This afternoon there is another council meeting which has the potential to get extremely testy. An article in the Times and Transcript and on CBC discuss the bike lanes and the council meeting today. However there is a major disconnect with reality when looking at the two sides.
One side is labeled as cyclists pushing bike lanes or other safe options for biking. That group or side is accurately labeled.
The other side is labeled as anti-bike lane. This is actually completely incorrect. This group is against reducing the number of lanes to create bike lanes. They are not against bike lanes if they are created intelligently but to pull part of an infrastructure away from one group and give it to another group is going to create major contention. Especially when the sensible and intelligent thing to do would be to simply add new infrastructure in place to accommodate the second group.
Creating the bike lanes is a good idea however it MUST be done by adding space to the road way to make room for it.
I have also heard that reducing the number of lanes and adding bike lanes will reduce traffic speeds. That is completely incorrect as I found out when I had to detour through this area. What I found was that the lanes have become significantly wider due to the removal of a lane to make up for the bike lane and that these wider lanes make a person’s speed higher then what the driver perceives it to be. Significantly so to the point that I would highly recommend using cruise control to limit your speed on this road. This will also make it less safe for bikers then if they were using the side of existing lanes as drivers are going to be deceived about the speed they are travelling and therefore be not as in control of the car as they think.
This is not a safer option not by far and not an effective option either. It would have been far better to widen the road and leave 4 lanes plus the bike lanes as the traffic would have been slower, and smoother and less of a danger to bikes.
In addition this exact plan was shelved by a previous council for the exact same complaints and while the neighborhoods thought the issue was dealt with instead the council slipped through the changes while people thought their voices had already been heard and accepted