‘Accident waiting to happen,’ reader says

Dear Street Smarts,
     Q: I was wondering if you would be able to help me out and be an advocate for a particular bike lane problem I see. The portion of West Cliff Drive where Howard Johnson is located -- where West Cliff Drive meets Pacific -- is a one way road for cars. This is the portion where the Homeless Garden Project center is. Bikes travelling in the opposite direction of cars have a tiny portion of the road that is painted specifically for them. At the portion where the bike lane curves to meet Pacific, you can see that the road marks are almost gone.
     The reason for this is because cars that turn the corner from Pacific into West Cliff Drive often cut into the bike lane. This is particularly dangerous for bicyclists who are going down the hill as cars are going up the hill. As a bicyclist who uses the lane several times a week, whenever I approach that corner, I slow down and sometimes stop to let cars drive up the hill because they inevitably -- 99 percent of the time -- cut into the bike lane. Can traffic engineers find a way to protect that corner for bicyclists? Car drivers often don’t know they are actually crossing a double yellow line into a lane that has opposing bicycle traffic.
     This is an accident waiting to happen. I don’t exactly know who to contact to report this problem so I thought I could turn to you.
     Sincerely yours,      Conal Ho      A: The city plans to restripe the center line and add reflective markers soon, said Chris Schneiter, of the public works department. He could not provide a specific date for the project to take place. So, stay tuned.


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