BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - Efforts are under way to make Bartlesville a more bicycle-friendly community.
The Bartlesville Traffic and Street Committee during a Thursday meeting accepted a plan to add bicycle-route pavement markings and signage to roads within Bartlesville and to amend city ordinances to encourage more bicycle traffic.
The plan, initially brought to the city by the Bartlesville Pedalers, and now approved by the park board as well as the streets committee could be up for city council action next month.
Bartlesville Community Development Director Lisa Beeman who presented the Bicycle Action Plan to the traffic committee on Thursday said a major part of the plan is to increase awareness of bicycle traffic and to educate the public of state law concerning bicycle traffic.
“The law says bicyclers have a right to use the roadways,” she told 2NEWS, adding though that bicyclists must follow the same rules as regular motor traffic — traveling with the traffic, stopping a stop lights and signs, staying as far to the right as is safe, signaling turns and running with lights on at night, among other rules.
The law also requires that vehicles that pass bicyclists give 3-feet of space while passing. Some the signage placed on area roads would read to that effect, saying “Share the road” and “3 feet ... It's the law.”
Other education would take the form of pamphlets or articles placed in local media, she said.
The plan calls for painting symbols — composed of chevrons and bike symbols — in the regular traffic lanes, telling motorists and bicyclists alike of the potential for use of those roads as bike routes.
These markings and signs would only be added to some roads currently bearing shoulders or roadside “bailout” areas for cyclists.
Bartlesville Pedalers club officer Rudy Geissler who has been working with Beeman on the plan said one main idea in the plan is to eradicate the idea that bicycles belong only on sidewalks or bike paths. They are vehicles as much as are cars.
Proposed is a grid of eight bike routes in Bartlesville, the hope being that such designation would promote more bicycle-based traffic and commuting — all for better community health.
Currently Silver Lake Road, Madison Boulevard and Hillcrest Road are under consideration as possible bike routes
City of Bartlesville Engineering Director Terry Lauritsen told 2NEWS, if the plan is accepted by council it will be implemented in stages.
Currently, nearly $3,600 in grant funding is available for project — enough to purchase 60 “Bike Route” signs, one “Bike Route” pavement stencil, 40 “Share the Road” signs and 40 “3 Feet … It's the Law” signs.
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It's not a party, but it is worth celebrating. A group of young people working together to help those in need in Bartlesville.