Bike Boulevard stripes to be repainted

Thursday, July 15, 2010 | 2:49 p.m. CDT; updated 8:27 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 15, 2010

COLUMBIA — Bike lane striping on Windsor Street will need to be repainted because the north side markings were misplaced by 4 feet when initially painted in May.

The company that was hired to paint the lines on Windsor and East Ash streets, Park Mark Inc., will pay for the mistake. The bike lanes are being installed for the Bike Boulevard project, which was approved by the Columbia City Council in October.

Ted Curtis, head of GetAbout Columbia and the Bike Boulevard project, said the repainting will occur within the next two weeks, depending on the weather. Park Mark will need to wait for the city's chip sealing of Windsor Street next Tuesday to settle and dry.

Both Curtis and Columbia Public Works spokeswoman Jill Stedem confirmed Park Mark will pay for the repainting. The $28,800 of federal grant money budgeting the project will not fund it.

Greg Rodgers, who has lived on Windsor Street for about 20 years, supports the project but said he is annoyed with the mistake.

“My frustration is that it has to be redone — that’s what upsets me,” Rodgers said.

Once the lines are repainted, sharrows — an icon depicting a bicyclist — will be put in place within the three dotted lines on the roads, making cyclist priority on the roads more clear. 

The Bike Boulevard is planned to include the addition of a median on College Avenue, separating Windsor and East Ash streets. It is slated to be constructed by the city within the next month.

Rodgers called the proposed median, “a nice showpiece, more of a visual reminder.”

The median will provide an island for crossing pedestrians and bikers. It will also prevent northbound traffic on College Avenue from turning left onto Ash Street and southbound traffic from turning left onto Windsor Street.  

Vehicles will still be welcome on the streets, but the median will reduce traffic from College Avenue to the two streets. The decrease in vehicular use coupled with the bike lanes will encourage bicyclists to travel more freely down the center of the roads. Although bicycles will have priority on the Bike Boulevard, courteous bicyclists should move to the side of the road to allow cars to pass them, Curtis said. 

“I don’t expect high bike traffic in the near future,” Rodgers said. “But as people find out about it and realize that it’s there, my hope is that usage will increase.”

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