Bring on bike lanes
Regarding the Aug. 6 story “Cary talks bike lanes”: I find it unsettling that the Town Council was hesitating to approve the proposed bike lanes on North Harrison Avenue. As a commuter cyclist who uses that road many times a week, I can attest to the fact that bike lanes would greatly improve safety and increase the number of cyclists.
Councilman Don Frantz argues that there are no bikers on this section of the road, thus bike lanes are unnecessary. Is it any surprise that people choose not to bike on a four-lane road alongside speeding cars unaccustomed to cyclists? Instead, cyclists are pushed onto the sidewalks or use longer back routes to avoid traffic. Many would-be cyclists are scared off from even trying.
Cary has done a great job of creating greenways and recreational areas for biking and walking. What the town needs to work on now is creating similar infrastructure for practical uses – commuting and shopping. A bike lane along North Harrison would link a number of grocery stores, restaurants and apartment complexes. With the ability to do minor errands and trips by bicycle, the vehicular traffic along the road would be further reduced.
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Having studied sustainable transportation in both Boston and the Netherlands, as well as having worked in the cycling industry for years, I cannot stress enough the benefits of proper infrastructure. Make the road safer, and more people will leave their cars behind.