Theresa Rose, North Forty News
Who in Fort Collins doesn’t love a bike lane? Cycling is a favorite form of recreation and a cheap, eco-friendly means of transportation. The more lanes, the better, right?
But not if you ask Stephon Knight, owner of the Thai Pepper on Laurel Street between College and Remington. The two-lane corridor is already congested and the addition of a bike lane and bike rack in front of his restaurant is seriously affecting his business. He claims to have lost ten parking spaces due to bike parking. Employees and long-term customers are now having to park blocks away. CSU employees with only an hour for lunch don’t want to drive around for fifteen minutes just to park. He has also lost elderly customers who don’t want to walk so far.
Deliveries have been affected also. Blocking the alley on the east side of the restaurant is often the only option. In addition, cyclists are vulnerable to collisions with drivers exiting the blind alley.
Knight is concerned about the safety of both drivers and cyclists. He cites an incident of a skateboarder in the bike lane colliding with a car. There used to be a traffic light at the intersection of Laurel and Remington, forcing drivers and cyclists to stop and wait for each other. Knight claims the current roundabout is moving traffic too swiftly in the tight intersection.
Knight says that all of the businesses on the 1/2 block section of Laurel Street have been affected. His restaurant, in a space occupied by eateries since the 1970s, may no longer be as viable.