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New Bike Lane Patterns Coming To City Streets

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Squeezing moving cars and bicycles onto streets with parked cars can also squeeze patience. Whether two wheels or four wheels, finding room for both isn’t always easy on narrow Baltimore streets.

There’s a perfectly good reason for someone to choose a bike lane to ride in.

“I’m scared of the cars, to be honest,’ says one local man.

On Potomac Street in Canton, a two-way bike lane was put in by the city, using federal guidelines. It’s left a narrow one-way travel lane from Fait street to Boston street:

“Oh, no one liked it. No one really liked it at all,” says Linda Markiwicz. She says it’s made parking difficult.

“Also after you park you can’t open the door until you check to see if a car’s coming.”

Then, there’s the issue of fire trucks. Residents complained to City Hall the bike lanes leave the street too narrow for emergency vehicles.

“We call it bikelash. It’s actually quite common. Change is hard,” says Liz Cornish, Executive Director of Bikemore.

But now, change is coming again. The existing plan will undergo modifications by the city, moving the cars back to the curb to park, and the bike lane next to the travel lane.

“I’m glad it’s going back to the other way,” says Markiwicz.

“I really don’t think they can improve on it. I mean I feel the worries about it are nonsense to a degree,” says Baltimore bicyclist Chris Tenro.

“We’d be hard pressed to find an engineer who also sees this as a comfortable, safe solution. We think the city should rely on traffic engineers to do traffic engineering,” says Cornish.

Cyclists who don’t want the lane changes have sent 600 emails to city hall, hoping it will bring another change of mind.

Word of the bike lane change came in a letter from City Hall to Potomac Street residents, saying it took into consideration their concerns, the bicycle community, and first responders.

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