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First “Parking Protected Bike Lanes” Introduced In Sacramento

Sacramento authorities want to make the capital city’s streets safer for bikers and drivers. That’s why they created the city’s first trial “Parking Protected Bike Lanes” on P Street this October.

Officials just concluded their three-day trial on the south side of P Street. Specifically, these temporary “Parking Protected Bike Lanes” were put up between 13th and 15th streets. City officials will now ask local residents how they felt about the new street arrangement.

By the spring of 2018, Sacramento law enforcement wants to create “Parking Protected Bike Lanes” in 20 blocks of the city’s streets. The hope is that these lanes will drastically bring down the number of cyclist fatalities and injuries in the city.

The cyclist lane test on P Street happened between Wednesday and Friday on the first week of October. Traffic workers put down orange poles and removable striping for this trial. Safety officers also reduced the P Street lanes in the area to two. For those who don’t know already, P Street has three lanes west of 15th street and two lanes to the east.

The basic idea of these “Parking Protected Bike Lanes” is to move the car parking lane into the street and put bike lanes by the curb. Officials believe this will create a great enough buffer zone between bike riders and car drivers.

One interesting design feature of the “Parking Protected Bike Lane” on P Street was putting down a 3-foot-wide striped zone in-between the parking and bike lanes. This “no-man’s land” was created so cyclists wouldn’t get hit by drivers suddenly opening their car doors.

City Councilman Steve Hansen told reporters that Sacramento bikers have been asking for safer lanes for a long time now. He’s extremely hopeful that these new lanes on P Street are an “important step in the right direction.

Over the past few years, more and more cyclists have been riding their bicycles on Sacramento’s sidewalks. Bike advocates in the city claim that they often get into accidents with pedestrians because sidewalks are the only safe place to ride in the city. Hopefully these new bike lanes in the street will help cyclists stay off the sidewalk and avoid serious accidents with cars.

Jennifer Donlon Wyant, Sacramento’s current transportation manager, said this urban planning design has actually been tested out before in a few other American cities. Two other cities in California that have shown positive results from this design include San Francisco and Oakland. She says early data shows that “Parking Protected Bike Lanes” significantly reduce the number of cyclist fatalities due to car crashes.

The city held their first of many town meetings on October 9th to get a sense of the public’s reaction to these new lanes. This open house event was held in City Hall at 5PM.

Safety officials want to add “Parking Protected Bike Lanes” on P and Q streets between 9th and 15th Streets by next spring. They also hope to create permanent protected bike lanes on 10th street just between I and Q streets.

In total, Sacramento leaders expect this project will cost $500,000. For more information, please visit http://www.cityofsacramento.org/.