A $4.2 million downtown paving project includes multiple street improvements for the city of San Luis Obispo. One of the improvements includes new concrete medians to protect bicyclists.
They are part of the protected bike lanes going in and are being installed all along Higuera and Marsh streets.
According to San Luis Obispo Public Works officials, the goal of the medians is to provide a safer and more comfortable riding space for bicyclists.
“We are basically flopping the bike lane with the parking lane," said Jennifer Rice, SLO Transportation Planner and Engineer. "It will put just an extra space and a large buffer between someone who is riding their bike and vehicles who are traveling in a higher speed typically adjacent to the bikes.”
The city says other benefits of these barriers include safety for pedestrians.
“This median also offers a refuge for folks who are loading and unloading in and out of their vehicles. It will have that place for them to unload without blocking the bike lane," Rice said.
Bicyclists are already using the protected bike lanes and say they like the added protection.
“The medians are a good thing. There’s more security because now even the cars act as a barrier for us and they won’t so easily be able to hit us," said Luis Miguel who uses his bike as his primary mode of transportation.
The medians are expected to be added all throughout the downtown corridor. Public Works officials say planters will also be added to help beautify downtown.
Construction is at the tail end of this year. In the meantime, if you are driving through downtown, be aware of construction and traffic delays.
The rest of the downtown paving project will continue with further city street improvements in the summer of 2022.