San Luis Obispo’s zany bike lanes

December 23, 2023


Here’s another reason why the city of San Luis Obispo should be tearing out the utterly unnecessary protected bike lanes it has been installing along Broad, Chorro, and Ramona streets constituting the Anholm Bikeway.

· Never mind the elimination of nearly 100 much-needed on-street parking spaces serving the neighborhood.

· Never mind the dangerous two-way bike lane along Chorro Street (see the attached photo) requiring residents to back out of 16 driveways to cross those lanes and get to very narrow travel lanes.

· Never mind the bicycle and multiple car accidents that have already been caused by these installations.

· Never mind the black scuff marks from car tires that have hit and streaked the concrete curbs.

· Never mind the elimination of a “do not pass” solid double center line in favor of a dotted yellow line to encourage passing and speeding along Broad and Chorro streets.

· Never mind the original cost estimate of $1.1 million for these improvements, only to have the city overrule the city’s special commission’s recommendation against the project in awarding a bid of over $6 million to complete the project.

· Never mind the change orders that will likely move the expense into the $7 million range.

· Never mind the overwhelming opposition of neighborhood residents to what the city has chosen to call “improvements”.

· Never mind this act of publicly sponsored vandalism at the hands of a narrow special interest group to diminish the livability of a once great residential neighborhood.

In the early 1970s, the city of San Luis Obispo sponsored the first bikeway master plan that was prepared by avid cyclist John Williamson. That plan recommended against on-street bike lanes, let alone “protected” ones. Instead, it recommended that bikes and cars should share the road, the condition that existed along Broad and Chorro streets without any accidents for decades.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of that plan was the strong recommendation for regularly sweeping the streets to keep them safe for cyclists. The attached photo was taken this morning looking down Chorro Street from Mission Street towards downtown San Luis Obispo.

The four-block long stretch of Chorro Street between Mission and Lincoln streets is clogged with a thick carpet of leaf drop. What cyclists would want to steer through this slop?

Conventional city street sweepers are too wide to clear this debris, likely forcing the city to acquire custom equipment to clear the bikeways far more often than the traditional street sweeping schedule of once per month. Just one more reason why this city should never have pursued this project.

When the city started considering whether or not to construct the Anholm Bikeway, Councilmember Andy Pease stated at a council meeting that “if it doesn’t work, we can remove it.”

Well Andy, that’s not exactly a fiscally responsible position, but if the shoe fits wear it.It’s time to remove these hazardous conditions and bring back the safety, livability, and ambience our once great neighborhood enjoyed.

Otherwise, these ugly “improvements” will become little more than very expensive monuments to failure.


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As a SLO native, I am disgusted by the bike lane disaster in our town. The city need some proper leaders, ex. City Manager, Mayor, City Council members, etc.. These woke liberal wack jobs you keep electing are ruining this once wonderful place to live.

This is an issue for new development, older neighborhoods were not designed for these problematic add on’s. If this is an example of what our college town has to offer, then put it out there for the future employers to consider.

Nevermind that Bicyclist pay NOTHING in additional taxes to pay for a special lane.

*sigh* Road construction and maintenance is paid for by general taxation (sales and property tax), our gas tax only pays for a small portion of motor infrastructure and mostly goes towards highways. The reality is that cyclists pay more in taxes for car infrastructure than motorists pay for bike infrastructure. They’re subsidizing you.