M-10 (or Northwestern Highway) stretches through Oakland County between Southfield and Farmington Hills. The highway was constructed originally as a 4 lane road with two 12' shoulders. Following a recent resurfacing, a 3 mile section of M-10 has received a new treatment: Michigan's first "buffered bicycle lane."
Traditional bicycle lanes are becoming more common around the country and here in Michigan. Bicycle lanes help create order in the roadway by clearly delineating a space for bicyclists and motorists. The buffered bicycle lane is an innovative new facility often used on roadways with high speeds (>45 mph) and/or high traffic volumes. The M-10 bicycle lane consists of the standard 5' wide bicycle lane adjacent to the curb, with a 7' painted buffer between the bicycle lane and motor vehicle traffic. The buffered bicycle lane provides greater separation between bicyclists and motorists improving the safety and comfort of both.
To bring attention to the cross over locations at designated right turn lanes, the bicycle lane includes a special green pavement marking treatment. The green pavement markings are the width of the bike lane outlined with white lines. These areas are designed to alert motorists and bicyclists that they are at a potential conflict area. In these areas all road users should exercise heightened awareness. M-10 is the first state roadway to use the green pavement markings.
Motorists traveling on M-10 are permitted to cross the bicycle lane to enter driveways. However, motorists must yield to bicyclists when turning right.
Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is excited to be a leader in implementing this innovative design on Northwestern Highway along with a similar buffered bicycle lane on M-43/West Sagniaw highway in Lansing. Safety of all users of the roadway is always the goal.
Bicyclists are reminded to follow all rules of the road and obey all traffic control devices including traffic signals.
See additional photos of the M-10 buffered bike lane on our Flickr page.
Prepared by: Tom Pozolo, MDOT Operations Engineer, Oakland TSC; Josh DeBruyn, MDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator; and Deirdre Thompson, MDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Engineer