The King Street protected bike lanes are changing Honolulu!
First, advocacy alert! Tuesday 9/1/15 6:00pm at Blaisdell Center, Hawaii Suites, the City is holding a public meeting on the next protected bike lane to be constructed before the end of 2015 and their plan for building a network. We need you there! Find out more here.
This page provides important things you need to know about the King Street protected bike lanes and protected bike lanes in general (HBL is working for the implementation of a network of these on Oahu!). If you think we missed anything, contact Daniel Alexander, Advocacy, Planning, and Communication Director, at Daniel@hbl.org.
Protected bike lanes are next-generation bikeways being built across the US. Protected bike lanes (also known as “cycletracks”) are physically separated from motor traffic and distinct from the sidewalk. They use physical barriers – like curbs, plastic bollards, or planters – to separate the cycle track from both cars and sidewalks. They combine the experience of a separated bike path with the on-street infrastructure of a conventional bike lane.
- Protected bike lanes are safer.
- Protected bike lanes eliminate risk of injury from overtaking vehicles.
- Protected bike lanes reduce risk of “dooring.”
- Protected bike lanes get people off the sidewalk (where they are at increased risk of injury to themselves and pedestrians).
- For all these reasons, people of all levels and ages love cycle tracks! Which means they get more people out riding, more often!
While they’ve been used in Europe for a long time, in recent years protected bike lanes are taking off in the US with over 70 cities already having at least one in place (as of August 2015). Check out the Green Lane Project’s website for a comprehensive list of protected bike lanes in the US.
The King Street protected bike lanes and bicycle infrastructure improvements around Oahu are the result of hard work by our political leaders, transportation agencies, advocacy groups like HBL, and a whole lot of community members pushing for positive change. There are a few giant things you can do to contribute to creating the bicycle friendly Hawaii of your dreams.
- Come to the City’s September 1 protected bikeway network public meeting.
- Join the Bike Advocacy Team.
- Write an email to Mayor Caldwell and Transportation Services Director Formby expressing your thanks for the King Street Cycle Track and telling him to keep up the good work. Email – Mayor@honolulu.gov and firstname.lastname@example.org
- Attend a meeting and show your support – your voice is essential at Neighborhood Boards, Council hearings, and other meetings. Being on the Bike Advocacy Team will help keep you abreast of such meetings.
- Talk to your friends and neighbors – educate them on cycle tracks and sell them on the vision of a bicycle friendly community.
- Write a letter to the editor. Contact Daniel if you want help crafting this – Daniel@hbl.org.
Honolulu and Hawaii’s first protected bike lanes extend from Alapai Street to Isenberg Street, taking the left-most lane of King Street and converting it into a protected bikeway. The protected lanes provide for two-way bicycle traffic. The lanes are protected from motorized traffic by an asphalt berm and reflective plastic bollards. All driveways are maintained through gaps in the asphalt curb – so motorized traffic cross the protected lanes at these points. Green paint is used in these “conflict zones” to make it clear to both bicyclists and motorists of the need to exercise heightened caution.
The King Street protected bike lane opened in December 2014 as one-way bikeway and was converted to a two-way bikeway in May 2015 (Bike Month!).
- While the lanes protect cyclists from being struck by motorists from behind, it is part of the roadway and you should operate with similar caution as riding on the road.
- Watch for vehicles crossing at driveways and intersections.
- Follow all traffic laws.
- Yield to pedestrians.
- Be aware of pedestrians crossing from the parking lane on the outside of the cycle track to the sidewalk.
- Don’t ride in the “buffer zone” – this is the dreaded “door zone.” The buffer zone is 3-foot area marked by crosshatched paint and designed to provide space for people parking to open their door and get in/out of their car.
- Ride to the right unless passing.
- Ride aloha!
Making turns – unfortunately now you’ve got to exit the protected bike lanes. Here’s how to do it on King Street.
- To turn in the mauka direction, enter the intersection only when your light is green, yield to pedestrians, and watch for cars that may also be making the turn.
- To turn in the makai direction, use the “Two Stage Right Turn” – Enter the intersection only when your light is green, cautiously cross the protected bike lanes to place yourself at the front of the cross street in the right lane (or in the left lane, if the street is one-way such as Pensacola St.), orient yourself with traffic, wait for your signal to turn, and you’re off.
- When crossing the protected bike lanes, yield the right of way. Crossing a protected bike lane is like crossing a travel lane – you must yield the right of way.
- When crossing a protected bike lane look both ways. Also, be aware that many cyclists move quite fast.
- When pulling out of or into a driveway, do not stop in a protected bike lane.
- When parking next to a protected bike lane, look before opening your door. Be cautious when walking across a protected bike lane from adjacent street parking. Look both ways before crossing.
- Mopeds are not permitted in protected bike lane.
- Drive aloha!
- Look both ways before crossing a protected bike lane.
- Cross street only on walk signal; otherwise, people on bicycles likely have a green light and the right of way.
- Be particularly cautious when crossing aprotected bike lane from adjacent street parking.
- Don’t block or stand in a protected bike lane.
- Don’t walk or run in a protected bike lane, except to cross.
- Walk and run aloha!
Cycle tracks are next-generation bikeways being built across the US. Cycle tracks (also known as “protected bike lanes”) are physically separated from motor traffic and distinct from the sidewalk. They use physical barriers – like curbs, plastic bollards, or planters – to separate the cycle track from both cars and sidewalks. They combine the experience of a separated bike path with the on-street infrastructure of a conventional bike lane.