Your View: Bike lane decision truly needs a fresh look

Your View: Bike lane decision truly needs a fresh look

By Dino Drudi, Alexandria (File photo)

To the editor:
Louise Welch’s letter on the bicycle lanes along King Street (“Questionable data extends to bike lane decisions,” August 18) hits the mark, but allow me to distill the broader point in a way that speaks to the fundamental issue many of us have with City Hall’s decision-making.

When neighbors pointed out that the bicycle lanes hardly have any cyclists using them, city officials say that use doesn’t matter. But to justify taking away the neighbors’ parking for the lanes, City Hall says that the parking lane was underutilized.

Frequency of use matters when it suits City Hall, but it doesn’t matter when it doesn’t suit staff. Officials concoct some esoteric justification for this, but does it really pass the smell test? When city council decided to replace King Street residents’ on-street parking with bicycle lanes, many of us pressed officials to spell out its criteria to judge success or failure of the lanes up front, in- stead of waiting for the trial period to be completed. That way, City Hall would be unable to fit the criteria to the results.

I do not fault the well-organized bicycling community for sending more emails and appearing in greater numbers on behalf of its desired outcome. I fault what I view as City Hall’s stacked-deck decision-making.

If Mayor Allison Silberberg and the rest of city council want to introduce stronger ethics, why not start by redoing the decision to take away parking along King Street to install under-utilized bike lanes?