I've witnessed two separate online conversations in the last twenty-four hours about how the addition of local bicycle lanes will pose problems for residents. In one, a resident was concerned about the loss of on street parking in front of her house. In another, a resident feared a build--up of traffic congestion on a busy road.
A variety of opinions were put forth in these discussions. According to posters, the addition of bike lanes would:
Negatively impact housing values
Be dangerous for bikers
Add to time spent in traffic for residents
Be appealing for new residents
Support a cleaner environment
Reduce congestion by getting cars off the road
Some people see biking as purely a recreational activity. Basically, "There are plenty of places to bike in Howard County. Why do they need to take up space on my road?"
Actually, I'd much rather give bicycles safe, clearly designated lanes on the road because I live in dread of hurting a bicylist with my car every time I encounter one on the road. Where some folks see inconvenience, I see hazard. I'm the one in the enormous killer machine, after all. It's hardly an even match.
Howard County has a Bicyle Master Plan. You can go here to see it.
On this page there is a handy-dandy list of different types of bike lanes and pathway markings, with accompanying photos.
Speaking of bikes, do you know about Howard County Bikeshare?
Like most change in our community, some people are advocates and have followed it with interest. Some have a general idea but are startled when it happens in their own neighborhood. Some have no earthly idea and are affronted. That's not specific to bicycle lanes. That really goes for everything.
What do you think? Are you a bicyclist? Do you ride for recreation only, or do you use your bike as a regular form of transportation? What kind of bike lanes do you favor?
You can add your comments here.