For the most part, the new N Street protected bikeway has been getting good reviews from what I’ve been reading and hearing. Yes, there will have to be more motorist education. We’ve seen the photos of cars trying to use it as a turn lane.
I also understand complaints by cyclists of it being too slow. I think there are probably better ways to deal with traffic turning across the bike lane than giving cyclists a red light while motorists and pedestrians have the green in the same direction on each side. Maybe flashing yellow for both cyclists and turning motorists to proceed with caution at each of those intersections and not just at 9th? I can imagine cyclists moving over to either the crosswalk or street lane to make it through the intersection in a timely manner. There are few things that put a commuting cyclist off more than having to lose momentum and stop every block to wait for the light to change. That’s made worse when those to either side can go ahead.
That said, I certainly wish there would have been such a bike path when my son was young and we all rode down to the old Starship 9 movie theater for many a movie. Those of us who ride downtown all the time forget how nerve wracking it can be for others who don’t do so. I expect many riders who otherwise would not bike downtown to take advantage of the bikeway to go to the Haymarket and other destinations. Hey, no parking hassles and get some exercise, it’s all good.
As for these last few days, the fat bikers got their fervent wish from Santa and got some snow to play in. The soggy conditions were not the best however, especially in Wilderness Park. As always, early traffic in soggy snow has produced nasty, crusty, dangerous ice ruts on the trails there. Even now there is standing water from the preceding rain which has not frozen solid and awaits the careless rider. If you see that it’s muddy and you’re leaving ruts, get out of the park until it freezes or dries out. Those ice ruts can be dangerous on any city trail or street surface as well. I was glad to see the trails getting cleared in a timely manner Thursday. Now we’ll see what this next round of snow brings us.