I cycle on the “new highway” on a regular basis and it is very dangerous for cyclists.
I have been grazed by mirrors and nearly hit by wheel wells from boat trailers, boats on trailers and cube vans that nudge into the bike lane. The near misses are not due to poor drivers. The fault lies with the people who designed and built the road. Yes, the spin from the city is all standards were met. But standards are the bare minimum and that is the problem, they did the bare minimum. There is insufficient room to the left side of the road for trucks, cube vans, trucks with boat trailers, etc. when passing a cyclist in the bike lane. These poor drivers have no choice but to get into or very close to the bike lane when they pass bikes in the bike lane. If they go too far to the left there is no margin for error and they will hit the “decorative rock.”
As for the road being wide enough for the fire engine to pass, why not place something that uses the road on a regular basis in our sport fishing community as opposed to a skinny city pickup truck – a truck with a large trailer and a large boat, then see if the fire truck can pass. Everyone just looks at the road and knows it’s dangerous. Not only is there a problem with emergency equipment access, it is also very dangerous for cyclists using the bike lane. I am tired of the city trying to avoid dealing with this issue.
Yes, the city blew it. Get over it and just fix it. Get rid of the decorative rock and widen the road to make it safe for everyone.