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Ask 13: Confusion over new bike lane markings

The City of Asheville is moving ahead with plans to make its streets friendlier for people on bicycles.

Currently, cars and bicycles are squeezed onto roads that weren't really designed to accommodate both. So, they've added some markings to raise awareness for drivers. But some of those markings are creating confusion.

"I can not make sense of the bike lanes," Pat Wille wrote to Ask13. "I don't understand where cars are supposed to be or bikers."

Some examples of what Pat is talking about can be found on Hilliard Avenue between Grove Street and Clingman Avenue. Other symbols on can be found on Chestnut Street between Merrimon Avenue and Charlotte Street.

Some drivers think none of it makes much sense. The City of Asheville's pedestrian and bicycle coordinator said it's all about sharing the road safely.

"We're all out there together and we all want to get home to our families and our homes safely," Barb Me said. "They're symbols that remind you you're sharing a road with bicycles and that the lane width is not enough for you to share side by side."

Me said they've placed the markings on streets that are major corridors for bicyclists. But, unfortunately, many of the roads are older and narrow with no extra room for a separate bike lane.

She says the markings are to help get everyone's attention.

The point is if you see the markings, watch out for bikers and give them room. The law says they have just as much right to the road as people in vehicles.

If you have a question, write to Ask13@wlos.com.

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