The Johnston Street bicycle lanes is the first project that the founders of TRAIL work on that hit the ground. Before going into the background, it is worthy to discuss the merits of the Johnston Street bike lanes and their relevance to improving safe transportation for all.
The Johnston St. bike lane's purpose is primarily to serve commuting cyclists (as opposed to the family or recreational cyclists) who work or go to school along Johnston St., primarily the University of Louisiana. There is no argument that this project has made the roads safer for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. The second priority of the bike lane was to heighten the awareness of cyclists on the road, even when a rider is not there.
There are still many opportunities to improve consistency and thereby the safety of the bike path along Johnston St. The lane along Johnston shift from designated lanes to shared roads in several places. Alternate routes around busy intersections such as Camelia/Guilbeau Rd.
In 2004 when LADOTD was in the initial stages of resurfacing Johnston Street, the Bicycle Technical Subcommittee to the Lafayette Metropolitan Planning Organization (now Acadiana MPO) made a request to stripe a bike lane down Johnston St. The 2 overbearing reasons for the bike lane has been to first to improve safety for the cycling commuters who use Johnston St. routinely and secondly increase the awareness of cyclists on all area roads.
The late Nina Ludington, a civil engineer with a local firm and founding TRAIL board member, worked closely with LADOTD and Lafayette Consolidated Government's Public Works Department to cost the project that not only included striping and signage but also repave several bridge structures and their approaches. It is hard to argue that today Johnston street provides a smoother and safer route for all.