Bike Lanes to nowhere…

If you haven’t been out to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in the last four months, you’ve not seen the recently completed new bridge just South of the Franke Park Drive and Sherman Boulevard intersection.  Asphalt pavement has now been laid and lane markings painted.  On both sides of the street through this area are highly visible bike lanes.  One problem, the lanes do not extend beyond the recently renovated area.  In fact, on one of the sides, the bike lane ends in the gravel berm, with no where to go. 

This project was completed by the County and while I truly believe bike lanes are a good thing, I just can’t see the logic here.  Perhaps bike lanes are a new feature of any new construction projects the county completes.  But the question to ask: is a more dangerous situation created by having these lanes, even for a short distance?  Encouraging people to traverse this area’s narrow, high volume traffic roads on a bicycle is asking for trouble.

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  1. The bike lane near the Zoo is part of the Pufferbelly Trail System required feed. It is part of a larger project that initially will go from Lawton Park through the North River/Omni Source Property and behind Centlivre Apts all the way to Fernhill/Glenbrook. The bike lane in your pictures is the end of the feeder trail off that trail to the Zoo.

    The Pufferbelly will extend 80 miles between (Angola) Pokagan and (Bluffton) Obache (sp?) State Parks, using the Fort Wayne Trails System as its main conduit and depot. The Pufferbelly is the nick name for the Steam Locomotives that used to tour the area.

    I will be writing more about this on my blog in a couple weeks but the government documents are a spread out over so many agencies that every time I think I have enough I find more that show how covertly this tourism operation plan is going.

    I hope that helps. If you cant find any info I will forward you a link list that I have been working on for the post, just ask.

    MRev. Kenneth White, Jnr.

  2. Thanks for the information, Kenneth! I do appreciate your time.

    It still strikes me as odd, although the logic is there. I was out there again this afternoon, after drafting the above post and saw someone come to the end of the bike lane on the southwest side and about loose control of their bike as they hit the gravel. I can imagine it would be a jolt to discover being out of a smooth surface.

  3. It’s all part of a seekrit plan to have bike shops make more money from truing wheels on road bikes?

    I’m not too big on bike lanes. They usually lead to yelling about getting into them, and an increased mindset that if there aren’t lanes, bikes don’t belong there.

  4. Thank you for your comments, Michael! I appreciate it.

    I think having bike lanes throughout the city would take some getting used to. But, building them would involve some money. It’s not just throwing down some money for paint, there would undoubtedly be some land aquisition along the public right of ways and reconstruction to accommodate the extra road width. Sherman Boulevard has no room for such ventures right now. This was the other thing that struck me about these bike lanes to nowhere.

    I don’t doubt for an instance that bike lanes help with safety concerns. But if you’re gonna throw money into making Fort Wayne more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly, which isn’t the purpose of these particular lanes, I think a public campaign educating everyone to their respective responsibilites would be a better way to spend it.

    I say this because I’ve noticed a marked increase in pedestrians walking in front of cars or bicyclists (yes I’m even seeing quite a few talking on their cell phones at the same time they’re riding) not following traffic rules. Cars are not the only problem here people! It’s a little bit of everyone and everything and until you comlpetely take people out of the picture, which will never happen, it’s not going to change.


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