NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)– Patrick Lamond goes out for a bike ride from his Wayfarer Bicycle Shop on most days.
“I’ve had a lot of good experiences,” said Lamond. “There’s certainly times where you wish you were on a bike path because you do get some side streets cutting in and out but as long as you’re on your toes it’s not too bad.”
But he says it could be better. The city is trying to make New London safer for cyclists by peddling a new bike route which would run from Ocean Beach Park on the south end of the city north to Connecticut College.
“We were a walkable city and now we want to be be bike friendly city,” said Felix Reyes, Director of Economic Development and Planning for New London. “Cyclists are using the city right now. We just want to make it safe and now formalize it for them as well.”
More than 200 road signs are being put up which designate the route and show distances between locations. There are also 400 sharrows. That’s like arrows showing shared roads.
“Education is the biggest thing right now,” said Reyes.
Lamond has some advice for drivers who may soon find themselves sharing the road with more cyclists.
“I think it’s be patient. Give us time to get around any sort of obstacle whether it be a parked car, a sewer grate, or anything we need to come out into the road to get around,” said Lamond. “But I think most cyclists are going to stay to the side of the road.”
The bike lane on Montauk Avenue was one of the first bike lanes in the city. It was installed years ago when the road was widened.
With the new bike route there are some dedicated bike lanes but most of it is made up of shared roads.
The hope is they will more easily connect neighborhoods and encourage alternative ways to get around.
“Whether it’s for people to EB, for us to ride to work, or ride to get groceries it just gives us more safe feeling while we’re riding,” said Lamond.
The bike route should up to speed by the spring.