Thursday, December 16, 2010

What happened to my bike lane?

Anyone who cycles near UCR will have noticed that University Avenue was "improved" recently, widening the two eastbound lanes to three- two through lanes and a right-hand turn lane- between the UV shopping centre's stoplight and I-215/CA-60. This new street configuration completely removes the bicycle lane, and does not replace it with anything else. While I'm entirely comfortable taking a lane through this one-block section, many, many other student cyclists are not. They end up either riding on the sidewalk or riding against traffic in the bicycle lane on the other side of the street.

The expansion of automobile space on this street is contrary to the University Avenue Specific Plan for this area. Section 5.2.3 of the Specific Plan, "From Iowa Avenue to I-215 (Subdistricts 3 and 4)", reads in part:
The current pavement width and striping for four lanes shall be maintained in order to utilize the remaining pavement area for bicycle lanes and a future shuttle.

This document was ratified when the pavement striping had only two lanes eastbound from the UV, and so the City has gone against their own planning in removing a bike lane that literally hundreds of students use daily.

While I don't expect the cash-strapped city to do much of anything anytime soon, please consider writing your councilman to urge them to re-stripe this roadway when next it is required in order to be safe for the hundreds of student cyclists that traverse the area daily.

1 comment:

  1. Are there any consequences for violating the Specific Plan? Between this and the new McDonald's, it seems like the Plan is just empty rhetoric.

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