We reported earlier this week on changes coming to N 34th St in Fremont. This vital connector is finally getting repaved, and SDOT is using the opportunity to make some much-needed changes to the street design.
The most visible of those changes: A new bike box on 34th at Fremont Ave just north of the Fremont Bridge. SDOT’s George Frost provided us with the striping plans to help paint a better picture of how this bike box will work.
As you can see in the image above, the bike lane that formerly disappeared into the back of a row of parked cars is now preserved and leads into the bike box. Both of the lanes to the left of the bike lane will become left-turn-only, and the curb lane to the right of the bike lane will be for right-turning or through traffic. Here’s a more zoomed-out look:
It appears that right turns on red will still be allowed, which takes away one of the pedestrian safety benefits associated with bike boxes (also the primary complaint I hear from people who drive).
The city has already installed bike boxes at 12th and Pine, 7th and Dearborn and sort of at 12th and Union/Madison. I am excited to see them getting utilized more commonly for road projects around the city because they can help solve a variety of tricky traffic maneuvers simply by staggering where people wait at signals, which increases visibility.
The SDOT Blog has more on the 34th Ave project:
The project to repave N 34th Street from Fremont Avenue N to Stone Way N also enhances the roadway considerably for bicyclists. As part of the work, which began this month and is expected to wrap up by Mid-August, crews will install:
- New green bike lanes highlighting areas where bicycles and cars cross paths
- New bike box at intersection of N 34th St and Fremont Ave N to provide a place for cyclists to wait for the signal in front of vehicles (where they can be seen)
- New bike loop detectors to tell the signal when a bicycle is waiting for the light to turn green
It all means biking will be better on N 34th Street! And it won’t be too shabby for cars, buses and pedestrians either…offering improvements such as sidewalk replacement near the Fremont Avenue N intersection; upgraded curb ramps to meet current standards for accessibility; and removal of unused railroad tracks in the roadway.
Great to hear! Along with the Dexter improvements, this will do a lot for bicycle mobility in the Fremont area.
The project to repave N 34th Street from Fremont Avenue N to Stone Way N also enhances the roadway considerably for bicyclists. As part of the work, which began this month and is expected to wrap up by Mid-August
It will be an improvement, but right now 34th is a bitch to bike on right now. I’m generally only on it from around the transfer station until Woodland Park, but it’s rough, really rough during the work. I broke a spoke on it two days ago.
I’ve seen lots of pictures of bike boxes that were painted, indicating that cars are excluded from the bike lane, but didn’t appear to have a lane to the right of it for right-turning cars. That’s always seemed dangerous to me — almost all of the bike-car accidents I’ve personally witnessed were caused by a conflict between a right-turning car and a cyclist trying to go straight but positioned to its right. This one has a clear right-turn lane and a clear place where the right-turning traffic is supposed to get across the straight-going bikes. It looks about right to me. This intersection, where lots of cyclists need to turn left, seems like as good a place for a bike box as any. I’ve made the mistake of getting in the leftmost lane to make this turn a few times (fortunately Fremont bridge traffic is slow and I’m used to riding on wet metal-grated bridges from living in Chicago), and I’m pretty hopeful this box will clarify the situation and help others avoid this mistake.
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