Fifth and Sixth streets to become single-lane next week

The sections of South Fifth Street West and South Sixth Street West, both one-ways in opposite directions, between Higgins and Russell will be restriped to include more parking space, a more prominent bike lane, and a wider single lane for cars. Currently both one-way streets are two lanes between Arthur and Russell, and switch to two-way west of Russell.

While Fifth Street is currently wide enough to maintain parking on both sides, a bike lane and two narrow car lanes, Sixth Street is considerably more narrow.

On eastbound Sixth Street, between Ivy, roughly at the Bitterroot Branch rail tracks, and Higgins, the road is so narrow that there is no dedicated bike lane and parking is limited to one side. The narrow roads and lack of bike lane leaves cars and buses clogged behind bicyclists trying to share the road.

According to a city press release, the restriping project aims to improve safety and reduce vehicle crashes by adding turning lanes, widening the single driving lane and adding a buffer space between car and bike lanes.