Bike Lanes in Lafayette

I was happy to see this headline in the Lafayette Journal & Courier today, Bicyclists to get their share of the road on Union Street. Bike lanes are a visible and effective way to increase rider safety, help cyclists move off the sidewalks, and boost awareness of cycling as a form of transportation.

It was no surprise that local cyclist and key member of Bicycle Lafayette Aaron Madrid was quoted in the article. He has championed bicyle-related initiatives – recently the three-foot law passed in West Lafayette, and actively works with local media to get the word out. (I need to meet him sometime)

Also, city planner Margy Deverall is a long time rider, and she seems to be bringing her knowledge of cycling into her work – making the city better for all types of transportation.

Favorite quote: “(Union Street) is not a parking facility. The argument that it’s a busy street is really an argument for creating a bike lane.”

In other cycling news, Purdue has added sharrows on a few campus streets. (One set was captured by Dave Bangert on Instagram.) It’s a good start, but until these appear on busier streets (Grant, Stadium, State, University) I’m afraid they won’t have much effect. Of course, many major streets on campus are maintained by the State or by West Lafayette, so it will take a cooperative effort to move forward.

However, there is also education needed to help both drivers and riders understand what the sharrows represent. Today I noticed more than one cyclist riding against the direction on the one-way loop that is Memorial Drive. Hopefully the sharrows will help them understand which way to go.

The task of integrating bicycles into Greater Lafayette’s infrastructure is moving forward. Let’s applaud these steps and help with what comes next.

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2 Responses to Bike Lanes in Lafayette

  1. My bike commute used to include 2 blocks of riding on sharrows each way. As far as I can tell, the sharrows did not improve my safety or help cars understand my right to be on the road at all. I got honked at by cars more during those 2 blocks than the other 3.5 miles of my commute combined. Cars often passed or tried to pass me on those blocks without safe buffer distance, and I got yelled at to “get out of the road” at least once per week. If a municipality wants to better integrate bikes on the cheap, then signs that say “bikes may use full lane” are significantly more effective in my experience and probably cheaper.