City of Phoenix adds 'flex posts' to bike lanes to ease bicyclists, drivers fears

The City of Phoenix is taking action to make cyclists feel safer sharing the road with drivers.
 
"You feel very uncomfortable with people, you know," said rider Quinn Tempest. "Going 50 miles per hour on Indian School and you're riding right next to them." 
 
To help ease that fear, officials have installed barriers, known as flex posts, into the road way on 15th Avenue between Van Buren and Jefferson. You may have noticed them in other cities or states, but this is a first for Phoenix.
 
The barriers are not going to necessarily stop a car from coming through, but it will hopefully be a clear signal to drivers that bikers may be riding alongside them. 
 
"The post, especially, gives a good visual differentiation," Tempest explained. "So, in their mind their like,'Oh, there's something I need pay attention to here.'" 
 
Tempest is the T2050 Commisioner for the city and has not owned a car in four years. She hopes these new posts will help other people to give cycling a try.
 
"I think we're going to get those interested, yet hesitant people who never really felt comfortable hopping on a bike," Tempest said. "But, with infrastructure like this, they're going to feel like they can do it."
 
Christin DeLuca was one of the engineers on the project and told ABC15, he rides to work everyday too and this is the kind of safety measures he wants to see as both a rider and a city employee.
 
"I actually designed it so that we could put a three-foot buffer between the bike land and the vehicle lane to add some protection," DeLuca explained. 
 
DeLuca said the project took about 6 months to complete, but he said - they are also hoping these posts to combat a second issue: people illegally parking in bike lanes.
 
"It's dangerous because bicyclists now have to go around the vehicle," DeLuca explained. "And they have to be mixed and it creates conflict points with vehicles."
 
But, the city is not stopping here. They have a five-year plan meant to continue their focus on bicycle safety.
 
They are also looking for input. You can send your thoughts to bike@phoenix.gov.
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