Baltimore looking for input on Canton bike lane plan

BALTIMORE - Bike advocates and Canton residents are being asked to weigh in on a new plan to finish bike lanes on Potomac Street.

Residents complained that the tightening of the street was holding up emergency vehicles, leading to a halt in construction.

"This project has had a lot of ups and downs, and we didn't want to come out with a final plan before showing what we have," said city transportation director Michelle Pourciau.

Tuesday, the new plan was unveiled at the Canton Community Association Meeting at United Evangelical Church.

The city says transportation officials, bike advocates and residents compromised on changes, including more road space and more room for parking. Pourciau estimates that only 10% of parking spaces on Potomac Street will be impacted.

"It doesn't make sense for us to have a bike lane that is safe, that also compromises the safety of the residents in our neighborhood," said Mark Edelson of the Canton Community Association.

Others remain skeptical about whether angling parking spaces will really help.

"The math from the city really doesn't add up," said Steve Bloom with Canton Neighbors for a Better Potomac Street Bike Lane.

Bloom says that handicapped residents may still have to walk further and even cross traffic if parking spaces reshuffle under the new plan.

"We don't think that's fair to residents who have been here their entire lives and want to retire here," he said.

The city says public input could still influence change to some details. It hopes to have the plan finalized in a month or two, according to Pourciau.

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