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I’m very familiar with this particular bike lane and the story behind its installation.
a) As an improvement, I’d widen it almost to the width of the plastic delineators and add a more robust separation that can’t be encroached upon by drivers. With that in place, it might be possible to make this a two-way cycle track that could eventually get some grade separation to put it at a similar level as the sidewalk.
b) The opposition would likely be similar to what preceded the lane’s installation in that local car owners might see not being able to use the buffer space for quick loading/unloading of cars as an affront to their right to access their buildings. This could be offset by installing loading zones on the other side of the street, but that would also take parking!