Drivers unhappy over new Broad Ripple bike lanes


New bike lanes have drivers tied up in traffic. Broad Ripple Avenue isn't as broad as it used to be and a lot of stalled motorists are fuming.

"It's the stupidest thing they've every done. It's caused a lot more congestion," said Brian Moore, Broad Ripple resident.

Even outside the rush hours at mid-morning, the intersection at Broad Ripple and Evanston had traffic backed up for three blocks.

"I don't know why they would take one of the busiest streets on this side of town and reduce it from two lanes each direction to one lane in each direction," said Moore.

The changes are part of the city wide effort to make streets safer and more convenient for bicyclists.

The affected part of Broad Ripple Avenue - from the high school to Keystone Ave., - used to be five lanes wide. Now there are two bike lanes, a middle lane for turning and two lanes left for through traffic.

"We have gotten some complaints," said Steve Hardiman, Department of Public Works.

The DPW insists the new lanes are all right, but that the traffic lights are wrong. Their timing is off.

"As far as when they are changing need to be readjusted," he said.

Hardiman promises they will be fixed this week and even with fewer lanes, the thoroughfare can easily handle all the traffic.

Pat O'Brien isn't buying it.

"It is too dangerous for bicyclists to be on Broad Ripple Avenue. It's bad enough to be driving or walking," said Pat O'Brian, a driver.

City officials admit the new changing lanes have motorists on a learning curve, or perhaps a swerve. We observed several drivers failing to obey the new lanes, and spotted a few people cycling on the sidewalk.

The DPW says it added bike lanes the area because neighborhood and business groups asked for them.