I read the proposal for sprucing up the so-called State Street “Promenade” as reported in the Independent. Having a bike lane, or anything that encourages bicycles on the Promenade for that matter, is dangerous and wrong.
A “promenade” is defined as a “leisurely walk, especially one taken in a public place as a social activity,” and as a “public place for such walking.” The other evening my wife and I were outside at The Good Lion, relaxed, until (like each other time we have been outside at the Promenade) several groups of young cyclists, riding much too fast, popped wheelies all the way down the street. If my grandchildren, or a dog, had been leisurely walking down the street with me, all leisure would have quickly dissipated.
“Bicycles” is not in the definition of “promenade.” Bicycles are great for transportation and exercise, but they should be on Chapala or Anacapa xtreets, not on State Street. The Promenade should be exclusively for foot traffic to bring activity (eating, shopping, banking, socializing) back to State Street. If cyclists want to join in, they can park and lock their bikes and come over for a bite.
It is wrong for the transportation director to make any recommendations since the Promenade will no longer be for transportation, it will be a destination. His statement that the cyclists will police themselves is ignorant of what I have seen. Adopting any bike lane recommendation is contrary to the purpose for the Promenade and will result in injuries and civil liability for the city when a cyclist popping a wheelie hits a toddler or gets hit by an unsuspecting driver when crossing Anapamu Street.