As a driver who probably averages over 365 trips a year on Rose Street, I was astonished at the original plan to degrade the street to three lanes (including a center turn lane and two bicycle paths).
Later, I applauded the (often maligned) Walla Walla City Council for making the wise and sensible decision to keep it to four lanes. I felt the original plan would not only impede the flow of traffic at times, but also be dangerous.
Now, I see the Rose Street configuration is still under debate — or at least it was discussed at the recent forum of City Council candidates. I hope the previous good-sense decision — to leave the street at four lanes — is not changed.
That said, I do have sympathy and understanding for the concerns of our bicycle-riding community. I’m certainly no engineer but one thing I’ve noticed while making those many drives up and down Rose is that there are sidewalks on both sides of the street with relatively few people using them.
Why not consider converting one of them — probably the one on the tree-lined north side — to a bicycle path so those who ride bikes can use that one while pedestrians use the sidewalk across the street?