Sunday, July 6, 2014

Bike lanes added on Limestone Road in Pike Creek

A brand new bike lane retrofit on Limestone Road in Pike Creek. Note the scrub marks outlining the original right turn only lanes - these will fade in time. This project demonstrates that improvements can be made anytime a road is adaptable.

By Amy Wilburn, Chair, Delaware Bicycle Council -- During the winter of 2013, the DBC compiled a “wish list” of bike facilities contributed by area cyclists for each of the three counties. The lists were submitted to DelDOT.  During the summer of 2013, representatives from the cycling community met with members of DelDOT to discuss the lists. While most items on the wish lists will require either a major construction project or at least a pave and rehab, it was determined that some of the projects in New Castle County and Sussex County are attainable via paint and signage.

Fast forwarding one year, bike lanes are being installed on northbound Limestone Road, from Arundel to just north of Stoney Batter Road.  Limestone Road, with its direct course, many destinations, and wide shoulder along much of its length is a great candidate for bike facilities. Unfortunately, although the shoulder is wide at all points, it is not always wide enough to accommodate both turn lanes and bike lanes. Therefore, at this time, bike lanes are not being created at every intersection or on most of southbound Limestone Road.

The bike lanes, however, are currently in place at a number of the intersections along northbound Limestone Road, and they felt comfortably wide. We already noticed a difference in the way the motorists interacted with us at intersections with the bike lanes, as is usually the case. It’s a great improvement.  Not only does it provide guidance in terms of positioning for both motorists and cyclists, it provides visibility for cyclists and reminds motorists that we not only are present, but that we have the right to be on this road.

What is also notable about these bike lanes is that they were installed totally on behalf of cyclists, without waiting for a pave and rehab project or major construction project based on the needs of the motoring public.

Thanks to everyone in the cycling community who provided input for these “lists” and to everyone at DelDOT who was involved in installing these bike lanes. A special thanks to Mark Lusczc, DelDOT’s Chief Traffic Engineer, for pushing this project through and making sure that it happened.

The facilities on Limestone Road don’t yet create a complete route, but they are a great start. We can certainly hope that bike facilities will be installed wherever possible during future pave/rehab and major construction projects on Limestone Road (to complete this valuable route) as well as on other roads that provide important routes for cyclists.

So get out there and check out the bike lanes on Limestone Road! Happy cycling!

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