Tuesday, July 7, 2009

No One Likes This

The Fell Street entry to the ARCO station at Divis is a hazard for everyone: pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. To queue in line and get out of the traffic lane, motorists straddle the sidewalk or the bike lane. With more than 2 or 3 vehicles waiting, a full traffic lane on Fell is obstructed with drivers either stuck or dodging into the right lanes as vehicles rush the light at Divis. No one is particularly safe but the more vulnerable -- pedestrians and cyclists -- get stuck with the greater risks. (For cyclists to move into the traffic lanes to the right is seldom safe given the speed of motorists).

Sunday morning a few independent-minded cyclists* tried to get the message to motorists by adding stencils in the bike lane, with a bit of whimsy. The unapproved "Keep Clear" warnings are accompanied by a modified cyclist icon sprouting antlers. The city expects to paint their own messages (the same words and icon minus the antlers) sometime soon. That's sure to work! See the photos taken this afternoon: situation the same as any other day.

To alleviate a similar situation on Masonic -- the backed-up vehicle access to Trader Joe's -- the city finally changed the parking lane into a holding lane for vehicles. Parking spots were given over to a safer street. And, yes, another solution is to rely less on cars, especially for the short trips around town.

Update: As of July 23, the "KEEP CLEAR" stencils have been painted over by the MTA (but the cyclist with antlers remains). The city has indicated an intent to stripe official similar messages...at some point.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Michael,

    Nice to meet you today! And thanks for the BIKE NOPA sign. This is definitely a dangerous situation that I deal with on my daily commute. Sometimes it's pretty frustrating. Drivers on Fell seem oblivious to the bike lane. I feel like it should be the responsibility of the store owner to deal with the traffic issue, and redesign the entrance such that Fell St is no longer a parking lot.

    Thanks for writing about bicycles!