Today, Mayor Pugh announced the cancellation of the Roland Avenue lane elimination pilot. Instead, Baltimore City Department of Transportation will remove the all-ages protected bike lane on Roland Avenue, return parking to the curbside, and install a standard green painted bicycle lane next to two automobile travel lanes.
We are disappointed that voices behind closed doors were able to influence this decision, despite a PIA request from a Roland Park neighbor showing 62% support for the road diet plan.
We still believe the pilot project should move forward. Why wouldn’t we test a design that could possibly make the street safer for everyone, before committing to spending between $700,000 and $1.4 million to restore a design proven to be unsafe, a design that couldn’t prevent the death of Tom Palermo just a few blocks north?
The meeting to discuss the pilot was supposed to happen Monday night. Since our blog post yesterday, over 100 people have written to Council Vice President Middleton supporting the pilot project, saying that no matter what, separated bike lanes have to remain on Roland Avenue. We have also heard from dozens of Roland Park residents directly who feel the same way, residents excited about the pilot, residents who purchased homes in Roland Park because of the protected lanes, residents scared of what may happen next.
We haven’t determined our next steps. But our position is this:
Baltimore City Department of Transportation must maintain an all-ages, protected bike lane on Roland Avenue, as called for in the Separated Lane Network Plan, and as required by national separated bike lane guidance adopted in ordinance and in policy by the City of Baltimore.