New Bike Lanes on Westnedge are causing confusion
We knew it was coming, but I don't think we fully understood what was happening on Westnedge and Park with these new bike lanes.
Now they're here, and... it's been interesting, to say the least, watching people try to navigate through them.
Work began on July 11th to scrape the lines off of Westnedge Avenue and Park Street, in an effort to calm traffic and increase pedestrian safety. This included restriping from Dunkley to Michigan, and adding bike lanes and on-street parking areas. Lanes were narrowed a bit, but practically unnoticeable.
But now that the project is mostly done, and re-striped, it's that bike lane that's really throwing people off.
Take a look....
You're looking at Westnedge Avenue, headed south between W. Michigan, and W. Kalamazoo. If you were looking at that for the first time ever, what would you think is happening here?
Keeping in mind that this is a one-way street, you'd THINK that left lane is for turning traffic, right?
Nope. Granted, there are areas where that left "lane" will be a turn lane for traffic, and further down in the image, there's likely a "left turn" indicator on the road. But parts of the left side of Westnedge will be for parking.
The same will be true for Park Street, headed north from W. Kalamazoo to Dunkley. (You can see the new bike lanes in "Green" in the map below)
City officials say signage will soon be in place as well to help alleviate any confusion, but for now, drivers will have to obey the law of the lines on the road.
But even when signs are put in, some bicyclists in the area aren't on board with the update.
Both Westnedge and Park are one-way roads in Kalamazoo, and there's talk of turning, at least SOME of those one-way streets in town, into two-way traffic. But with the addition of these bike lanes and traffic signage, it seems unlikely that this would happen to either of these roads any time soon.
So what do you think? Is this a good thing for Kalamazoo, or do you think it will make traffic and biking through downtown worse?