Saturday, December 10, 2011

Madison bike lanes 5: striping

Once the final layer of asphalt was laid, it was finally time to paint the stripes - and see the bike lanes come to life.  What had once been a four-lane road with no left-turn lane was about to become a three lane road, including a left-turn lane.

The first stripes, and the only stripes for about two weeks, were the yellow left-turn lane stripes.  During this phase, drivers were still treating the street as a four lane roadway.

Then, came a temporary, spray painted line that indicated that the parking lane/bike lane stripes were coming soon.

And here they are.  Two solid stripes: one separating moving vehicular traffic from the bicycle lane and the other separating the bicycle lane from the parking lane.  The bike lanes become dashed at the intersections so both cyclists and vehicular drivers know there may be crossover between the two.

The next items to be painted were the left turn arrows in the inside lane.

Here is the first user of the bicycle lane that I saw...

The final step was the painting of the bicycle symbols.  The contractors used a stencil for the bicycle symbol...

...and metal plates for the arrow symbol.

A leaf blower is used to dry the paint. 

...and here is the first cyclist to use the completed bike lane.  He literally came through seconds after the bike symbols and arrows were painted on the street.

One of the important benefits of the new striping scheme on the street is easier pedestrian crossing.  Now, pedestrians can cross one lane, rest in the left-turn lane and then cross the other lane.  This is much easier than finding an opportunity to cross four lanes at once.

This photo says it all.  Chances are, this couple would not have felt comfortable riding bikes with their daughter down Madison Avenue before the installation of the bike lanes.  Now, both recreational and serious cyclists can safely share the road with vehicular traffic, making Madison a more complete street appropriate to its historic roots as a streetcar avenue.

1 comment:

  1. Nice coverage of this process. You should be a journalist, Josh.