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Addition of parking protected bike lanes in downtown San Luis Obispo causes confusion for some

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Posted at 3:32 PM, Nov 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-11 22:53:10-05

Parking protected bike lanes have made their debut in San Luis Obispo.

“At first, I wasn’t super sure what it was. I was like, why is there a curb in the middle of the street? I think it’s a little more confusing than you’d expect. While driving and doing right turns I’m like, oh is this a parking lane? Is this a right turn lane?” said Ramy Wahpa, Cal Poly student.

“I’ve been living here for 31 years and when I saw this, first of all, I thought that the car broke. And then I noticed that, oh, no, it is a parking space. So it is very confusing,” said Hector Resendiz, San Luis Obispo resident.

“I think it’s a little bit confusing if you’ve never seen it before," added Julie Avery, San Luis Obispo resident.

“It doesn’t look like a parking structure,” said Lauren Toomey, San Luis Obispo resident.

The City of San Luis Obispo said in a social media post that one of the major benefits of a parking protected bike lane is an added layer of security for cyclists with parked cars acting as a barrier between cyclists and moving traffic. The post also mentioned these lanes have proven to reduce bicycle injury collisions by 90 percent.

Derek Moore is visiting from San Francisco where he says the parking protected bike lanes have been a great success.

“It’s definitely increased the bike traffic in the community, although it does lead to a little bit of parking congestion as people try to merge in and out of the protected lane," said Derek Moore, San Francisco resident.

Despite the parking snafus, Moore says he thinks the lanes are beneficial — especially to the biking community.

“I’m personally glad they put them in. I’m a bike rider, so this makes me feel more secure as a bike rider; however, it is always complicated, right? When you’re trying to balance between the parking needs and the bicyclist needs," Moore said.

In a social media post earlier this week, the City of San Luis Obispo reminded community members to park on the left of the bike lane within the marked stalls — not along the curb blocking the bike lane — and to still pay at the meter or pay station as you would normally.

The City of San Luis Obispo asks cyclists to follow the curbside bike lane to the right of the parked cars, avoid the striped door zone or median separating the bike lane from the cars, and yield to pedestrians crossing the bike lane to get to their vehicles.