CLINTON, Iowa (KWQC) — The City of Clinton added a new bike lane leading cyclists downtown, but the lane is in the middle of the road.
The Downtown Clinton Alliance, area businesses and the Riverbend Bike Club partnered to spearhead the project.
Karen Rowell, Downtown Clinton Alliance Director, said the project had some specific benefits in mind: alternative transportation, bringing people downtown, and slowing traffic down.
Rowell said once the idea was formed she approached the city engineer to discuss options. The city was already planning to micro-resurface 5th Avenue and 3rd Street in October.
Together the city engineer and the group decided to put a bike lane down the middle of the 5th Avenue and along the right lane on 3rd street. The road was getting re-painted regardless but adding the lanes now would be inexpensive.
“We were in a hurry and had to get it passed by the council,” said Rowell.
The city council voted in favor of the project and work began on Friday to add in the bike lanes.
Originally 5th Avenue was a four lane road, but now it has two lanes for cars with a large bicycle lane running in the middle. Third Street is a one way and originally had 3 lanes; two going straight and the furthest lane to the right was for right turns. Now the third lane is gone, and in it’s place a large bicycle lane.
There may be less lanes on 5th Avenue but Rowell said they are larger then before, adding two feet to each side.
“The buffer zone between is also 15 feet so if a car backs up into the lane there is still room for the bicycles,” said Rowell.
The project has received positive and negative feedback. The Riverbend Bike Club supports the new lane because cyclists now have a designated route to go to the riverfront.
Some downtown businesses support the project and hope that it will ultimately bring more people downtown.
The lanes are open but not finished just yet. Rowell said in the spring 40 inch tall delineators will be added along the lane.
“We are adding delineators so a car can’t run into the lane, well without knocking them over,” said Rowell.
The Clinton Police Department will also be monitoring the lanes, to prevent any cars from driving down the bike lane.