The road diet is about safety
My view of a road diet is simple: a road diet is about safety and has little to do with bicycles. A road diet's aim is to lower speed and provide areas for vehicles to await an opportunity to take a left turn across oncoming traffic. In a four-lane road, a left-turning vehicle can be rear-ended while awaiting a gap to make its turn.
From a cyclist's standpoint, a road diet provides a small "lane" to allow cars to pass safely. From a pedestrian standpoint, consider two small boys I saw riding scooters on the sidewalk along North Main, zig-zagging and coming close to the walk's edge. Had one gone over, the bike lane would have given him leeway from fast auto traffic. By contrast, if there were no bike lane, this incident could lead to a deadly outcome.
I like the road diet and want it to remain.
Drivers, walkers, bikers: be safe
I do love our Ashland Community. There is no place I would rather live and work and play.
I can't help but notice how, even at a 20 mph downtown speed limit, there are unnecessary risks and challenges. For example: With so many crosswalks available, it is pretty shocking how many people attempt to cross the street by popping out between parked cars with a crosswalk only a few yards away.
Even more weird is seeing cyclists driving their two-wheeled "vehicles" (as described by Oregon Law) on the wrong side of the street or even on crowded sidewalks as if they were pedestrians! Yikes! It's safer to ride on the busy streets of Portland!
Since common sense doesn't work for all, there are actually bicycle and pedestrian rules set forth in Oregon to follow or you may get ticketed or, worse yet, cause an accident. Today I saw a skateboarder, riding quite fast through a crosswalk, nearly get hit by a car making a right-hand turn. Everyone's heart skipped a beat as the skateboard rolled under the car.
Whether driving a motor vehicle, a bicycle vehicle or as a pedestrian, we need to learn how to share the road and be aware of our surroundings and know the rules.
For your safety and others, please see this link: www.oregon.gov/ODOT/hwy/bikeped/docs/bike_manual.pdf.
For fun, read "The Bicycle Diaries" by David Byrne. Yes, from The Talking Heads. A great world-renowned bicycle-safety advocate.