By Sophie Oriani

At their June 7 work session, Laurel Mayor Craig Moe and city councilmembers heard an initial presentation on three potential options for a bikeway along Cherry Lane.

Tamara Good gave the presentation for KCI Technologies, which has been working alongside Laurel’s Department of Public Works to develop options.

The proposed bikeway will run along an approximately one-mile stretch of Cherry Lane, from Van Dusen Street to Route 1. It will connect existing bike routes together.

Cherry Lane is a 30 mph road with six lanes of traffic with dedicated turn lanes along most of the stretch under consideration, Good said. It has wide medians, sidewalks on both sides and no shoulders. Creating a safe path for bikers along this stretch has the potential to greatly increased the connectedness of the area, as the road passes Laurel High School, Laurel Lake  and the Laurel Town Center.

The first alternative Good presented would restripe existing roads, converting the outer lane in each direction into a dedicated 6-foot bike lane with a 5-foot painted buffer between the bike lane and travel lanes for cars. In the stretches where there is only one through lane, that lane would be marked as a shared lane.

The second alternative would be very similar to the first, except that the 5-foot buffer zone between the bikes and car travel lanes would also have a physical divider for increased safety.

The third alternative, which Good noted would be the most complicated and expensive, calls for a 10-foot shared-use path for both cyclists and pedestrians in place of the sidewalk on the eastbound side of Cherry Lane. (For the stretch between Laurel Place and Route 1, the bikeway would consist of roadway striping.) Good noted that this option would impact currently existing utilities and trees the most.

No proposal would affect existing speed cameras.

The next steps will be to flesh out the three alternatives in greater detail, including cost estimates, and to seek public input on the different options.