Residents are at odds over issues including potential safety, loss of parking and a perceived lack of communication by the city in alerting and explaining the plan for the cycle track,
But it's not in Petworth, it's in Baltimore. They city is planning to install it's first cycle track (or protected bike lane) on Roland Avenue as part of a $3.9 million repaving project. This is the same street where Bishop Heather Cook struck and killed Thomas Palermo last year, though the PBL won't go that far.
The cycle track would run between Cold Spring Lane and Northern Parkway, and would feature, starting from the face of the curb, a 4 1/2--foot-wide bike lane, a 2-to-3-foot-wide buffer lane, and a 7-foot-wide parking lane, said Paul Goldbeck, the project manager for DOT. Flex posts would be placed in groups of 5, 10 feet apart, 50 feet before and after the intersections of Roland Avenue and 12 cross streets.
The lanes were the subject of a recent community meeting.
At the meeting, a contingent of officials of the Baltimore City Department of Transportation updated residents on the cycle track project, which is set to start this month with striping and placement of at least 150 "flex posts" to delineate the special bike lanes. Transportation officials said they expect the cycle track to be finished by next March.
But DOT officials refused to budge on demands from many in the audience to rethink the plans.
I guess opponents failed to make a lengthy chess metaphor where they told DOT staff that they were pawns.
Surprise, most of the opponents live on Roland and are concerned with cyclist safety or the process (not their own parking, oh no, that would be unseemly)
Many of the opponents live on Roland Avenue and questioned whether there is enough room for the cycle tracks on both sides of the road. Some said they are worried that people getting into or out of their cars on Roland Avenue would open their car doors into passing cyclists, who they would not see coming.
"You can still safely exit your car," McBeth insisted.
But Choi said, "Putting a protected bike lane where there are single-family homes doesn't make sense."
Some residents and merchants in Roland Park complained that they were poorly informed or not notified about the plan.
And then some complained that few cyclists used the road, which was the same thing I remember hearing about Pennsylvania Avenue, 15th Street and M & L.
There was also a debate over whether enough people ride bikes on Roland Avenue to warrant a cycle track. But Liz Cornish, of Charles Village, executive director of the local bicycle advocacy group Bikemore, said the track would help promote cycling as an alternative to driving, and would cut down on congestion on Roland Avenue by reducing the number of cars, which the city estimates at about 14,500 a day on the road.
But it looks like the lane is a go
Roland Park Elementary/Middle School Principal Nicholas D'Ambrosio said he too supports the track, as a safe travel route for students, with the potential to "take cars off the road."
"I'm responsible for the safety of 1,400 kids. To me, this makes sense," D'Ambrosio said. "I have to rely on the experts."
D'Ambrosio was supported by a large contingent of families of Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, including Deirdre Russo, who said after the meeting that she was "100 percent in favor of the project."