There’s confusion and controversy over the new bike lanes on Route 116 in Chicopee.
Bicyclists have to ride between two lanes of automobile traffic to follow the new bike lane. But the state Department of Transportation wants you to know these bike lanes are safe.
“It’s not a straight line,” one local driver told 22News. “You have to constantly swerve around. It seems more of a hazard than anything else.”
Chicopee residents are confused over the state’s reconfiguration of Route 116. MassDOT reduced 116 from two lanes to one near I-391 and added bicycle lanes after they repaved the road last week.
The new bike lanes run to the right of the through lane, and to the left of right turn only lanes. Route 116 is a state-road which provides access to I-391 north and south.
MassDOT said the new bike lanes on Route 116 will improve safety for drivers and bicyclists. But there are some residents who think the state made the road more dangerous.
“I probably wouldn’t feel safe just because for the fact that it kind of merges into the other traffic lane and then you have to swerve around,” said Richard Gallacher of Chicopee. “I don’t understand why they just didn’t repair the sidewalk and keep the traffic off the street.”
Transportation Department spokesman Patrick Marvin told 22News the Route 116 bike lanes meet Federal Safety standards, which recommend placement of the bike lane between the through lane and the right turn lane.
MassDOT plans to re-paint the new pavement markings on Route 116 in the spring. Marvin said they took in concerns and suggestions from community members before they made the changes to Route 116.