Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 17th, 2010 at 9:39 am
Up in Seattle, they’ve got a bike lane battle that has some striking similarities to our situation with the new bike lanes on SE Holgate Blvd.
As I’ve reported several times in the last few months, the City of Portland is facing considerable opposition from some people near the lanes on Holgate. They claim, and the City has admitted, that not enough warning was given prior to the lanes being installed. Some residents also say the bike lanes aren’t needed because no one’s using them and that they are making the street more congested.
The situation on Seattle’s NE 125th Street seems quite similar. The street currently has four standard vehicle lanes and not much room for bikes. SDOT wants to add a bike lane and remove one standard vehicle lane in each direction. According to an article in the Seattle Times, not everyone is happy about it.
From the Times:
“City officials say it’s a safety issue and the changes will reduce speeds and provide pedestrian and bicycle access on the busy east-west roadway. They say many drivers now go at speeds far above the posted 30-mph limit.
The city says the change would not affect capacity on the road.”
“Residents complain that the city was working to change the road without notifying them.
“It’s so insulting and offensive: No one in the neighborhood knew about it. It’s sneaky and underhanded,” said resident Debra Jarvis, who said the issue has galvanized the neighborhood. She said she bikes to work, but putting bike lanes on steep 125th makes no sense. “Why not put bike lanes on Mount Everest?” she said.
She also said the change will clog the street. “It will be congested. It will be a snarling mess.”