This just occurred to me the other day. Normal car travel lanes only have solid lines lines separating them close to an intersection, indicating that it's too late now to change lines. The rest of the time, they are dashed, indicating that lateral movement may be done with care. Even yellow center lines follow this convention, dashed when safe for passing, solid when not.
So why are bike lanes usually done with solid lines? True, they sometimes become dashed in obvious merge situations, such as approaching a right turn only lane, but why only then? Do cyclists never have to merge to the center to turn left into a side street? Do motorists never have to turn right, through the bike lane, into a driveway or parking lot?
This makes me believe that all bike lanes, all the time, should have a dashed inside line. Perhaps this would be a clearer indication to cyclists and motorists alike that it's merely a suggested travel lane for bikes, but should be treated by both like any other lane, merged into and out of as necessary, with care. Solid lines, on the other hand, seem to imply that bikes should not leave them, cars should not enter them, and in general imply a sense of segregation that I believe is completely false.
What thinkest thou?