By Russell Hixson
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The city of Stillwater is taking steps to make roads safer for cyclists. This week workers began creating dedicated bike paths for cyclists.
A section of road on Hall of Fame Avenue between Main Street and Washington Street had a path created. Another path is planned for West 12th Avenue from Western Street to Duck Street.
The efforts cost $7,500, city officials said.
Transportation Department Manager Jason Peek said the city took the opportunity to add the lanes while refreshing pavement markings. He said the city has been looking for ways to improve bike accessability.
Peek said he had been looking for an opportunity to put a lane on Hall of Fame Avenue since Stillwater Mayor John Bartley received a letter from Oklahoma State University cyclists asking the city to incorporate lanes in to future projects.
The city could soon receive more feedback from cyclists with a new app being developed. Cyclists who use the app, tentatively to be ready in August, will provide city planners with data on how cyclists navigate the city and help the city plan accordingly.
“We want to provide for these alternate modes of transportation,” Peek said.
Peek said having more bike lanes has several advantages.
“If we have more bicycle riders we have less vehicles,” he said. This means less traffic demand put on roads and more options for residents.
Stillwater has 29 miles of “share the road” facilities that encourage cycling. However this can be intimidating to new cyclists who are not used to riding with cars. Having a dedicated lane will help encourage new cyclists to ride, Peek said.