New and renovated city roads will include added cyclist protection through changes in roadway design approved by the Gainesville City Commission.
The updated regulations require either a buffered, separated or protected bike lane on eligible city roads. The roads will need speeds of more than 25 mph and handle more than 3,000 vehicles per day.
“These improvements support our Vision Zero strategy to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero,” Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos said in a press release. “And a major part of that is how we design our roads to encourage cycling by ensuring there’s a safe place for bicyclists of all ages and abilities.”
Buffered bike lanes are wider than current lanes, allowing two cyclists to pass each other comfortably, according to city planner Scott Wright.
Separated bike lanes use barriers — like posts — to increase protection, and protected bike lanes offer the most protection with a curb, planters or even a parking lane in between the car and bike lanes.
New separated bike lanes and one-way streets have been installed across from UF on University Avenue, and the joint expansion of SW 62nd Boulevard will also include more secure bike lanes.
“We need to design our roads for all ages and abilities,” Hayes-Santos said in the release. “No matter if you’re five years old or 95 you should be able to have a safe place for you to be able to get around our city.”
“…part of that is how we design our roads to encourage cycling by…”
This statement seems to indicate that the city commission is deciding what they want the citizens to be doing instead of the commission paying attention to what the citizens want to do and supporting the citizens.
Is it really the job of the commission to decide what the people of the city should do, and then spend taxpayer money on those choices? I had understood the commission was supposed to be supporting the people not controlling them.
Mike, that’s a valid, rational thought. Absolutely our officials should be taking into consideration what we, the citizens want. But the job of the city is to consider everyone, especially the most vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists, mobility scooters, wheelchairs, and micro-mobility vehicles, public transit users, and of course, your average vehicle driver. In Gainesville and pretty much all of the USA, car-centric infrastructure is the primary focus. The argument has been made (almost the same argument you were making) that since that is how almost everyone gets around we should really focus on building new and improving existing car infrastructure, but that is really just a self-fulfilling prophecy. When it comes to these things, it really is “build it, and they will come” or the inverse of that “don’t build a safe cycle lane and no one will cycle” because almost nobody wants to ride a bike next to 45 mph traffic when only a painted line on the road separates them. So yes, lets keep well maintained, safe streets that let car drivers get around, but to your point, the city shouldn’t just make car infrastructure because that is taking away the option from us from getting around in other ways.
Absolutely how I feel too. If there were more cycling and pedestrian friendly infrastructure I would use it but as soon as I step out my door there’s nothing but high speed roads and dangerous intersections. We need better urban planning here to include everyone, not just cars!
These improvements for bikes are welcome by those of us who use bikes as transportation.
I agree. Protecting bicyclists is just logical. I have seen pictures of protected bicycle lanes in the Netherlands.
Sadly, we’re getting what the voters voted for. I just hope all these voters are riding bicycles everywhere they go.