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The Dripby Brew Editors9:50 pmJun 27, 20170

City agrees to keep Potomac Street bike lane

Pugh administration in settlement talks with group that won a restraining order

Above: Potomac Street bike lane signage earlier this month. (Fern Shen)

On the eve of a court hearing, the Pugh administration has agreed not to tear out the bike lane on Potomac Street in Canton.

Instead, it has entered into talks with Bikemore, which won a restraining order against the removal plan. The mayor hinted at such a settlement plan last week while announcing the appointment of a new director for the Department of Transportation.

On its webpage, Bikemore, the city’s leading bike advocacy group, said, “We will not be going to court tomorrow. Instead we have entered into a settlement agreement and will be sitting down this week with the city to assist in finalizing new plans for Potomac Street.

“We are confident this modified plan will preserve a high-quality, all-ages-protected, two-way bike facility on Potomac Street as well as safeguard public safety and accommodate emergency vehicles.

“Once the plans have been finalized, they will be shared with the public for a two-week comment period. During that time the Potomac Street bike lane will remain intact as is currently constructed. Once the public comment period has ended, the city will take comments into consideration and begin construction.”

Pugh’s chief of strategic alliances, James T. Smith Jr., caused an uproar by announcing plans to demolish the cycle track after some residents raised objections that the configuration violated the fire code and made travel by emergency vehicles difficult.

Bikemore responded by saying that the Pugh administration was backtracking on plans laid out by the Rawlings-Blake administration for a network of downtown and neighborhood bike lanes and protected cycle tracks.

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