New Haven gave intersection safety a green light when they installed “crossbikes” Wednesday.
The crossbikes — green safety markings much like crosswalks — define bike lanes as they traverse through intersections. The crossbikes were completed on the intersections of York and Elm streets, Elm and High streets and Elm and College streets as part of the Elm Street pilot, an initiative to install crossbikes on Elm Street intersections. Doug Hausladen ’04, City Hall’s director of transportation, traffic and parking, said the city is testing these on Elm Street since there is a higher volume of traffic and accidents.
“We want to test some newer styles of bicycle infrastructure in order to solicit feedback and help provide planning teams,” Hausladen said. “These are not inexpensive. However, we were able to — in a pilot — test these in on Elm Street.”
Hausladen said implementing the pilot took a number of months because designing the green pavement markings relied on a company in New Jersey to assist with shipping the material. He explained that the city’s building crew ran out of material with which to paint the intersection, and had to wait on new materials before it could finish the Elm Street pilot.
Hausladen said while he and many cyclists deemed New Haven intersections a safety concern for cyclists, the new Elm Street bike lanes are ready for cyclists to test.
Student and professional bikers said they think the intersection safety markings are an innovative idea. Hausladen said he hopes to solicit feedback from riders over the winter.
Hausladen emphasized that the crossbikes are a step in the right direction for Elm City transit. He added that the city has also undertaken other transportation improvement projects, including the two-way cycle roads that connect downtown to the western part of New Haven.
Bob Jacobson — a cyclist and employee at College Street Cycles — said he rides his bike as often as he drives and feels that the crossbikes benefit bikers as much as they do drivers. He added that the green markings on the intersection “calm the driver down” because drivers are forewarned that a cyclist may be crossing.
“I’m not a gung-ho biker, but I do feel like awareness is part of the battle.” Jacobson said. “It’s really just paint on the road, but it does cause awareness.”
Portland was the first city to use crossbikes.