Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Commuters" and the Jefferson Ave. Bike Lane

At last night's Parking, Traffic and Streets Commission meeting, we approved parking restrictions for most of Jefferson Avenue in order to facilitate the installation of bike lanes from Victoria to Arlington. The usual arguments about people's sacrosanct right to park their private cars on the public property immediately in front of their homes were in full bloom, and at least one member of the public argued that the bike lanes would "lower [their] property values." (Never mind evidence to the contrary.)

The disheartening portion of the evening, though, was that the parking restrictions in the bike lanes were only proposed on weekdays from 7am-6pm, and there was no support in the room save myself for extending them further. Why these times? Because, in the words of City Traffic Engineer Steve Libring, it was thought that these times would accommodate school and commuter traffic.

Yup! "Commuters" will make my Jefferson Ave. bike lane vanish.

On the whole, the Jefferson lanes are a great addition to the City's bike network, especially considering they will be the first bike lanes to cross the 91 freeway north of La Sierra. Still, I wish we didn't have to make the lanes less effective in order to provide still more space for private cars.

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