Bike Lanes Are Fine, But Let’s Not Forgot How Most City Residents Travel

City Council members are poised to vote tonight on a proposal to eliminate parking on the southwest side of East Second Street from East Fourth Street to Tiffany Avenue.

The proposal calls for a dedicated bike lane to be added to the eastbound lane of East Second Street while the westbound lane would be widened to accommodate both vehicles and bikes. There is no cost to the city since the project is a state Transportation Department project, with the state following the city’s recommendation.

There are some who are steadfast in their support of the bike lanes. And, we can’t disagree that making it easier for bicycles to travel on major thoroughfares makes some sense. The advent of low-speed e-bikes means there will have to be some traffic changes, especially in the area around Jamestown Community College where such e-bikes or scooters can help students get from campus to the store or other appointments.

But we hope, as part of the state’s zeal for Complete Streets, that there is a realization that cars are still the major mode of transport in our region – and that means if you eliminate parking it will create headaches for the 25-30 cars that are seen parking on this 1.75-mile section of East Second Street most nights. Many of the homes along Second Street have off-street parking, but not enough off-street parking for homes that have been turned from one-family homes into apartments and certainly not enough if anyone living in those homes ever intends to have visitors. There are families with children whose lives will get a lot harder in 2025, and Complete Streets doesn’t account for that. The loss of street parking means additional time lugging groceries a longer distance from the car to the house, more time on cold days getting kids into and out of cars and more congestion on side streets.

One thing we’d like the city to consider in the future is how to make more off-street parking available if the city is going to remove on-street parking. There are no parking ramps along East Second Street and no surface lots to use. If we’re going to make life easier for cyclists – which, we reiterate, is a worthy goal – we shouldn’t at the same time make life more difficult for those who drive. Finding a way to add surface parking in mixed-used neighborhoods like East Second Street makes a lot of sense.


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