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.
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