OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — This week, the City of Oklahoma City began construction on the metro’s first parking-protected bike lane along Lottie Avenue between NE 13th Street and NE 23rd Street.

Parking-protected bike lane example. Image courtesy City of Oklahoma City.

“Parking-protected bike lanes are a relatively new type of design that have been quickly gaining popularity nationally,” Transportation Program Planner Justin Henry said.

“We believe they will improve the safety of the street for cyclists, but also pedestrians who will see more separation between traffic and the sidewalks. Lottie will be an important bike corridor for NE Oklahoma City because it will tie together several neighborhoods and connect to bike routes along NE 4th, NE 8th, NE 13th and NE 16th Streets as well as future facility along Kelley Avenue.”

According to the City, the Lottie bike lane is part of a larger bike lane project that will soon be under construction, and is expected to be open in spring 2024.

The 1.8 mile bike lane will connect many notable areas in northeast Oklahoma City, including Booker T. Washington Park, the OU Health Science Center and the Innovation District.

Bike lane project map. Image courtesy City of Oklahoma City.
Bike lane project map. Image courtesy City of Oklahoma City.

The $800,000 project is funded through the Better Streets, Safer City and ACOG Air Quality Small Grants programs.

In October 2020, the City was awarded a federal grant under the Air Quality Small Grants program for the bike lane project. The City then matched the grant funds through Better Streets, Safer City, according to the bikewalkokc masterplan.

Here are some protected bike lane safety tips for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians provided by the City:

How to Drive or Park Next to Protected Bike Lanes

  • Parking-protected bike lanes use parked cars to separate people riding bikes from people driving cars. They increase safety for drivers, walkers and cyclists by shortening the crossing distance for pedestrians, increasing visibility and providing a buffer between cyclists and vehicles.
  • Do not drive in a protected bike lane. 
  • Watch for cyclists and pedestrians when visibility is reduced by parked cars.
  • Before turning, drivers must yield to cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Only park in the striped spaces between the travel lane and the bike lane.

Tips for Biking in Parking-Protected Lanes

  • Yield to pedestrians at intersections.
  • Watch for pedestrians crossing the bike lane to access a parked vehicle.
  • Watch for turning vehicles when approaching intersections.
  • Follow the bike lane markings as the lane may weave in the approach to an intersection to make cyclists more visible to drivers.

Tips for Walking Across Parking-Protected Bike Lanes

  • Watch and listen for people cycling.
  • Cross parking-protected bike lanes at intersections unless accessing a parked vehicle.

For more information on the Lottie bike project, visit okc.gov.