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May 11, 2009 - Image 2

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2009-05-11

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21

Monday, May 11, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

City to add more bike lanes

Improvements will
ensure downtown
cyclists' safety
By JASMINE ZHU
Daily News Editor
Ann Arbor is pedaling forward
with a plan to improve its bike lane
system by adding eight miles of
additional lanes and improving the
23.7 miles of existing lanes.
These improvements are part
of the city's goal of encouraging
residents to bicycle and walk more
frequently. Ann Arbor's efforts
over the past year have earned
it the title of a 2009 Spring Bicy-
cle Friendly Community by the
League of American Bicyclists.
Funding for the bicycle lane
improvements will come sole-
ly from federal stimulus funds,
capped at $250,000.
At a public meeting Thursday,
members of the City Transpor-
tation Planning Program sought
input from Ann Arbor residents on
proposed improvements along Ann
Street, Catherine Street, Ashley
Street and First Street. Also dis-
cussed was the plan to add eight
miles of bike lanes along Hill Street,
North University Avenue, East Uni-
versity Avenue, South University
Avenue and others.
After the preliminary plan is
approved by the Michigan Depart-
ment of Transportation, the project

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A University student rides his bike along South University Avenue, where bike lanes would be installed under the new plan.

EDITORIAL STAFF
Rohert Inane
rsaeumnichsedu

will be set in motion.
Ann Arbor resident Lily Goz-
man said that though Ann Arbor
is, in general, a "bikeable" commu-
nity, she has experienced problems
when bicycling downtown.
"Downtown, I've been 'doored,"'
Gozman said, explaining that she
had been struck by an opening car
door while riding her bicycle.
Gozman added that she was
excited about the prospective
"sharrows," which are shared-use
pavement markings that alert bicy-
clists to the safest place to ride on

the road.
Gozman said that sharrows
would improve bicycle mobil-
ity and eliminate the issue of being
"doored."
Other changes in the downtown
area include "Walk Your Bike"
sidewalk signs that would instruct
bicyclists to walk their bicycles on
sidewalks to protect pedestrians, as
well as "Share the Road" signs for
motorists and bicyclists.
Eli Cooper, City Transportation
Planning Program manager, said
the reason behind the bicycle lane

improvement plan is to clearly dif-
ferentiate bicycle lanes from car
lanes.
"Some of the problems that we
have are that (the roads) are not well
signed, and they're not well marked
using proper pavement markings
and signage," Cooper said. "What
happens then is some motorists
don't realize it's a bicycle lane, and
we believe that by creating a clear
indication by using proper marking
and signage, what's for the motor-
ists will be used by the motorists,
and what's for the bicyclists will be
used by the bicyclists."
Based on the new design for
the existing lanes, where they
begin will be marked with an
arrow pavement mark and bicy-
cle symbol. "Bike Lane Ahead"
signs will notify motorists that
bicyclists should be expected in
the roadway.
Signs spaced no further than
a quarter-mile apart will notify
motorists of continuing bicycle
lanes. The end of the lanes will
be tapered in order to warn bicy-
clists.
According to Pat Cawley, City
Transportation Planning Pro-
gram senior project manager, the
plan for improvingbike lanes still
isn't finalized.
"What we're going to submit
to the Michigan Department of
Transportation in the next few
weeks is a preliminary plan," he
said.
Cawley said there are no plans
to startphysically workingon the
project until spring 2010.

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