Deborah Demes calls the street she lives on “the Route 14-Rakow Road Bypass,” because of the amount of traffic channeled through her neighborhood.
The City of Crystal Lake is planning to add a bike lane to Berkshire Drive, something Manno Demes, Deborah’s husband, calls “unthinkable.”
Adding a bike lane could mean eliminating on-street parking on Berkshire, Barlina Road and Coventry Lane, as spelled out in Crystal Lake’s winter newsletter.
“I’ve read the newsletter and it’s taken a while to sink in,” Manno Demes said. “Our street is already overburdened with traffic. … Bike lanes are so new and the laws are ambiguous. Are joggers and skateboarders allowed to use it?”
Eliminating on-street parking along the bike lane is a possibility, said Erik Morimoto, director of building and engineering for Crystal Lake.
“We haven’t designed it yet,” said Morimoto, following Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. “We are still gathering information.”
He said residents wishing to be heard on the matter can attend a public hearing 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 16 in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.
Mayor Aaron Shepley, himself an avid cyclist — who said he pedals 800 to 1,000 miles a month — told the residents that passing a parked car on a bicycle is dangerous for a person exiting the car on the driver's side and for the cyclist.
The city has received a $65,000 grant that would cover 80 percent of the cost of creating the bike lanes, Morimoto added.
Resident Kathy Martin said she is circulating a petition against the bike lane and has thus far collected 23 signatures of people who are opposing the plan.