ceremony, visit our Archive on this project. In studying the video, it does appear that the bike lane will be restored approaching the bridge, as indicated by hash marks. However, as Nancy clearly demonstrates, you must be fully aware of high speed traffic from the rear as you cross through the right turn only-lanes. We won't know how safe all of this will be until maintenance and re-stripe activities are completed. Must we settle for this design, let's hope cautionary signage and traffic calming measures are included, i.e. flashing yellow beacon(s).

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