Bob Kingsley was recently sideswiped, knocked off his bike while riding on Indian Trail Road.
It was an accident Kingsley predicted a year ago when the city restriped traffic lanes on the busy road, creating four lanes where there had been two. There are no bike lanes or paths.
“The new lanes are too narrow to allow cars and bikes to share the road,” said Kingsley. “How many small incidents will be ignored before this risk is addressed?”
Kingsley wants the double lanes replaced by a single lane and a bike lane on each side.
The Indian Trail Neighborhood Specific Plan encourages bicycle commuting, and identifies Indian Trail Road and Woodside Road as bike routes.
The double lanes are meant to move traffic more efficiently through the growing area.
The lanes were restriped south of Kathleen Avenue. Indian Trail Road north of Kathleen was scheduled to be widened this summer from two lanes to four lanes with a center turn lane.
The project has been scaled back to two lanes with a center turn lane, but funding isn’t available for even the smaller project.
Dick Raymond, design engineer for Indian Trail Road, said the current plan calls for 16-foot-wide lanes with room for bikes and cars. It will also include a center turn lane and a landscaped median. There will be turnout lanes for buses.
The lanes on the south end, where Kingsley was hit, are 12-feet wide. Raymond said the old bikeways plan calls for 12-foot lanes to allow for bikes. The new plan advises 14-foot wide lanes.
Kingsley is asking city councilwoman Cherie Rodgers, also an Indian Trail resident, to persuade the city traffic department to remove the double lane and add a clearly marked bike lane.
“I’d love to get that road widened and fix the bike lanes,” said Rodgers. “Let’s get with the traffic department and take a look at it.”
Kingsley wasn’t injured when he was knocked off his bike.
“The young woman driver passed me so close that her right front fender clipped my handlebars,” he said.
“It was precisely the kind of accident to be expected from the traffic design.”
In the meantime, Spokane Police Officer Anthony Giannetto reminds drivers that bicycles have the right of way.
“If a bicycle is in a lane, the car has to yield the right of way to the bike,” he said.
“In this case, the car should have gone into the other lane,” said Gianetto. “The bicyclist has the right to be there.”