Bike Lanes for Adrian

OK, this was in the yesterday’s edition of the New York Times online: “Are New York’s Bike Lanes Working?” I’m sure a number of you have seen it already. I thought it was a so-so conversation, to be honest, but a few interesting points were made.

My question is this: would the city of Adrian benefit from designated bike lanes? Why or why not? Do we need them? Would they encourage more people to ride? Could they help downtown business? Is this where cyclists in this community should invest their efforts? If not, then what should we work toward?

I’ve said a number of times that I think Adrian is an immensely bikeable city. But, in some respects, one of the very things that makes it so bikeable in my opinion — viz., a fairly large number of wide streets — is also what makes the city so ripe for bike lanes. Virtually nothing would be required aside from laying down the white lines and other markers. No re-routing traffic; no narrowing of streets; no loss of lanes, etc.

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12 responses to “Bike Lanes for Adrian

  1. Personally I like bike lanes for no other reason than it shows the motorists that this little strip of the roadway belongs to cyclists. Of course, if we all respected and obeyed the rules, everyone would use the existing road system in harmony. I know that this can be done because I have seen it in action in Europe, and boy was it nice! I feel that there is a different mindset toward cyclists there as well as pedestrians and in many ways the motorized vehicles are forced to adapt to them instead of the other way around.
    Adrian is indeed a very bikeable city, and until cyclists gain acceptance as just another road user I think bike lanes would be good for them. I would prefer many more rails-to-trails though given the choice…

    • Having moved here from an area tied into more than 250 miles of connected bike paths, I’m a huge fan of rail trails. But I go back and forth on preferring them to bike lanes, insofar as they sometimes seem to contribute to the attitude that says bikes are for recreational use only and that they belong in their own, out-of-the-way space.

      Nevertheless, having said that, I really do love them, and I wish our area would add many, many, many more miles of them. It would be a fantastic way of connecting various cities and communities in the region.

  2. I am pretty sure there are a few designated bike lanes in Adrian. On Beecher east of Main (headed toward Treat Hwy) the street is marked for bike lanes, at least until the old Goodwill building. I am not sure about any other streets but I can check with the city parks and recreation. As I type this, maybe the Adrian Police would be a better source of information, Then again, sadly, maybe not……..

  3. I have often been tempted to mount one of those eight foot long bike flags sticking horizontally out into traffic in hopes of reducing motorists buzzing me on the roads…

  4. While I think it’d be a nice idea, I don’t think it’d work: 1.) the economy is so stretched right now that they’re nickel and diming everyone to death over poorly made financial choices in the city gov’t that this would just add more to that burden on those who make next to nothing. 2.) more than half the motorists here in Adrian could care less about cyclists and would sooner use the bike line with their cars while giving us the dirty looks and other negative gestures than actually use their tiny brain to think “hey maybe I should be respectful to my fellow man and give them space to travel as well” I’ve come across maybe a handfull of motorists that actually are civilized with their vehicle while the rest would rather turn anything on the road that isn’t (or sometimes is) another vehicle into roadkill. I think what we need is a test run of a few of these in spots in town to see how they do. If successful then by all means, redo all the streets, otherwise tar it over.

    • I think you’re quite right about the cost. Any amount seems too much in this economy, and in Adrian specifically, unless it clearly benefits everyone in a substantive way (which cycling does, but not necessarily so noticeably to those not already convinced).

      I like the idea of a test run, though. Where would be a good spot (or two) to do this? I’m thinking a relatively short strip (less than a mile), and one that connects either two bits of trail, or else the trail and some sort of destination (e.g., library, restaurant, etc.) or something people need and use regularly (e.g., school, post office, convenience store or grocery, etc.).

      With that in mind, what about one of the following:
      + from the intersection of Bent Oak and Riverside to CVS;
      + from where the bike path crosses Maumee to the city library; or
      + from ZZs to the intersection of Church and Center (i.e., to the RBL co-op)

      Others?

  5. I don’t know about bike lanes per se, but my biggest irk is the intersection of 223 and M52. There are cross walk signals, but they NEVER turn to the walking dude, ever. That has got to be the worst area to try to and get across either highway, and there really isn’t a safe alternative to riding down either street and crossing at a parking lot. It’s pretty difficult.

    • Agreed. That is, hands down, the worst intersection in Adrian, as far as bicycles and pedestrians are concerned. Absolutely.

    • Just use the traffic control devices provided.

      When I ride on the road, I try to ride as if I were in a motor vehicle.
      That is to say that I use the lanes and fallow the rules as I would in a car to get where I’m going. True, I rarely use the hand signals that the law says I must, opting to point in the direction I intend to go so that the clueless motorist behind me gets the idea that I’m turning left from the left turn lane or trying to change lanes. Really, how many of you have ever used the stop signal when slowing or stopped? What I’m getting at is that the system for cyclists is already in place. In my opinion we don’t necessarily need bike lanes. Just use the roads already in place in harmony with the other road users. The trick is that we cyclists need to be treated by the other road users as equals instead of a nuisance. In return I feel we cyclists need to follow the rules and at the very least be predictable on the road. The whole “bike messenger/fixe, screw you, I’m coming through” persona some riders have doesn’t help. It’s one of those “chicken and egg” things maybe…

      I highly recommend the book Effective Cycling by John Forester.

  6. I was on a ride today to Clayton and followed Cadmus rd- I know that in the past there was a railroad that traveled through there and a lot of the elevated railbed is still there. As much as the rail fan in me would love to see it back to a railroad, the possibility of cleaning it up and paving it for a safe alternative to riding to Hudson (where the line originally went to) got my juices flowing. The railbed in question is part of the now Adrian and Blissfield RR.

  7. @Bjll, I always use the hand signal for stopping or slowing! Sometimes even when I’m just walking around the house or campus. I cannot believe you would suggest otherwise. ha ha ha. (OK, jokes aside, good points, all.)

    @Daniel, I would love to see that converted to a rail-trail. There’s another piece of abandoned railroad (perhaps of the same line) that cuts across Laberdee that I’d love to see reclaimed, too. The trick, both for this and for things like bike lanes and all the rest (e.g., Safe Routes to Schools — a program that many of us would also like very to see get going), is finding the time and energy to organize and advocate. I hate to sound like a ninny, but it does take a tremendous amount of commitment to make things like this happen.