Ken Schram: Car wars or common sense?

Is it car wars or common sense?

The City of Seattle, which has already spent some $35 million on bicycle lanes over the past several years, is now beginning to install what are called bike tracks.

Picture something along the lines of a lane with an outside curb.

With a swath of roadway set aside for use by cyclists, there is also a strip of concrete that separates the lane from car traffic.

It gives the cyclist a clearly defined area to ride in while establishing a boundary for motorists.

Seattle is looking to spend about $5 million on these lanes over the course of the next couple of years.

Whenever the city sets out to make safety accommodations for cyclists, all sorts of dust is kicked up.

There are those who see the city as having already spent enough money on bike lanes and who resent the idea of spending more while reducing road capacity for vehicles.

But we've seen the tragedies; the deaths, and the injuries, that come with more people using bicycles as a primary means of commuting.

Bike tracks are planned along Broadway, South Lake Union and Westlake.

The city will also study putting in a bike track that cuts through downtown.

It's not a war against cars.

It's a sensible, simple way to provide a margin of safety for cyclists.

I wish we'd come up with it years ago.


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