Construction Of Bike Lanes At The University Starting Today
UL Lafayette and Consolidated Government are beginning a project today that will mean the installation of bike lanes on St. Mary Boulevard between St. Landry Street and Girard Park Drive.
Lafayette City Parish President Joey Durel says the bike lanes are part of the proposed bicycle and pedestrian improvements outlines in the UL Master Plan to enhance safety for cyclists on campus.
“This is such an exciting project for Lafayette. First, I continue to hear from residents that they want more options for bicycling, and I hear that especially from students and young people. Second, we are appreciative to the University for stepping forward with the funding to make this happen and are grateful to have such a great community partner. Finally, as we head into the final stretch of our Comprehensive Plan development and into implementation, it is great to see projects like this one which represent the ideas we have been talking about as a community for the last year.”
Authorities are reminding drivers to be ready for construction in that area, and to plan accordingly to avoid delays.
The improvements will take place along two distinct sections of St. Mary Blvd. as shown below:
Taft/ Girard Park Dr. to Johnston St. – This section of roadway will now have 2-lanes with buffered outside bike lanes in each direction.
Johnston St. to St. Landry St. – The on-street parking will be removed and replaced with outside bike lanes in each direction.
Considerations for bicyclists and drivers:
The project includes several concepts bicyclists and drivers should be aware of:
- Cyclists must travel in the same direction as motor vehicle traffic. Cyclists are instructed not to ride against traffic.
- COMBINED RIGHT TURN LANES: Because of right-turning vehicle and bicycle conflicts, combined turn lanes will be shared by bicycles and right-turning motor vehicles. Combination bike/motor vehicle turn lanes will be located at Rex St., Hebrard Blvd., Girard Park Circle and McKinley St. Bicycles going straight in the bike lane and right turning vehicles must line up within space provided in the combination lane. Bicycles intending to turn right should move to the right to indicate their intention to turn. Bicycles intending to continue straight should stay near the left lane line. Green pavement markings will be installed approaching a combined lane. Motor vehicles must yield to bicycles in these green zones prior to entering the combination bike lane/motor vehicle turn lane (image below).
- BICYCLE LEFT TURNS: There are 2 left-turn options for cyclists in the bike lane. Cyclists who are comfortable merging into motor vehicle traffic may merge into the motor vehicle travel lane in advance of the left turn and turn left from the travel lane; cyclists who choose this option should be sure to look carefully for motor vehicle traffic in the travel lane and use appropriate hand signals to motor vehicle drivers to alert their intention to turn left. Cyclists who prefer not to merge into motor vehicle traffic to turn, may utilize a marked signalized crosswalk to cross St. Mary; to do so, cyclists will continue in the bike lane until they reach a crosswalk, which they will then share with pedestrians to cross St. Mary during the assigned “walk” crosswalk signal phase. Cyclists should not attempt to turn left directly from the bike lane.
- TRANSITION from BIKE LANE TO SHARED ROADWAY: Due to roadway width constraints, the bike lane will transition into Shared Roadway in both travel directions approaching Johnston Street. Motorists will need to be mindful of merging cyclists and cyclists will need to be aware of vehicle traffic approaching from behind as they merge. Where roadway width is limited, sharing the lane and/or passing cyclists is not advisable. Cyclists may use the full lane of traffic and motorists must fall in line behind or in front of bicycles where they enter the motor vehicle travel lane from the bike lane. The bike lane will also transition to shared roadway immediately prior to the project boundaries- just before Taft/ Girard Park Drive (southbound) and St. Landry (northbound).