Baltimore's First Ever “POP-UP” Protected Bike Lane
Thursday Aug 18th, 2016
The four blocks between Central Avenue and S. Broadway is typically a 3 lane, one-way street with peak hour restricted parking– creating a street with lots of space and a few cars that typically speed through the neighborhood. There is a school on the north side and a residential neighborhood on the south side. The underused peak hour lane provided an opportunity to improve safety for all users of East Pratt Street and the demonstration project allowed citizens to re-envision how space in the street can be used. On August 4th, the Baltimore City Department of Transportation (BCDOT) installed the city’s first ever “pop-up” two-way protected bike lane, open for use after 8 hours of construction. The project is the City’s first “pop-up” style intervention and is being used to demonstrate an alternative configuration of the street. Provided that the facility is well used and well received, the protected bike lane has the potential to become permanent.
The protected bike lane includes a buffer featuring drought-tolerant grasses and potted Black-eyed Susan’s (the state flower of Maryland) to beautify the area and contribute to the traffic calming element of the project. BCDOT staff also put up temporary signs to demarcate the bike lane. The City repurposed flex posts from a previous project and had signs and stencils created in-house to keep costs low. The project was funded by a $10K grant from the State of Maryland.
Before the end of the day, the protected bike lane was already in use, both by bicyclists and by pedestrians using the buffer as a refuge space. The feedback so far has been very positive!
For comments, questions or suggestions on the Pop-up cycle track, please contact Caitlin Doolin, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, at [email protected].