A Bike Lane is Born on Copper

Congratulations! It’s a bike lane!

“Weighing” about 400 feet, the newborn bike lane on Copper NE below was conceived “in vitro” through reconstruction at the adjacent De Anza Motel.

bike lane starts and ends
If your photographer was better, you could see the “Bike Lane Ends” sign (red circle) well within sight of the first “Bike Lane” sign on this extremely short baby lane.

Below is what Copper looked like westbound at Washington before the De Anza was De Molished to put up apartments. Note the roadway was widened through halving the dirt gap between curb and sidewalk on the north side:

de anza before recon

So why put up a 400-foot bike lane?

Well, on the 2040 long-range bike map Copper is to have bike lanes throughout this stretch, specifically San Pedro to the existing lanes as Copper turns into Campus west of Carlisle.

2040 Copper
Solid blue indicates current bike lane; dotted blue signifies bike lanes by 2040.

So the City rightfully calls for lanes to be installed when improvements are done adjacently. It’s just that the improvements only go about 400 feet at present and for who knows how long.

Meanwhile, yes, the bike lanes on Campus are in process of going away, replaced by parking lanes (of course those lanes were always de facto parking lanes, as anyone can tell you). And yes, there’s also talk of extending the new Fair Heights Bike Boulevard on Copper (currently ending at Monroe) all the way to UNM, including this 400-foot stretch that just got bike lanes.

Birthing babies is complicated.

Complications aside, BB readers are encouraged to ride the absolute heck out of these 400 feet of brand-spanking new bike lane. Those new fifteen seconds of new baby bike lane bliss (twenty-five seconds uphill) are to be cherished and go by so, so fast.

 

4 thoughts on “A Bike Lane is Born on Copper

  1. I trust that the bike lane markings that have been all but obliterated on Washington between Central and Copper during the water-line work will get repainted reasonably soon.

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  2. Ed: I didn’t ride Washington on the day of photo above, having been told that the debris had been cleared. Guess the striping went with the debris. Inquiries will be made.

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  3. Also, I checked out the abbreviated bike lane on Copper. It is unfortunate that the westbound (north side) lane ends with an extended pinch-down instead of just ending at the first “Ends” sign. Pinch-downs are bad practice, because a lot of riders stay within them to the bitter end, and set themselves up for being squeezed by passing motor vehicles. There is a block-length pinch-down lane on San Pedro, between Claremont and Menaul, that really should be removed if it can’t be made standard width to its current pinched-down end. I raised this early in my time with GABAC, to no avail. If the City is willing to remove bike lanes that can’t not be parked in, it ought to remove these few short, misleading, dangerous stretches of bike lanes if it can’t upgrade them. BTW, is there a list yet of all of the bike lanes that are to be removed for parking conflicts?

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  4. Ed: We made fun of the pinch-down as we rode on Copper, but, of course, it’s not funny. As we all know, these orphan lanes are seen by some as “better than nothing” and “building for the future” when they are worse than doing nothing at all for countless numbers of years. In the case of Copper, far better would be either inexpensive calming/striping now throughout or no striping at all in the 400-foot orphan area. Thinking about it, how many cases of orphan striping being made longer/whole can you remember here? Maybe San Pedro (hence the weird mix of bike lane widths and your noted pinch-down), but none come to mind anytime lately, in this era of supposed “better” bike infrastructure.

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