BEAUMONT - Eric Bender has worked in the bicycle business for forty years in Beaumont.
He sees the benefit of riding bikes for fun and for transportation every day. He hopes to see bike lanes added in Beaumont’s north end from Gill street to Laurel Avenue on Magnolia Avenue.
"I think the whole city of Beaumont could benefit from markings like this, but what better place to start than in a community where there's a much higher use of bicycles than in the rest of the community," Bender said.
Parts of Magnolia Avenue are currently being repaved and have not been painted. City councilmember Audwin Samuel believes street safety is the main concern for bicyclists.
"With the bike lanes, if you still have the speed limit down Magnolia, that could create a danger, or a false sense of security for a biker," Samuel said.
Bender thinks bike lanes like the ones on Calder avenue and Seventh street gather debris and become dangerous for bikers.
Bender believes seeing a “sharrowed” lanes could be the best solution. A sharrowed lane is a road marking with a bicycle and two arrows.
Bender says the sharrowed lanes create a visual obstacle for drivers and slows traffic.
He believes that bicycle lanes hold some disadvantages.
“When you have a bicycle lane, it becomes a debris field, and it requires maintenance,” Bender said.
"The most important thing is making the roadways safer for everyone, not just for bicycles but for everyone. I mean, who wants to be the person driving a car that hits a person on a bicycle? I don't," Bender said.
The road pavement project on Magnolia is expected to finish within six to seven weeks.
City manager Kyle Hayes said during the meeting a stretch of Magnolia will be painted within the next month.
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