Few subjects draw the ire of neighborhood residents like bike lanes. Our posts on the Broad Ripple bike lanes featured comment threads that got almost out of control. And to this day, I still think in general these lanes are a positive change, as vehicles drive slower through the section now, and the road feels safer to the user (including pedestrians and drivers, as well as cyclists). The lanes are basically a simple coat of white paint. The pavement that was a 40-mile an hour 4 lane road is slightly less of a stroad now.
I haven’t talked much about bike lanes since the Broad Ripple Avenue ones were installed. Partially because most new bike infrastructure has tended to be separated from the road. But the new lanes on Michigan and New York are significantly different. Separated by concrete barriers, with separate traffic signals:
I’ve recently wondered if part of the controversy behind painted bike lanes is that drivers can easily see where they used to be able to drive. That’s not a problem when the lanes are separated by concrete and grass medians. If the street undergoes some fundamental transformations, it’s less obvious that this used to be a speed track. This street is different from the bike laned portion of Broad Ripple in another significant way: It featured parallel parking along both sides. If there is controversy, it will be with taking away some of that parking. But I don’t see that lack of parallel parking as a deal breaker here. The side streets should have plenty of parallel parking.