By Agrippina Fadel
Bike lanes in the city end too soon, are covered with overgrowth, and have hanging branches, making it unsafe to ride, said Tamarac resident Shari Rutner Kalkstein.
A resident of Woodmont, Kalkstein, bought a home with a garage for bike storage when her family moved to Tamarac over two years ago. After getting a job at the Kings Point Plaza, she has been riding her bike to work every day.
“I used to be a road racer and was excited to find a job so close to home,” she said. “I can ride my bike there and reduce my carbon footprint. However, I am very concerned about my safety.”
Kalkstein brought up the bike path issue on the Tamarac Talk Facebook page, hoping to find answers and suggestions.
She explained that bike lanes on Pine Island Road end way too soon –-before reaching 77th Street and could provide a safer ride if the paths were expanded to McNab Rd. She added that bike lanes are overgrown with grass, sometimes to the point of taking over the bike lane signage on the asphalt, and the overhanging branches reach so low that they come close to hitting riders in the face, forcing them to go out on the road to avoid it.
“Bike lanes vary in width size. If the town can make them universal in size, preferably larger, it would really help the riders,” she said.
Kalkstein added that drivers often get too close to bike lanes, and even closer when the riders are forced to ride on the street. She said she almost got hit by a car on Pine Island Road twice and now often rides opposite of traffic to see the cars coming.
Monique Johnson, a marketing specialist at the city manager’s office, said bike lanes widths could vary due to available rights-of-way or changes in both local and national standards.
“Bike paths are always permitted and constructed in accordance with current Broward County Traffic Engineering and Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices guidelines,” she explained.
Addressing the bike lanes condition, Johnson said the city is currently working with Broward County to complete a Planning and Feasibility Study to construct a bikeway system on Pine Island Road and McNab Road.
“The bike path will be a continuation of a recently completed Broward County Roadway Improvement project on Pine Island Road, located between Southgate Boulevard and NW 79th Street,” she said. “It includes bike lanes on both sides of Pine Island Road.”
The Planning and Feasibility Study is scheduled to take place next spring.
Johnson added that the 2021 Tamarac Resident Survey showed the overall resident satisfaction with the availability of walking and biking trails in the city is 67%, higher than Florida’s and the National average, both at 63%.
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- Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master's in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.
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