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Bicycle Story Takes Twists and Turns

February 16, 1992

Re "New Traffic Lanes to Cut into Bike Paths" (Feb. 3): First of all, neither Caltrans nor the city of Huntington Beach is planning to eliminate bike lanes on Pacific Coast Highway nor widen the state highway. Actually, bike lanes have never existed on PCH. Bicyclists simply pedal their way between moving and parked cars as one would do on any residential street.

Secondly, an off-street bike lane already exists throughout the city from Warner Avenue to the Newport Beach city limit along both the state and city beaches. Plans are under way to improve this existing bikeway.

Thirdly, the right of way for the additional lane on Pacific Coast Highway has already been provided by simply and inexpensively narrowing the center divider, which was completed late last year. Caltrans is now waiting for a new parking lot to be completed near the beach before removing the on-street parking and painting a new and badly needed third lane.

When this is finished later this year, motorists will find a better highway on which to traverse the city or reach their recreational destination, and bicyclists will still have their safe bike path on the beach rather than a narrow strip of asphalt that never accorded them much safety in the first place.

The $12-million figure you mentioned would be needed only to actually widen the highway in order to provide a bike lane, which would be totally irresponsible and absurd in light of the off-street bike path that is already available.

KEN ROTH, Chair, Huntington Beach Transportation Commission

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