I got an email from County Public Works Director Kyle Zimmerman today indicating that cyclists are riding behind the construction barrels:
This morning some of the bicyclists on Diamond Drive were riding on the construction zone side (west side) of the barrels. There is a lot of construction equipment and workers moving around doing the project work. They are not looking for bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the barrels. Please pass the word that bicyclist need to use Arkansas/North Road as an alternate route or take the lane as a vehicle like you did this morning.
Aside from this conduct undoubtedly being illegal and quite dangerous once heavy equipment and workers are in full swing (milling off the pavement will start shortly), taking the lane southbound is relatively easy as it is downslope and I was able to ride with heavy traffic effortlessly as it was moving slowly. Northbound (upslope) cycling in the construction zone traffic is more problematic, but cyclists can use the dedicated left turn bay to turn onto North Road and avoid the whole mess. I plan on turning left on North tonight to go home. I'll post here if I have any trouble.
As an alternative to those who don't want to ride north in "the narrows" or turn left and climb North Road, there is a sidewalk on the South side of Diamond. I would recommend cyclists use North/Arkansas, but suggest to any cyclists who use that sidewalk to please take it slow and respect that pedestrians and other cyclists may be using it for two-way traffic.
There is no real way to eliminate the short term pain of this project. Consider the long term gain, though.
Post comments here if you have them. I will direct Kyle to this page as well. Let's just muddle through this as best and as cheerfully as we can. Everyone is suffering a little bit.
County Transportation Board Chair and League Cycling Instructor