New Bike Lane/Traffic Pattern on Southern Park Place

Looking north over Park Place and Columbia Road from Michigan Avenue overpass. New markings are clearly visible

I’ve actually been meaning to write about this for a little over a week, so forgive my tardiness. For those that don’t drive too often, or travel to the base of Park Place so you can swing around on Warder and head east on Columbia Road, you may not have noticed this yet.

At the end of August/beginning of September, DDOT completely repaved Park Place below Kenyon Street, including Columbia Road and continuing around the curve to the Warder/Harvard area. I’ve been informed that this was necessary to repair damage sustained in last winter’s snow removal efforts.

The area where Park Place loops into Harvard and Warder Streets. The lane crossing the bike lane leads to Warder and Columbia Road

DDOT was a little slow to remark the pavement leaving what was a three lane road with no guidance to drivers. This was unsettling. As you can see from the accompanying photographs, the markings are now in (and have been for a little while now).

Rather than maintaining the existing traffic pattern, the new lanes have been reduced to two lanes of through traffic, a bike lane, and one dedicated lane leading to Columbia Road. The biggest problem with this new pattern isn’t that its there, in the long run, this may turn out to be a good thing. The problem is that there isn’t any signage alerting drivers of the change, leaving them to discover it when they have already committed themselves to the wrong lane or a terminating lane.

Currently its confusing and dangerous. I’ve seen many drivers caught off guard by the new pattern and driving in the bike lanes. I guess the bottom line is for everyone traveling through the section to be cautions until everyone has had a chance to become familiar with the road once again.

Same area of Park Place and Columbia Road back in January with original traffic pattern

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5 Comments on “New Bike Lane/Traffic Pattern on Southern Park Place”

  1. SM Says:

    I love this new bike lane. Before they repaved the street it was very intimidating biking under the bridge with speeding/merging traffic where that lane ends. This is so much safer. Kudos to DDOT and others who made this happen, thank you!

  2. John H. Says:

    I agree with Kent that signs, or some warning is needed. Hope DDOT is reading. I was confused by the markings and drove right over the bike lane my first time. It is a wonderful idea, however, to carve out space for bikers on this road that drivers often treat as a racetrack.

  3. Cliff Says:

    The problem with these new lines that were painted is that people aren’t paying attention to them. If you’re in the right lane that goes forward the cars in the left lane will go into your lane. There are going to be a number of accidents here….

  4. Brett Says:

    The concept is great! Just need some signage giving drivers a warning about which lane to get in

  5. ~~~mh Says:

    (I’m a resident on that block.)

    Previous to the new traffic pattern, this was already a dangerous intersection; it is now more complicated. Trust me, there continues to be regular near misses for accidents.

    1. The 2-lane merge. Traffic flow from SW-bound into South-bound Park Place has & continues to be the main culprit. The current YIELD sign is unheeded thus creating a 2-lane merge.

    2. Speeding. Posted speed limit is not obeyed, thus dictating right-of-way via speediness &/or car horns.

    3. Hospital Signage. Current hospital signs (arrows) are confusing as to where to turn, or rather, veer.

    4. Traffic Pattern Change Sign. The mid-intersection @ Park Place + Irving [north of the posted photo] has some automobiles following the (new) lines & others following their (old) habit; creating a mixed-merge even before the merge intersection(#1). Yes, a sign about the new traffic pattern might help.

    Pls re-review DDOT.


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