Believes Main Street bike lanes may do more harm than good

To the Editor:

I love being on bikes as much as anyone, and riding on the beach paths is a great benefit to being in Southern California. But I don’t need or expect every street, especially commercial streets like Main Street, to have a bike lane.

The bike lanes, while a nice idea, have taken up one of the car lanes on each side of Main Street in Venice and Santa Monica and other areas in our beach communities, clogging up an already congested ride, especially during rush hour. There has been no clear or convincing evidence that bicycle lanes increase rider safety, and in fact, they may lull some riders into a false sense of security.

Also, this is our beach communities’ low season. I can’t imagine the degree of congestion there will be during the height of summer. I am sure there will be bicyclists who will applaud and say “So what,” or think this will encourage more environmentally friendly means of transport to be used, but the reality is that most of us still need and use cars to commute in our communities and to our work places. There continues to be development and expansion of the populations in these communities, unfortunately; and with that, there will be increasing amounts of traffic through our beach cities.

By reducing Main Street to one lane in each direction, I would predict, as it already has, that the overflow of traffic will spill into the nearby residential roads as residents and other people passing through look to find a more rapid way to beat the congestion.

Unfortunately, I think there is a vocal minority of bicycle enthusiasts who have pushed for this agenda. While we all would like to consider ourselves perhaps politically correct, and agree that we need to reduce our automotive use and thereby reduce pollution and our dependency on foreign oil, that we need to have more alternative green vehicles, etc. – the majority of us I am guessing would still like to just be able to get from one point to another, to work on time, with less traffic and in a faster way with less congestion. And biking for people on a daily basis is not necessarily the answer for that.

On that note, neither is adding stop lights and signs everywhere someone seems fit, which also reduces our flow of traffic. Unfortunately, our streets in Marina del Rey and other communities have really become a thoroughfare for commuters during rush hour.

Chris Turk, Marina del Rey