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.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.