Last August, construction of bicycle and pedestrian facilities began on Roop Street between Winnie Lane and Northridge Drive over Lone Mountain. The work has been done for some time now, but today was the first day I got to ride the new bike lanes for myself.
Prior to the construction, there were no bike lanes, and cyclists northbound on Roop Street over Lone Mountain had to carefully navigate a jagged and crumbling shoulder. Traffic lanes were too wide, resulting in a vague feeling of where road users should be positioned in the lane. This didn’t always give cyclists enough room. Pedestrians had no option but to walk through the dirt and weeds on the east side of the road. Now there are bike lanes in both directions, and a wide sidewalk on the east side of the road accommodates pedestrians.
The bike lanes ride nice and feel wide. I estimated the total lane width to be about 5 feet wide, measured from the stripe to the curb. With traffic speeds of 35-40 mph, it’s good to have the extra room. Storm drains on the northbound side are all new and bicycle safe. There is one storm drain on the southbound side that looks to be from before the new construction. It’s not bicycle friendly, meaning a skinny front tire could slip between the slats, but it’s on the uphill part and there is plenty of room to navigate around it. Still, it should probably be replaced at some time.
Now that Lone Mountain is in such good shape, it’s probably time to look at the section of Roop Street between Winnie Lane and Beverly Drive. This section was redesigned several years ago without bike lanes. Perhaps it just needs to be re-striped so that it better connects the new bike lanes on Lone Mountain to the new bike lanes on Roop Street south of Beverly Drive.
And in case you didn’t see what Lone Mountain looked like before the addition of the bicycle and pedestrian facilities, here’s a photo from 2009. Quite an improvement!