Letter To The Editor: ‘Shared Traffic Lanes’

By CHARLES BAYFIELD
Los Alamos
 
The County is experimenting with shared traffic lanes. The idea is straightforward, mark the lanes so that bicycles and cars have the same rights.
 
These lanes are now in place from Oppenheimer to 15th Street on Central Avenue. Imagine a bicycle coming east on Canyon in a bicycle lane then on to Central.
 
At Oppenheimer the cyclist enters a shared lane, there is no bicycle lane. Both the east bound and west bound lanes are shared, doubled yellow lines so that vehicles cannot cross into the oncoming lane.
 
The idea is that no matter how slowly the bicycle is moving, the car must stay behind the bicycle and not cross the double yellow line. Sounds simple but it is not working that way.
 
Cars routinely cross the double yellow line into the oncoming lane. While this is happening, the police are no where in sight. This situation is fraught with problems. It causes conflict between cyclists and motorists. The idea of shared lanes should be enforced or abandoned.
 
Recently the County has extended the idea to the section of Sherwood boulevard just south of N.M. 4 in White Rock.
 
Stay tuned for road rage incidents between bicyclists and motorists.
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