Tempe tests first “protected bike lane”
Innovative design creates traffic buffer for bicyclists
Amanda Nelson, Public Information Officer
(Tempe, AZ) The city of Tempe is testing an innovative bike lane design using road striping and “candlestick” markers to provide a more comfortable environment for bicyclists travelling in the city.
The half-mile on Priest Drive from Washington to Van Buren streets uses surface paint to create a buffer ,or distance, between the bike and car lanes, and marks strategic locations with raised plastic bollards, known as candlesticks, to restrict vehicles from crossing into the bike lane. North of Van Buren Street, the protected lane transitions to a buffered bike lane in Phoenix.
Because of its high number of bike commuters, the Salt River Project, a major employment center in the area, encouraged Tempe to create a more bike-friendly environment and supports the test project.
Tempe will evaluate the effectiveness of the protected bike lane concept on other new streetscape projects as well. Protected bike lanes on sections of University and Hardy drives are scheduled to be completed within the next eight months.
The City of Tempe has a continuing commitment to designing a transportation system and city with great access for all types of travel, with more than 175 miles of bikeways throughout the city and a 4.2 percent bicycle commuter rate, which is well above the national average.