Motorist and Bicyclist Might be Sharing a Bigger Lane - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Motorist and Bicyclist Might be Sharing a Bigger Lane

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Amarillo, TX - Summer repair projects have started in Amarillo and re-striping some lanes is one project that will affect not only motorist, but also  bicyclist.  

City traffic engineer, Jerry Bird says the Amarillo Traffic Commission is thinking about expanding some bike lanes to make bicyclist more comfortable on the road.  

"We're talking about a shared path here, or a shared lane here. That would have traffic and bicyclists in the same lane, which would be the curb lane of the outside lane," said Bird.  

A typical shared bike lane is about 12 feet wide.

"I would like to see the outside lane 15 feet wide from the lip of gutter to the lane line," said Bird. 

This proposal would narrow some of the existing car lanes slightly and provide a wider curb lane for bicyclists to use.  

"When we put the striping on the center lane will lose 6 inches on each side. The next lane line would come in foot, then we got an extra foot and a half on the outside lane," said Bird. 

And one benefit of doing this, is that it's not expensive.  

"That's the beauty of it, it's a no cost, no cost improvement," said Bird. 

We spoke with one bicycle enthusiast, Kenneth Graham, who is happy the city is considering this.  

"Well, I'm delighted that the traffic commission is taking a leadership role and initiating changes to our bicycle plan in Amarillo," said Graham. 

And Kenneth is also hoping this is just the start to more improvements for bike lanes.  

"We need more bike lanes, we need more connectivity that demonstrates where the bicycle routes are in town and that makes it safer for bicyclist feel safer to ride around town," said Graham. 

When applied, this proposal  would not allow regular traffic lanes or turn lane to be less than 10 feet wide.