The new bike lanes on the campus of UL Lafayette are now open, and they span a section of St. Mary Boulevard.

Each of the bike lanes occupy the outer two lanes of the boulevard on each side of St. Mary Boulevard between Taft and St. Landry Streets.

Drivers will use the two inside lanes, but the one exception is near the Johnston Street intersection where the lanes for both drivers and bicyclists merge into each other at the roadway narrows.

Joey Pons, UL Lafayette's associate director of Public Safety and risk manager, says,

"Two important considerations are that bicyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic, and both motorists and cyclists are prohibited from crossing the solid white lines. "

Each cyclist and driver has to obey all traffic laws.

Pons reminds everyone that:

  • Bicyclists, like motorists, are required to stop at all traffic lights.
  • Motorists are required to yield to bicyclists, including in turning lanes.
  • Motorists and cyclists are prohibited from splitting lanes or passing each other at intersections.
  • Bicycles and vehicles turning right at the intersections of Rex Street, Hebrard Boulevard, Girard Park Circle and McKinley Street share a combined turn lane.
  • Cyclists have two options when making left turns. One is to merge into the vehicle traffic lane ahead of an intersection, then turn. The other is to use crosswalks. Cyclists who use the second option must dismount and walk their bicycles across the intersection.

Pedestrians should remain vigilant to the presence of both cyclists and motorists along St. Mary, and use designated crossing areas when walking across the roadway.

Pons adds, "We encourage our student pedestrians to use the crosswalks on campus, and not to 'jaywalk.Likewise, we want to encourage motorists traveling on campus to be mindful of students, both walking and on bicycles."

Pons said both bicyclists and motorists should be aware of differences in the layout of the bike lanes along two distinct sections of St. Mary Boulevard:

  • One section, between Taft and Johnston streets, features a 3-foot buffer zone that separates vehicle and bicycle traffic.
  • The other section, between Johnston and St. Landry streets, does not have a buffer zone, due to the width of the roadway.