About Those Bike Lanes…

Sandy Rothenberg is an alert “06880” reader, and an even more alert bike rider.

Sandy writes:

There are “Bike Route” signs posted on Compo Road South, from the Post Road to Greens Farms Road. However, the lane is in bad shape. Some places are not wide enough to ride in. The pavement is broken up, and there are other hazards. Also, the lane ends at Greens Farms.

Bike route 1

Even the “Bike Route” signs look ratty.

This is not Westport at its finest. Wouldn’t it be be nice to be able to ride safely to the beach?

Yes, it would.

Bike route 2

Not inviting to cyclists — but inviting an accident.

Meanwhile, while not as urgent a need as fixing our bike lanes: How about when they’re redone, mark them “Bike Lane” rather than “Lane Bike.” No one reads from the bottom up.

(Photos/Sandy Rothenberg)

(Photos/Sandy Rothenberg)


20 responses to “About Those Bike Lanes…

  1. I agree!!! I have been saying this for years!!! There are so many potholes on Compo Road South and that makes it very unsafe for biking. If that road is the “gateway” to our beautiful beach, why is it such a mess? There are many cyclists on the road, especially on weekends. Something must be done! I am so glad you published this Dan Woog! Thank you Sandy! It would be great if other cyclists would write comments, maybe something will get done to change the condition of the road!

  2. Beth Berkowitz

    Maybe that explains why I find cyclists all over town in the driving lane that will not move over to the bike lane! It’s not safe for the cyclists to ride in the car lanes either! It’s not safe for the drivers to have the bikes riding in the car lanes as it’s almost impossible to give them the 3 feet that’s required of cars to pass them safely.

    However, cyclists often disregard the rules of the road too. They often don’t stop at the stop signs and stop lights and I have found they will sometimes come up on the right of my car as a light is changing and I have my right turn signal on and I start to go! Cyclists please be safe! I (and most other drivers) do NOT want to hit you. We also would appreciate it if you only road single file, especially if the bike lanes are unsafe, as it’s very difficult to drive with so many bikes on the road and pedestrians too, if you are in the cars lane of traffic. There are many young drivers on the roads too and not all of them know how to safely avoid you when you are out blocking the vehicle lanes. Therefore, I also recommend that the bike lanes be made safer and better labeled and maybe widened if possible for the safety of everyone. Please stay safe!!!

    • Wendy Crowther

      Good info, Ernest. It seems that our community (or state) picked the worst of the three allowed choices to label our bike lanes on South Compo.

  3. It’s a state road (route 136). It is not Westport’s domain.

  4. Joyce Barnhart

    Even though I rode my bicycle everywhere as a kid in Queens, I did not encourage my children to cycle around Westport. It was not safe in the 80’s and it certainly is not safer now. Bicycles can be a great way to get around, but not with the hazards in this town, including dangerous bike lanes.

  5. Susan Raphael

    Well done even if I don’t ride a bike…

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. Anne-Marie Grey

    Thank you for this article. Not only do we need to repair the existing bike lanes, we need to invest in more. More bike lanes , clearly marked and a bike-friendly community would encourage more bikes and less cars. Safer biking and a commitment to plan for cyclists would encourage more bikes and less cars.

  7. I think the issues with Compo are not limited to its bike lanes; the problems appear to be with the road itself. It needs to be repaved. Greens Farms was in similar shape between Hillspoint and the connector but the town or state recently repaved it and widened some of the bike lane in the process–and it’s like night and day (much improved). Hopefully the same will be done to Compo soon.

  8. don l bergmann

    The condition, the size and the existence of bike lanes has long been an issue and should be the source of continuing efforts for improvement. Bike lanes are also used as walking lanes since many, maybe most of our neighborhoods do not have sidewalks. I have raised with DPW Director Steve Edwards the possibility of locating the white line dividing a road more to one side in order to widen one side of a roadway for biking and walking, but without success, possibly for good reasons. Bike lanes should also call to mind how so many cyclists ignore stop signs, including by not even slowing down. Where we live near Elvira’s this is truly a scary problem. Finally, bicycles are not legally permitted on sidewalks, though I know young children probably need to use certain sidewalks, e.g. along Hillspoint Rd. at the beach. First of all, though, fix the uneven and pothole areas on which people cycle.
    Don Bergmann

    • But even where there are perfectly good sidewalks, people ignore them. This morning alone, I saw people walking — often 2 abreast — on the shoulders of North Avenue, Hillspoint and South Compo, despite the presence of sidewalks. And they were often walking with traffic, instead of against it. Go figure.

  9. I agree with many of the sentiments above. The State’s maintenance of its roads running through Westport can reflect poorly on our great town, as it does in this case. We are a vibrant community with many taking advantage of our wonderful outdoor activities including biking.

    We have ensured that our paving budget is prioritized to keep “Westport owned roads” in top shape. We are proud to host a myriad of bicycle tours through town owned roads, which the Board of Selectmen regularly approves. (we do receive complaints about the number of rides, but that’s for another story!)

    We unfortunately cannot go in and fix State owned roads – it is extremely frustrating. We are all aware of Connecticut’s budget problems and ongoing pension issues. The State prioritizes its maintenance across all towns in Connecticut, and other locations may have road problems far worse than we have in Westport.

    We will highlight this specific problem on Compo Road to the State ASAP. I hope you all enjoy this glorious August weekend.

    Avi Kaner
    Second Selectman

    • Thank you for your attention to this matter! We will all benefit from improvements in this area.

    • If you (us, the Town) went ahead and repaired the problem areas on the road, would The State be really, really mad at you?

      • Scott – it is unfortunately a legal and liability issue – we can’t repair state roads. However, we are communicating with the state to ensure they’re aware of the specific problems.

        • Avi – thanks. That’s exactly the answer I expected. While an actual repair to the areas might take the better part of a day – and provide decades of service, instead, it’ll likely take decades of surveys, red tape & paper-pushing to make the repairs. Sorry for being so naive, but to me, there’s right and there’s wrong. Oh, wait a minute, I just woke up from my xx year nap and learned how things work nowadays – someone biking on Compo hits a piited section, gets a little road rash and contacts a lawyer. Voila! Sad commentary.

  10. Nancy W Hunter

    Ignoring the infrastructure problem left from the ’60’s, 70’s, 80’s
    is now a short-sighted reality.