By The Gazette Editorial Board
Change is rarely universally welcomed. Alter the landscape that people are used to, and you’re bound to cause some confusion and consternation.
Such is the case with the city’s addition of bike lanes to various streets around town. Some lanes have been added to the side of roadways. On Third Avenue SE downtown, for example, a large bike lane runs closer to the middle of the street.
The city’s aim is to make streets safer and more accommodating to bicycle traffic. The bike lanes are part of a broader effort to connect local bike trails, including the Cedar Valley Trail that runs north to south through the city. We think these plans have a great deal of merit in promoting a healthy lifestyle and the fortunes of businesses and attractions eager to welcome customers who roll in.
To reduce confusion, the city should step up education and outreach for both drivers and cyclists. We also think the city should consider more obvious, visible markings for bike lanes. Some cities have painted the lanes a different color, for instance. Perhaps Cedar Rapids could show its artistic side and get creative to raise bike lane visibility.
We believe that motorists and cyclists, eventually, will adapt to these changes. That’s what has happened in many other cities. Change will become routine.
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