New bike racks installed downtown, additional bike lanes to be added in spring
Standing in front of new lime-green bike racks on Wayne Street, Mayor Tom Henry announced today that the City of Fort Wayne is continuing its progress of making the community and especially downtown more bicycle friendly.
“The City in cooperation with the Bike Fort Wayne task force has been implementing ideas from the public input we received in the last year, and we are starting to see the results,” Mayor Henry said. “Downtown was the top destination people indicated they wanted to ride their bikes to, so we are continuing with ways to make it more friendly for those using two wheels.”
The City is installing 117 bike racks in downtown Fort Wayne with one of three designs:
'¢ 12-inch circle that frames a bicycle silhouette and mounts directly to parking meter posts
'¢ free-standing bollard that has a 12-inch ring to which bikes can be secured
'¢ standard inverted U rack
The racks will be located primarily along Wayne and Berry streets between Broadway and Barr Street, along Calhoun Street between Washington Boulevard and Berry, along Barr near the Barr Street Market, Headwaters Park, Freimann Square and Parkview Field.
A Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant from the Northeast Indiana Regional Coordinating Council with a 20 percent match from the Community Development Division's portion of the CEDIT bond funds the $18,770 project. City Traffic Operations crews are installing the racks.
Bike lanes on Wayne, Berry, Rudisill
Earlier this summer, the City added a bike lane on Wayne Street between Ewing and Calhoun streets as part of a resurfacing project.
The Indiana Department of Transportation has approved American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funding for the addition of bike lanes as part of pavement resurfacing for the remaining blocks of Wayne between Broadway and Coombs Street and Berry Street between that same stretch.
In addition, INDOT approved stimulus money for bike lanes and lane reconfiguration of Rudisill Boulevard from Anthony Boulevard to Old Mill Road. Between Anthony and Calhoun Street, the pavement will be resurfaced with the addition of bike lanes in both directions and reducing two through-lanes in either direction with one through lane each way and a turn lane throughout. From Calhoun to Old Mill, the existing pavement markings will be ground off to add bike lanes and the same three-lane configuration.
INDOT will let both projects Dec. 9 with construction expected next spring.
Reed Road Bike Route
The City's Traffic Operations crews will install custom-designed bike route signs starting this month along the previously announced Reed Road bike route that runs between at the Reed and Evard Road intersection and Tennessee Avenue at the Rivergreenway. For this route, vehicles and bicycles will share the roadway. Pavement markings for the route will be added next spring.
For a map of this pilot project visit:
Update on Bike Fort Wayne plan
The City's Community Development Division is slated to have a draft of the Bike Fort Wayne plan finished this year and presented to City Council as an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan in early 2010. With help and guidance from the Bike Fort Wayne Task Force, the plan will provide policy, program and project guidance to increase the use of bicycles as transportation in Fort Wayne.
The 10-year plan will cover a bikeway network that connects neighborhoods to destinations with a variety of infrastructure, legislative initiatives to expand bicycle transportation opportunities, and education and outreach to increase the number of people safely using bicycles. The task force is helping to write goals, objectives and strategies for each section.
2010 Bike Summit planning underway
The City of Fort Wayne's internal working group has started planning a second communitywide bike summit. It will be in the spring, but an exact date and location has not been determined.
“Last year's summit was remarkably well attended, so we have decided to bring back a version for 2010,” Mayor Henry said. “One of the strengths of our efforts to make Fort Wayne more bicycle friendly has been the plentiful public input and the ongoing interest people have had in the plan. We want to continue involving current and future cyclists in this process.”
Background on public input
Last year, the City of Fort Wayne received more than 4,000 responses to a print and online survey asking residents about their use of bicycles. Respondents overwhelmingly indicated they would like to ride their bikes to the places they would otherwise drive if better bicycle infrastructure existed.
In the spring, the City hosted a bike summit to get a better sense of where bicyclists currently and want to ride.
The survey showed the following:
'¢ 71 percent of respondents online road their bikes at least once a week during their riding season.
'¢ One in four online respondents use a bicycle to commute to work.
'¢ Concerns about safety from vehicles and drivers, lack of trails or bike lanes and natural conditions like weather and darkness are the top three reasons people said they do not ride more often.
'¢ Written survey respondents most frequently ride on residential streets, followed by greenway trails.
The complete results from the written and online surveys are available at www.cityoffortwayne.org/bikeusesurvey.