VIRGINIA

Alexandria bike lanes issue of debate among commuters

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WJLA) - More than a few people in Alexandria view the new green bike lanes as a sign of progress. But Francis Buckley is not one of them:

"It would take an idiot to put a bike lane here."

Buckley sees the lane in front of his home, as well as the one coming soon on the other side of the street -- and a very tight and busy space in between.

"We'll have buses that have to swerve to avoid each other, they'll cut into the bike lane and heaven knows what will happen next," he says.

After a contentious neighborhood debate, the City of Alexandria is laying down bike lanes on both sides of a two-thirds-of-a-mile stretch on King Street between Russell Road and Janneys Lane.

But about halfway in between, at the top of the hill on the north side, the bike lane is interrupted to make room for parking spaces in front of 10 homes that don’t have off-street parking. That is being called a “shared-lane area.”

"Our preference would have been -- for pedestrian safety and cyclist safety -- to have the bike lane the entirety of the way," says Richard Baier, Director of the Department of Transportation and Environmental Services.

Alexandria resident Kate Miner’s parking space also comes with reservations:

"As a resident who kept my parking space, that's great personally. But in terms of the scheme of how it's gonna work, I think we're all really concerned about the safety issues."

"In the mornings it can be a little hairy," says Monique Miles, who thinks her two-wheel commute on King Street will be easier once it’s greener.

"The drivers will at least have to acknowledge that the cyclists have a right to be on the road too."

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