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Old 12-19-06, 01:24 PM   #1
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Community brainstorm: alternative names for bike lanes

Let's say we change bike lanes to be open to anyone, as long as they are traveling, say, 15 mph or slower, and no one is allowed to traveli in them at a speed faster than 15 mph (not even bicyclists). Their purpose would be for all vehicle drivers who are decelerating to park or turn (once they slowed to 15), and for cyclists, scooter operators, etc., who are traveling at 15 mph or slower.

If we did that, then calling them "bike lanes" would no longer make sense. What should they be called instead?

Slow lanes?
Edge lanes?
Slow edge lanes?
Sledge lanes?

What else?
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Old 12-19-06, 01:31 PM   #2
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To quote Willie the Shake, "A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet".

What's the point? Most motorists don't know the rules of the road as they stand now, why make it more complicated? They still use the bike lane whenever it's advantageous for them, and they still drive slowly in the fast lane. Other than a few bike lane activists, the name change will probably go completely unnoticed.

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Old 12-19-06, 01:42 PM   #3
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I prefer "Sharrows", as shown in my avatar.

No speed limits!

Even on a bad day I can beat 15 mph!
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Old 12-19-06, 01:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Az B
To quote Willie the Shake, "A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet".

What's the point? Most motorists don't know the rules of the road as they stand now, why make it more complicated? They still use the bike lane whenever it's advantageous for them, and they still drive slowly in the fast lane. Other than a few bike lane activists, the name change will probably go completely unnoticed.

Az
The purpose/function of a 5-6' foot wide dashed lane at the side of the road, with no signs, but 15 mph stenciled in it every 100-200 feet, would be pretty clear to even the biggest doofs out there, I think.

But you're right, maybe they don't need names at all. Just don't call them bike lanes either.
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Old 12-19-06, 01:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Let's say we change bike lanes to be open to anyone, as long as they are traveling, say, 15 mph or slower, and no one is allowed to traveli in them at a speed faster than 15 mph (not even bicyclists). Their purpose would be for all vehicle drivers who are decelerating to park or turn (once they slowed to 15), and for cyclists, scooter operators, etc., who are traveling at 15 mph or slower.

If we did that, then calling them "bike lanes" would no longer make sense. What should they be called instead?

Slow lanes?
Edge lanes?
Slow edge lanes?
Sledge lanes?

What else?

Make them wider, raise the speed limit to 25MPH and call them SVL. (Slow Vehicle Lane)

Quite a while back one of the regular posters stated pretty much the same thing... Brian, or Bruce... I don't remember.
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Old 12-19-06, 01:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by eubi
I prefer "Sharrows", as shown in my avatar.

No speed limits!

Even on a bad day I can beat 15 mph!
So can I, but is it appropriate to be riding faster than 15 mph as close to the edge of a road as a bike lane or sharrow normally positions a cyclist? (hint: NO!)

The point here is to segregate traffic by speed, not by type.

Whether you're a car or bike, if you're going 15 or slower, you should be allowed in the road margin.
Whether you're a car or bike, if you're traveling faster than 15, you should be to the left of the margin.

How about "margin lane"? Or "verge lane"?
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Old 12-19-06, 02:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by genec
Make them wider, raise the speed limit to 25MPH and call them SVL. (Slow Vehicle Lane)

Quite a while back one of the regular posters stated pretty much the same thing... Brian, or Bruce... I don't remember.
Maybe 20 mph?

Anyway, at every major intersection approach, they would also stencil "through traffic merge left" in the margin lanes, which would be right-or-straight lanes at all minor intersections, and right-only at all major intersections.
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Old 12-19-06, 02:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Maybe 20 mph?

Anyway, at every major intersection approach, they would also stencil "through traffic merge left" in the margin lanes, which would be right-or-straight lanes at all minor intersections, and right-only at all major intersections.
Sure... and really this is a great idea... like I said, this was batted around before in the bike lane discussion... although not so much with a fixed speed limit.

But perhaps a larger issue is getting all the states to implement it in the same fashion, like the right on red rules. (I remember when those were implemented... state by state)

BL in all states are not implemented in the same fashion now, which as you well know, causes some confusion on the part of drivers (who frankly are easily confused anyway ).
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Old 12-19-06, 02:09 PM   #9
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How about calling it a shoulder and not putting any marks on it? (following the 'rose by any other name' school of thought.....)
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Old 12-19-06, 02:14 PM   #10
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HH's concept has some merit, and it addresses the biggest drawback of conventional Narrow Outside Lanes, i.e., that their speed limit is generally the same as those of all other lanes on the road. It attempts to enforce a laminar flow, with the fastest traffic near the centerline of the road and the slowest traffic near the curb. I think a 15mph posted maximum is too low, because it would leave a 20-25mph cyclist on a 55mph/90kph prime arterial with no safe place to ride, so let's consider 20mph/32kph, perhaps, but certainly no more than, 25mph/40kph. What I like best about the idea is that it might encourage motorists to merge all the way curbward when preparing for a near-side turn. What I like least about it is that it would pretty much force pedestrians out of the bike lane, which is a huge problem wherever there is no sidewalk or the sidewalk is obstructed.
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Old 12-19-06, 02:17 PM   #11
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Ok, this has got to be satire. Of that I have no doubt.

What bicyclist in his right mind would go slower then 15 mph if they're able to go faster? How stupid is that? Plus how the hell would the speed be monitored? Radar guns can not detect bicycles very well, if at all. Not all bicycles are equipped with computers, nor should they be required to. This would make it so they would have to be. Do you know how much public outcry this would cause amongts the cycling community?

Then again this is satire so who the **** cares?

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Old 12-19-06, 02:18 PM   #12
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25 mph is way too fast riding 3' from the curb. Even 20 mph is. That's why I think a 15 mph speed limit is appropriate.

On an arterial, how about 15 mph narrow 5' lane, a 30 mph wide lane, and then a 45+ lane?
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Old 12-19-06, 02:20 PM   #13
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They'd be meaningless.

They'd just become another potential passing lane for cars, just like the exisiting bus and HOV lanes. The only advantage to the existing bike lane design in this regard is they are generally a bit too narrow for cars to use.

Drivers will continue to pick and choose which laws they obey based on minimizing their delays.
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Old 12-19-06, 02:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by John E
HH's concept has some merit, and it addresses the biggest drawback of conventional Narrow Outside Lanes, i.e., that their speed limit is generally the same as those of all other lanes on the road. It attempts to enforce a laminar flow, with the fastest traffic near the centerline of the road and the slowest traffic near the curb. I think a 15mph posted maximum is too low, because it would leave a 20-25mph cyclist on a 55mph/90kph prime arterial with no safe place to ride, so let's consider 20mph/32kph, perhaps, but certainly no more than, 25mph/40kph. What I like best about the idea is that it might encourage motorists to merge all the way curbward when preparing for a near-side turn. What I like least about it is that it would pretty much force pedestrians out of the bike lane, which is a huge problem wherever there is no sidewalk or the sidewalk is obstructed.
Maybe a fixed speed limit isn't the idea, but rather a percentage of the speed limit in other lanes, say 50%, rounded to the nearest 5MPH, with a minimum of 15mph or 25km/h, so on a 30MPH road it would be 15MPH, on a 45MPH road it would be 25MPH, on a 55MPH road it would be 30MPH. However, maybe the real issue is that speed limits in general are too high.
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Old 12-19-06, 02:39 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by galen_52657
How about calling it a shoulder and not putting any marks on it? (following the 'rose by any other name' school of thought.....)
Because a shoulder is not a real travel lane, despite its being used frequently as such by cyclists.

Interesting idea which I will have to think more about before knowing quite what I think of it. I will say, though, that I think your thread title is a bit misleading. What you are proposing is not just an alternative name for the same thing, it is a whole different facility.

I think I know what you're getting at. Drivers would be required to merge into this lane in order to make a right-hand turn, which is fact precisely how they should be treating a bike lane anyway. But because a traditional BL is bike-only in markings and width, this pyschologically discourages car drivers from treating it as a separate and equal travel lane when preparing for turns. They don't think they need to bother merging into a bike lane, or think they're not supposed to, so they just turn into it instead. By enlarging it and encouraging its use by slowing right-turning cars, the merge concept is reinforced.

Still, maybe a shoulder accomplishes the same thing already...
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Old 12-19-06, 02:49 PM   #16
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He's back and he's got the same trick with a new face!

*yawns*
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Old 12-19-06, 03:20 PM   #17
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He's back and he's got the same trick with a new face!

*yawns*
Hence my firm beliefe this is & has got to be satire. I mean he is kidding, right? He's gotta be. That or it's a troll post.
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Old 12-19-06, 03:30 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca
However, maybe the real issue is that speed limits in general are too high.

BINGO! Give the man a prize!

Indeed that is an issue with western cities anyway... where arterials can be marked at 45, 50 and even 60MPH (one right outside of my office for instance.) (Vista Sorrento Parkway, for locals)

Highways exist for higher speeds... slow down the traffic on city streets. Period.

However a system of sharrow marked "slow lanes" does make sense, and is somewhat intuitive. A local major road I drive about once a week is marked at 50MPH, yet the outer lane typically moves at about 30-35MPH due to the number of driveways and merges that motorists do along that route. (Miramar road, for the locals) So the concept has merit.
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Old 12-19-06, 03:34 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
Because a shoulder is not a real travel lane, despite its being used frequently as such by cyclists.

Interesting idea which I will have to think more about before knowing quite what I think of it. I will say, though, that I think your thread title is a bit misleading. What you are proposing is not just an alternative name for the same thing, it is a whole different facility.

I think I know what you're getting at. Drivers would be required to merge into this lane in order to make a right-hand turn, which is fact precisely how they should be treating a bike lane anyway. But because a traditional BL is bike-only in markings and width, this pyschologically discourages car drivers from treating it as a separate and equal travel lane when preparing for turns. They don't think they need to bother merging into a bike lane, or think they're not supposed to, so they just turn into it instead. By enlarging it and encouraging its use by slowing right-turning cars, the merge concept is reinforced.

Still, maybe a shoulder accomplishes the same thing already...

Shoulders don't typically exist in town where the road edges are bordered by sidewalks.

I like the psychology of the idea... encouraging merging is a good idea, but the real question is will motorists actually look for bikes in that lane or just move over after a quick glance for a "car like object."
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Old 12-19-06, 03:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
Interesting idea which I will have to think more about before knowing quite what I think of it. I will say, though, that I think your thread title is a bit misleading. What you are proposing is not just an alternative name for the same thing, it is a whole different facility.

I think I know what you're getting at. Drivers would be required to merge into this lane in order to make a right-hand turn, which is fact precisely how they should be treating a bike lane anyway. But because a traditional BL is bike-only in markings and width, this pyschologically discourages car drivers from treating it as a separate and equal travel lane when preparing for turns. They don't think they need to bother merging into a bike lane, or think they're not supposed to, so they just turn into it instead. By enlarging it and encouraging its use by slowing right-turning cars, the merge concept is reinforced.
I don't think I'm proposing a whole different facility.

By calling it something other than a bike lane - something generic that applies equally to drivers of all vehicles - I think it's more likely for it to be used like it's supposed to be - for slow moving traffic between intersections, including merging and turning traffic, and not by through traffic at intersection approaches, not even by through bike traffic.

As to N_C and SingingSabre, I think you guys have reading comprehension problems.
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Old 12-19-06, 03:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
BINGO! Give the man a prize!

Indeed that is an issue with western cities anyway... where arterials can be marked at 45, 50 and even 60MPH (one right outside of my office for instance.) (Vista Sorrento Parkway, for locals)

Highways exist for higher speeds... slow down the traffic on city streets. Period.
Why? Our club ride route includes Vista Sorrento Parkway north of Sorrento Valley Blvd. Motor traffic speed is high, but it never seems to be a problem, whether I'm with the club or riding solo, whether traffic is heavy, or light. What's the issue?
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Old 12-19-06, 04:19 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Why? Our club ride route includes Vista Sorrento Parkway north of Sorrento Valley Blvd. Motor traffic speed is high, but it never seems to be a problem, whether I'm with the club or riding solo, whether traffic is heavy, or light. What's the issue?
What is the speed delta between you and the motor traffic as you ascend that hill from Sorrento Valley Blvd (VSP BTW is 50MPH as you go north, 60MPH as you go south).

A distracted motorist will close on you much faster (and thus have less time to react) at 50 or 60MPH than at 40 or 45MPH... it may only be a second or two difference, but that may be all YOU need.

Now the flip side is with a parallel freeway, why does any motorist need to drive at freeway speeds on a surface street? Further, the speed was set long before all the apartments, businesses, and stoplights in that area were put in... from a practical sense alone, only the most powerful cars can even hit 50MPH between those lights... yet the road is marked at ludicrous speed. Rather than ask "why" as in "why not that speed..." ask "why" as in "why that speed at all."

I have yet to hear a decent justification for high speed surface streets that are paralleled by freeways. Freeways offer the ability to access the same locations at high speeds and in a controlled manner... parallel surface streets should be speed limited to serve those that cannot access the freeways. (pedestrians, cyclists, heavy loads, etc.)
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Old 12-19-06, 04:24 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
So can I, but is it appropriate to be riding faster than 15 mph as close to the edge of a road as a bike lane or sharrow normally positions a cyclist? (hint: NO!)
Bike lanes and sharrows where I ride are typically 12-14 ft from the curb. You know, the door zone.

They are not bordered on the right by the curb.

So do I want to be limited to 15 MPH 'way out there? (hint: NO!)

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Old 12-19-06, 04:29 PM   #24
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Ok, this has got to be satire. Of that I have no doubt.
No, actually on the few times I've stumbled in over here, this seems to be the actual type of discussion going on, sometimes with such passion as to just about lead to fistacuffs.

Tends to be good theater, but the novelty fades fairly quickly.
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Old 12-19-06, 05:20 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eubi
Bike lanes and sharrows where I ride are typically 12-14 ft from the curb. You know, the door zone.

They are not bordered on the right by the curb.

So do I want to be limited to 15 MPH 'way out there? (hint: NO!)

15 MPH is way too fast for riding in a door zone, and even a foot or two outside of the doorzone.
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