The Debate Over Bike Lanes in Baltimore City Rolls On

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A new bill would crack down on cars illegally parking in bike lanes after a slew of complaints from both drivers and cyclists.

There are miles of brand new protected bike lanes throughout the City, but there are lots of growing pains that still need to be worked out.

“This is a problem with delivery trucks, this is a problem with loading and unloading,” says Liz Cornish of Bikemore.

Dozens of examples from all over Baltimore have been shared online, but a new City Council bill would up the consequence.

Blocking a bike lane would now come with a $250 fine and an immediate tow.

“It’s a progressive direction that the City is moving in, it’s not going to change, and we need to find ways to adapt to that,” says City Councilman Eric Costello.

Still, drivers have complaints. Many say parking spots are too tight and too close to busy roads.

And throughout the City, some sections of road have been widdled down to just one lane of traffic, in order to give way for the new cycle lanes.

“How can you take a major one-way street coming off of 83 and make it a one lane? It doesn’t make much sense,” says Baltimore resident Vernon Turner.

Baltimoreans who bike to work and school are hoping the new bill will keep vehicles out of their lanes.

“Hopefully with a little bit of sort of enforcement and just time, that will get better. But it’s definitely something that I know I need to be cognizant of when I’m riding,” Bernado Vigil says.

Growing pains of learning to share the road soon might have serious consequences.

Construction started last year on the downtown bike network which resulted in 10 miles of new lanes for cyclists. It’s expected to be finished by the coming spring.

The bike lanes in Baltimore are about a $7 million investment.

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