New project to make roadways safer for bikers

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A new project is in the works to make the roads safer for bikers.

The new street design for Central Parkway would go from Elm Street in Over-the-Rhine to Ludlow Avenue in Clifton.

"I don't feel like I can share space with a two ton vehicle," said Nern Ostendorf.

Ostendorf rides her bike all over downtown Cincinnati, and as the director of Queen City Bike, she's helped this city with this project. She's fully invested in creating more opportunities for people to choose a bike over a car.

"I talk to people all the time who say 'hey, I wish I could ride on the street, but I don't feel safe,'" said Ostendorf.

Soon crews will add a protected bike lane on these streets. In addition to a painted white stripe, these will have a physical barrier such as white plastic poles to separate the riders and traffic.

"The nice thing about a protective bike lane is it's obvious. You know how to bike in it safely, you don't need any special training and cars know how to interact with you when you're in it," said Ostendorf.

Mark Wilson has some concerns. The plan is to restrict parking during certain hours of the day. For instance, in front of his business, you can't park in the southbound lane of Central Parkway between seven and nine in the morning. A similar restriction is in place from three to six in the afternoon in the northbound lanes.

"You would have to come and move your car to the other side of the street. So we start usually 7:30, 8:00 and I've got guys that go out on job sites and sometimes they park there, and it would be difficult to get them to move their cars," said Mark Wilson, owner of Partners and Projects.

Wilson says he's fully supports the protective bike lane, but wishes he and other business owners had more input. He suggests a slight re-route in the path to avoid businesses or even replacing some of the extra green space in front of their building.

"We just need to come up with a solution that is going to be good for all parties involved, the bikers and the business owners," said Wilson.

This project will be divided into two phases. Phase one starts at Elm Street and goes to Marshall Avenue.

If you'd like to see a closer look at what the street design is expected to look like on the route, check out this link:

Phase one is set to begin this spring, but the city still plans to discuss the final plans for parking restrictions with different community councils to keep them up to date.

Copyright 2014 WXIX. All rights reserved.