The City of Kalamazoo shared the new changes with residents back on July 8th. It went over just about as well as you'd expect.

Hint: It did not go over well at all.

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Seriously, did we learn nothing the first time?!

Last summer the City of Kalamazoo installed new bike lanes along Westnedge and Park Streets and they were confusing, to say the least. Instead of keeping bikes to the far edge of the street, the city decided to narrow traffic lanes in order to create a separate bike lane and parking lane.

Not surprisingly Kalamazoo drivers had a very had time adjusting-- and still do!

via Reddit

Now, the city has announced plans to move forward with a new pilot bike lane program in the Winchell neighborhood and you better brace yourself because it's about to get even weirder...

Why the Sudden Changes?

Beginning this summer crews will re-pave Winchell Ave. just west of Rambling Road and install this new traffic-calming measure. Of the new pilot bike lane program Imagine Kalamazoo says,

The Oakland Drive/Winchell Neighborhood Plan set goals for improving non-motorized connectivity and traffic safety in the neighborhood. As a result, City staff have been working to put the neighborhood plan into action through several traffic calming and non-motorized improvements.

Among these "improvements" are the new Advisory Bike Lanes or Edge Lane Roads.

City of Kalamazoo via Facebook
City of Kalamazoo via Facebook

How Do They Work?

In an Advisory Bike Lane/Edge Lane Road there are two lanes for bike and pedestrian traffic and only one lane for vehicles-- one shared lane, I might add.

When two cars approach each other they will move into each respective bike lane to pass-- yielding to bikes and pedestrians that are using the lane, of course.

Makes sense, right?

What Do Residents Think?

As someone who literally just moved into this neighborhood last week I must admit, I'm not too thrilled about this news. True, the road is in desperate need of re-paving, that's obvious. But this is not what I had in mind!

Lauren G/TSM
Lauren G/TSM

If you've got some time I encourage you to read through all 982 comments on the City of Kalamazoo's Facebook post, but here are some highlights:

  • "Why does The City of Kalamazoo, Michigan have such a bike fetish? I rarely see anyone in a bike lane, yet you are tearing apart the entire city, bowing to the people on bikes. Drivers losing lanes. Last time I was downtown, the one bike I saw was on a sidewalk." - Christa Rustenholtz
  • "I love the attempts to make the roads safer for bike riders, and also the different layouts that are being tried make it challenging as a driver to know what to do. Hopefully eventually one method will be implemented consistently around town." - Maria Newhouse
  • "Can we please just make a serious investment in public transit infrastructure to make mass transit an appealing alternative to driving, instead of trialing bizarre traffic patterns that don't actually help?" - Xam Boni

Stuff I've Found In The Bike Lanes

The things we have to deal with while riding in Grand Rapids great bike lanes

Check out the Downtown Kalamazoo Zoo Animals After Their Recent Facelift

A few animal statues in the Downtown Kalamazoo area recently got a fresh coat of paint with a creative twist. What an upgrade

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