On October 30th, the Saline County Commission voted 3-0 in favor of adding the first designated bike lanes in the county, just north of Salina along North Ohio Street, from Pacific Avenue to I-70, a distance of about 1.5 miles.
There are currently 10-foot shoulders along this stretch of roadway. These shoulders will be marked with painted pavement bike symbols and signage approximately every 1/4 mile, and become part of the roadway.
Within the city of Salina, there are currently narrow multi-use pathways being built along Pacific Avenue and Ohio south of Pacific, which can be used by bicyclists to connect to the new bike lanes. Bicyclists can also, of course, continue to use the roadways.
Here’s a representative sample of what North Ohio looks like now (click for Streetview):
As far as I’m aware, this may be the first instance of a county or city, in Kansas, converting a shoulder into an official “bike lane”.
Since bike lanes, by definition, are part of the roadway, they can technically no longer be considered “shoulders”, and parking will be prohibited. However, it is important to note that the establishment of a bicycle lane on what was previously a shoulder does not prohibit its use by emergency vehicles or disabled motor vehicles for short periods.
As part of the roadway, the city and county will be responsible for maintaining the bike lanes, clearing them of snow and ice, and sweeping them of debris.
It’s unclear, at this time, what the “ends” of the bike lane — near the I-70 interchange, and near the Pacific Avenue intersection — will look like, in terms of roadway markings or signage. Hopefully, the county is thinking that through to maximize the safety of cyclists merging back into the main shared-use lanes, and minimize the potential for right hooks or other traffic conflicts at the intersections…
According to the Salina Journal:
Dave Nowak, director of Saline County Road and Bridge, said the bike lanes will be installed after the city of Salina connects sidewalks and bike paths to Pacific Avenue. The city and county are working together on the project.
“My understanding is the city commissioners have it on the agenda next week,” Nowak said.
A local group of cyclists, led by Dr. Phil Black, met in July to begin the process of steering Salina and Saline County in a more bicycle-friendly direction. After the second of the meetings, the County Sheriff suggested the Ohio bike lanes as the first project in the process, and the county commissioners took it from there.