The Norman Transcript

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November 27, 2012

City council making strides for cyclists

NORMAN — City council making strides for cyclists

Norman residents spoke, and Norman City Council members are listening.

People who responded to the recent transportation survey said nearly $10 of every $100 transportation dollars spent should be used to pay for bike paths and bike lanes.

Currently, Norman spends well under 1 percent on bike paths and bike lanes.

“There is overwhelming support for adding dedicated bike lanes,” Bicycle Advisory Committee Chair Gary Miller told the City Council Transportation Committee on Monday.

The transportation survey also discovered that one-third of respondents have ridden a bicycle in the last year, but 57 percent did not feel safe.

Regionally, there is a move to improve multimodal transportation options as part of a portfolio for cleaner, more environmentally friendly municipalities and as part of a nationwide trend to reduce reliance on foreign oil.

That strategy, as outlined in the Encompass 2035 Regional Plan, includes enhancing transit service, exploring the development of rail-based public transportation, expanding bicycle and pedestrian networks, promoting efficient goods movement, maintaining and improving the street and highway network and encouraging sidewalk construction.

Norman, which participated in Encompass 2035, has made strides in most of these areas and, through the Comprehensive Transportation Plan, will identify future transportation needs for the city. Currently, the Community Planning and Transportation Committee is looking at upgrading Norman’s Bike Route Map as one of the next steps forward.

A bicycle route is designated by signs reminding motorists to share the road. Those signs are generally placed along designated bike routes.

Bike lanes are marked lanes that help protect cyclists and motorists by designating a specific lane for bicycles.

Bicycle paths, such as Legacy Trail, are physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic and are usually also used by pedestrians, skaters, wheelchair users and joggers.

Miller said Norman’s bike system includes advanced routes on streets with high volumes of traffic.

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