Letter to the Editor, Aug. 23, 2019

Bike lanes

Bike lanes not sensible

Responding to Michael Stark’s letter to the editor on Aug. 2 (“In support of bike lanes”).

The Seattle Times FYI Guy, a bike commuter himself, (Gene Balk) reports bike commuting in Seattle is down in recent years, to 2.8 percent from a peak of 4 percent (“Seattle bike commuting hits 10-year low, census data show” published Sept. 26, 2018, in the Seattle Times). The trend is away from commuting by bike and Bellevue isn’t as bike conscious as Seattle.

Let’s say once the lanes are completed, half as many Bellevue workers bike it in. That 1.4 percent of 3,000 commuters comes to a whopping total 42 cars off the road.

The Seattle Times also reports, merchants in Vancouver, B.C., calculate they’re losing an average of $4,300 per year due to parking spaces re-purposed for bike lanes.

The letter writer also claims cyclists aren’t using the lanes because the system isn’t finished. A group of local cyclists on Reddit report they don’t use the bike lanes in Bellevue because motorists are negligent and on 108th Street, for example, they fly out of garages without looking.

The evidence doesn’t support Mr. Stark’s claim cyclists will use the lanes once the system is finished. Even if they do, there will be no appreciable reduction in congestion and if bike lanes replace parking spaces on Main Street, merchants will suffer.

The only beneficiaries will be the infinitesimally tiny percentage of cyclists who feel it’s okay inconvenience everyone else because they really like to bike to work.

The city must come to its senses. No one is using the lanes now, and there’s no reason to believe they’ll wake up one day with an irresistible urge to bike it in.

Diana Howell