McAlester now has bicycle lanes for the use of bicyclists and pedestrians on three city streets. The new lanes are four-feet wide and are located on both sides of the street on East Monroe Avenue and South 9th Street as well as the south side of East Illinois Avenue.
“All of these roadways were already wide enough to accommodate the required widths for vehicles and bicycles,” said Special Projects Engineer George Marcangeli. “It was a simple project to include the new lanes as part of the city’s annual road striping program.”
The section along East Monroe stretches 1.75 miles from North Main Street to the McAlester Campus of Eastern Oklahoma State College, connecting many schools, neighborhoods, parks, and medical facilities.
The 1.35-mile route along South 9th Street and Hardy Springs Road links East South Avenue to South George Nigh Expressway and branches onto East Illinois Avenue to connect to the park and walking track in the Mike Deak Field area. Remaining signage and lane markers will be installed when weather permits.
“We installed a new ADA bridge and expanded the walking track at Will Rogers Park to allow bicycles a few years ago,” said City Manager Pete Stasiak. “These new bike lanes on 9th Street provide a safer way for kids and families to access the park and the schools in the area.”
A new bicycle lane ordinance was approved by the City Council during their regular meeting on January 28, 2020, providing for usage of the lanes. The ordinance outlines proper use of bicycles on roadways and in bicycle lanes as well as restrictions and right-of-way provisions. Pedestrians are allowed to use all bicycle lanes where sufficient sidewalks are not available and bike users are to yield to walkers. Motor vehicles are prohibited from entering bicycle lanes except when turning or entering or leaving the roadway. The ordinance will be effective February 28, 2020.