City rescinds Water Street Bike lane

TROY — In response to the negative reaction regarding the Water Street dedicated bike lane, city officials announced West Water Street in downtown Troy will revert back to its shared lane and restore on-street parking in the area.

On Wednesday, a press release from Mayor Michael Beamish stated, “After further review, feedback and evaluation, the temporary dedicated bike lane on West Water Street in downtown Troy will be converted to a shared lane. By Monday, Sept. 11, parking along the south side of West Water Street will be reestablished, restoring additional on-street spaces for downtown employees, customers, and visitors.”

“We’ve heard from the vocal community who were concerned that the bike lane was not ideally situated as a connection between the Great Miami Recreational Trail and our downtown. Converting to a shared road will maintain that important link, while at the same time restoring parking in the downtown,” Beamish added.

The press released added that the city remains committed to its bike-friendly status and will continue to evaluate additional bike-friendly initiatives.

At the city council meeting on Tuesday, Council member Robin Oda and President Marty Baker requested to place an immediate moratorium on any additional dedicated bike lanes to be added to the city of Troy.

President Marty Baker requested that no new bike lanes to be added to the city until issues surrounding the dedicated bike lanes on Water and Adams streets were resolved.

Oda also addressed the negative comments regarding the city’s bike lanes and what she called “questionable numbers” of their usage.

Oda requested council members meet in a committee “in light of the negative comments we are receiving in person and on social media and in response to the questionable numbers being reported from the bike counters.”

Baker said council members could meet in a health and safety committee to discuss the issues and establish the goal of the request. As of press time, the time and date of the meeting has not been announced.

Baker asked for more clarity of the Complete Streets map and questioned why the city could not confirm whether Dorset Road would be a “shared lane” or have a dedicated lane. The legend on the map failed to designate either option on the Complete Streets map.

“Based on our review we probably are looking at more of a a shared road and not a dedicated bike lane, that’s still a designation, it’s just the shared use not a dedicated use,” said Director of Public Service and Safety Patrick Titterington.

Baker said the current map was confusing and Titterington said he’d add to the legend and expand the map.

Titterington said the Complete Streets policy is “a vision.”

“I would request we not do any more designated lanes until after this other question is cleared up,” Baker said.

Titterington said the city “has no intention to do any more at this point.”

Various residents commented on the bike lane issues, including Carrie Kemper, who said she personally sat at the bike counter by the library for more than four hours because, “I, like many other residents in Troy, do not believe the bike counter numbers we are being told.”

Kemper also read a quote on council member Oda’s Facebook page from Titterington urging residents to call 911 if they saw vehicles in the bike lane.

Kemper said she personally counted five bikes, 17 cars and two trucks with trailers in the bike lane and over the counter strips. She then asked council if she should have called 911 each time she witnessed those violations.

“I think it is safe to say that the bike counts you are claiming are not truly from bikes alone,” Kemper said. She challenged residents to count the bicycles and other vehicles at the counters.

According to the bike counter report from Aug. 18 through Sept. 1, the Adams Street bike lane has had 646 hits and Water Street’s bike lane recorded 1,561 hits. The counters included half-day counts on Aug. 18 and Sept. 1.

The counters are located near the library on Water Street and near the practice fields on Adams Street.

In other council news:

Michael Hamer of Red Maple Drive in the Stonebridge Meadows said he was frustrated at the lack of communication regarding flooding issues at his home. Hamer said two inches of rain fell and washed away $600 worth of landscaping and demanded answers on how to keep his top soil and mulch from washing down the road, blaming poor watershed and drainage in the development.

Titterington said the water issue is being addressed by the developer, Stonebridge Meadows, and the city engineer’s office was looking into the issues.

Titterington said the development is not complete and the site engineers and checking to make sure calculations are being followed by the construction companies.

“At this point they have not seen any issues with what’s been done,” Titterington said.

Hamer asked if he should quit trying to have a nice yard, with no feedback from council or staff.

“Nothing is being done and if it’s being done it’s because I’m pushing and it’s being done at a snail’s pace,” Hamer said.

The follow council members were not in attendance: Brock Heath, Lynne Snee and John Schweser. All three were excused.

The annual Mayor’s Breakfast will be held at 9 a.m. on Oct. 14 at the First Baptist Church.

Water Street to be restored on Sept. 11

By Melanie Yingst

Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews