Dan Thompson, a columnist for The University Daily Kansan, writes about his experience with bike lanes and bike routes in Lawrence, Kansas:
The League of American Bicyclists recognized Lawrence as a “bronze-level” bicycle friendly community in 2004. While driving eastbound along the repaved stretch of 19th Street between Naismith and Massachusetts streets, I noticed the new bike lanes on either side of the road. It was a welcoming sight for avid bikers. This seemed to confirm the city’s 10-speed designation.
But as I approached the busy intersection of 19th and Louisiana streets, the car lane abruptly cut off the sliver of roadway reserved for cyclists. The bike lane vanished, leaving any biker with little recourse but to quickly merge into traffic or jump the curb and seek refuge on the sidewalk.
Who can we blame for such poor planning? According to a six-month-old Lawrence Journal-World article, city commissioners decided that bike lanes could not feasibly be added because of higher costs and more delays.
The city seemed to conclude that a shorter stretch of bike lane was better than none at all, but this has created a hazardous complication near an already dangerous intersection.
This illustrates a larger problem in Lawrence. We have an incoherent system of bike routes and poorly planned paths.
When I have attempted to follow these bread-crumb trails of green, bicycle-embossed street signs through the city, I often finding myself marooned in strange neighborhoods and sinister strip malls. The city is certainly making an effort, but it is a haphazard one at best.
Read more: Poorly planned routes dangerous for cyclists
Post tags: Lawrence