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BUMPED: Residents start to feel effects of Medford's move toward making streets safer for bikes

When it comes to parking, parallel was popular behind Providence Medford Medical Center ' until Tuesday.

Spring Street between Crater Lake Avenue and Royal Avenue lost its on-street parking to bicycle lanes, and some nearby residents are unhappy.

I think it stinks, said Jean James, who lives in the Royal Apartments on the corner of Royal and Spring. It's unsafe. There's a lot of elderly and a lot of women (living nearby). Who knows what'll happen to them on the way from their car to the place where they live?

James hoped the city would change its mind and restore on-street parking.

That's why pencils have erasers because people do make mistakes, she said.

— Osa Hammarstrom, a 15-year resident of Royal Apartments, said most tenants are given one garage space per apartment, which makes it difficult for multi-car families or visitors.

Say you have friends come over, what can you do? There's no parking, she said.

Why does the bicycler have more rights than cars?

She said bicyclists rarely come down that part of Spring Street anyway.

The city on Monday posted notices that there would no longer be on-street parking within the block and on Tuesday painted the bicycle lanes. The move is part of an effort to improve the citywide bicycle system as required by state, regional and local goals.

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance, a cycling advocacy group in Portland, gave Medford a D-minus in 2002 in a statewide assessment of local facilities and planning policies related to bicycles.

The Medford City Council formed the Bicycle Task Force in 2003 to refine and prioritize bicycle routes.

Edgar Hee, chairman of the task force, said while Medford residents argue there is no need for bike lanes on their street because they seldom see cyclists, times are changing.

What I see actually is an increase in people commuting by bicycle now that gas is going to &

36;3 a gallon, he said. Bicycle commuters will rely more and more on Spring Street as a major east-west connector through Medford, he said.

Others argue there's no point in putting a bike lane on that block because two blocks down, there's no bike lane.

You're essentially developing your bike system one block at a time or sometimes half a block at a time, he said, adding that it's much like the building of the interstate system decades ago, when there were sections leading to nowhere all over the country.

Cory Crebbin, Medford public works director, said residents did not lose private parking spaces.

They aren't losing their parking, it's public right of way, he said.

Violators risk a &

36;99 citation for prohibited parking, said Howard Pendleton, Medford Police community service officer.

Crebbin said bicycle lanes were added on Spring Street at this time because McAndrews at Crater Lake Avenue will close soon for construction, and traffic will be re-routed down Spring Street.

The project is one of about 54 listed in the Transportation System Plan, adopted by the City Council in 2003. Crebbin said there were citizen committees and hearings prior to the plan's adoption. He said for the Spring Street project, no public hearings were held but the Public Works Department sent letters out to all property owners in July.

Next on the list may be bicycle lanes along Siskiyou Boulevard near Highland Drive, then Peach Street in 2006, he said.

Hammarstrom, 75, joked she might just have to buy a bicycle.

Maybe they want us to save gasoline, she quipped.

Bike lanes vs. Parking spots

Medford adopted plans in 2003 to put bike lanes along the following streets over the next 20 years. In many places, on-street parking will be eliminated.

Barnett Road ' North Phoenix Road to the urban growth boundary.

Beall Lane ' Urban growth boundary to Highway 99.

Biddle Road ' Airport Road south to Airport Road north.

Biddle Road ' Business Park Drive to Table Rock Road.

Black Oak Drive ' Lawrence Avenue to Barnett Road.

Black Oak Drive ' Siskiyou Boulevard to Acorn Way.

Brookdale Avenue ' Spring Street to McAndrews Road.

Bullock Road ' Highway 62 to north end of the street.

Cedar Links Road ' Springbrook Road to 1,000 feet east of Wilkshire Drive.

Central Avenue ' McAndrews Road south to Riverside Avenue.

Coal Mine Road ' North Phoenix Road to east urban growth boundary.

Coker Butte Road ' North-South Industrial Road to Lear Way.

Columbus Avenue ' Prune Street to McAndrews Road.

Court Street ' Highway 62 to Edwards Street.

Cunningham Avenue/Willow Way ' urban growth boundary to Columbus Avenue.

Dakota Street ' Columbus Avenue to Hamilton Street.

Delta Waters Road ' Highway 62 to Crater Lake Avenue.

Diamond Street ' Orchard Home Drive to Peach Street.

East-West Collector Street ' Biddle Road to Bullock Road.

Ellendale Drive ' Dyer Road to Barnett Road.

Garfield Road ' Kenyon Street to Holly Street.

Highland Drive ' Barnett Road to Barneburg Road.

Highway 99 ' South Stage Road to Barnett Road.

Hillcrest Road ' Foothill Road to North Phoenix Road.

Jackson Street ' Central Avenue to Berkeley Way.

Juanipero Way ' Lawrence Avenue to Olympic Avenue.

Lear Way ' Highway 62 to Commerce Drive.

Lone Pine Road ' Edgevale Avenue to Foothill Road.

Lozier Lane ' South Stage Road to Garfield Road.

Main Street ' Almond Street to Hillcrest Road.

McAndrews Road ' Sage Road toward West Main Street.

McLoughlin Drive ' north of Delta Waters Road to Owen Drive.

Medco Road ' Skypark Drive to Vilas Road.

Morrow Road ' Biddle Road to Corona Avenue.

Murphy Road ' Juanipero Way to Barnett Road.

North-South Industrial Road ' Medco Road to Vilas Road.

Owen Drive ' Highway 62 to McLoughlin Drive.

Peach Street ' Archer Drive to Garfield Street.

Poplar Drive ' Progress Drive to Highway 62 (completed).

Riverside Avenue ' Highway 62 to Barnett Road.

Royal Avenue ' Stevens Street to McAndrews Road.

Sage Road ' McAndrews Road to north of McAndrews Road.

Siskiyou Boulevard ' 10th Street to Highland Drive.

South Stage Road ' Highway 99 to east of Interstate 5.

Southeast Plan collector street ' Coal Mine Road to Cherry Lane.

Spring Street ' Royal Avenue to Crater Lake Avenue (completed).

Springbrook Road ' Delta Waters Road to urban growth boundary.

Stanford Road ' Coal Mine Road to Cherry Lane.

Stevens Street ' Biddle Road to Crater Lake Avenue.

Table Rock Road ' Highway 99 to Merriman Road.

Willamette Avenue ' Siskiyou Boulevard to Main Street.

Fourth Street ' Columbus Avenue to Oakdale Avenue.

10th Street ' Columbus Avenue to Central Avenue.

10th Street ' Bear Creek to Siskiyou Boulevard.

BUMPED: Residents start to feel effects of Medford's move toward making streets safer for bikes "mlanders@mailtribune.com.

Jean James, left, and Osa Hammarstrom live in the Royal Apartments on Spring Street, where on-street parking was lost to bike lanes Tuesday. They say the loss of parking spaces will be a hardship for multi-car families and visitors. Mail Tribune / Bob Pennell - Mail Tribune Bob Pennell