PROVINCETOWN — The south side of Bradford Street between the area of Central Street and Carver Street will lose 11 free parking spaces this spring but will gain a designated bicycle lane.
“Eleven parking spaces are well worth sacrificing for the safety of probably hundreds of bikers on a regular basis,” Jay Gurewitsch said on Monday during a board of selectmen meeting. “As a non-biker, I want the bikes in their lane. I’m a pedestrian and a driver — I want them in their space. It’s safer for everyone.”
Dept. of Public Works Director Rich Waldo presented three options to the selectmen on Monday: leave the 11 spaces as is and define the current spots with yellow paint; remove the 11 spaces and paint a five-foot-wide climbing lane for bicyclists year-round (the south side goes uphill); or create a seasonal bicycle lane in the summer and revert back to free parking in the winter.
“I’ll be honest,” Waldo said. “When we came up with plan three, we were banging our heads. Parking spaces are in demand in the summer. If you’re going to remove the spots in summer, why would you put so much emphasis on the winter? I mean, yes, they are used, but they are not rotating parking spaces like they are in the summertime.”
Max Cliggott-Perlt, a member of the bicycle committee, said he hopes the board gets behind this project.
“As an avid bicyclist, I think this [area] poses a critical safety issue,” Cliggott-Perlt said. “The route is a main artery for people coming from Stop & Shop to the center of town. If they don’t go directly to Commercial Street, then Bradford is their only option. I used to own a pedicab company, and going up that hill, especially with passengers, it’s very difficult not to impede on traffic flow.”
Selectmen Vice Chair Erik Yingling thought a year-round bicycle lane would benefit the town.
“It’s not ideal to lose spaces, of course, but there is a large parking lot nearby for residents,” Yingling said. “There are people that use bikes in the winter and all year long, and I think it would be good in the high season. No one likes getting caught behind a pedicab doing seven miles per hour. I think it would be the best for public safety and traffic flow.”
The board voted 4-1, with Selectmen Chair Cheryl Andrews opposed, to remove the parking spots and paint a climbing bicycle lane in the spring when the DPW restripes Bradford Street. — KW