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OPINION: Bike lane needs to be re-thought

| September 22, 2018, 10:06 AM

I wanted to take a second to send you my thoughts as a Resident of Ward 1, for what their worth, on the debate and discussions surrounding the Main Street bike lane issue. As brief background, I have lived in ward one going on four years now and while I am not originally from Annapolis I do consider it my adopted home. My fiance and I are a young couple living downtown and we try stay relatively plugged in to the local issues and stay as active as our schedule allows.

I have waited to share my thoughts on this issue as I wanted to make sure I gave the Mayor’s idea an honest evaluation. Another preface to my thoughts is that I generally support the notion of making downtown Annapolis more bike friendly (although I’m not a biker myself) and expanding the potential for additional outdoor seating for businesses also seems like another positive.

However, my first reaction to the temporary bike lane as it was being constructed (I drive up Main Street every morning on my way to work) was extremely negative. How else is someone really supposed to react to the horrible visual that has been constructed of what this bike lane “could” look like? Again, keeping in mind that this is a temporary project, I understand that what the Mayor has constructed (along with the recent addition of the shoddy looking tables and chairs) may not be representative of the final product.

To then discover a week or so ago that this trial run cost the city close to $80k really put the whole idea on the skids for me. Frankly, to spend that amount of money on a trial run that you could argue was never going to be successful in the eye of the public because of the poor aesthetics is just flat mismanagement of tax dollars. While this note has also been sent to my Alderwoman, my disappointment and confusion are pointed solely at the Mayor’s office.

Taking my personal thoughts into account along with the movement by the businesses downtown addressing their grievances, I am asking that the City Council does not continue to support this endeavor by the Mayor. This project in its current form, with the current public opinion, is a lose-lose for downtown Annapolis.

Thank you for your time.

-A Ward One Resident

Severn Bank

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