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Vine Street ‘Floating Bike Lanes’ Q & A

Mailing Address

For More information contact

P. Scott Thompson

Division of Planning
101 East Vine
Suite 700
Lexington, KY 40507

Phone 258-3160

Planning Email

Bike/Walk email

What is a Floating Bike Lane?

A floating bike lane is a design solution to provide a bike lane on a street where parallel parking is permitted during certain times of the day but not during other times (referred to as ‘off-peak’ parking).

How does it work?


During weekday morning and afternoon peak traffic hours (or rush hour), an extra traffic lane is available for motorists and no parking is allowed. During this time, the bike lane is adjacent to the curb. This is the standard location for a bike lane when no on-street parking is present.

Photo Peak Hours


Cross Section Peak Hours


During off-peak traffic hours (all weekday times except rush hour and on weekends), motorists may not drive in the lane and parking is permitted at curb. During these times, the bike lane shifts to the left of on-street parking. This is the standard and safest place for bicyclists to ride when on-street parking is present.  

Photo Off-peak hours

Cross Section Off-Peak Hours

 What do the pavement markings mean?

The T-like tick marks on the pavement indicate two things:

1) The location and length of the parking space. 

2) The tick marks also indicate the location of what bicyclists commonly call the ‘door zone’. Bicyclists should ride to the left of this area since drivers may be opening doors and exiting their vehicles. It is the duty of the driver to always look for bicyclists; however, bicyclists should take precaution in case they are not seen.

A 4” wide solid white line is provided between the bike lane and moving traffic, regardless of whether the bike lane is at the curb or next to the parking lane. Parked cars are expected to ‘straddle’ the solid white line that is adjacent to the curb when parking.

Plan View Peak Hours           Plan View Off-Peak Hours

Where is it located?

The new ‘floating bike lane’ section is on Vine Street from South Broadway to South Limestone. A standard bike lane continues from South Limestone to Rose St.


Bike Lane Map

When is parking permitted?  

Parking is allowed at any time except morning rush hour (6am to 9am) and evening rush hour (3pm to 6pm) Monday through Friday. Parked vehicles will be promptly towed during those weekday rush hour times.

Where should I park during the peak traffic hour?  

If you are looking for on-street parking in the area, there are meters on Main Street, High Street, Mill Street, Upper Street and Limestone all with in one block in any direction of the Vine Street Floating Bike Lane area.

 See map

Who do I contact if my car has been towed?

Contact Bluegrass Towing at 859-233-9711

 What are the hours of pay parking versus free parking?  

Paid Parking on the 3 blocks of Vine Street where the floating bike lane has been created is from 9am-3pm Monday – Friday

Metered on-street spaces require payment between the hours of 8am and 5pm Monday – Friday.

Why was this design used?

The design uses roadway space more efficiently and achieves many goals of the Streetscape Master Plan such as increased downtown parking, bicycle mobility and wide attractive sidewalks. The design creates a narrower street than a full-time traffic lane, parking lane and bike lane. This allows more room for sidewalks, rain gardens and pedestrian amenities.

Has this design been used before?

Yes and no. Many cities have allocated roadway space differently during peak and off-peak periods for decades, including Lexington, with our reversible lanes on Nicholasville Rd. Nearby cities, including Louisville and Cincinnati, allow off-peak parking on certain roadways; however, bike-friendly

San Francisco was the first (and we believe only) city thus far to incorporate bike lanes into the design. Lexington’s design is similar to San Francisco’s, with some minor tweaks and the addition of overhead message signs for increased clarity. A summary of San Francisco’s design can be viewed here:

How will the design be reviewed or evaluated?

An 18-month study of the design will be conducted as a requirement of the Federal Highway Administration to help determine if the design is effective and whether it might eventually be used in other cities. The study will include field observations, bicyclist and motorist surveys, a review of collision data and vehicle/bicycle counts. San Francisco did not complete a formal study of their design, but it is reported to be working well.



Last updated: 8/29/2013 4:48:31 PM