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Protected bike lanes open along Summit Avenue

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Supporters from the city of Columbus and Yay Bikes! attended the opening of the city's first protected bike lane on Summit Avenue on Thursday. Credit: Megan Neary / For the Lantern

Supporters from the city of Columbus and Yay Bikes! attended the opening of the city’s first protected bike lane on Summit Avenue on Thursday. Credit: Megan Neary / For the Lantern

Cyclists commuting along portions of Summit Street might feel a bit safer as of Thursday, with the opening of the capital city’s first protected bike lanes.

The two lanes are located along the west side of Summit Street between East Hudson Street and East 11th Avenue.

Each of the two lanes are five feet wide and are separated from the two remaining southbound traffic lanes by a two-foot buffer zone and a series of posts, as well as a new parking lane.

The lanes allow for northbound and southbound cyclist traffic.

During the opening, City Council member Shannon Hardin emphasized the importance of providing choices when it comes to transportation in the city.

This gives our residents a menu of options of how they get around, he said.

Hardin added that the protected bike lanes are investing in our residentshealth, but also in the infrastructure of our economy.

The more ways folks can get around, the more our city will grow,” he said.

Mark Caral, a Clintonville resident who rode his bike to the opening ceremony, said he thinks the addition of the lanes will be good for urban cyclists.

“I think its going to hopefully bring out a lot of people who havent felt safe riding on these streets,” he said.

Rick Tilton, assistant director of ColumbusPublic Services, said the addition to Summit Avenue recognizes a change in culture.

“It recognizes Mayor Colemans vision for Columbus that is not solely dependent on the individual automobile,” he said.

Dr. Teresa Long, health commissioner for the City of Columbus, said the protected bike paths reflect the community’s desire for city neighborhoods to be “active and vibrant.

This is good for our vibrancy, its good for our community engagement, and its also good for our health, she said.

Sisters Daria and Melina Glock, both business majors at Ohio State, said the new lanes are particularly important to them, as they both cycle daily in the campus area.

The city expects smaller snow plows to fit within the ten-foot-wide protected lane space to clear snow during the coming winter months, according to a city of Columbus release.

Columbus also expects in 2016 the completion of bike traffic signals to notify cyclists when to yield at each intersection along the bike lane stretch of Summit Avenue.


  1. Whoever thought up this design should be fired. This is going to be hell in the winter. The cars parked in the middle of the road are going to get smashed into the minute someone slides. I also find it very distracting to have the cars in the lane like they are. Not only that, but I’m noticing more people do a rolling stop (not even stopping) when coming out of the side streets (more even than before). Everyone needs to be careful driving down Summit now. I totally expect accident rates to go up.

  2. It’s even worse. The location of parking, outside the bike lane, makes it very difficult to see oncoming traffic and complicates making a safe right turn on to Summit from a side street. It similarly obscures cyclists for any one turning from Summit to a side street.

    There are good reasons why no other transportation “engineers” have done this elsewhere.

    OSU and Columbus together can do little right. Be careful all!

  3. Concerned resident

    Someone is going to die because of this design. The only protection it offers for bikes is between side streets (unless a car door opens or pedestrian steps in front of you). I’d imagine the real danger for bikers is cars turning on side streets and ths design makes that much more dangerous than before. Visibility has been significantly decreased. Did anyone take into considerstion who lives in the area? College students. If the designers had spent a day watching traffic, bikers and pedestrians they would realize that none of them are paying attention to what anyone else is doing and believe nothing can happen to them. At minimum, the speed limit needs to be reduced to 25 ASAP!!

  4. Check your archives — Columbus’s first protected bike lane was constructed about 35 years ago (in the campus area, along High Street):


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