By Letter to the Editor on November 11, 2017.
As a cyclist and frequent user of 7 Avenue for the past 18 years, I am concerned and dismayed at the recent, and in my opinion, unnecessary modifications made to what was a lovely residential avenue. The so-called “Bike Boulevard” has included the addition of traffic circles, traffic diversions, a vehicle speed reduction and additional painted and stationary signage.
This avenue, which saw very little traffic congestion previously, now has several so-called “traffic calming” devices which include diversion islands at both 9 and 18 streets. All of these could potentially cause problems for garbage collection vehicles, emergency vehicles, snow removal and street sweeping. It will also cause vehicular traffic to use adjacent alley ways as an alternative to driving a needless longer distance.
The decision to make 7 Avenue the designated bike boulevard, disregards the fact that there are alternative southside bicycle routes going east and west already in place. One route goes along Scenic Drive from the downtown and then along the green strip starting at the Sugar Bowl and proceed along all the way to Henderson Lake. Why did the City feel it imperative to introduce drastic changes to such a low-volume corridor as 7 Avenue? Bicycle congestion is much more prevalent along any north/south route along Scenic Drive, 13 Street and Mayor Magrath Drive. Each of these passages contains narrow sidewalks, often with pedestrian traffic, and several crossings of major thoroughfares. Money would have been better spent on improving these corridors for bicycle commuters.
It is the responsibility of the bicycle-riding public to be aware of the rules of the road and to ride responsibly by sharing existing roadways. Riding a bicycle down 7 Avenue has never historically been an issue for cyclists. These modifications, to what was a lovely boulevard, are a waste of taxpayers’ money, and were both unnecessary and overly intrusive. I urge the City to reconsider this invasive, expensive and unnecessary placement of traffic barriers where none were needed.
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