The William Street Bikeway Project will begin this spring (2019) and will:
- Develop the city’s first protected bikeway from the Old WestSide to and through Downtown Ann Arbor
- Allow bikers of all abilities to feel comfortable and safe
- Connect to portions of the Treeline Trail.
We want everyone—from a new student to a long-time resident —to feel comfortable biking on William Street. We want to create a network of streets that encourages people to bike and spend more time downtown. The William Street Bikeway is a first step to achieving that vision.
We will complete the project in 3 phases:
- Feasibility & Design Phases: Fall 2018
- Engineering Phase: Fall 2018 / Winter 2019
- Construction Phase: Spring / Summer 2019
William Street will undergo a number of improvements as part of the Bikeway installation including road resurfacing, water main consolidation, and the reconfiguration of vehicle travel lanes in some locations to eliminate the confusing lane shifts currently on William.
The Ann Arbor DDA is funding this project and will work closely with the City of Ann Arbor, downtown businesses, residents, visitors, and other stakeholders.
Where & When?
The protected bike lane will be installed on the north side of William Street from State Street to First Street. The bike lane will transition to an advisory lane from First Street to Fourth Street.
The project will begin following the University of Michigan Spring commencement. Below is an estimated schedule, which will be adjusted as construction progresses:
- May – July: Division to State (work will be completed on these blocks by the Ann Arbor Art Fair – July 18 – 21)
- July – August: Fifth to Division
- September – October: Ashley to Main
- October: First to Division (final road resurfacing & bikeway installation)
What is a protected bike lane and how is this different from a regular bike lane?
In the case of these projects, protected bike lanes are bike lanes that include some type of physical barrier (e.g bollards, medians, parked cars, etc) or designated buffer space separating the bicycle lane from the adjacent motor vehicle lane.
Here is an example of a protected bike lane, although the exact configuration has not been determined for William Street, this picture reflects elements that are being investigated.
There are many treatments used in creating a network of protected bike lanes. Bicycle turn boxes are one example, watch this video to learn more.
How will the protected bike lane be implemented?
The protected bicycle facility will be implemented on the north side of William Street, from State Street to First Street, through lane restriping, signal changes, and vertical protection features (e.g. curbs, bollards, etc.) Advisory bike lanes are recommended in the residential area from First Street to Third Street.
How will the protected bike lane be maintained?
Two-way bike lanes can accommodate a great variety of equipment, possibly equipment already owned by the City of Ann Arbor. The DDA is working closely with City staff, including Public Works, to evaluate the needs for two-way bike lane maintenance and to do so in coordination with other bike lane maintenance.
What are the goals of the William Street Bikeway?
Improve Safety and Comfort
Protected bike lanes result in a 35% reduction in vehicle/bicycle crashes and a 59% reduction in injury rates.
Provide a safe and comfortable bicycle route for residents, workers and visitors of all ages and abilities to connect between the downtown and nearby areas.
Provide a new way to encourage people to ride their bikes downtown and go visit places they wouldn’t otherwise.
Design the street with all ages and abilities in mind and from a Vision Zero perspective.
This project is intended to increase commercial activity and prosperity, more people biking means more people shopping. A more welcoming and vibrant street environment will also increase foot traffic in the neighborhood.
Become Ann Arbor’s first protected bike lane to connect to the Downtown, the University, the Treeline and neighborhoods.
Promote Green Design
Send a clear message that Ann Arbor is a bike-friendly city and encourage cycling to reduce emissions and make downtown more livable.
What is the history of this project?
- Support for commuter and recreational bike ridership to and through downtown was identified in the 2003 amended Downtown Development Plan. As were projects that promote pedestrian and bicycle safety measures.
- This project came about from the Street Design Manual identifying this street as a potential bicycle emphasis street. This identification came about after evaluating and discussing the trade-offs for each potential east/west street by an Advisory Committee. It was determined that William Street was the most feasible and a great opportunity for the city’s first protected bike lane.
- This project also fits into the recommendations from the 2015 Nelson/Nygaard TDM study to find ways to enhance the downtown in order to encourage more bike commuting.
What’s included in this project?
Protected bike lanes, which will be implemented through lane restriping, signal changes, and the installation of vertical protection features.
Travel lanes will be reconfigured in some locations with one travel lane in each direction, eliminating many of the confusing turn only lanes currently on William. Left turn lanes will be preserved between Main and Fourth Ave.
Water main consolidations between Fifth and Division, and Main and Ashley will be taken on by the City during this project.
How do these projects relate to one another and the Treeline?
First, Ashley and William streets were all identified as “bicycle emphasis” corridors in the Ann Arbor Downtown Street Design Manual. Bicycle emphasis streets are streets which should include dedicated bicycle facilities such as a bicycle lane or a buffered bicycle lane.
The Treeline is a proposed urban trail that runs roughly along the alignment of the historic Allen Creek from the Huron River to Stimson Street south of the Michigan Stadium. A segment of the Treeline urban trail is proposed within the First Street corridor between Liberty and William streets. Implementation of this segment will be considered along with this project.
What will determine the feasibility of this project?
This project was determined to be feasible based on a technical analysis of traffic operations and integration of a protected bike lane into the current street layout, and an assessment of community values and preferences.
How is parking going to be impacted?
Parking will be impacted on the north side of William Street between State and First where the two-way protected bike lane is recommended to be located. There is the potential for parking gains in some areas on the south side of William, this continues to be studied.
On July 18, 2018 the City of Ann Arbor Transportation Commission unanimously approved a recommendation to support this project.
Interested in learning more about the public engagement process? A comprehensive summary can be downloaded here.
June 4 – 7 Public Engagement Meetings – Presentation
A series of public engagement meetings and workshops took place March 19 – 22, 2018. A video of the presentation from the opening meeting can viewed here.
Follow us on social media to stay in the loop