Streetsblog San Francisco recently posted an excellent article titled “Why Are We Building Bikes Lanes That Are Hurting People?” The premise of the article is that many bike lanes are marked too closely to rows of parked cars putting cyclists in danger of getting “doored.”
Over the past 2 years, I’ve ridden my bike on most of the on-street bike lanes in St. Louis. I usually seek out bike lanes whenever I’m out biking as I find them more comfortable and less stressful to ride in being outside the normal flow of traffic.
The bike lanes surrounding Fountain Park, however, I will never ride in again. The one time I attempted riding in the bike lane, it felt very uncomfortable, dangerous even. The row of parked SUVs were so close to the bike lane that I was incredibly nervous about getting doored. And with cars parked on the left side of the street, as well, the road felt too narrow to ride on the left side of the bike lane while leaving space for cars to pass me.
The next time I ride my bike through Fountain Park, I will ride in the middle of the traffic lane, instead.
In this case the city needs to eliminate parking on the left side of the street and widen the bike lane. There isn't enough density around fountain park to make those spots indispensable.
Are there even bike lanes on any street leading to/from Fountain Park?City Streets should treat this area more like a naturally calm park square in Savannah than a multi-lane traffic circle in DC.
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