Get ready for Broad Street bicycle lane enforcement

Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) – Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke explained, "The purpose of this is to make the roads safer for everyone.  Right?  We want it to be safer for pedestrians, for bicyclists and for vehicle drivers as well."
        The new bicycle lanes on Broad Street have been in place for a little more than a month now.
        Mayor Berke added, "The goal is not about bicyclists, it’s all about making the roads safer for everybody and to ensure that we get more traffic on Broad Street, because that helps restaurants, businesses and makes our entire city more vibrant."
        Some of those very businesses, though, have complained about the lanes.
        Cathy Ankar runs the downtown Ankar’s.  She said, "Where do your truck deliveries come?  We get those daily, get from big massive 18-wheeler trucks, that have deliveries.  They have to cross over the barrier, they’re blocking the, we’re now down to two lanes versus three lanes."
        But the new lanes also have some ardent fans.
        Brain Hager moved downtown because of the bike lanes.  He said, "We actually take this route because of the protected lanes.  It can get a little scary without the protected lanes, because not everyone does the three foot rule."
        On News12 Now Wednesday morning, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke issued a warning for anyone driving or parking in those new bike lanes.  He said, "We’re going to start by just educating people, and that’s giving them a warning that says in January this is not going to be tolerated any more and then at some point we’ll start giving out tickets."
        So now officials wait to see if more education and eventual ticketing will make everyone, if not embrace, at least obey, the new bike lanes.  Hager said, "I can definitely see a difference in parking on the street because there’s less parking, I understand that, but for tourists and people living downtown, I think this will be a much safer alternative."
    River City Company officials say the bike lanes came about after the 2013 City Center Plan.
Categories: Business, Chattanooga, Consumer News, Government & Politics, Hamilton County, Health, Local News

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