JC Bike Lanes Dangerous for Cyclists

Dear Editor:

I’m a long time resident of JC and an avid cyclist, and I appreciate what the city is trying to do with bike lanes. However, I ride road bikes with narrow tires, and the condition of the road surface in many of the bike lanes is such that I am forced to veer out of the bike lanes, or avoid them altogether, in certain areas.  (Washington Blvd. and 18th St, for example, major routes into and out of the city for cyclists.)  I have also found that there are invariably cars stopped in the bike lanes, particularly along Washington Blvd., also forcing me into the car lanes.  Further, if the quality of the road surface in the bike lanes is inappropriate for a narrow bicycle wheel, it is certainly inappropriate for the tiny wheels on the coming electric scooters too.

Given the existence of the bike lanes, drivers seem less tolerant of bikes in the car lanes now, and I get honked at more than ever.  Also, the car lanes are narrower now, making it more dangerous for a bike to be in the car lane at all.  I sense that there is added frustration on the part of drivers as they lose lanes to bikes, and I fear that this does not increase my safety as a cyclist.  As an occasional driver, I am also concerned that the new parking spaces will force drivers to open their doors in front of oncoming traffic, particularly where the road curves, such as southbound around Target.  I am certain that it is just a matter of time before the proximity of driving lanes to parking spaces results in an unfortunate incident.

I applaud the initiative and I agree with the objective, but I think I speak for many cyclists when I say that the execution has apparently not been thought through.

Bernard Spanger