Penn Ave Bike Lane Expansion Long Past Due
It has been four years since the Penn Avenue bike lanes went in, and it’s time to make this bikeway on-ramp into the bike highway it deserves to be. We are calling on the City to extend the Penn Ave bike lanes beyond its current terminus at 16th Street at the edge of the Strip District. Currently, people on bikes are sent over to Smallman Street or Liberty Avenue, where they are confronted with chaotic traffic patterns, aggressive drivers, large trucks, and now a constant stream of autonomous vehicles being tested in the Strip. Many choose to swim upstream against traffic because it’s the most intuitive way to go. We need a safe and complete network through the Strip and we need it soon.
Since these bike lanes went in in 2014, multiple housing developments, new offices, and autonomous vehicle testing have greatly increased the number of cars in this corridor. While job and residential growth can be positive, there is no plan that we know of to manage this increased traffic demand on our streets.
These lanes will address more than one problem
If we increase the number of people living and working in a neighborhood without providing safe biking and walking facilities, people will drive. People will then park where they can, and that seems to be all over the place including on the sidewalks along Smallman Street. If we allow companies to set up shop and test autonomous vehicles without providing bike lanes we are literally putting people in harm’s way.
Providing safe and connected bikeways and sidewalks clear of parked cars will ensure that jobs, shops, restaurants, and other amenities are available to all, regardless of the ability to own a car.
Bicycle riders and pedestrians need safe passage to and through the Strip. The neighborhood needs a parking plan that takes cars off of our sidewalks, and we need a traffic demand management plan to reduce the amount of people driving alone on our streets. Extending the Penn Ave bike lanes will address all of these needs at once. It will increase safety and connectivity for bicyclists and encourage more people to ride instead of drive to work thus positively impacting the traffic and parking problems making life difficult for pedestrians.Learn more about this project