Cyclists in the Lake Area...Rejoice!
There's a new bike lane in town with more on the way soon, making your ride on two wheels a bit safer.
The bike lane on Kirkman is back and it's just the first step out of many to make Lake Charles a little more bike friendly.
It runs from I-10 to Prien Lake Road with plans to extend to McNeese Street, creating a corridor that smaller paths can join.
The project is part of an effort to implement the city's Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and recently adopted Complete Streets policy.
"We've been working towards this for so long, pushing the Complete Streets policy that led to this and working with the City. It's just amazing to see it finally in person and to be able to touch it and ride on it, it's great," said Coalition Coordinator for a Healthier SWLA and proponent of Complete Streets John O'Donnell.
He says these new bike paths will not only promote healthier living but also have other impacts on the area.
"Bike lanes are actually an important economic piece for a community," said O'Donnell. "The biggest thing that we can do to alleviate poverty in our community or build more wealth in our community is to give people transportation."
It can also help alleviate stress on road infrastructure and reduce traffic.
The cycling community is happy about these first steps.
Sarah Dean, manager of the Bicycle Superstore and also a proponent of Complete Streets, says she's excited.
"It's only going to open up future projects, so seeing those roads that already have the spacing that we can just resurface them or just paint lines would be great projects because it would be very affordable for the city and easy to do so," said Dean.
All of these proposed lanes will be created on roads used by cyclists that are already in need of restriping, so as not to cost the city extra money.
Pujo Street between Kirkman and Bilbo is next on the list.
Before you strap on your helmet, here are a few tips on how to interact with bike lanes.
- 1. When on a bike, ride with the flow of traffic, not against.
- 2. Never forget your helmet.
- 3. Have a light on your bike or helmet at all times to make yourself visible.
- 4. Use hand signals when turning.
- 5. When driving a car, never drive or park in a bike lane and stay three feet away when passing cyclists.
Click HERE to take a look at the City's plan.