I read with disbelief the ill conceived proposal to put a bike lane on North Chatsworth Avenue between Myrtle and Forest. It is clear that whoever suggested that has no working knowledge of North Chatsworth.
I have lived on North Chatsworth since 1992. As a practical matter, in many places it is already one lane or less. In fact, the narrowness was one of the arguments against building IKEA. The street would have been unable to handle the traffic.
Coming from Myrtle, the hill up towards Lafayette Road is blind and pedestrians walk on the right hand side at their peril. Cars going up have to swing wide to gain vision and to fight the centripetal force which would push them into the rocks.
Some 100 feet past that at the Rockingstone split, cars often go single file to get past cars waiting at the stop sign. Farther down going up the hill after Glenn, where there is a Slow sign that says “Limited Sight Distance”, the street is already effectively less than one lane. Drivers coming from Forest often slow or honk their horns in case a car is coming down towards them in their lane as cars heading towards Forest often have to go into the left lane. At Forest, there is no sidewalk on one side, and pedestrians have to walk in the street or cross.
All this is exacerbated by leaf piles, landscapers’ trucks, plowed snow or parked cars. Most of the residents of North Chatsworth have more than one car. Virtually everyone parks on the street during the day to gain access to their cars or driveway. All our visitors also park on the street. We can always tell when someone is marking a family occasion or when their child comes home from college by the cars parked on the street. With cars parked on both sides, traffic often has to thread the needle. Certainly, no one is going to suggest that we residents or our guests will not be allowed to park in front of our own homes. We pay much too much in taxes to be so restrained.
I have never heard anyone say, “Gee, I wish there was a bike lane on North Chatsworth.” People intuitively know there is no place to put one. Let’s hope that our elected representatives come to the same obvious conclusion.
Robert S. Herbst