Sunday, April 19, 2009
 

News article on Lawyers Road bike lanes

As we noted earlier, VDOT recently held a meeting to discuss a proposal to restripe Lawyers Rd from 4 to 3 lanes. A few people who attended the meeting were opposed to the plan. Try to follow the reasoning of one of those opponents. Because there are many blind spots (that will be reduced with the project), and the road is very dangerous (VDOT says that a crash reduction of 20% is possible with the project and traffic will be slowed), VDOT should not implement the project.

According to an article in the Reston Observer, VDOT Considers Lane Changes to Lawyers Rd., this person (who earlier in the meeting made a joke about getting points for hitting a cyclist):
is concerned that the bike lanes would result in more cyclists and cause further danger. He said cyclists could choose to use the pathways that are located throughout the area. However many cyclists who attended the meeting were in favor of the plan.
The cyclists are in favor because there are no pathways along Lawyers Rd. There is a nice path that meanders along the stream valley nearby, but it is not appropriate for most bicycle trips. The majority of the people who attended the meeting were in favor of the project including a couple who live adjacent to the road:
Others at the meeting thought the plan could make driving on Lawyers Road safer. One homeowner said in the four years she has lived off the road there have been multiple times where she has had to clean accident debris from her back yard.

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Comments:
Often, some people will oppose a proposal simply because they fear change. The arguments cited by the Road Diet opponent may just be a shotgun effort to block the change.

If Road Diets are portrayed as bicycling initiatives, they are likely to encounter opposition from motorists. In fact, the primary beneficiaries of Road Diets are motorists and pedestrians; bicyclists merely have their outside travel lanes narrowed.

The issue might be framed to motorist opponents as follows: Having only one travel lane per direction *without* a bike lane beside it would require all bicyclists to delay all motorists.
 
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