More Bike Lanes Coming To Brookings? Committee Looks At Master Plan

When it comes to bicycle friendly cities, South Dakota only has one; and even Sioux Falls hasn’t struck gold. But a group in Brookings hopes to change that. They’re pushing for more bike lanes across the city.

Brookings Bicycle Advisory Committee Caleb Finck said, “The sharrow is just a way for motorists to have a subtle reminder through the signage and things and stencils on the road that bikes are going to be out on the road and they need to share the road.”

While there are many sharrows throughout the city, when it comes to actual bike lanes in Brookings, 8th Street South is it.

Finck said, “Bicycles are considered vehicles. They’re not supposed to ride on the sidewalk.”

Finck says it’s also not safe. That’s why they want to do better. They want to connect students who bike on campus to the rest of the city.

“We want to give special consideration to those streets that maybe go all the way north-south or all the way east-west so that we can create a good network so that you can get from anywhere in the city to another point very easily,” Finck said.
 
The committee identified a half dozen streets where it would like to add bike lanes. On the streets 30 feet wide, they want to add a lane on each side. As shown to the right, those 30 feet or less would have two lanes with dashed lines that can be shared with vehicles, or just a one-way bike lane. However, some on-street parking would have to be removed to make room.

Finck said, “That was a little bit of a contentious issue because some of the streets are small and the neighborhoods are a little bit older and parking is a premium in Brookings.”

That’s why the committee submitted a request for proposals. They hope to hire a consultant to develop a master plan for the city.

“We’ll really be able to get very in-depth and study all the different details necessary to make sure that we put the right type of bike lanes in the right places so that they can serve bicyclists and motorists in Brookings the best,” said Finck.

The committee hopes to have a consultant in place by May 10 to bring them in front of the Brookings City Council.