Drivers ignore new bike-only lanes - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Drivers ignore new bike-only lanes

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While the new Highlands-Old Louisville corridor is the talk of the town among area bikers, some worried drivers had yet to take note. While the new Highlands-Old Louisville corridor is the talk of the town among area bikers, some worried drivers had yet to take note.
Dirk Gowin Dirk Gowin
Charles Edison Charles Edison
James Evans Junior James Evans Junior

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Throughout the day Friday, orange cones and fresh white paint lined the left side of Kentucky Street near Preston Street as crews worked to install brand new bike lanes.

While the new Highlands-Old Louisville corridor is the talk of the town among area bikers, some worried drivers had yet to take note.

From turning into them, to simply driving down them, throughout Louisville many new bike lanes are getting unwanted traffic.

"The symbol with an arrow is a dedicated bike lane," said Engineering Project Coordinator Dirk Gowin of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Works & Assets.

"We, last week, installed this bike lane on Breckenridge. It connects from Barrett all the way to 9th street," said Gowin. "This weekend and the beginning of next week, we're going to complete Kentucky street, which will take you back on your return trip."

While Gowin said reducing the three lane roads to two lanes would allow traffic to continue to flow smoothly, he said many motorists had yet to abide by the traffic changes.

"We captured one of the travel lanes and converted it to a bike only lane," said Gowin. "I need the motorists to understand that is a bike only lane."

"Some people are just disrespectful," said Shively bicyclist Charles Edison. "Some people don't want bikes slowing them down, getting in their way so they become angry and I can understand that. I guess I was like that at one time too."

"Some people are just disrespectful and some people don't want bikes getting--you know, slowing them down," Edison said.

Edison and his friend, James Evans Junior, pedaled to the a Bike to Work Day celebration held at Fourth Street Live! Friday. The men said getting there proved to be less of an adventure, thanks in part, to bike lanes.

"It gives us a little bit more room to ride because I have rode when it didn't have the lanes and people look like they're trying to run you off the road," said Shively bicyclist Evans.

"This bike lane on Breckenridge connects from Barrett all the way to 9th street," said Gowin. "This weekend and the beginning of next week we're going to complete Kentucky street, which will take you back on your return trip."

With more than 40 miles of new bike lanes added this year alone, Gowin suggested everyone from bicyclists to pedestrians either learn the rules of the road or deal with police.

"On a right turn, you should always do it as close to the curb as possible," reminded Gowin. "We're going to ask LMPD to issues warnings and educate the motorists not to drive in that lane by actually stopping them."

To help promote safety, the city's Bike Louisville group offers Close Call forms that everyone from bicyclists to pedestrians and even motorists can fill out to report near misses or accidents.