FL Bicycle Commuters

Q

This summer I and other bike-commuting coworkers noticed a significant
increase in the number of close calls [between bikes and cars] on Mitchell
Lane and in the Foothills Lab parking lots. It is getting more dangerous
and is only a matter of time before a serious accident occurs. UCAR has a
policy of encouraging alternative transportation; what can it do to promote
the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians on Mitchell Lane and in the
parking lots?

Note: The questioner had some follow-up comments to clarify the situation
for the Delphi coordinator.

The problem is not just traffic increase but all the folks parking along
both sides of Mitchell Lane, which has narrowed the street considerably.
With no lane markings, drivers are treating the street like one large
parking lot. My suggestions would be:

* Paint a double yellow line in the center of Mitchell Lane. Currently
it does not have any lane markers at all.

* Post a "bicycles have full use of lane" sign along Mitchell Lane.

* Post a "do not pass bicycles in intersection" sign at the
intersection on Mitchell Lane in front of Foothills Lab.

Answered on September 05, 2000

A

I appreciate the writer's concern and constructive suggestions. Any unsafe
activity occurring on UCAR property should be immediately reported to
Security, ext. 1139, or Health, Environment, and Safety Services (HESS),
ext. 8556. Once an unsafe situation is identified, prompt action can be
taken to prevent its reoccurrence.

Mitchell Lane is a public street over which UCAR has no authority.
Consequently, the city is entirely responsible for anything and everything
that occurs along that corridor. For several years, HESS has made numerous
suggestions to city officials regarding signs, painting of stripes,
crosswalks, increased sanding and deicing, etc. In each instance the city
has reviewed the situation, conducted its own risk analysis, and determined
that no actions were warranted. As frustrating as this is, there is nothing
we can do to make the city implement any changes. However, HESS will
continue to officially encourage the city to reevaluate the situation and
make appropriate changes.

-Steve Sadler, Director, Safety and Site Services