If you said no, you probably aren’t alone.
The city of San Luis Obispo has proposed to build a bicycle infrastructure that will cost approximately $3 million and is expected to stretch for seven blocks. The San Luis Obispo Tribune shared some of the details regarding these plans but they appear to be adding more danger to the roadway than helping remove it. At least that is what we got when it said, “The “Broad/Chorro Bikeway” is a mishmash of cycle tracks, cycles mixed with vehicles, cycles moving against the flow of traffic, dozens of unmarked intersections, and busy intersections with bikes forced into dangerous diagonal movements.”
The infrastructure, or at least part of it, is going to be built using cycle tracks, which are also known as protected bike lanes. These bike lanes are physically separated bike lanes on the street. While that seems promising, it gets a bit more complicated. The proposed tracks the city provided in its plans aren’t exactly going to eliminate interactions with vehicles. “In fact, they create dozens of conflicts that don’t currently exist.”
The plan outlines two-way tracks with some bikes traveling in the opposite direction of adjacent vehicles and bikes. The plan’s centerfold is Chorro from Lincoln to Mission and on Ramona from Broad to Palomar. The track will run southbound on Broad and northbound bikes remain mixed with traffic. The city believes that the bikes that will be mixed with the vehicles are safe so there is no need to build a disruptive southbound cycle track.
Another issue that was pointed out by the source is that there are 31 driveways that cross the cycle tracks, which serves as an “unsignalized intersection” and is dangerous to those riding their bikes. Three of the driveway crossings “Are actually high-use intersections-two entries to the Foothill Plaza Shopping Center on Ramona and the entrance to the Villages senior complex on Broad. The designer of these tracks even failed to put the Villages entry on the plans which means it wasn’t even taken into consideration.
It was also brought to the attention of residents that two-way cycle tracks aren’t exactly safer, but more hazardous under certain circumstances. “Because motorists aren’t expecting bikes going against traffic,” whey they back out with poor visibility, they may not look the other way only to spot a biker coming down the track. One of the dangerous places that is most concerning is the shopping center’s exit on Ramona which is already known for drivers not looking both directions. This is also a spot which is considered to a “safe route to school” for elementary kids.
While the plans have yet to be carried out, you can expect the city of San Luis Obispo to hear more about it.
Although it is nice to see that the city is looking for more to be done to protect bicyclists, we certainly don’t want anything built that could potentially put them in more danger. And if you are bicyclist who has been injured in an accident, don’t hesitate to contact San Luis Obispo, CA accident lawyer Therese Harris. At this difficult time, it is important that you are made aware of your rights and have a legal representative working beside you, helping you obtain the compensation you are rightfully due. If you would like to get in touch with accident attorney Therese Harris now or schedule a consultation, call 805-369-2053 at your earliest convenience.