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Published April 09, 2012, 10:20 PM

Fargo divided over whether to add bike lanes on two major streets

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The Fargo City Commission will decide next Monday whether or not to add bike lanes to two major thoroughfares. From the looks of an informational meeting tonight, the concept seems to have a city divided.

The Fargo City Commission will decide next Monday whether or not to add bike lanes to two major thoroughfares. From the looks of an informational meeting tonight, the concept seems to have a city divided.

The city wants to add bike lanes to both 10th Street North and University, two major arteries that connect NDSU with downtown Fargo. The idea was on the consent agenda at a February commission meeting, but Commissioner Dave Piepkorn removed it, saying it needs to be studied further. Now he's hoping the city will nix the plan.

Dave Piepkorn – Fargo City Commissioner: “It's the man arterial north-south through our town and the amount of response that I've had is overwhelming that this is not a good idea.”

The original plan was to install the bike lanes as part of this 10th street north road project. The lanes would be striped and placed from 12th Avenue North to 17th Avenue North on 10th street, then from 12th Avenue North to 19th Avenue North on University Drive.

Dave Piepkorn: “I'm in favor of bikes, and bike routes, but this is just not a safe setup.”

City traffic engineer Jeremy Gordon disagrees, saying they're following specific design guidelines by the Department of Transportation.

Jeremy Gordon – Fargo Traffic Engineer: “It looks at speeds, traffic volumes and roadway with, and it recommends a six foot bike lane on 10th Street and University. This is happening all across the country, so I think it's safe.”

Engineers also want to extend this bike lane on 4th Avenue North up to University, fully connecting NDSU to downtown. The NDSU Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Study completed in December 2010 show an estimated 1,200 bicyclists a day would use the bike lanes if created.

Aaron Feickert – NDSU Student: “I'm a student, so I commute almost every day by bicycle on exactly the route they're talking about and adding bike lanes to 10th and University makes a lot of sense.”

The commission is scheduled to vote on the issue at next Monday's meeting. If you have any comments or concerns, you're asked to E-mail or call the City of Fargo's Engineering Office before April 12th.

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