The Roop Street project has been going on most of the year, but we’re now finally starting to see some areas near completion. Roop Street between William Street (HWY 50) and Robinson is now open, and the new bike lanes have been striped between William Street and Washington Street. I attended the Regional Transportation Commission recently, and here’s the latest scoop on the project.
Like I mentioned, there is new striping on Roop Street in front of the library. Apparently it was supposed to be completed all the way down to Robinson, but the striper didn’t realize this. He’ll be back. If you’ve had the opportunity to ride this section yet, you’ll notice the stripes look a bit fuzzy. There are even areas of the stripes that look powdery. It was mentioned that the striper had the mix off. Part of the paint composition is little reflective beads, and the ratio of beads was way too high. It is hoped that a street sweeper will be able to clean this up.
There are two alterations that are worth mentioning too. Washington Street west bound off of Roop is now One Way. It was opened for a brief time, but even though it is now one lane and painted as one way, it was reported that hundreds of drivers didn’t realize this and tried to merge onto Roop Street. They had to close this section off again until better signs and markers can be installed.
Also altered is the intersection of Caroline and Roop. There is now curbing installed that prevents east bound turns onto Roop Street off of Caroline. Riders looking to get on northbound Roop from the center of town now need to do so at Robinson Street.
Roop Street north of William Street is paved all the way to Long Street now. There is still much work to do on the sidewalks. And because of the additional property acquisition to make the street wider, there is now a need to install curbing and retaining walls. Some properties now have a two foot drop down to the sidewalk, because the new sidewalks cut into the slope.
Although not complete, riding the widened and striped sections of Roop really give you a feel of how it’s going to feel when completed. It’s great! The road feels really wide now, and it feels like the bicycles and cars now have plenty of room to coexist. It’s going to be fantastic once completed.