In its quest to have bicycles be a primary form of transportation in the city, Lakewood recently added two new dedicated bike lanes along the entire stretch of Madison Avenue. The addition is part of the city’s Bicycle Master Plan
, adopted in 2012 as a way to encourage cycling.
“We want to establish cycling as a main means of transportation in Lakewood,” says Bryce Sylvester, the city’s senior city planner. “The goal is to be recognized as one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the country.”
City officials began implementing the plan back in 2012 with shared bike-vehicle lanes, known as “sharrows,” on Detroit Avenue and dedicated bike lanes on Franklin Boulevard. The lanes are clearly marked as sharrows or dedicated lanes.
In addition to the traditional bike lane markings, the new lanes on Madison implement two new bicycle infrastructure signs. The lanes will have “door zone” patterns – small diagonal lines – to mark areas where people in parked cars may be opening their doors into the lane. The idea is to reduce the number of run-ins cyclists have with abruptly opening car doors.
Dotted markings through intersections along the route will reinforce the fact that bicyclists have priority over turning vehicles or vehicles entering the roadway – alerting traffic, both bike and vehicles, of potential conflict areas.
“Our hope is to make it a safer ride down Madison Avenue,” says Sylvester.
The city also has installed more than 100 bike racks in front of businesses since 2012, with the aim of installing 20 racks per year.
Sylvester says the Bicycle Master Plan and its execution are in response to the residents’ demands. “The people have built an environment of cyclists here,” he says. “People use their bikes to get around. We’re taking a proactive approach of active living in Lakewood. We feel infrastructures like this allow out residents to be active.”
Lakewood has been awarded a bronze award for its efforts by the League of American Bicyclists
"We're doing okay," says Sylvester of the plan’s progress.