The city of Sacramento opened its first “parking-protected” bike lane downtown Wednesday for a three-day trial and asked cyclists and others to check it out and offer feedback.
The lane will be open on P Street between 13th and 15th streets through Friday. City officials plan to install permanent parking-protected lanes next spring on three streets, 20 blocks in total, designed to make downtown less dangerous and more welcoming for cyclists of all abilities.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg, one of the first to try it out with City Councilman Steve Hansen, called it an inexpensive way to increase cycling safety. “Some of the best ideas are the simplest ideas,” he said.
Parking-protected bike lanes are created by moving the parking lane out into the street, and putting the bike lane next to the curb. That turns the parking lane into a buffer zone between cyclists and moving vehicles. To make room, the city had to reduce the motor vehicle lanes on those two blocks from three to two.
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The bike-lane configuration includes a 3-foot-wide diagonally striped zone between the parked cars and the bike lane, allowing drivers space to open their doors without hitting a cyclist. Parkers will step across the bike lane to the curb to feed the meters.
The city will hold a meeting Monday, Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. in the City Hall lobby to get reactions to the test and to show its plans for expansion next spring.
The city plans to add the lanes permanently on P and Q streets next spring between Ninth and 15th streets, and on 10th Street between I and Q streets. The lane on 10th Street will be set up differently to allow chartered buses to pull up and park at their normal curb spots in front of the state Capitol. The total project is expected to cost $500,000.
Next spring’s permanent protected lanes will be on P and Q streets between Ninth and 15th streets, and on 10th Street between I and Q streets.