Downtown bicycle lanes see stalled construction
The busy streets of downtown Sacramento were promised new bicycle lanes by mid-summer – a promise that has yet to be fulfilled.
Bicycle lanes planned for several downtown streets have not yet been painted, but officials said that cyclists can expect to see them by the end of September or early October.
The $629,000 bike lane project expenditure was approved by the City Council in April 2011.
The project is said to create bicycle lanes on the most frequently traveled streets in downtown to create a safer cycling environment. As city officials previously told The Sacramento Press, J, I, Fifth, Ninth and 10th Streets along with Capitol Mall are included in the project.
The project was scheduled to take place in June or July, but as of mid-August, construction has yet to begin as the city faces delays.
According to Ed Cox, the city’s pedestrian and bicycle coordinator, it could be another month or two before the project is complete.
“There are delays that come in the process of making things happen,” Cox said. “But we’re on track now.”
Cox said that when construction does begin it’ll happen in two phases. In phase one of the project, the city will do base repair on the damaged areas of the streets to create a clean slate of pavement. Then, in phase two, workers will come back to re-stripe it and label it as the bike lane.
A majority of the construction will take place on the weekend to avoid disrupting the flow of traffic during the week.
Bikers like George Neill, president of cycling club The Sacramento Wheelmen, are anxiously waiting to ride safely through the new bike lanes.
“We’ve had a few bicycle members that have gotten hurt,” Neill said. “Bike lanes just give us one less thing to worry about.”
Neill said with all the commuting cyclists, there’s no question that the bike lanes would be beneficial to the downtown area, especially on busy days like Friday when most people cycle to work.
Thursday, city engineers will meet with the City Council to create an exact schedule on the construction.
“Late September, (or) early October,” Cox said. “That’s my anticipation at this point.”