Bike lane petitioners cite congestion, hazards, low use

[Editor's Note: This article has been corrected to reflect that there are actually 236 signatures on the petition reproduced below. Our original reporting indicated there were roughly 500 signatures. We regret the error.]

The roughly 235 residents who signed a petition seeking removal of the bike lanes along West Bayou Parkway say the elimination of the center turn lane between Roselawn Boulevard and South College Drive has led to dangerous driving conditions.

Representatives of the group — the petition is reproduced below and contains many familiar and prominent Hub City names — met with Mayor Joel Robideaux on March 24 to express their concerns, which fall under three headings: traffic congestion, safety hazards and low usage of the bike lanes by cyclists.

“We are not opposed to bicycle traffic in our community where it does not create greater traffic congestion and increased safety hazards,” representatives George Latiolais and Randy Moity write in a May 5 follow-up letter to Robideaux that is attached to the petition and was obtained by The Independent through a public records request to Robideaux’s office. “The impact [of removing the turning lane] on West Bayou Parkway has been to create greatly increased traffic congestion, encouraging drivers to ‘go around’ stopped traffic, make dangerous maneuvers and tempers to flare.”

The letter cites particular hazards at West Bayou’s intersections with Doucet Road, Shannon Road, Roselawn Boulevard, Brentwood Boulevard and South College. It’s worth noting that the bike lanes stop at Roselawn where West Bayou becomes a two-lane road, as it’s always been, running along the side of the LJ Alleman Middle School playground as it approaches Brentwood.

The petitioners stress that they’re not opposed to bike lanes in Lafayette but believe that because so few cyclists actually use the lanes along West Bayou while the re-striping has caused so much inconvenience and hazards for drivers, the bike lanes should be removed in the public interest.

_[Note: Some petition pages only bear a few signatures and were cropped down for space considerations.]