DPW: Island’s bike lanes are not safe

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As businesses closed and the roads of Guam became empty, a number of people took to the then almost empty streets and began road cycling. (Viewer submitted photo)

As Guam’s cycling community continues to grow, the Legislature is thinking of improving the island’s bike lanes.

As businesses closed and the roads of Guam became empty, a number of people took to the then almost empty streets and began road cycling.

As businesses began to reopen and cars took over the streets once again, the cycling community is still going strong.

But now, motorists and cyclists are finding it harder to share the road with one another.

The issue was brought up during the Department of Public Works budget hearing at the legislature.

Senator Telena Cruz Nelson asked DPW Director Vincent Arriola if the department has plans to create a legitimate bike lane on Guam’s major highways.

Arriola agrees that the lack of a proper biking lane is a major safety concern. However, he said that in order to do a proper bike lane, it should be off of the main highway.

“To do a real bike lane requires 4 feet of pavement off the main highway. In a lot of the areas of our main routes and our highways, we just don’t have that space. If you look at most, if not all of Marine Drive, once you go off from the road it goes to a sidewalk, so there’s almost no space,” Arriola said.

He added that the bike lanes that are currently in place, although created in good faith, are not safe.

He said that the creation of a proper lane requires further study.

But Sen. Nelson said: “I would like to implore you to seek an urban planner, and to move forward with such projects. We don’t want to see another incident where someone hits a biker. And you know its a fatal accident. I think if we start planning for these things. I only see the biking community become much larger in the upcoming months and years.”

Arriola said that right now, DPW might be able to make accommodations in roadways such as Routes: 8, 10, 2, and 4 and that they will further look into what else they can do.

When asked for comments, biker Jeffrey “BikerPup” Centino said: “I, myself, picked up cycling during the lockdown and I feel safe cycling the highways when I am with 3 or 4 other cyclists. I feel that the group that will benefit most from bike lanes are motorists who don’t cycle. If there is too much congestion on the roads then bike lanes should be a win-win for both parties.”

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