Bike Lane Causes Debate In Canton

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For months, people living in a Canton neighborhood have been at odds with the city and cycling advocates over a bike lane in their neighborhood.

Things got so heated at one point, the courts nearly got involved. But now, all sides are working on a compromise

George Solis breaks down the plans for an updated bike lane.

This all centers around this Potomac street bike lane in Canton.

At one point, the city considered making changes over resident concerns.But advocates prevented that from happening.

All sides are hopeful the new plan makes everyone happy.

On Tuesday, city officials, bike advocates, and residents gathering together to end the so called “Bike-lash” that’s plagued the project from the start.

“I think there are people who are still very upset who want parking, but like I said I think we can co-exist. I think not everyone is going to choose to bike, but for the people who do they should be safe,” says Pro-Bike resident Justine Fritz.

Parking is just one of many concerns from the neighborhood.

Many spoke out over the design they claim prevents fire trucks from being able to effectively come down the road.

“It’s creating a safety hazard for some of our older residents that are not able to access to their handicap spots anymore,” says Canton resident Steve Bloom.

Now, a new proposal is being brought forward to address those concerns.

While no plans have been set in stone, one proposal calls for having angled-in parking instead of parallel. City transpositional officials are clear to point out, nothing will move forward without community input.

“This project has had a lot of ups and downs and we didn’t want to come up with a final plan before showing what we had,” says Michelle Pourciaum with BDOT.

At one point, the city had moved to tear out the bike lane and develop a new plan.

In June, the bike advocacy group Bikemore challenged the city to stop the demolition. The matter was set to go to court, but both sides settled.

“I don’t necessarily know if we could have avoided all the conflict that arose because there certainly was documented public input but I think what this did is let people know that there is plenty of opportunities to get engaged early,” says Liz Cornish, with Bikemore.

As it stands, part of the plan will still impact parking to some degree.

City officials say after tonight’s meeting it will take about 2 months before presenting a final plan for the bike path.

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