The Press Newspaper
Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian is urging the public to use caution at the Coy Road and Starr Avenue intersection due to a new bike lane configuration that is uncommon in the city.
The intersection was recently widened to accommodate dedicated left turn lanes on all approaches, a dedicated right turn lane for eastbound Starr Avenue, and a dedicated through lane for the eastbound Starr Avenue bike lane.
The eastbound approach to the Starr Avenue intersection was designed with a dedicated right turn lane as a result of the high volume of right turn movement to southbound Coy Road. The dedicated right turn lane is located to the right of the dedicated bike lane as required by the Ohio Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
At the intersection, for eastbound traffic, bicyclists in the bike lane heading straight through Coy Road, and motorists turning right to southbound Coy Road, cross paths.
The bike lane configuration, more common in other communities with bike lanes, is new to Oregon.
“Any time we make changes to an intersection, drivers need to pay particular attention to the new configuration,” said Seferian. “After looking at the state guidelines, meeting with our public service director and city administrator, this configuration was chosen as the best alternative, though there is no ideal way to bring bikes and cars together.”
The pavement of the bike lane will be painted a “safety blue” and will be imprinted to highlight the new configuration.
The new striping and signing configuration encourages the crossing of the motorist and bicyclists to occur in advance of the intersection in a merging fashion, which is safer than configurations that force the crossing in the immediate vicinity of the intersections. Consequently, eastbound motorists planning to turn right onto southbound Coy Road will be required to yield to bicyclists in the dedicated through bike lane prior to the intersection.
The additional safety measures, said Seferian at a council meeting on Nov. 8, “uniquely identifies that lane in hopes of making it as safe as possible.”
“I think we all believe we put out a pretty good product under the circumstances and hope that everyone will learn to adapt to that and make the best of it,” said Seferian.
As part of the improvements, a new traffic signal at the intersection was activated on Nov. 2 to flash red for all approaches. The new signal became operational in stop and go mode on Nov. 9.
The intersection improvements were made to increase safety with better traffic flow.