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Old 08-03-02, 12:14 PM   #1
LittleBigMan
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Design standards

To create a "bike facility" that does not meet certain basic minimum safety standards should be against the law.

Supposedly, bike paths and lanes are built for the safety of cyclists. But cyclists who try to use them often have a greater risk of injury or death than cyclists who use the road.

To create a "bike facility" is to tell people that they should ride there and that it is safe to do so. Anyone who is injured because of the safety hazards of any "bike facility" can look to it's builders
to share the blame.

Here are some examples:


1) Sand traps. Sand, gravel and other debris should never be present. If authorities cannot keep it clean, the "facility" should not be built.

2) Uneven pavement. Painting a stripe does not create a "bike lane." Cyclists, more than motorists, need a smooth riding surface
to ride safely with traffic. All bike lane pavement should be resurfaced before being painted.

3) Dangerous intersections. Bike paths built along city streets cross dozens of driveways or buisiness entrances. The high number of intersections raises a cyclist's risk of crashing with a car. Many of these also have shrubbery, signs or other things which block people's view, and the uneven pavement can throw a cyclist.

4) Mixing cyclists with walkers, runners and dogs. "Multi use" paths which mix cyclists with other users put all users in harm's way. Getting hit by a cyclist going 20 - 30 mph. can be fatal for both the cyclist and the person or animal hit. Even a slow-speed
crash can cause serious injuries.

5) Night use. In order for a "bike facility" to be safe and usable, it must be safe and usable 24 hours a day. If it must close at night, it is not safe.

6) Parking. Parking a car in a bike lane makes the lane unsafe and unusable. Parking beside a bike lane, but not in the bike lane, is extremely unsafe, because the cyclist may think it's clear to ride there.

7) Traffic flow. "Bike facilities" that disrupt normal traffic flow and create a special set of rules for cyclists are not safe.

8) Right-of-way. Yielding right-of-way protects people from crashing into each other. Design that creates the fewest places
where someone has to yield to another is the safest. The more yielding points, the more chances of a crash. The more often a "bike facility" causes cyclists to yield to the main body of traffic, the more unsafe it is.

These are just a few I can think of at the moment.
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Old 08-03-02, 04:36 PM   #2
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Minimum safe width (around 5 feet or 1.5 meters) is an often-violated parameter.
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Old 08-03-02, 06:55 PM   #3
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If a bicycle lane is built at the edge of a roadway, what happens when the cyclist intends to go straight at an intersection, but a person overtaking in a car wants to make a right turn at that intersection? I think that type of bike lane should be outlawed on that issue alone. They can build it, but I am under no obligation to use it if I don't want to.

You're definitely right about keeping it clean too. All too often, the bike lanes have a lot of gravel, sand and broken glass.
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Old 08-03-02, 07:09 PM   #4
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while we're at it let's have bikes-only roads built, no cars, and we'll have street sweepers come through every hour, and they'll be elevated so there's no risk of driveways


all of the posts like this make me laugh, a lot. i probably won't be very well-liked for posting something like this around here, but the way i see it; if the lot of you spent as much time on your bikes as you did dreaming up fantasy worlds where cyclists reign supreme you'd have a hell of a good chance at beating Lance in next years Tour.

my advice? stop worrying so much and just ride.

for the record: i dont own a car. if i go somewhere it's by bike. i'm by no means pro-automobile.

i started riding because well, A) i enjoy it, immensely. and B) it's extremely relaxing. i imagine a lot of you started for the same reasons.

if i'm riding my bike everywhere, shouldn't i be save from the evil cars as well? i dont care really. i dont let them bother me, and neither should any of you.

note: this isn't meant as a putdown or to start a flame war. it's just one stupid little kid's honest opinion, like it or not. if you don't, feel free to email me. leave the insults off the boards.
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Old 08-03-02, 07:20 PM   #5
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One of my co-workers has a great poster in his office, I need to take a picture of it to show you guys. It shows a wide, curving city street (wide enough to ordinarily be a 4-lane street) in a near-downtown area, with some high-rise buildings in the background, nice trees... and all the lanes are about 6 feet wide, while there's one wide lane at the edge designated as a "car lane."
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Old 08-03-02, 11:30 PM   #6
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Originally posted by fore
all of the posts like this make me laugh, a lot. i probably won't be very well-liked for posting something like this around here, but the way i see it; if the lot of you spent as much time on your bikes as you did dreaming up fantasy worlds where cyclists reign supreme you'd have a hell of a good chance at beating Lance in next years Tour.

my advice? stop worrying so much and just ride.
Perhaps you could explain to us all why it's impossible to both ride and ask for better facilities at the same time. As I recall, the original post in this thread did not mention banning cars or any of the things that you brought up. It merely pointed out the inadequacies of facilities that are already being built. Where is this mention of the fantasy land that someone dreamed up (apart from your post)?

Just for the record, I spend much more time riding my bike that posting here, but as I said before, it's not physically impossible to ride and think of ways to make life easier for cyclists.
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Old 08-04-02, 07:34 AM   #7
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it's simple.

in any NEW "facility," those demands/requests/ideas can be met, no problem. but in anything already existing/currently under construction there's no way most municipalities would even consider it.

until there are more active cyclists than cars (which i dont see happening in the near future) there's little chance of giving us much of anything. wider bike lanes: that's one less lane for cars. repaving bike lanes: i feel they shouldnt exist in the first place, and that's all i say about that.

want to make a difference? try and get your friends/coworkers/family to start riding. actively. not once or twice a year. the bigger our numbers the better our chances of being listened to. THEN we can start to worry about how debris-free our streets are and so on. that's what i spent my free time doing.

oh, and i never said a thing about banning cars. that fantasy world? if all the requests listed in the original post were actually met, that'd be it.
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Old 08-04-02, 09:15 AM   #8
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If I didn't spend as much time as I do riding and talking to other cyclists, I would still think that motor vehicle drivers are human.

"Adolf Hitler on a bicycle would be a superior human being to Albert Schweitzer in a car"
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Old 08-04-02, 02:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by fore
all of the posts like this make me laugh, a lot.
I don't see anything funny about an elderly cyclist shattering their hip in a fall due to poor bike lane design.
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Old 08-04-02, 06:50 PM   #10
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Originally posted by LittleBigMan

I don't see anything funny ...
please see your email
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Old 08-04-02, 06:58 PM   #11
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fore, I think this is the type of topic you can expect to find discussed in the Advocacy & Safety forum. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but as taxpayers and cyclists, some of us are interested in the design criteria.
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Old 08-04-02, 11:34 PM   #12
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want to make a difference? try and get your friends/coworkers/family to start riding. actively. not once or twice a year.
Since I started cycling 10 years ago, I have encouraged 12 friends to take up the sport, most still ride, some let their bikes gather dust. I am doing all I can to make a difference in the number of cyclists, but that doesn't mean I can't ask for better facilities also.

I don't have any problems with the facilities in my area, they are very good. I don't expect a council to pull up a path and re-pave it, just do a better job next time.

For some bizarre reason there used to be bollards in the middle of the bike path, which were a hazard, they have now been removed, but only after cyclists asked.

CHEERS

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Old 08-05-02, 02:18 PM   #13
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Maybe the liability issues are why they call them multi-use paths around this town. I still feel safer on the roadway.

I agree that we are not likely to see much in the way of meaningful improvements; facilities, enforcement, education, etc. until such time as we demonstrate that there are sufficient numbers of voters who feel strongly about the way cyclists are treated to influence the outcome of elections or the level of contributions in the politicians' pockets.

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Old 08-05-02, 05:42 PM   #14
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I still feel safer on the roadway.
This morning, I hit the usual intown stretch of roadway during the last mile of my commute. It is supplied with bike lanes. Also, as usual, I treated it like a shoulder and rode outside of the bike lane.

These lanes are always filled with bumps, ruts, sand, and glass. One lane in particular had a freshly broken bottle which the cars will never sweep clear with their tires, because they always stay out of the bike lane.

What exactly is a "bike lane?"
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Old 08-05-02, 07:30 PM   #15
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What exactly is a "bike lane?"
A bike lane is any strip of bitumen that has been re-marked, to make a wide four lane road, slightly narrower with a bike lane on either side. It is usually up against the gutter were cars like to park, causing the cyclist to dodge in and out of parked cars, or making them ride in a straight line past the parked cars in the middle of the outer lane. It is also the area that cars use as looking room when exiting side streets, causing the cyclist to weave into traffic if said driver looks like he won't stop. They are usually full of broken glass from car crashes. Leaves, sticks, tree branches, litter, road work signs, buses, motorcyclists can also be found in them. They should be avoided at all costs.

When you look at all the obstacles that are placed in bike lanes, it is a wonder we use them. I do like bike lanes and would be happy to see more of them. Like most people I tend to ride near the white line, if it is a road with many obstacles. If it is a quite road then I will just ride in the middle.

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Old 08-05-02, 07:49 PM   #16
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Originally posted by Dutchy


A bike lane is any strip of bitumen that has been re-marked, to make a wide four lane road, slightly narrower with a bike lane on either side. It is usually up against the gutter were cars like to park, causing the cyclist to dodge in and out of parked cars...

It is also the area that cars use as looking room when exiting side streets, causing the cyclist to weave into traffic...

They are usually full of broken glass from car crashes. Leaves, sticks, tree branches, litter, road work signs, buses, motorcyclists can also be found in them.
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Old 08-05-02, 08:44 PM   #17
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Originally posted by fore
while we're at it let's have bikes-only roads built, no cars, and we'll have street sweepers come through every hour, and they'll be elevated so there's no risk of driveways
if there's no driveways what will we jump off?

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Old 08-05-02, 09:18 PM   #18
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Originally posted by John E
Minimum safe width (around 5 feet or 1.5 meters) is an often-violated parameter.
Incorrect, the law is actually 3 feet.
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Old 08-05-02, 11:36 PM   #19
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Incorrect, the law is actually 3 feet.
Are you referring to bike lanes or bike paths? I am assuming John E is referring to bike paths.

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