Herb McMillan For Anne Arundel County Executive
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“Nationals October 2019

And just like that…the Annapolis bike lane is coming down

| October 01, 2018, 09:47 AM

Citing pressure from the business community, Annapolis City began disassembling the controversial bike lane that was installed last month with little notice to business owners.  In addition to the bike lane, the Mayor removed all parking on the left side of Main Street and replaced it with temporary decking and bistro tables. The bike lane was touted by the Mayor as an experiment to see if incorporating such a lane and outdoor dining into a re-bricking project in the future made sense.

The bike lane made its official debut on September 21st when the Mayor led a night-time bike parade from the Knighton Garage down to City Dock. It was followed by Bike Day on Saturday with a similar ride down the path. \

Many voiced their opinions on the bike path and we solicited many of them from readers and listeners to the Daily News Brief. The main issues revolved around, cost, safety, aesthetics, and practicality as the lane started and ended on Main Street with no real connectivity to go anywhere. The City does have a master bicycle plan that includes a bike lane on Main Street, but that was to be one of the final links in a ten year project that was to be funded by grants.

The Mayor also received criticism for having no means to measure the success or failure of the expensive experiment. His Chief of Staff told The Capital that it would be measured by public reaction.

The City Council was largely left out of any decision making for the lane and the Historic Preservation Commission was not consulted. There is a question if they have authority over a temporary project. The Council was critical of the Mayor when he testified on behalf of several restaurants on Main Street and submitted pre-filled out applications for extended sidewalk service and liquor sales on behalf of the businesses; most of whom expressed no interest in the project to The Capital.

However, the largest voice was the business community, Business owners decried the loss of valuable parking and said that their sales were being harmed by the experiment. Ron George, a State Senate candidate and local long-time business owner organized a protest for the night-time bike parade and was very vocal in several meetings.

The bike lane was to be a 30 day test scheduled to run through the 22nd of October. The cost of the experiment has been reported to be anywhere from $30,000 (City Spokesperson) to $82,000 (The Capital), to “in excess of $100,000” (City Alderman). We have obtained work orders from a FOIA request and will see if we are able to determine the cost.

In a podcast with The Maryland Crabs last week, the Mayor said that the materials all would be reused for various projects throughout the city; and The Capital reported that he was looking at Maryland Avenue next.

Severn Bank


Category: Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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