City tries buffer lanes to soothe road tensions in south St. Louis

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on September 18, 2013 at 6:48 PM

(KMOV.com) -- Sharing the road is getting heated in south St. Louis. Drivers who use Arsenal  are complaining about cyclists, and the  cyclists are complaining about  the drivers.

The city says it has a solution, and it involves making more space for everyone.

A plan to create a designated lane for cyclists seems to make sense for safety’s sake, but there are skeptics concerned about the end result.

Todd: “There’s the people in the car that never want to give up an inch of pavement to  the bikes,” said City Streets Director Tood Waelterman. “You have this other group that doesn’t want to see the bikes there. They think they’re  pain. But when we provide these facilities to the bikers, it will give them a place to be, and they won’t  be blocking  a car.”

Under the plan, there will be one lane for vehicle traffic, a lane for the cyclists and a buffer lane so riders don’t get clipped by an open door when they go down Arsenal.

The lanes reprsent the first buffered bike lanes in the city.

The bike lanes on Grand Boulevard, for example, do not feature the three-foot barrier.

As for sharing the road, most people News 4 spoke with agree there is plenty of finger-pointing to go around; and that both drivers and cyclists need to embrace- or at least respect- the new lanes.

The city says there was a tradeoff as it’s giving up about 40 parking spots  on the south side of Tower Grove Park to make room for the bike lane.

The current vehicle lanes will remain the same width.

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