Chattanooga's first protected bike lane is being built on Broad Street between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Aquarium Way.
River City Company officials said the project "is the result of extensive planning and community visioning first initiated by hundreds of community participants in the 2013 City Center Plan.
"Protected bike lanes, also known as buffered, or separated bike lanes, are being encouraged by the Federal Highways Administration FHWA and support objectives of the USDOT’s Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets. This type of street improvement is shown to increase sidewalk and street activity, improve downtown retail business, and provide another way to get around – without negative impact on traffic, and increased safety for all users.
"Protected bike lanes improve access and safety of our streets for all users and are being implemented in cities all over the country, in places as varied as Austin, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Washington DC. They are shown to decrease crashes and injuries, encourage active transportation, and improve local economies by increasing retail-foot traffic for shop-front businesses."
Here are some details about the Broad Street project from River City:
Parking: the project scope will retain parallel, on-street parking along the full length of the street. Parking will be temporarily unavailable during construction only, first on the west side of the street and then on the east for construction, but will be restored as soon as possible upon completion.
Travel Lanes - two travel lanes in both directions will be maintained permanently upon project completion. This configuration is well above the standard amount of space needed for the average traffic that exists on Broad Street.
Bike Lane - the project scope will provide for a new separated and buffered bike lane in what was formerly the parking lane, between the sidewalk and on-street parking. This configuration is encouraged by national agencies as it encourages the safety of a physical buffer for both people on bikes and sidewalks.
Sidewalks - will not be altered but are expected to see increased pedestrian activity with the improvements to the street.
To speak to someone about the project, please call the Chattanooga Department of Transportation at 423-643-5963. To view a diagram of the project, click here.