To the Editor:

Another rubber-stamped green initiative.

When are local governments going to learn that retrofitting painted bike lanes to streets that were not designed for them only creates safety issues? One only needs to speak with an experienced bicyclist to understand this, especially the ones who’ll ride year around. Unless you’re redesigning the entire roadway so you can put in fully separated bike lanes, you are just wasting taxpayers’ money.

When you ride a bike on any given path, you are constantly evaluating the safest route. Ask any experienced bicyclist and they will tell you that sometimes you are riding on the road and sometimes it’s the sidewalk; it varies block-by-block. In the south Wooddale/Browndale neighborhood, the same situation exists. Some riders ride in the street if they’re very confident and experienced. Most family-oriented bikers ride on the sidewalks through this short section and then get back on the street when they perceive safety. I see riders perform this transition constantly and effortlessly right in front of my house. St. Louis Park wants to invite more riders through the Park. That’s great and we all want this. What residents in this area are saying is to focus more on signage on multiple existing safe parallel paths through this area as options instead of spending vast amounts of money to make drastic changes, like cutting down canopy trees and removing most of the parking, all to create yet another white line on the side of the road that drivers will still ignore.

Even the most fearless riders will tell you this is not safe, especially on faster roadways such as this, and it’s better to not have any markings. St. Louis Park council, amend your plan to please skip this 2.5-block section.

Matt Spraguer

St. Louis Park

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