BOULDER, Colo. -- Bicyclists in Boulder took over a stretch of Folsom Street in protest Wednesday after the city council’s decision to remove controversial bike lanes.
The council scrapped the test lanes at its meeting Tuesday night. The lanes added a buffer zone between traffic and cyclists, and were part of a study aimed at improving transportation. The hope was to get more people riding instead of driving.
“Now that the lanes were wider, it made it a lot safer,” cyclist Ryan Vanduzer said.
Vanduzer and about 100 other cyclists protested the city’s decision along Folsom on Wednesday night. Several cyclists brought signs highlighting the need for safer bike lanes.
Several business owners are happy with the decision to remove the protected lanes. The widened lanes take up the same amount of space as a full lane of traffic, leaving Folsom Street with one lane in each direction instead of two.
“It has brought about gridlock at many times during the day,” said Andy Chelani, owner of Smooth Motors.
Chelani said his business has taken a hit because of the major traffic delays. He said since the bike lanes were put in, people avoid Folsom Street.
“These people aren’t going to leave their cars at home and start biking tomorrow. They’re going to find another route,” Chelani said.
Boulder has not announced when construction will begin to remove the protected bike lanes.