|I do not feel safe in this scenario.|
From it's illustrious roots as a dirt road, where wealthy Burlingtonians built homes, then an Italian neighborhood, razed in the 1960s for urban renewal—the border of which is the section of Pearl Street in the above photo—the renaissance of this street changes with the times. It is changing once again.
Because it's a thoroughfare, used by tourists, students, and residents, cyclists often use it—myself included—to get to the lakefront. Two years ago, federal transportation money supported a section of reconstruction. City planners reached out to the public, asking for design assistance that would serve all users. Three proposals came forward, one of which supported bike lanes. Cycling advocates spread the word on this particular plan, and many of us weighed in on our decision. I was thrilled that I could pedal with my children on the street. Plan 3, with bike lanes was adopted.
|Crosswalk at head of Church Street pedestrian mall. Notice cyclist on sidewalk.|
|I often ride the sidewalk if I'm going to the post office (building on right).|
|Yellow is bump out for pedestrian crossing. Notice narrow 3-foot margin for cyclists|
All this makes me wonder why the lanes have not been striped. Did cyclists speak up? There's been a flurry of e-mails regarding this situation. Some have said it's far better to add sharrows than stripe a 3-foot cycling lane. If lines are painted as planned, they say, it could lead a novice rider down a potentially dangerous path. I tend to agree.
Hopefully, we can learn from this experience. I, for one, will be reading plans more closely.