Soon cyclists will be able to travel Main Street in their own lanes — painted between parked cars and motor-vehicle traffic lanes.
Town council gave staff the nod to add the lanes at a recent work session, though not all were in agreement.
Councilman Peter Joyce said he was concerned with safety issues for inexperienced cyclists. He and Mark Burke both dissented from the opinion of the other five council members.
“I don't think it will be safe for kids,” Burke said in a phone interview Thursday. “When I drive down Main, it's tough enough with pedestrians ... My first concern is our citizens' safety, and that's the only reason I'm against it.”
Councilwoman Jennifer McAtamney said she keeps her young children on side streets or in Blue River Plaza when they're biking, as there are a variety of places for people of differing skill levels to ride.
“Experienced cyclists can ride on that road without much problem,” she said of Main Street. “It will be interesting to see whether narrowing those lanes visually helps slow traffic down.”
The striping of Main Street, as well as other striping and wayfinding improvements downtown, will cost $20,000. The town has $5,000 in grant money and $5,000 that was budgeted; the remaining $10,000 could come from Open Space funds.
Other improvements are to occur as shared lane markings along French Street, Wellington Road and a small segment of Lincoln Avenue.
The town was honored last year as a silver-level bicycle friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists. Its paved pathway system, singletrack trail network and other efforts were recognized. Town officials intend to improve wayfinding and safety with the new striping and some signs.