Q Gary, will the people who do not love bike lanes get half of your column, as San Jose Councilman Sam Liccardo did last week? Streets are for cars. That's why they were built. If there were no cars there would be no streets.
I used to go to San Jose for various activities, but now traffic is so fouled up I just avoid it. As businesses start to hear complaints from employees about commutes due to traffic and customers go somewhere else (like I do) because of traffic, they will move somewhere else and in a few years San Jose will have a hollowed core with lots of bike lanes and the bikies will be so happy.
A OK, here are a few folks who agree with you.
Q In his attempt to slow down Hedding, what Liccardo has done is make impatient motorists with heavy feet now turn down even less traveled side streets. As Liccardo spoke of the boy who was hit by a car while crossing Hedding, all I can think of is another child playing in front of his or her house on a side street adjacent to Hedding getting hit by an impatient, Liccardo-cursing motorist doing 55 mph in a 25-mph zone. Keep Hedding the way it was so we can avoid extra traffic on side streets. ... Hedding is a heavily used east-west connector in San Jose and taking away a lane of traffic in each direction is nuts. ... No one likes what's been done on Hedding. No one.
Mike Rodrigues, Bonnie A., Fred Chow and more
A Taking away one lane of traffic on Hedding Street and adding painted bicycle lanes has raised the ire of many motorists. And I printed comments from a couple of them last week, countered by Liccardo's support of the change. Traffic signals need to be synchronized and that should happen soon. But critics may be surprised. There are many folks who like the changes.
Q I actually love the bike lanes that have been installed. For us who live on these streets this was a perfect solution. Also it has encouraged more people to bicycle. I would bet all the people who complain don't live downtown but elsewhere and want to use the core as a freeway. I hope they do move away.
And the claim of no cyclists on the roads is simply not true. I spend a lot of time downtown and see more bicycles every week.
A And ...
Q Sam is a winner in my book! Although I live in Santa Cruz, our street has become the cut-through alternative for the eastside, sadly. If only people realized they are driving through our residential area where they are trying to go to their home!
A And ...
Q I finally parked my car and made the transition to cycling and public transit as my method of transportation July 1. My reasons were financial as well as green, as I am supporting three children in college (Dad's out of the picture). I have had such a wonderful experience getting around this way that I wonder why I waited so long! I have been enjoying bike lanes just about everywhere from Cupertino to Morgan Hill! Thank you, Sam Liccardo!
A Impressive! Melanie has dropped 4 pounds since jumping on a bike.
Q The new bike lane additions in San Jose are great. I am hoping for more, such as on Fourth Street north of Hedding. There is never enough traffic along there to justify two lanes in each direction, and much of it with a center left-turn lane. Five lanes altogether for motor vehicles which speed along at 50-plus mph. It is great that government agencies are getting around to allow us relatively safe bicycling to replace the unhealthful practice of driving.
A Go to www.piersystem.com/clients/1914/540875.pdf for a map of bicycle lanes being planned in San Jose. The City Council has adopted a policy to increase bike travel from 1 percent of all trips in 2012 to 5 percent by 2020 and 15 percent by 2040.
To read Mr. Roadshow's columns online, go to www.mercurynews.com/mr-roadshow, use the main navigational bar under Opinion > Columnists, or go to www.mercurynews.com/traffic. Follow Gary Richards at Twitter.com/mrroadshow, look for him at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-920-5335.