“Creating safe, walkable streets and choices for getting around are critical during the initial crisis response, and also to achieving a long-term economic recovery that is equitable, sustainable, and enduring.” – Jannette Sadik-Khan
In response to the challenges brought on by the pandemic, on July 6, 2020, City Council passed companion resolutions (one from the DDA for downtown streets and one from the City expanding beyond the downtown district) authorizing the installation of 90-day pilot projects to use City streets to expand safe social distancing for pedestrians and cyclists based on best practices, work in other cities, and data.
The COVID-19 pandemic has:
- Increased the demand for biking and walking space due to the need for physical distancing coupled with decreased transit service and capacity
- Increased pressure on curbside space due to the need for physical distancing coupled with reduced operational capacity for indoor commercial activity
- Decreased traffic volumes leading to less congested streets resulting in more speeding
These pilot projects will be installed using temporary treatments. Staff will monitor the pilots through data collection and public feedback and will adapt the projects as needed.
DDA funded pilots include:
- Miller / Catherine from First to Division – two-way separated walking/biking lane on the north side of the road
- Division Street from Packard to the Broadway Bridge – two-way separated walking/biking lane on the east side of the road
- South Main Street from Packard to William – one-way separated walking/biking lane on both sides of road
- Packard at the “triangle” (Hill to State) – one-way separated bike lane on both sides of road (fills a gap in the bike lane network in this location)
- State St/N. University – two-way separated bike lane connecting to the William St. Bikeway
City funded pilots include:
- Broadway Bridge – two-way separated walking/biking lane on the east side of bridge and additional pedestrian space provided on the west of bridge
- Pontiac Trail/Swift St. – connection to separated facility on Broadway Bridge (Swift closed at Wright through Ponitac)
- South Main from Packard to Stadium – one-way separated walking/biking lanes on both sides of road
- Packard from Eisenhower to Platt – one-way separated walking/biking lanes on both sides of road
The Ann Arbor DDA and the City of Ann Arbor are working collaboratively on these pilot projects. Locations within the downtown are managed and funded by the DDA with the continuation of these streets beyond downtown managed and funded by the City.
When will these pilot projects be implemented?
The pilot projects are scheduled to be installed in mid-August. They will remain in place for 90 days from the date of installation.
How were the pilot streets selected?
As a result of the pandemic, there is an increased demand for biking and walking space, a decrease in transit service and capacity, and an increase in vehicle speed due to less vehicular traffic. City Council passed a resolution in May directing staff to address the need for physical distancing on downtown and neighborhood streets. In response, City and DDA staff evaluated gaps in the bike infrastructure network within and surrounding downtown. The selected locations provide safer connections to and through downtown.
Miller / Catherine: Provides continuous connection from Miller bike lanes in to the Kerrytown district filling a network gap.
Division St: Provides a lower stress connection north/south into and through downtown.
Main St: Provides a lower stress connection into the core of downtown by filling a gap in the network between Packard and William.
Packard (at the “triangle”): Fills a gap in the bike lane network between State and Hill St.
How will these pilot projects be implemented?
The implementation of these pilots depends on the street configuration on a block by block basis. Treatments include a combination of removal of a center turn lane, a right turn lane, a travel lane, adjustment of a parking lane, and in some cases widening of an existing bike lane.
Elements used to install the temporary protected bike lanes include grabber cones, water filled barricades, temporary pavement markings, and signage.
Will any of these projects become permanent?
City and DDA staff monitor and evaluate each pilot based on data collection and user feedback. A permanent change would require City Council approval.
How will residents and businesses on these streets be impacted?
Residents and businesses along the pilot corridors should experience minimal impact. Most significantly it is important to note the following:
- Use caution and look both ways when entering and existing driveways.
- Place trash and recycling carts in the bike lane buffer zone.
- There is no parking in the bike lane.
I drive on these streets, how are these pilot porjects going to impact my drive?
You may notice a reduction in the number of travel lanes or the reconfiguration of a center turn or right turn lane, but the overall impact on drivers will be minimal.
Most important, please be aware, drivers must yield when turning across a bike lane to people on bikes, just like for pedestrians in a crosswalk. Drivers should also watch for people on bikes that might be approaching an intersection from behind.
What is a protected bike lane and how is this different from a regular bike lane?
In the case of these pilot projects, protected bike lanes are bike lanes that include some type of physical barrier (grabber cones and water filled barricades) and designated buffer space separating the bicycle lane from the adjacent motor vehicle lane.
How is parking going to be impacted?
Miller / Catherine St: Residential permit parking between Fifth & Division will be consolidated to the south side of the street.
Division Street: Parking will be removed on the east side of the street between William and Packard Street.
Main Street: There will be no parking impacts on Main.
Packard Street: There will be no parking impacts on Packard.
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