Unsafe Bicycle Lanes in Detroit

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We fear of flying in an airplane but operating a vehicle is one of the most dangerous things we do on a regular basis. As a driver we must remain safe, stay in our lane, keep our eyes on the road and of course watch out for pedestrians.

Recently, in the city of Detroit, a new and improved obstacle has been added to our already pothole infested streets and they’re called, bicycle lanes.Living in the city, occasionally, we may see someone riding a bike, and sometimes we might see a group of people. In spite of that, Detroit is called the “Motor City” for a purpose and we don’t need bicycle lanes for our city.

Here’s why! Bicycle lanes are dangerous. The lanes are insecure because they are located on the right side of your vehicles in between the passing lane and the lane that is used to turn right. This can create an unsafe situation and hold up traffic. For example, when people are bicycling in the provided lane and someone who’s driving a motorized vehicle is ready to turn right, the people bicycling don’t have to stop, however, the person in the vehicle does. Bicyclers don’t have to yield to any signs when they’re in the street, which is extremely risky. If a person driving goes without looking for bicyclers, they may be at risk of an accident. Let’s say the driver notices the bicycler, now he or she has to stop before getting into the turning lane, meanwhile holding up traffic. In some parts of the Metro Detroit area, this type of bike lane has been improved by the city due to citizen complaints. The most recent bike lane is now taking up an entire traffic lane, creating a green space that alerts cars when they enter the lane. This can be extremely annoying for drivers during heavy traffic or rush hour, less lanes equal more traffic.

Although, we are supposed to look and be cautious while driving, many of us do other things while driving, like texting, talking to others in the car and other distractions.

Melvin Hopkins, 48, drives an 18 wheeler semi-truck seven days a week for work. He also noticed the newly painted bicycle lanes on Van Dyke and 8 mile road. While Melvin is well-trained on staying focused when driving, he too, shares the same bike lane pet peeve.

“I know we’re supposed to share the road but that bicycle lane is something the city created just because they were bored, said Melvin. We don’t need it, just like we don’t need all this other stuff that we pay for as tax payers.”

Melvin said the turning lane is over looked most of the time since people still drive in the lane.

As stated in a guest column on The Ann Arbor News, the city of Ann Arbor are having a bike lane problem too but their issue is the fact people still drive in the lane. Sounds like their citizens are ignoring the lanes too.

According to The Ann Arbor News, “It’s technically illegal to drive in a bike lane even if a community hasn’t adopted UTC, since all road users are required to obey traffic control devices, and bike lane markings are traffic control devices. But it’s funny that the Michigan city with the most bike lanes does nothing to keep motorists out of them.”

We would think a city that contains the most bicycle lanes would have a strict policy on motorist vehicles riding in them. Just like we would hope a city like Detroit, wouldn’t spend money on something so small, when there are major things like plot holes and broken street lights that need to be fixed.

Patricia Green, 27, a regular bicycler, who says adding the bike lanes were the best thing Detroit could do for the city.

“The new bike lanes are larger and more suitable, said Patricia. I’ve been waiting for the city to do this for years. It’s a shame drivers are ignoring the bike lane signs, the city should have more discipline for those who aren’t obeying the traffic laws.”

Patricia admits to witnessing vehicles still driving in bike lane but that only proves they are still unsafe no matter how many green spaces there are. If the lanes must exist, they seem more suitable for motorcycles instead of bikes. Bicyclers should go back to being on the sidewalk, where it’s much safer and no one is holding up the traffic.

 

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