News, updates, commentary and more from BikeAthens. BikeAthens is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Athens, GA. BikeAthens promotes transportation and land-use policies that improve alternative modes of transportation, including pedestrian, cycling, and public transit options. The mission of our organization is to make alternative transportation a practical, convenient, and safe option for all citizens of Athens-Clarke County.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Local roads up for reconfiguration

Also from today's Banner-Herald, some important news about road reconfigurations:

Lane revamps advised for busy Athens roads

Athens-Clarke transportation officials say changing lane configurations on three busy Athens roads will make them safer.

Part of Hawthorne Avenue will return to four lanes and Cedar Shoals drive will switch to three lanes, while most of North Avenue will remain five lanes if the Athens-Clarke Commission follows the advice of the county Transportation and Public Works Department.

Full article via link above.

The article does not indicate whether Cedar Shoals will have bike lanes added as part of its potential re-striping to three lanes, but normally that occurs when a street transitions from four to three lanes.

Certainly, the current bicycle lanes on Hawthorne are not an ideal width and are poorly maintained, but their presence creates a valuable safety buffer, both for cyclists and for pedestrians. Hawthorne also serves as a valuable connector for the Oglethorpe and Alps Rd bicycle lanes. Removing them is moving us away from an interconnected network of bicycle lanes.
While the frustration with congestion is understandable, congestion is a result of excessive car dependency. By going backwards in our transportation planning- doing all we can to accommodate the rapid flow of automobiles and eliminating transportation choices- we are guaranteeing further congestion.

1 comment:

Janet Manry said...

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the "bike lanes" on Hawthorne are not legally bike lanes. My understanding is that, to legally be a bike lane, the lane has to have the bike lane symbol painted on the ground in the lane and to have the bicycle lane sign at the side of the road at regular intervals.

But I agree that those narrow dashed lanes provide a buffer for bicylists (like me) to access the Beachwood shopping center. It seems that the Beachwood center was intended to be accessible by bike and pedestrians. It would be going backwards to make the best approach to it harder by simultaneously removing that buffer and speeding up motorized traffic.

We should be working toward reducing congestion through more travel options rather than fewer.