Edina Road Confuses, Scares Drivers
For mother of two Jenni Lansing, getting everyone situated in the car takes time, energy and concentration. And she hasn't even started driving yet.
Lansing is one of 5,000 drivers a day using Edina's Wooddale Avenue. It's not wide enough for oncoming cars to share without forcing one driver into the bike lane.
"It does make you want to drive right in the center of the road," said Lansing.
To help drivers adjust to the confusion, the Edina City Council is asking the state for permission to paint a yellow line down the middle - separating the two lanes of traffic and directing drivers into the correct space.
According to state law, the bike lanes make the road too narrow to accommodate a yellow line.
"They have to drive in the bike lane when they're meeting oncoming traffic," said Edina Director of Engineering Wayne Houle. "If there's a cyclist using it, who has priority? The cyclist has priority over the vehicles."
Houle says we could start seeing more roads just like Wooddale. The Metro is the first in the country to participate in a national study to evaluate whether cyclists and drivers can share the same space.
"Part of the training process is to show drivers where to actually travel," he said.
Still, Lansing would like to be guided by a yellow line.
"You're trying to watch out for bikers as well as cars coming the opposite direction and make sure you're following the rules and the laws," she said.
The Edina City Council hasn't decided if they will paint the line just yet. First, they'll see if it's even legal and get the approval at both the state and federal level. The council will make the decision from there.