Project Connectnky Tests out Bike Lanes in Newport

October 16, 2019 9:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Source: WLWT 5

By: Mollie Lair

Temporary bike lanes are popping up for a few days in downtown Newport.

The marked lanes along Saratoga, 5th and 6th Streets are only there until the end of the week, but it's a chance to gather data and present a plan to the city.

Users hope these lanes will become a permanent fixture in Northern Kentucky.

There's one less lane of vehicle traffic on 5th Street to make way for a different set of wheels.

"To show that bike lanes are a good idea for communities to invest in to make their downtown's more walk-able and bike-able and improve roadway safety for drivers," said Wade Johnston.

The project, called ConnectNKY, will last through Sunday.

Johnston is director of Tri-State Trails.

He said this project is a trial run and a chance to present the City of Newport with their findings.

"The city has been very supportive of this idea. It was grant-funded, so it was low stress to them, no cost to the taxpayers," he said

Volunteers painted the streets to denote the change in traffic flow.

And the bike lane is not just for bike riders.

"There's a demand because of the scooter trend to create more biking facilities that accommodate both bikes and scooters," said Johnston.

Johnston said it's about a need to create a safe environment for riders, walkers and drivers, too.

"Biking facilities create safer roadway conditions for cars and pedestrians because it's slowing traffic down and it's alerting drivers to get off their phones and pay attention to what's around them," he said.

A spokeswoman said the city supports the projects and encourages participation.

They will be waiting for data and community feedback before considering any long-term change.

"There's a real need to create equity through how we invest in our transportation network, so it doesn't just cater to users who have the means to afford a car," said Johnston.

Click here to complete a survey on the project.

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