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New Signs On Main Street Raising Concerns, Confusion - KOAM TV 7

New Signs On Main Street Raising Concerns, Confusion

Updated:

  If you were lined up on Main Street tonight...you may have noticed the improvements to one of Joplin's main arteries.
     A lot of projects are nearing completion...which includes new signs and street markings.
     But one of those signs has raised some concerns with area residents.
If you've been driving down Main Street lately, you've probably seen these -- new bike lane markings.
More specifically, "shared lane" markings.
Cyclists are required to use that right lane, but vehicles can also use it.
But, Joplin resident William Shuter, is worried about those lanes. 
Shuter: "People run into telephone poles and streetlights and what have you, and certainly, they're going to run into a kid on a bike."
Shuter's concern is having people on bicycles trying to share with folks who may not be skilled at driving, or even, those driving who are sharing with someone not too skilled in bike road rules.
He feels there's a better option.
Shuter: "I don't see anything wrong with the three foot lane on the side of the road like they have up on Main north of hear."
City officials say the side lanes *were* considered in this stretch of Main, however...
Taylor Cunningham: "We have certain amount of space of right-of-way that the city owns that we can do anything in, and when you talk about, you have to have two travel lanes, turning lanes at the intersection, a sidewalk, you only have so much room for that."
As for William, he's concerned about the lack of regulations for bicyclists, even the safe ones.
Shuter: "They can take the place of a car, on the highway, with no license, no plates, no insurance, no safety regulations at all, and, we have to have all of the above."
Taylor is a bit more optimistic. 
Cunningham: "As cyclists become more comfortable using the lanes, they'll see them out, and we'll all learn to cooperatively use the road together, because it's for all of us."
     City officials say they're looking at ideas for educating the public next spring when temperatures warm up.

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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