What Ann Arbor’s First Protected Bike Lane Means

 

The City of Ann Arbor continues its efforts to make streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists with the construction of the city’s first protected two-way bike lane.

Set for groundbreaking in May of this year, the protected bike lane will be located on William Street between Third Street and State Street. It is the first of a planned network of protected bike lanes coming to the Ann Arbor.

The bike path is the result of ongoing efforts by Ann Arbor’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to support projects that promote pedestrian and bicycle safety. This project fits into the recommendations from the 2015 Nelson/Nygaard TDM study to find ways to enhance the downtown in order to encourage more bike commuting.

Conceptual street view of protected bike path planned for William St. in Ann Arbor. (Photo Ann Arbor DDA)

The DDA engaged residents in the effort to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety through a series of public forums called “People Friendly Streets.”

“People Friendly Streets allowed us to bring the community with us,” DDA project manager Amber Miller told WDIV. “Because if they’re not engaged and they can’t see the process, then I think sometimes they can get frustrated with it.”

Public turnout for the forums was overwhelming. It was during these sessions the DDA’s architects amended the plans in real time as the public gave their input.

Ann Arbor has joined the international initiative of Vision Zero, the global effort to prevent serious injuries and fatalities on the road.

Vision Zero’s core principle is “that life and health can never be exchanged for other benefits within the society rather than the more conventional comparison between costs and benefits, where a monetary value is place on life and health.”

Ann Arbor has joined 21 other US cities as well as other cities around the world in Vision Zero.

 

 

 

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