by OLIVIA KING
DULUTH, Minn. - A side project to install bike lanes across the City of Duluth, taking into consideration the safety of local bikers, is being introduced by Duluth City Council member Dan Hartman, and will possibly be in motion by 2011.
"The plan may require many changes in Duluth, which could be a concern to many citizens, but on many roads it just might mean changing the painted lines on the road, while on others we will need to widen the road," said Hartman.
The primary reason the City Council is trying to make this ordinance pass so soon is because of the safety concern for bikers, and complaints from drivers. "There have been complaints about bikers in driving lanes, but I personally have received more complaints from bikers worried about their safety," Hartman said.
Many students were eager to voice their opinions about how having a designated bike lane would improve the conditions for both bikers and drivers. "I bike to school frequently, and every time I do I'm afraid that someone driving isn't going to see me because I have to ride in the driving lanes," said Jenna Illikainen, a freshman at UMD.
"I think that bikers should have designated lanes because there are constantly people in the driving lanes who are a traffic hazard because they cannot go as fast as cars, and they are not as easily seen as cars, and this presents a huge danger to the bikers," said Mike Hart, a student at UMD who commutes every day.
The City Council has not yet seen an ordinance outlining the "Bike Duluth" plan because it hasn't been written yet, Hartman said. If a plan is passed this year, they will begin implementation in 2011.
The City Council will be meeting Nov. 22 to hash out the first draft of the "Bike Duluth" plan. At this point they do not know how much it will cost to have the bike lanes installed because they are still in the early phases of the plan.