Late Post: Oklahoma City Approves Bicycle Ordinance Changes

Someone asked me about this the other day and I realized that in my earlier absence from the blog I had forgotten to post about it.  The previously mentioned ordinance changes being considered by the Oklahoma City Council were passed on May 24th during the normal meeting.  The highlights of the proposed changes are as follows:

  1. The proposal would allow cyclists to have full use of the lane on any road designated as a bicycle route.  A bicycle route is a designated piece of a road way primarily consisting of the 200 miles of bike routes laid out in the city’s cycling master plan, not just a road containing a “Share the Road” sign.
  2. In relation to the proposal above, the ordinance would specifically state that a vehicle would be required to fully change lanes to over take the cyclist on designated bicycle routes.  If there is no room, to change lanes, the vehicle would be required to yield to the bicycle as a piece of normal traffic and comply with “all traffic control devices and pavement markings which prohibit lane changes.”
  3. Limits the conditions upon which more than two people can ride upon a bicycle.
  4. Broadens the places where cyclists can park their bicycles on sidewalks.
  5. Limit the use of “tall handlebars” (handlebars taller than 12 inches) except upon recumbent bicycles.
You can read the specifics on all the changes here.

Oklahoma City Council Conducts Public Hearing on Bicycle Ordinance Changes

Sorry folks, but I’m back to playing catch up.  Firstly, the Oklahoma City Council is holding the public hearing phase on the major changes to the city’s bicycle ordinances.  The meeting is occurring today starting at 8:30 AM in the City Council Chamber on the 3rd floor of 200 N. Walker.

As you can see from the full agenda, there is a lot of ground being covered so I can’t really say when the ordiances will changes will be considered.  If it happens when I happen to have a free moment, I will be live tweeting the discussion at @okcbicyclist.

As previously reported and in brief, these ordiance changes consist of the following:

  1. The proposal would allow cyclists to have full use of the lane on any road designated as a bicycle route.  A bicycle route is a designated piece of a road way primarily consisting of the 200 miles of bike routes laid out in the city’s cycling master plan, not just a road containing a “Share the Road” sign.
  2. In relation to the proposal above, the ordinance would specifically state that a vehicle would be required to fully change lanes to over take the cyclist on designated bicycle routes.  If there is no room, to change lanes, the vehicle would be required to yield to the bicycle as a piece of normal traffic and comply with “all traffic control devices and pavement markings which prohibit lane changes.”
  3. Limits the conditions upon which more than two people can ride upon a bicycle.
  4. Broadens the places where cyclists can park their bicycles on sidewalks.
  5. Limit the use of “tall handlebars” (handlebars taller than 12 inches) except upon recumbent bicycles.

You can read the full list of changes here.


Overholser Detour Gets Safety Signs

While the Old Route 66 Bridge along Lake Overholser is undergoing much needed deck repair, cyclists have been forced to take an unappealing detour along busy 39th street to cross over the Lake Overholser spillway.  To help make this passage safer, Oklahoma City has placed signs such as the one shown right on both sides of 39th street and have run street sweepers along the detour route.  While I did still see quite a bit of debris still on the shoulder, the route is much much clearer than before and it very passable.


OKC Traffic Commission Considers Broad Changes to City Cycling Ordinances

Today, at 1:30 PM, the Oklahoma City Traffic and Transportation Commission will consider a recommendation to make several large changes to the city’s cycling ordinances.  In brief, the changes consist of the following:

  1. The proposal would allow cyclists to have full use of the lane on any road designated as a bicycle route.  A bicycle route is a designated piece of a road way primarily consisting of the 200 miles of bike routes laid out in the city’s cycling master plan, not just a road containing a “Share the Road” sign.
  2. In relation to the proposal above, the ordinance would specifically state that a vehicle would be required to fully change lanes to over take the cyclist on designated bicycle routes.  If there is no room, to change lanes, the vehicle would be required to yield to the bicycle as a piece of normal traffic and comply with “all traffic control devices and pavement markings which prohibit lane changes.”
  3. Limits the conditions upon which more than two people can ride upon a bicycle.
  4. Broadens the places where cyclists can park their bicycles on sidewalks.
  5. Limit the use of “tall handlebars” (handlebars taller than 12 inches) except upon recumbent bicycles.

The full documentation for the proposed changes by Mr. Randall Entz of the Planning Department, can be found at the Meeting Agenda website: http://www.okc.gov/AgendaPub/meeting.aspx?cabinet=published_meetings&docid=30140.  If approved by the Traffic Commission, the proposal would then move to the full city counsel for consideration.  The meeting agenda does allow for public comments from citizens.  The meeting will be held at the City Council Chambers, 3rd Floor, 200 N. Walker.

Thanks to Pete on the OBC Voices mailing list for the heads up.


New Bicycle Lanes in the Works

The Oklahoma Gazette is reporting that Oklahoma City is beginning to lay down the first of many new miles of designated bicycle routes:

The city of Oklahoma City is laying out the first of what will be approximately 200 miles of new bike routes around town.

The designated routes are individual bike lanes or lanes shared by cars and bicycles, known as “sharrow” lanes — named as such because of the combination of “share” and “arrow.”

Designated by pavement markings and new signage along the routes, sharrow lanes are intended to remind motorists to share the road with cyclists, and convey that a specific street is a preferred bike route. They are marked with a bicycle symbol beneath two arrows.

via OKGazette.com > Oklahoma City expands its network of bicycling lanes, including ones to be shared by cars.

While not a rabid “vehicular cyclist” fanatic, I do share concerns about traditional on street bicycle lanes in that they, from the motorists point of view, box in the cyclist to a very narrow and potentially dangerous strip of road way.  I consider these “sharrow” lanes to be the best of both worlds.  They increase awareness of bicycles on popular routes while at the same times not boxing them in to places with limited maneuverability.  And while the city is still spending a large amount of effort in planning for the traditional bike lanes, it’s nice that these types of infrastructure changes will be available as well.

You can see a map of the full plan here: PhaseOneBikeRoutes.pdf.


Overholser Bridge to be Closed for Repairs

Lava
Photo by: Michael Kesler

The following email was sent along to the Oklahoma Bicycle Society mailing list:

In Mid October we will be starting a bridge rehabilitation project for the City of Oklahoma City, which involves the re-habilitation of the truss bridge on the north side of Lake Overholser.

We will be removing the concrete deck and replacing the floor beams and related structural steel items and placing a new concrete deck.

The road/bridge will be closed to all traffic once we start the concrete removals on the bridge deck.

Travis Lloyd
Cimarron Construction Company
7409 NW 85th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
Office 405-728-1555
Fax 405-728-5026

While this certainly will be an inconvenience for us who make the Overholser loop a regular ride, but it will be worth it to improve the bridge surface and help preserve this Route 66 landmark.


Norman Updates Bicycle Routes

192912800_cbd0339728 Norman is improving and expanding the bicycle routes throughout the city.  Hopefully Oklahoma City will start improving the street routes as well.  I’d love to see a route going down to Norman and out to Lake Thunderbird for a great camping weekend.

Yellow “Share the Road” signs to urge motorists and bicyclists to coexist peacefully and safely will be popping up around town as the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee works to make roads safer for both.

Read the rest at: The Norman Transcript – City’s bicycle routes being updated

Photo By: Juan-Luis