One-Way Bicycle Lane In Athens Confuses Cyclists

Dateline
Updated Fri, Sep 9, 2011 1:44 pm

What goes up, must come down.  Right?

That is not the case, however, on Mill Street in Athens.

There is a new bike lane on the westbound side of the street and the new Athens bicycle lane goes up the hill, but it doesn't come back down.

No lane is available for those bike riders riding downhill on the eastbound side of Mill Street.

Assistant Service-Safety Director Ron Lucas says cyclist typically want the bike lane on the uphill side.

Lucas also says that the city decided not to get rid out the parking spots in exchange for a bike lane on the eastbound side of the street.

Lucas says the city is working on a solution to the problem.

He says a part of the long-term plan is to add "Share the Road" signs on the eastbound side of Mill Street.

For now cyclists are doing what they think is safest for them.

Some are using the uphill bike lane when going downhill and others are riding on the eastbound side of the street despite the fact that there is no bike lane.

"I don't see the point. I just stay on the same side of the road that the cars are going, not matter if I'm going uphill or downhill," said Cyclist Elizabeth Wehrenberg.

"It's a lot more safer and I think it would be even better if they had it on the other side too, (sic)" said Earlyn Whitehead.

Lucas says the city would like to continue adding bike lanes on streets around the city.

He says they are currently evaluating what street they should work on next.    

The bike lane was added to Mill Street during a repaving project this summer.

The city also placed a three-way stop sign at the intersection of Mill Street and Stewart Street.

Lucas says congestion during high traffic times made it difficult for drivers to make it past the intersection.

He says this will allow drivers to quickly maneuver through that intersection during morning and evening commutes.

Slideshow: Bicycle lane in Athens

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