Work begins on constructing bicycle lanes down Broadway

Work begins on constructing bicycle lanes down Broadway

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A month-long road project is underway that could make downtown Lubbock look a little more like what is common in Europe.

The city has started reconfiguring Broadway to make room alongside cars for bicycle lanes.

Crews began measuring and pre-marking new lane lines on Monday.

Once they complete this step, they will start eliminating existing lane stripes and adding new ones.

Daniel Tolonen has lived in Lubbock for 40 years and rides his bicycle everywhere.

Tolonen said his route to work down Broadway takes about twenty minutes, a much easier ride than he has made in the past.

"I used to put 20 miles a day on my bike just going to and from work," Tolonen said.

"With Texas Tech, there are so many people on bikes; people need to be aware of it," Tolonen said.

The City of Lubbock hopes this street project will do just that.

Crews are taking Broadway down to one lane in each direction with a continuous left turn lane.

Then, a bicycle lane will be added to each side.

Public Works Director Wood Franklin said the changes will help the flow of traffic at intersections, like the one at Broadway and University.

"If you are wanting to make a right hand turn, you cannot until the light is green and traffic has gone through because the car in front of you may be waiting for a green light to go through. That is being widened and so we will have a dedicated right hand turn movement," Franklin said.

The city used a heat map generated by Strava to determine which roads are used the most by bicyclists.

Strava is a website and mobile app used to track athletic activity via GPS. Its software is commonly used for tracking cycling and running.

Franklin said the city used Strava's raw data, looking at the darker lines to determine which roads have the most activity.

That map showed heavy bicycle traffic from Texas Tech's entrance at Broadway and University to the canyon lake system.

Franklin said the bids for this three mile project came in around $170,000.

It is money that will be taken from the general fund.

"I feel very safe in a bike lane because I know that is intended just for me," Tolonen said.

Franklin said the city also hopes to update its comprehensive bicycle plan, which has not been updated since 1994.

Franklin also said the city is planning on adding more bicycle lanes to other streets, but should be able to use their own equipment since those streets are on asphalt as opposed to brick.

The Broadway portion of the project is expected to be completed by the end of July 2017.

No parking will be restricted and business access will remain open at all times.

The City encourages drivers to use caution while driving in work zones.

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