Attack of the Medians, 2009

Unhelpful faux medians

In 2004, medians were added to Jefferson Parkway. They looked beautiful, and the claim was that the narrower lanes would calm the traffic. However, as any bicyclist knows, the lanes were made too narrow in some areas of the road (near the Division St intersection), with not enough room for a bicycle and car to ride safely side-by-side.

The other frustrating part of this is that the curb lip is unusually wide -- a bike lane could have been integrated into a curb lip (as on Hwy 3) without increasing street width

How narrow?

Well when I saw the new striping on East Woodley Street (Rice County 28), it felt like Jefferson Parkway all over again. While there’s no physical median, the road now has a faux median painted in the middle. At some points this is helpful, like where it’s used as a suicide lane. In other areas, though, it simply pushes traffic closer to the curb, leaving virtually no space for bicycles. The Nonmotorized Transportation Task Force did request bike lanes (before I was on the TF), but they were rejected by the County. What’s bothersome is that these lanes could have been incorporated without widening the street surface.

Now I’ll say that overall the East Woodley reconstruction is a dramatic improvement for all users of the road. But this is a frustrating and apparently unnecessary impediment to bicycle use. I’ve included a gallery of the good and the bad of the reconstructed East Woodley.

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3 Responses to Attack of the Medians, 2009

  1. […] at only 30 mph and is lined with driveways. Jefferson Parkway — like Woodley Street (which just received a shared-use path) — is somewhere in-between. It’s a high-traffic road with no driveways and a fairly low […]

  2. […] South Highway 3 and South Prairie Street, there is no consistent sidewalk coverage. (Sidewalks were added to the portion east of Prairie this summer.) The sidewalks that are there (for a few blocks either […]

  3. […] South Highway 3 and South Prairie Street, there is no consistent sidewalk coverage. (Sidewalks were added to the portion east of Prairie this summer.) The sidewalks that are there (for a few blocks either […]

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