The Park Avenue bike lane was an interesting idea, but the execution has been disastrous. One-lane traffic both directions on Park Avenue? Traffic is now backed up all day, not just during commute hours.

Adding to the problem, “No Turn on Red” signs have been posted on every corner in the area. Many are being disregarded, some lost in the clutter of three to four signs hanging from the same light pole. And none are illuminated! This will be more of a problem when standard time returns and it’s dark at 4:30 p.m.

When right turns are legally executed, traffic in the bike lane is difficult to see. The potential for accidents is exacerbated by bicyclists who don’t believe that traffic rules apply to them.

Entering and departing driveways on Park Avenue – there are 17 – has become a dangerous adventure. The bike lane is in a blind spot whether a driver is backing in or out, and with parked vehicles extending 6 feet into Park Avenue, it’s become a dangerous game just trying to merge into traffic. Street cleaning is now a memory: Parked vehicles and stanchions prevent cleaning vehicles from getting anywhere close to the curb.

This is not a “protected bike lane,” as City Councilor Spencer Thibodeau’s re-election material would have us believe. It is a dangerous bike lane for all vehicles, two- and four-wheeled. Somebody is going to get hurt!

Michael Liff

Portland

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