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Community Commentary:

Bikeway needs a speed limit

October 15, 2008|By Pamela Lang

I was on my daily morning walk on the Chandler Bikeway recently when an unfortunate and entirely preventable accident occurred.

A woman roller-blading collided with two bicyclists, one male and one female. This accident was something I, and many other people who frequently use the bikeway, have dreaded and knew would eventually happen.

The Chandler Bikeway is a wonderful and much-appreciated addition to the general ambience of Burbank.

I use it every day, sometimes two or three times a day. In the three years I’ve been using the bikeway, I’ve almost been run over by speeding bicyclists, roller-blading individuals whizzing by and runners paying attention to their cellphones or music devices instead of where they are going.

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At the very least, the city of Burbank needs to impose and post a speed limit for bicyclists and those using roller blades, skateboards or any other vehicle on wheels. I have personally witnessed those on bikes passing me at an alarmingly fast speed. I’ve always known that if they hit me, I would be seriously injured.

I have also been yelled at and verbally abused for having the need to step into the bike lane when passing slower- moving pedestrians.

This is a problem that needs to be addressed by the city of Burbank. It’s a problem that I personally have spoken to the Burbank Police Department about on several occasions. I’ve voiced my concerns that the city has advertised the Chandler Bikeway in such a way as to make bicyclists feel entitled to speed on it. At this time, there are no posted speed limits anywhere on the bikeway.

As a pedestrian, I’ve noticed that there is an inequity in the amount of space allotted to runners and walkers, and that allotted to bicyclists. There is absolutely no way a pedestrian can avoid stepping into the bike lane when passing slower-moving pedestrians.

In the last three years, I’ve been verbally abused countless times by others using the bike lanes for simply walking my dog on the grass nearest the bike lanes. There’s a sense of ownership that apparently goes with using the bike lanes, and it has to stop.

I’d like to think most of us use common sense when out in public, as we go about our daily business, when we exercise and when we come into contact with other people.

This was a preventable accident. I don’t want to see anyone else involved in such an accident on the Chandler Bikeway, and I don’t want to be one of the victims of such an accident. A speed limit, some signs and some good old-fashioned common sense and courtesy should solve the problem.


?PAMELA LANG is a Burbank resident.

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