Shawnee City Commission, again, heard from residents Monday regarding a bike lane proposal along Broadway.

Shawnee City Commission, again, heard from residents Monday regarding a bike lane proposal along Broadway.

Shawnee resident and cyclist Holly Gordon shared her appreciation for the city's attempts to hear views and schedule a meeting, as well as thanking Mayor Richard Finley, City Commissioner James Harrod and City Commissioner Ron Gillham Sr. for their attendance at a bike lane discussion held at a local church over the holiday weekend. Other commissioners were unable to attend the meeting, as City Code requires there to be fewer than three in such a setting at a time.

Broadway resident Glen Kegin also stepped forward to note his list of concerns regarding the added lanes. Most of his thoughts addressed parking issues.

Broadway resident Randy James reiterated his concerns about what the bike lanes would mean to home owners on the longtime residential street, also adding his appreciation of city leaders' attendance at the church meeting and looking forward to Wednesday's discussion.

James and wife, Michelle, had approached the board in October and November, requesting a discussion between those on all sides of the debate.

Though it's been discussed among those pushing the project for two years, the recent flood of opposition, and requests for a meeting, have spurred the board to host a Broadway Project listening session at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Bertha Ann Young Commission Chambers at City Hall, 16 West 9th St.

The city plans to provide a short informational session on the project and subsequently open the floor for citizens to participate by providing feedback and concerns, Shawnee City Manager Chance Allison said last week.

The meeting is intended for sharing dialogue only; the board will not be taking action of any kind.

Background

In recent weeks, after green, “Insert Bike Lane Here” signs began adorning lawns along Broadway, gradually more yellow “Save My Street Parking” signs popped up in opposition to the proposed project.

A few of the Broadway residents against bike lanes voiced their concerns to commissioners and requested a meeting with everyone who would be impacted by the plan.

Talk of the possibility of bicycle lanes along Broadway Street have been in the works for about two years.

Several workshops discussing comprehensive plans for Shawnee's future have been focused around what potential there is for special treatment along Broadway, such as mini-circles, medians and/or bike lanes.

In past workshops led by RDG Planning and Design, Broadway was brought up as an easy example for creating design changes with minimal cost attached.

Adding bike lanes was just one of the ideas introduced.

Since Broadway, one of the oldest and most well-traveled streets in town, is wider than most — boasting a width of 40 feet across — certain amenities could be added or adjusted with minimal cost and/or disruption of the street, as it is now. Narrower streets would have to be widened to make adequate room for bike lanes. Other ideas were also brainstormed at the workshops, such as putting a median down the center of Broadway (to slow traffic by narrowing the street), but could potentially feature parking spaces.

Nothing was determined or chosen as a specific plan moving forward, all the suggestions were just that — suggestions.

To voice comments and considerations in writing, send to: City Manager’s Office, 16 West 9th Street, Shawnee, OK 74801 or email chance.allison@shawneeok.org.

Also, share your opinions, concerns or comments — favorable or unfavorable — on the topic with The Shawnee News-Star; email vicky.misa@news-star.com.

Watch for updates.