You may have noticed the bright green change on Pacific Avenue. Our Public Works Department has just completed installation of a contraflow bike lane between Church and Cathcart streets.
The Contraflow Bike Lane Project allows two-way bike traffic on Pacific with the new green contraflow lane for southbound bicyclists and new painted sharrows designating the northbound lane to be shared between cyclists and vehicles.
“Contraflow bike lanes have been proven to be safe, even on the narrowest streets, when speeds are low and drivers navigate mindfully,” said Director of Bike Santa Cruz County Director Janneke Strause. “It will take time for cyclists and drivers alike to get used to the new configuration downtown, but once they do, the contraflow bike lane has immense potential to make it safer and more accessible for all road users.”
The contraflow lane includes solid green lane treatments to increase the visibility of the new lane and clarify the rules of the road for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians. There are stop signs for cyclists at each stop controlled intersection to direct cyclists to yield right-of-way to pedestrians in the crosswalk and traffic crossing the intersection.
It is important to know the rules of the road for the new contraflow lane for traffic safety. Contraflow “Dos and Don’ts” for bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians can be reviewed here: www.cityofsantacruz.com/publicworks.
These contraflow traffic rules will be discussed at our Pacific Avenue Contraflow Bike Lane ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, June 27. Please join City officials and community members at this lunch hour celebration from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. at Assembly Restaurant Patio, 1108 Pacific Ave.
The project also includes new bike lanes on Pacific between between Cathcart and Laurel streets. All of these improvements will make it easier and more convenient to ride a bike downtown.
The Contraflow Bike Lane Project is entirely grant funded through a Transportation Development Act award and supports the City’s Climate Action Plan goals to double bike ridership and reduce single occupancy vehicle commutes by 12 percent by 2020.