Unfinished Park Ave. bike lanes cause confusion - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Unfinished Park Ave. bike lanes cause confusion

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Navigating Park Ave. in downtown Waterloo has been proving tricky for both cyclists and drivers as they weave through unfinished bike lanes. 

The city of Waterloo recently decided to add in the bike lanes along Park Ave. after the city council approved the move earlier this month. With four driving lanes trimmed down to just two, drivers are going considerably slower. However, the change isn't being welcomed by frustrated drivers.

"There's more traffic when you cut it down to one lane," said driver Richard Gaede. "Like I say, it's backing up traffic is what it's doing."

Cyclists on the other hand, are happy to see the city making an effort to make it safer for bikers traveling from one side of the town to the other. 

"I think it gives bikers and cars more room for each other and that's what we both want."

KWWL spent the day on Park Ave, and found that not all cyclists were testing out the new lanes. Most bikers said they avoided the lanes because of confusion. Determining where the bike lane ends and where they have to start sharing the road with drivers was the most common frustration. 

City of Waterloo Traffic Engineer Mohammad Elahi says in creating the plan, they found the most danger was bicyclists being clipped by drivers as they made right turns. So in order to eliminate that danger, they created an intersection, where drivers would have to yield to bikers-weaving the two paths together.

Some argue the city has created a new potential danger where bikers and cars intersect.

"Confusing and ridiculous," said Russell Gaede. "And I think a bicycle could get clipped off. Sometime these corners the way you come to them, you're not sure where you're supposed to be in the lane or parking and it looks like someone could get hurt from them."

Waterloo Interim Public Works Director Sandie Greco says they won't be done completing all the arrows and signs for the bike lanes until the end of next week. Until then, they are asking both drivers and cyclists to be more patient and cautious as they travel along Park Avenue.  

While it's not currently part of the city's plans, engineers are looking at putting in barricades to make the new lanes more clear in the near future. 

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