Spokane has finally had it’s first guerrilla bike lane. According to the Spokesman-Review, someone who was obviously not part of a road painting crew painted a bike lane on Riverside Avenue in the west end of downtown Spokane near Spokane Fire Station No. 4, recreating a bike lane recently taken out by the city. The line of paint follows the previous lane’s boundary, which is clearly visible.
City officials don’t seem too concerned. Streets Director Gary Kaesemeyer says that if someone had a legitimate reason to put the lane back, the City will install it permanently after looking into it. It doesn’t look like that lane will be “officially” striped though. Engineers say that it was taken out for a reason, and a new bike lane was striped on the opposite side of the road instead, for safety reasons.
Inga Note, a traffic planning engineer with the city, says the lane was removed because it crossed the on-ramp to the Maple Street Bridge and people would drive across it without looking for bicyclists. With the lane moved to the left side of the road, riders are much safer. She also said it makes more sense because most bicyclists head into Browne’s Addition rather than riding across the bridge.