Supersharrows, green bike lanes and road diets are more than just funny-sounding bike-themed words. They’ve made biking in the Corridor safer and more convenient, some cyclists say.
Richard Bradford, a Rockwell Collins engineer who pedaled to the “Bike Lunch with the Mayor” on Wednesday as part of 2016 Bike to Work Week, has biked the same route to work for years. The little bit of paint to mark bike lanes has made a noticeable difference, he said.
“The bike lanes really make a lot of difference to get cars to give you enough room on the road.” said Bradford, 54. “It’s gotten much better in recent years with more bike lanes, curb cuts that make it easier to use sidewalks on the outskirts of town, and more people are biking so motorists are looking out.”
Cities in the Corridor have been racing to become more bike friendly, a quality of life indicator many now expect in urban settings. Installing odd-titled bike amenities is part of the process, and much more is coming.
Iowa City is testing a bike boulevard — a low-volume and low-speed street that gives priority to cyclists. College Street will be converted to a bike boulevard from 8 a.m. to noon this Saturday.
Cedar Rapids painted green bike lanes to designate a place for cyclists, and expanded the use of “supersharrows” to Third Street SE in the New Bohemia District recently. These paint markings have a bike silhouette bordered by dashed lines in the center of the travel lane.
“That marking helps designate so cars recognize a cyclist can be in that position on the road,” said Emily Muhlbach, a Cedar Rapids public works spokeswoman.