Bike lanes show divide in Speedway

Speedway┬┐s Cunningham Street is getting a facelift that will include a new bike lane. For more than six weeks the fiery town council discussion seemed to be a battle of young versus old.

The measure passed in a 3-2 vote

The measure passed in a 3-2 vote (July 23, 2012)

Speedway, Ind.

Speedway’s Cunningham Street is getting a facelift that will include a new bike lane. For more than six weeks the fiery town council discussion seemed to be a battle of young versus old.

During Monday’s town council meeting, older residents argued against bike lanes and parking restrictions. They feared the bike lanes would slow traffic and pose a safety hazard.

Jane Wilson, who has lived on Cunningham Street for more than 50 years, said that the parking restrictions would affect everything from parking to UPS drop offs.

"Most of the people I speak to don't want a change, they just want the four lanes left the way they are and parking available on Cunningham and 16th Street," Wilson said.

Supporters of the plan countered that the bike lanes would attract more young people to Speedway and make the road safer by reducing speeds.

In the end, the town council voted 3-2 in favor for the ordinance to change the four-lane street into a three-lane street. One lane would be reserved expressly for bikes.

The two dissenting council members were still in favor of the proposal, but wanted to wait until other improvements in Speedway were finished.

Council President William Suffel said the plan will be more cost-efficient for the city.

"They are in the process now of repaving the road, now would be the time to go ahead and do that so that in the long run it doesn't cost the city any extra money in the long run to come out and do something," Suffel said.

The City-County Council still has to vote on the plan.

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