Things to know about the new North Side bike lanes

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RICHMOND, Va. -- A  few changes have been put into place on the city's North Side, on Brookland Parkway, in effort to better move cyclists and vehicular traffic along city streets.

The new lanes are unlike many of the ones around the city, where the lanes are shared between cars and bicycles, and which are denoted by sharrow symbols.

These new ones off Brookland Parkway are designed just for bicycles, giving them a buffer from cars but that has led to some confusion.

The lanes run from Hermitage Road/Boulevard to Brook Road, in each direction. Then another mile of roadway is marked by sharrows.

Sharrows_Toronto_2011

The chevron sign paired with a bicycle indicates the lane is for both vehicles and bicyclists.

The new, marked system also connects Brookland Parkway to the Cannon Creek Gateway -- a pedestrian and bike path -- which can be traveled to Shockoe Bottom and downtown.

"It will take a while for people to get adjusted to it, but I mean people are trying,"
said Jennifer Lautenschlage, who house sits in front of the new bike lane. "I mean yes, there are still people driving in the bike lane."

Mike Tackett spent Tuesday afternoon, enjoying the new route.

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"Riding this today, it really feels safe riding it," but he is quick to add that in the past two weeks he has "seen some cars driving in the bike lane and I think maybe there's just a little confusion because cars aren't use to it yet," said Tackett. The lanes are six-foot wide.

When adding the bike-only lane, one lane of travel for cars in each direction was removed, for a short section of Brookland Parkway.

And just past the buffered bike lanes, there are similar markings on the road, but the road is for cars and bikes to share the street together.  Area neighbors say that is likely adding to the confusion.

bike lane

Some bicyclists say what is needed in the area for a few weeks,  is an electronic message board that can alert drivers to the change.

One homeowner says an added benefit with the bike lane being added and a travel lane removed is that cars are now going slower through the neighborhood.