Think green. Bike lanes on River Street in downtown Aurora.
If you’re seeing green in downtown Aurora, think bikes. Human-powered bicycles now have a lane to themselves on the east side of River Street that extends from Downer Place to North Avenue.
The path color is the suggested color in the manual on uniform traffic control devices by the Federal Highway Administration. And it’s hard to miss. The lane is also lined by concrete curbs and a narrow, paved median along River Street.
The entire bike lanes connects the Fox River Trail from behind Waubonsee Community College along Downer Place to the North Avenue Bridge entrance of the trail.
The bike lane is part of the two-way conversion of River Street. Currently a one-way stretch, River Street will become a two-way street with back-in, angled parking between Benton and Cross streets.
According to city staff, Aurora has a Bike/Pedestrian Capital Improvement Plan and the city continues to review possible bike path expansions, but they are dependent upon both local and outside funding opportunities.
In January, the city held an open house presenting the two-way conversion of Lake Street and River Street between Gale and New York Street. Lake Street is the southbound side of the one-way couple and River Street is the northbound side of the one way couple. Both streets were under the State of Illinois Jurisdiction. The obtained a jurisdictional transfer for River Street.
The total length of the project is approx. 1.10 miles. Lake and River streets are being converted from one way operation to two-way operation. Lake Street’s two-way conversion consists of five signal modifications, pavement markings, on-street parking removal and geometric modification at the intersections. River Street’s conversion consists of four signal modifications, significant striping, includes a 10-ft wide two-way on-street bike path on the east side of the street that fills the Fox River trail gap, streetscape, and well defined on-street angled parking and parallel parking along various stretches.
The ribbon cutting will be sometime in December 2015. All temperature related construction items will be installed in the next two weeks.
Photos by Charlie Zine.