Bicyclists urge councilors to add more bike lanes

Medford, Ore.- The city of Medford is making plans for what they want current and future roads to look like and the Siskiyou Velo Bike Club wants to make sure adequate bike lanes are part of that blueprint.

“The city has a lot of really good programs going on, or plans going on to improve bicycle facilities but we are trying to encourage them to include all abilities and all ages,” Harlan Bittner, president of the Siskiyou Velo Bike Club said.

Which is why the club wants to work with the city when it come to its transportation system plan. According to club members, the city doesn’t have any bike paths that are safe for all ages.

“Right now the bicycle facilities here are really what we call are for the strong and fearless, people who are pretty experienced and who aren’t afraid to ride in traffic,” Bittner said.

While the group understands they can’t change the infrastructure of all roads, they hope future roads will be built with bike lanes for kids, seniors, and people with all abilities in mind.

“When I was a kid I rode my bike to school starting from 12 or 13 all the way up through high school,” he said. “I just cant imagine kids doing this here in Medford. The facilities are just not safe enough for most of our schools.

Councilors say improving bike lanes are a part of the city’s plans, but they also have other upgrades and additions to address as well.

“A lot of it will depend on how wide of an area we will have so some will have all the fixins, where it’ll have the sidewalk, the bike lane and plenty room for cars. In some of the old roads that’s unlikely to happen,” Medford city councilor Kevin Stine said.

Other items on the table include new or expanded sidewalks, roundabouts, and planter strips. Another study session will be held next month in hopes of getting a proposal to councilors by summer.

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