Attention, Drivers and Cyclists: Lane Changes Installed on Section of Ingersoll


New bike lane on Ingersoll (WHO-HD)

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Lane changes have come to a small section of westbound Ingersoll Avenue leading up to the intersection with MLK.

The old bike lane has been shifted over into what used to be the right turn lane.

“It came down on the far side of the turn lane so you're out in the middle of the turn lane, so it didn't really make any sense to me. Usually I would hop up on the sidewalk here to avoid that problem, so now it doesn't look like I'll have to,” said cyclist Curt Covington.

The green pavement signaling cyclists to move closer to the curb may be the most noticeable change on Ingersoll, but it's not the only one.  Similar to changes made in the East Village, the city has added six new parking spaces in what used to be the turn lane, separating the bike lane from traffic.

“If you have a separated bike lane, it provides that extra level of comfort and safety for those users, and that's what this is about. It's a safety project,” said Larry James.

James is the co-chair of Connect Downtown, a traffic study group working with the city. He said the group is looking at ways to make traveling through the city safer.

Another feature intended to help with this is a radar gun the city installed across the street. It will be able to detect if a cyclist is coming down the bike lane, and will light up a sign that tells motorists not to turn right.

“That was kind of a dangerous intersection, honestly, for cars going on either side trying to get around you, so I think it'll make things a lot safer and shouldn't slow anything down too much,” said local resident Ben Berger.

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