A crew began removing the protected bicycle lane on Roland Avenue in Baltimore on Wednesday, despite protests from bike advocates.
The bike lane, installed as part of a road resurfacing project in 2015, has been the subject of controversy for years.
It is separated from traffic by parked cars and has received complaints from drivers who say it has made parking more difficult and dangerous. Bicyclists, who held a rally this week to keep the lane as-is, have said the parked cars serve as a buffer between them and the road’s busy traffic.
Mayor Catherine Pugh, who is on a leave of absence, directed the Baltimore City Department of Transportation last month to replace the protected lane with a green painted lane on the outside of the parked cars, adjacent to vehicle traffic. The advocacy group Bikemore says doing so violates best practices and will cost the city $140,000.
“As stated in the press release on March 29, 2019, the City of Baltimore has decided to remove the cycle track and return parking to the curb as quickly as possible,” the Department of Transportation said. “The City is committed to adding bicycle infrastructure that works for all. In keeping with that promise, as of Monday, April 22, 2019, signs were posted providing notification of the upcoming work that will impact the traveling public. Preliminary work began 72 hours after the installation of signs.”