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Old 07-17-06, 09:37 AM   #1
Niten
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Lincoln, Nebraska to get bike lanes downtown

http://journalstar.com/articles/2006...1158395161.txt

The local cycling community is generally in favor. Personally, I don't think downtown, where the speed limits are relatively low and the distances between stops relatively short is the best location for the "experiment". We have plenty of long, multilane arterials with speed limits of 45 mph that could be served well by bike lanes. (OTOH, there are frequently MUPs going in generally the same direction that people point to as the bicycle facility to use as an alternate to these roads.)

Some of the comments are "enlightened", too. "Oh, please, 'Concernced Auto Driver', tell me which roads I may or may not ride on."

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Old 07-17-06, 09:49 AM   #2
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Have you (or anybody here) ever tried to talk to local advocacy groups about bike lanes? Are they open to discussion on the issue of BLs, or are their minds totally made up?
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Old 07-17-06, 09:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Have you (or anybody here) ever tried to talk to local advocacy groups about bike lanes? Are they open to discussion on the issue of BLs, or are their minds totally made up?
Most planners dont understand the fact that better places for a bike lane are where there are long stretches of road with out intersections and drive ways. They think its better to put them on rural roads where you got 10 interssections and driveways per mile.
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Old 07-17-06, 10:35 AM   #4
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Yeah, it's kind of silly, the way they've planned the lanes. What, ride a block in the lane, leave the lane to go through the intersection, get through the intersection, go back in the lane for a block to the next intersection? Silly, pointless, potentially dangerous. When a bunch of newbies get right-hooked, then the city will claim that it's just too dangerous to add more bike lanes (like, where they really belong).
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Old 07-17-06, 10:39 AM   #5
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Advocacy Groups

I didn't get involved with the Lanes question until late in the game, unfortunately. The thing is, there are cycling advocates involved. For example, I know Ian Davis, the advocate quoted in the article, and he's a smart guy. (There's a "Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee" in fact -- don't get me started on the fact that ped and bike are lumped together.) Further, LOTS of cyclists love the idea, judging by my informal, coffee shop debates -- you know, the ones where I get shouted down for being "anti-bike".

Anyway, instead of picking nits with the downtown lanes effort, I've chosen to beat the "every street is a bike facility" drum. It seems more constructive in the long run, and less divisive of the community. Instead of pointing out flaws with the downtown plan, I'll work toward cycling awareness and education, safe practices for cyclists and motorists, and dedicated lanes where they make more sense (to me): on the high speed, limited access roads.

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Old 07-17-06, 10:54 AM   #6
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Obviously this is a the typical case of someone being slowed down by downtown traffic and assuming it must be the "slow bikes" causing all the problems.

My experience is that 25MPH type downtown traffic does not need bike lanes and that any BL put in there tend to be for politicians looking for photo ops.
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Old 07-17-06, 11:49 AM   #7
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Ugh. I'm a new cyclist in Lincoln, and bike downtown almost daily. I have not encountered any upset drivers or any unsafe conditions cycling as part of the traffic flow. I usually am biking at about the same speed as the cars, and it takes about 5-10 seconds to get from stoplight to stoplight. Bike lanes are going to seriously confuse things in downtown and make it more dangerous for cyclists. Not to mention I can imagine the anger from motorists towards those who position themselves in the traffic lanes after the bike lanes have been painted. I will definitely be attending the public hearing.
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Old 07-17-06, 12:05 PM   #8
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BTW, the link at the top no longer seems to be working. Try this one instead:

http://www.journalstar.com/articles/...1158395161.txt
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Old 07-17-06, 12:44 PM   #9
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A friend dug this up. Apparently the proposed road layout will look like this:

parking | car | car | bike | car | parking

Whaaaa? Anyone else have experience with this sort of bike lane layout?
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Old 07-17-06, 12:52 PM   #10
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Brad, are all those lanes intended for same-direction movement?
Where did you get this info? Sounds nuts. But so is:

parking | car | car | car | bike (in door zone) | parking.
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Old 07-17-06, 12:58 PM   #11
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All downtown streets are one-way. Every street alternates it's direction (i.e. 11th street is southbound, 12th is northbound, 13th southbound, etc.). Also, for the most part, parking is at an angle to the street (not parallel).
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Old 07-17-06, 01:10 PM   #12
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Ah, well then,

angled parking \ | car | car | bike | (presumably slow) car | / angled parking

makes a bit more sense, but I've never seen it before.

I think it's a disaster waiting to happen, however. Cyclists in the bike lane are going to feel like they have the ROW no matter what, and ride accordingly. Meanwhile, you have motor vehicles going across by drivers who are probably not accustomed to looking for traffic in such a narrow lane in the middle of the road...
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Old 07-17-06, 01:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Smith
A friend dug this up. Apparently the proposed road layout will look like this:

parking | car | car | bike | car | parking

Whaaaa? Anyone else have experience with this sort of bike lane layout?
Thats interesting. It would avoid the door hazard and the crumbling pavement problem.
However, I wonder how cars are supposed to move from lane to lane. If the don't get to cross the bike lane somehow (with barriers), its sounds pretty cool though. Otherwise, it becomes a great place to be right-hooked.
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Old 07-17-06, 01:30 PM   #14
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here's a picture of that type of lane striping, but without the parking....

I liked Lincoln, Nebraska. a very nice little city. can't say i've biked there though. seemed pretty sedate. i bet some of the feeders and suburb arterials could benefit more than the downtown core, which is compact and very start and stoppy.

roadway accomodations for bikes, however, if properly executed, can be a benefit in any road. if a bike lane stripe is not appropriate, then sharrows, signage, etc..... always best to design bike accomdations to the lowest common denominator, and not the 25 mile per hour Major Taylor commuters out there....

how is grandma going to get to the walmart when her fixed income doesn't allow her to afford gasoline to get there? maybe an electric scooter in integrated, veloped transit lanes.......
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Old 07-17-06, 01:42 PM   #15
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Another interesting note. I just discovered in some city council documents that they want to reverse the striping for the parking stalls so that cars pull past the stall, then back in at an angle. That way they pull straight out when leaving the stall. Weird.
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Old 07-17-06, 02:00 PM   #16
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We've been pushing for back-in angled parking in San Diego, but no one has been bold enough to try it yet.
I understand they have it in a few places up in the bay area.
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Old 07-17-06, 03:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
We've been pushing for back-in angled parking in San Diego, but no one has been bold enough to try it yet.
I understand they have it in a few places up in the bay area.
What problem does back-in angled parking solve? I'm trying to imagine times I've parked like this (in parking lots) and I seem to remember having to pull forward to get a good view of oncoming traffic. If my memory is correct, this type of parking would just get you bike lanes striped in the "bumper zone" which isn't much more inviting than the door zone (at least you could possibly roll over a bumper though). Or is there something I'm missing?
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Old 07-17-06, 05:24 PM   #18
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back in vs. back out

The options are back-in diagonal parking vs. back-out diagonal parking. The idea with back-in is that vehicles are pulling forward when they leave the parking space. With no need for drivers to crane their necks, a better view of traffic is provided. Drivers are more likely to see cyclists, etc.
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Old 07-17-06, 05:31 PM   #19
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Yeah, the idea is that the driver sees more easily when he's leaving the parking spot.

The disadvantage is that back-in parking requires the driver to be able to "aim" (between two other parked cars) while in reverse with relatively small margins of error... A lot of drivers probably can't do that. I know, .

With back-out diagonal, no reverse aiming is required, driver only need to remain straight while backing out, and make a broad sweeping turn with relatively high margins for error once they're most of the way out.
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Old 07-17-06, 07:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Yeah, the idea is that the driver sees more easily when he's leaving the parking spot.

The disadvantage is that back-in parking requires the driver to be able to "aim" (between two other parked cars) while in reverse with relatively small margins of error... A lot of drivers probably can't do that. I know, .

With back-out diagonal, no reverse aiming is required, driver only need to remain straight while backing out, and make a broad sweeping turn with relatively high margins for error once they're most of the way out
.
True, no reverse aiming is required, neither is any reverse "looking for bikes" while backing out of diagonal parking. Diagonal parking is one situation that still gives me problems when riding. I've even been hit once (gently) by a car backing out on the diagonal. There doesn't seem to be a good place to ride on these streets. Ride too close to the parked cars and you hit them when they back out. Ride further out and they hit you. The only solution I've found is to slow way the hell down and that isn't real cool either.

I'm looking forward to finding out how these Lincoln BLs work out in practice. I'm also thinking of an alternative. How about making the outer lane into a lane used ONLY for people who are in the process of parking. Maybe special arrows and signs that say, "Use Right Lane Only When Parking."
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Old 07-17-06, 07:36 PM   #21
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I go by one block of diagonal back-out parking on my commute every day. I ride LEFT of the LEFT tire track, sometimes even in the center turn lane (the center lane on this block is for turning from either direction, but lightly used for turning, and heaving used for buffer space to avoid diagonal parked cars backing out). Motorists behind me have to wait, but at both ends of the block is a signal light which is almost always red, so I cost them no time, really.

(Gene: this is of course Eastgate Mall between Regents and Genesee)
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Old 07-17-06, 07:49 PM   #22
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i'm sure all of Lincoln is very impressed by your cycling technique, helmie.....

sounds like the accomodations proposed in NB will largely avoid that backing car/bike issue by design....
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Old 07-17-06, 08:03 PM   #23
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I hate conventional diagonal parking (e.g. Highway 101 through downtown Encinitas; possibly coming to Highway 101 through Solana Beach) and wish they would give reverse / back-in diagonal a try, instead. When driving, I refuse to use diagonal parking, for fear of having some oversized SUV block my exit view. As a bicyclist, I avoid it by taking the center of the adjacent travel lane.
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Old 07-18-06, 02:48 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
Obviously this is a the typical case of someone being slowed down by downtown traffic and assuming it must be the "slow bikes" causing all the problems.

My experience is that 25MPH type downtown traffic does not need bike lanes and that any BL put in there tend to be for politicians looking for photo ops.
Genec has it right. These lanes are designed to give politicians a photo op. There have to be places in Lincoln where lane striping would be useful.
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Old 08-25-06, 11:51 AM   #25
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The lanes have been striped, and oh my they are awful. The dead-center approach to the lanes makes it confusing for all users of the road (from casual observation and from personal experience testing them out). Perhaps the worst offense is how each block (this is a downtown area, so traditional grid) is slightly different...

The car lanes vary in width from block to block. Sometimes there is one lane to the left of the bike lane and one to the right, sometimes there is two to the left and none to the right. There is parking sometimes, and other times not. A normal traffic lane to the right of the bike lane suddenly turns into a right turn only lane (thus causing cars to swerve quickly across the bike lane to continue forward). Some blocks there is no lane to the right of the bike lane, but it's wide enough to make people think there's a lane there (there was on the previous block) but not enough to actually drive in (thus causing them to drive halfway or all-the-way into the bike lane). Finally, there's a right-turn-only arrow painted on the lane just to the right of the bike lane, but it is in line with the through lane on the next block. This causes confusion because the technically "correct" path through the intersection is to move from the left lane (on the left of the bike path) across the bike lane to the right of the median (where the road becomes two-way).

I need to get pictures. The descriptions are confusing and don't do it justice.
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