I took a different route home yesterday (actually, I wasn't going home, but to meet my wife somewhere.) I had driven it before,
but I had to check out the map to plan my cycling route. Lo, and behold, the road was repaved (smooth!) and with a brand new bike lane, complete with an icon of a stick-figure guy on a bike painted every so often.
I had a deep feeling of gratitude for the gesture (especially the new pavement!) but I also had mixed feelings. So please forgive my apparent lack of thankfulness as I rant for a moment.
Thank you for the bike lane. I know you painted it just for me. But your responsibility for a bike lane does not end with a paint job. Unless you commit to sweep that lane very frequently, my bicycling trip becomes more dangerous than ever before!
Cars avoid bike lanes, which is supposed to be good. But it's the cars that keep rocks and dangerous broken things off the street by sweeping the lanes with their tires.
When you paint a lane, but don't sweep or maintain it, you are dangerously degrading the quality of the road for cyclists, even risking our lives. Dodging gravel is not my idea of safety!
(Gravel and debris, even in a brand-spanking new bike lane! And I mean not just a little!)