One morning a few weeks ago, a worker from Banning’s street department was marking lines at each of the corners of the intersection of San Gorgonio Avenue and Indian School Lane.
The worker told me the City is to put wheelchair ramps at each of the four corners of the intersection.
The City has since cut the pavement and the curbing at those corners, but it has not removed any pavement or curbing.
City officials told me that the ramps must be placed there in order to meet the requirements of a grant that is paying for improvements to streets in other parts of town.
In other words, the ramps’ placement is simply mindless fall-out from the Americans with Disabilities Act.
I had a very pleasant phone visit with City Manager Doug Schulze a couple of weeks ago, and in a follow-up email to him, I suggested that it is as if someone played pin-the-tail and the tail landed at this intersection.
Logically, wheelchair ramps need sidewalks if they are to have any reason for being, but there are no sidewalks on San Gorgonio Avenue from Pendleton Street-north, or on Indian School Lane west of Alessandro Road, nor are any needed or wanted.
Furthermore, if the City were to place sidewalks along the northern stretch of San Gorgonio Avenue or along Indian School Lane, it would mean the loss of most of the trees lining both streets, plus, the loss of most of the architectural features on either side of those streets.
Oh, by the way, the City has never notified any of the affected residents of anything about the coming construction of the wheelchair ramps.
Now, for bicycle lanes.
They may bring safer travel for cyclists, but they may have another beneficial effect.
White lines along a street in order to delineate parking spaces may give the perception of a narrower street, thus slowing (smart) drivers.
Bicycle lanes on each side of a street may have the same effect.
But, more important for safe cycling is for bicyclists of all ages and abilities to obey the traffic laws and to cycle with the realization that many motorists SIMPLY REFUSE TO SEE BICYCLISTS (or motorcyclists).
In addition, cyclists must recognize that many drivers are paying more attention to their cell-phones than to anything in front of them.
Finally, as Mark Friis correctly stated, Banning is not Redlands, and it has FAR fewer cyclists, but the existence of the bike lanes may increase motorists’ awareness of cyclists and bring out more cyclists here in Banning.
Steve Higbee, Banning