Baltimore Bike Lane Battle Continues In Canton, Redesign Coming

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The mayor’s office announced a redesign for the bike lanes on one Baltimore street, along with plans to review other lanes across the City.

When many people think of bike lanes, they either hate them or love them.

Now that the City is considering making changes and some people are expressing disappointment in the mayor.

Bike lanes are a relatively new thing in Baltimore and they still have hearts to win over.

“The bike lanes, it don’t make no sense, the way they did it,” one man said.

One of the the toughest fights thus far has been on Potomac Street in Canton, where the City squeezed in bike lanes, a parking lane, a lane for traffic and then another parking lane.

The mayor’s office said the narrow roadway prompted concerns that fire trucks may not be able to get through.

Despite backlash from bikers, the City defiantly announced a redesign was coming.

“You go into almost any neighborhood and you see these bikes and lanes popping up. We are moving forward with that,” said Anthony McCarthy with the mayor’s office. “I don’t care how many people call, I don’t care how many petitions you start, I don’t care if you goad the mayor by calling her names on your websites, she is going to put the interest of the people of the City first.”

The group Bikemore said the city needs to find ways to keep cyclists and drivers safe.

“The fact that the administration is pitting these two important public safety and public health issues against one another rather than seeking solutions like many other cities across the country have done, to balance emergency response with everyday street safety, it’s a lack of leadership and a lack of vision,” Liz Cornish, executive director of Bikemore.

The fire department said safety is their number one concern, but even with the bike lanes, they still have the ability to access all streets in the City.

Residents have also blamed the bike lanes for taking away parking spots in an already tight situation, but there are some who want the bike lanes.

“I think they are actually very beneficial for the community,” Gabriel Garcia said.

“Anywhere that we can bike safely with our family and not use gas is a benefit to everybody,” Shannon Davis said.

The City hasn’t said exactly what the redesign of the bike lanes will look like. The transportation department said it will unveil details in a few days.

The change is currently affecting the bike lanes on Potomac Street, but the City says other lanes will also be evaluated.

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