pelham bikeway
Changes are afoot for the to make the Pelham Boulevard bikeway safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. Google photo

The two-way, separated Pelham Boulevard bikeway—the first of its kind in Saint Paul when it was approved four years ago—is in line for some tweaks. The city’s Department of Public Works reviewed ideas to make the bikeway safer for bicyclists and pedestrians alike during the Union Park District Council (UPDC) Transportation Committee meeting on April 12.

The $250,000 side-by-side bikeway is located on the east side of Pelham between Myrtle Avenue and Mississippi River Boulevard. It was the first of its kind in the city to use white poles, called delineators, to separate bicyclists from motor vehicles. The street has one 11-foot traffic lane in each direction, one-foot reaction lanes and a two-foot buffer between vehicles, and the 11-foot bikeway.

The current setup is considered to be an interim measure until off-street bike lanes can be built. Until then, some changes are scheduled to be made to the route.

Last year, the heavy volume of cut-through traffic on Pelham during rush hour and motorists mistaking the bikeway for a traffic lane were among concerns discussed by the UPDC committee. The loss of delineators during snowplowing season, traffic speed, truck traffic and the deteriorated condition of Pelham itself are other issues.

   

Design changes on Mississippi River Boulevard, Otis Avenue and Beverly Road will be made this year to reduce confusion.

At Pelham and Mississippi River Boulevard, a bumpout will be built at the northeast corner and the street will be narrowed to slow vehicles making right-hand turns. Bicyclists will travel off-street for a short distance and then re-enter the bikeway north of the intersection. A similar bumpout design is planned at Otis and Pelham.

For the northeast corner of the Beverly Road intersection, cyclists will have a raised median between themselves and motor vehicles. The angle of the corner will change to keep right-turning vehicles from entering the bikeway.

 

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— Jane McClure

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