In late summer/fall of 2020, as part of our Intersection/Facility Focus initiative, we not only surveyed the community asking about any incidents or unsafe experiences people have had at the intersection of Drake Road & Overland Trail, but also brought the intersection to the attention of city staff, as well as presented it to the Bicycle Advisory Committee and Transportation Board.

The issue or problem that we presented was the insufficient “cross-traffic does not stop” warning signage for motorists on WB Drake as they approach the turn on to NB Overland, and that motorists don’t always adhere to the NB merge lane after making the turn, which is especially dangerous in the presence of cyclists. Here’s an example of the some of the open-ended repsonses we received from our survey:

“I was riding my road bike N on Overland, and the traffic going from west Drake to N. Overland was confused about the bike lane and their merge lane…The car cut me off on the right of me- I am not sure they even saw me, not that I go that fast.”

As a result, we had an meeting on location at the interseection with the city back in late February to discuss potential options to improve the intersection.

We are happy to report that last week, a solution was installed. In order to improve the  conspicuity that people on bikes may be traveling in the bike lane (coming up from the south—or Cottonwood Park), the bike lane from the north side of the intersection and running the entire length of the WB Drake to NB Overland merge lane has been painted green augmented by bicycle symbol and arrow pavement markings.

Thank you to the community for your input and to the city for sharing the same concern and desire we had to improve this intersection. Hopefully the resulting new vehicular traffic pattern can be sustained, and the intersection will not only “feel” safer, but “be” safer for those on bikes going forward. While there are still additional improvements that could be made (e.g. signage for WB Drake motorists), and that many believe this intersection is an ideal location for a roundabout, until those improvements or that day comes, know that we’ll continue to monitor the behavior of road users at this intersection and advocate to ensure the safety of bicyclists.

 

This video taken on May 8 shows initial motorist response to the new treatment as intended.