Bike lanes coming to Alameda after council approves contract for "road diet"

·2 min read

Apr. 30—A stretch of East Alameda Street will get a little more narrow for cars, but a lot wider for bicyclists as the city plans to rehab the street between Classen and Ridgelake boulevards.

Following City Council approval Tuesday of a contract with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, bike lanes will likely be installed next year, said Public Works Director Shawn O'Leary.

"We are tentatively planning a bid opening for the project in November, 2023," O'Leary told The Transcript. "Construction, mostly pavement markings, will take place in early spring, 2024. Weather permitting, cyclists should be using these on-street bike lanes by this time next year."

The project will combine federal grant funds with the city's 20% match of $47,000 to convert 2.3 miles of the road from a 5-lane street to three lanes with bike lanes on the west and east bound sides of the street, city records indicated.

Chairman of the Bicycle Advisory Committee, Hal Cantwell, said the news is welcome to the bike community as one more addition to the bicycle and multimodal path network.

"It gets families out," Cantwell said. "E-bikes, neighborhood bikes — Norman is designing their bike pathway system to be inclusive of everybody."

Paring down a road is known as a "road diet," Cantwell said, for streets that have become less traveled than expected.

"The road diet generally means that it turns into three lanes, a middle turn lane, and then that gives them enough to put a designated bike path on the curb side of each way," he said.

The latest addition to bike routes joins a network of other bike and multimodal paths which adds to the quality of life in Norman, Cantwell said.

"It's making Norman a more pleasant place and a more adaptive place to live if people can get around without their cars, short distances or long distances."

The city will also extend a multimodal path, which also accommodates bikes, toward Lake Thunderbird along State Highway 9 from 48th Avenue Southeast to 72nd Avenue Southeast.

Construction for the project is set to begin next year. The city obtained a $2.1 million federal grant from the Transportation Alternative Program. Because the path will connect one mile short of the lake from Dave Blue Creek and six miles from Clear Bay, the city intends to apply for additional grants, Public Works Director Shawn O'Leary told The Transcript last week

Mindy Wood covers City Hall news and notable lawsuits for The Transcript. Reach her at or 405-416-4420.