AHWATUKEE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - If you live or bike in Ahwatukee, you may have noticed new bicycle signs around town.
They’re causing a lot of controversy on social media because they say bicyclists can ride in the entire lane on busy roads. The City of Phoenix said it’s all to improve safety.
“That stretch of the road, I think, is particularly dangerous,” said retired accident investigator Mike Cummins.
He’s talking about Ray Road and Chandler Boulevard, where most of the 34 signs have recently been put up, according to the City. Cummins has also been an Ahwatukee resident for 33 years.
“Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do,” Cummins said.
The speed limit on these roads is 40 miles per hour for cars. But, the City said this is not only legal, but is intended to improve safety. Cummins believes this will cause an unwanted chain reaction.
“In an accident, the car is going to win 100% of the time and the bicycle is going to lose 100% of the time,” he said.
And there's more that's steering people the wrong way. The City said they also put up the signs because of confusion about a white line on the side of the road. Most people in the area thought it was a bike lane on those streets, but the City said it’s not. The lines are just “edge lines” to help guide and slow traffic.
“Quite honestly, I’ve always thought it was a bike lane,” said Cummins.
But nobody our crews interviewed or talked to knew that. On the other side of the tracks, are those who say drivers have grinded their gears long enough.
"I think it’s a great idea because it makes it a lot safer for the cyclists,” said James Moreno, a manager at Global Bikes in Ahwatukee.
Moreno said it's been an uphill battle for bicyclists to get space on the road and is encouraged that this may make it a safer and even playing field, or street, with drivers.
“It actually makes it easier for the motorists to see me. I’m more visible,” he said. “Maybe they feel like they’re going to lose a lane of traffic and be stuck in more traffic, and to that I say, maybe you should get a bicycle and try it and get out of traffic.”
It’s now a controversy stuck in a vicious cycle, with differing opinions stuck in one lane.