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Reviewing Central Parkway bike lanes

Jay Hanselman

Since last July, there have been protected bicycle lanes on a portion of Central Parkway near downtown Cincinnati.   And some people have expressed concerns about the safety of the lanes.  

Bill Johnson owns a business along Central Parkway and is also an avid cyclist.  He said there have been a lot problems with the bike lanes.  He said it has made it more dangerous both for cars and cyclists.

“By having the bikes next to the curb and cars parked in a traffic lane, there’s a great confusion,” Johnson said.  “It’s not what people expect.  You can post signs, you can do lots of things, but people are conditioned to expect certain things and that’s not what’s happening.”

Vice Mayor David Mann still supports the concept, but agreed with Johnson on the parking issue.

“Drivers don’t expect to have a car stopped,” Mann said.  “I guess we’re used to having a car stopped curbside.  And what’s different here you’ve got the bike lane that’s curbside, and then we have the lane that on occasion when it’s not rush hour in various locations permits parking.”

At least one council member asked about changing the Central Parkway configuration.  Amy Murray said she has concerns.

“For me this is a red flag,” Murray said.  “I just think that the increase in car and bike accidents is a big issue that we need to be looking at and solving.  I think we have a solution that’s available here, put it back the way that it is in other areas and see if that works.”

Other council members said they need more information before saying the protected bike lanes should be changed.  Officials will be monitoring the number of bicycle riders and crashes involving vehicles and bikes.  City officials will be meeting with Johnson to discuss a potential fix for parking near his business.