To the editor:
I’m not a fan of the road diet and the vision of the bike lanes through downtown on main street. I’ve seen this done in other communities, usually in large metro areas like the Twin Cities. I’ve watched as cars parallel park and bring traffic to a dead stop because no one wants to be around in the “twittle” lanes. With bike lanes added, cars parallel parking can really end up in some strange positions. The absolute worst part of road diets are the “bump outs.” It’s a good name for them though. I’ve seen them bumped and chipped in the winter by snow plows. Also, it’s hard to find a bump out that doesn’t have tire marks on them from turning vehicles, usually cars turning onto main street from a side street.
I’m a big fan of bike lanes and bike paths off of main street. Route bikes from North Twin Lake one block west of main street and all the way where it meets up with 46 again on the south end of town. Then create a bike path to the mall. Why try to encourage bicyclists of all ages to be on main street where it’s busy with car and truck traffic?
We need to develop bike lanes and especially bike trails where you can enjoy the quietness and beauty of the area and away from heavy traffic. Wisconsin invented the bike trails, but Minnesota perfected them. If you go to the Twin Cities and see the hundreds of paved trails and how many young people use them, it should give some guidance to really developing a great trail system. I’ve ridden 40 to 65 miles per day out there and they don’t go right in the heart of heavy traffic. We need as many bike/pedestrian trails as possible that remain just that. Get started working on connecting our communities so we don’t have to haul our bikes around the state or to Minnesota to have a good bike ride that’s safe and fun.
M. A. Miller