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Bike Lane Supporters Lobby Lakewood City Council

A group of cycling advocates are hoping to get city officials to change the plans for the Madison Avenue repaving project to include dedicated bike lanes instead of “sharrows.”

A group of about 20 cycling advocates attended the city council meeting to encourage city leaders to reconsider a plan that would install bike “sharrows” on Madison Avenue.

They're hoping that the adminstration will consider adding bike lanes into the project.

Sharrows are what they sound like: painted arrows on the street that encourage motorists to share the road with bicyclists.

Right now, the city has plans to repave Madison Avenue — in either 2013 or 2014 — and paint “sharrows” on the street.

Ben Van Lear, an avid cyclist and Bike Lakewood board member, has conducted plenty of research to support claims that bike lanes are safe, increase ridership and benefit small businesses.

He addressed council at Monday night’s meeting. 

“Lakewood set a great goal in the bicycle master plan to be ‘nationally recognized as one of the most bicycle friendly communities in the country by 2015,’” Van Lear told council.

“The accomplishments of just the past year put us on the way to doing just that, and I think there are opportunities for additional bold improvements that will help us towards that goal and makes cycling in Lakewood safer and more accessible to everyone.”

Van Lear is not alone.

Nearly two-dozen residents joined him at the meeting.

And, he’s collected nearly 600 signatures in a petition to city hall.

Brian Rybak, the general manager and co-owner of Spin Bike Shop, also took the podium to support bike lanes.

“People think they’re going to be safer on the sidewalk, and they’re not,” he said. 

Bob Wright, the owner of the Buckeye Beer Engine, also spoke up, noting that Madison Avenue businesses support bike lanes on the street, as opposed to “sharrows.”

Van Lear and other cycling advocates are set to meet with the mayor and other city officals soon to discuss the proposal.

Do you support bike lanes on Madison Avenue? Click here to take our poll.

Lkwd44107 December 04, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Wouldn't Franklin Blvd. be a better street to have the dedicated bike lane than Madison Avenue. There are no parked cars on it and it is very wide. The speed limit is 35 but most folks go 25 for some odd reason. Madison is the most efficient street to use in Lakewood. Why change it?
RogerRabbit December 04, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Franklin is wider than Madison? How is Franklin, a two lane road, wider than Madison, which is a four lane road? This is an ignorant statement. Madison makes perfect sense. You need to look at those streets closer if you're going to make a statement like that.
Andy Cornwell December 04, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Also, Franklin has poor visibility and much more crossing traffic, which are both dangerous for riders.
Lkwd44107 December 04, 2012 at 05:22 PM
To: Roger I said Franklin Blvd. is very wide and there are no parked cars on it. I never said Franklin Blvd is wider than Madison Avenue. In my opinion it would be a safer route for a dedicated bike lane. Meaning - No chances of any parked car drivers opening their doors to the bike traffic using the street too.
ian king December 05, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Hi- look guys, it is really a simple concept. either this city supports bike traffic or it does not. look around the country and the cities that encourage and have successful bike usage ALL have a dedicated bike lane that is visible and doable. there is no "bicycle master plan" for lakewood if this city doesn't start to develop REAL bike lanes on all its major streets - detroit, clifton, lake and madison. otherwise, it is just another appearing to be supportive on paper, but in reality, all talk and the wrong solution - yet again.

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