Alert “06880” reader Jennifer Johnson loves to ride her bike around town.
She’d love it a lot more if there were more bike lanes — especially on roads where there is enough room. She writes:
If anyone is interested in making Westport safer for biking, please come to Town Hall tonight (Monday, June 24, 7 pm ) for the “Main to Train” study meeting.
The current draft recommendations of the Main to Train study (click here) do not include a bike lane for Riverside Avenue.
Riverside Avenue yesterday (Sunday) morning …
This is important. Without this key recommendation, Westport will have a much harder time securing state and federal grants for bike enhancements on this important road.
You may have noticed the new and very well-marked shoulder lines on Riverside Avenue south of the Post Road. These shoulders could easily be dedicated for biking.
Instead, cars increasingly use these wider shoulders to park. Riverside is a state road (Route 33). Parking is not allowed on other state roads in town, including most of the Post Road and Compo Road (Route 136).
… and this (Monday) morning.
Because Riverside is a key artery to the train station, and one of the key purposes of the Main to Train study is to “promote non-motorized modes of transportation,” the final report should include a recommendation that the wide shoulder be reserved for biking.
A stretch of Riverside Avenue with no parking (except for church services) …
Currently, the draft report shows a schematic where bikes must travel in the same lane as cars. This is arguably an even more dangerous scenario than what currently exists.
Historically, some businesses have used Riverside/Route 33 for parking. That may have worked in the past. But it is no longer a viable solution for our traffic-plagued town.
… and one where cars always park. (Photos/Jennifer Johnson)
If we are serious about addressing congestion, then the town should use every opportunity to make town roads more friendly for pedestrians and cyclists. The last thing our elected leaders and town employees should be doing is making it easier for people to park and harder for people to bike, especially to the train.
Please show up today. For additional information, click here for the Main to Train study website.