NOLA.com - Would you ride a bike in Kenner? ‘Pop up’ lane offers test path

Thursday, Mar 29, 2018

Updated Mar 29, 3:14 PM; Posted Mar 29, 3:12 PM

By Littice Bacon-Blood .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address),
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Kenner is giving a bike lane a two-week trial run on Loyola Drive. The “pop-up” bike lane was installed March 24 from West Esplanade Avenue south to East Loyola Drive to help promote bicycling as an alternate mode of travel, city officials said.

Orange cones along the street block out the bike lane and biking signs spaced along the routes alert motorists to share the road.

Kenner partnered with advocacy group Bike Easy to create the temporary paths. Bike Easy, started in 2003, has been working with parish and city officials in the metro New Orleans area to expand bike routes and bike lanes on public thoroughfares to make them accessible and safer for cyclists.

“Our goal with this installation is to actively engage our residents and introduce a new option for commuting and recreational riding in the City of Kenner,” Mayor Ben Zahn said in a news release. “We are proud of our Levee Trail system and the recreational opportunities that it provides, but we know through speaking with community groups and residents that there is a desire to be able to reach our many parks in Kenner by bicycle.”

Zahn said city officials plan to apply for federal grants to pay for the installation of a permanent separated bike lane on Loyola Avenue from Interstate 10 to Joe Yenni Boulevard.

The Loyola Drive route was chosen because of its proximity to Kenner City Park, Wentwood Playground, the soon-to-be-built Kenner Discovery School and other businesses and neighborhoods, city officials said.

Bike Easy organizers say the pop-up bikeways are not alternatives to safer and accessible biking. The temporary lanes offer a “first taste” of how existing roads can be shared between motorists and cyclists.

“It’s a way to experiment and get people used to the idea,” said Robert Henig Bell, a campaign organizer at Bike Easy. “Everyone can learn and know where everyone is supposed to be without having to take a full plunge.”

Organizers, who canvassed the Kenner area prior to installing the temporary lane, are planning a community event for next week to mark the occasion, Henig Bell said.

“We’ve been getting good responses,” he said.

Original story on nola.com

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