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Berkeley Lake officials struggle with street safety

BERKELEY LAKE - City Council members on Thursday rehashed recent concerns regarding the safety of Berkeley Lake's city streets - Lakeshore Drive in particular. In light of the city's recent consideration of an ordinance requiring bicycle and rider registration, council members are still not sure how to handle the various problems.

One issue that continually comes to the forefront of these discussions is bicycle/pedestrian safety on Lakeshore Drive. Pedestrians and cyclists have had several near-misses on this road. Lakeshore Drive draws cyclists from surrounding areas because of its tight, winding curves.

Council member Debbie Guthrie voiced her concern regarding the amount of time and money spent on this issue at Thursday night's meeting.

"I want us as a city and a council to look at all the road safety issues in Berkeley Lake. They're not limited to bicyclists," said Guthrie, who suggested the use of neighborhood pace cars and portable speed-reading signs, which display how fast motorists are driving.

"We've spent about $2,300 in legal fees because of this bicycle ordinance that hasn't even passed yet. We need to stop coming up with ideas and going off on tangents, spending a lot of money without discussing ideas as a group," Guthrie said.

Council member George Sipe agreed with Guthrie on most of her points, adding that Lakeshore Drive is a problem because of the very thing that attracts cyclists from other cities.

"The curves on Lakeshore prevent police officers' use of radar on that road," Sipe said.

In preparation for Thursday night's meeting, Sipe wrote and circulated a list of possible solutions to problems that won't go away and seem to be getting worse as traffic flow increases.

Mayor Lois Salter and the council members agreed to put the issue on the agenda for the next council meeting, inviting input from residents.

In other news:

n Qualifications for city elections will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 12 through Sept. 15 in City Hall.

n Berkeley Lake's fall Earth Day is scheduled for Oct. 8.