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  1. #1
    Senior Member cooperwx's Avatar
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    Worst bike lane in town

    My town now has three bike lanes. But the newest one, right outside city hall, has some serious design problems.





    Apologies for the tiny images, they are snippets of larger pictures showing other construction in the area. (Google map) As you (hopefully) can see on the first image, College street is a wide street, with one lane of travel in either direction and bike lanes outside the car lanes, also in each direction. The second image is a close-up of the biggest problem.

    This second photo shows the eastbound bike lane between the travel lane and pull-in parking. The major safety hazard arises when those cars try to back out of the parking spaces. They cannot see past the car to their right unless they back out into the bike lane. And they CERTAINLY can't see a bike coming while they're trying to leave the space. So what ends up happening is that cars back into the bike lane and THEN start looking for a break in traffic.

    Further adding to the absurdity of this situation is that the speed limit is only 20mph. At that low speed, bikes are moving at nearly the same speed as car traffic, and thus don't need their own lane. And lastly, this section is down hill, so it takes just a few turns of the pedals to get up to 20mph.

    When I bike on this street, I NEVER use the bike lane. It's just not safe. And it makes me sad that when transportation planners decide to devote money and space to bikes, they don't first consult someone who would potentially be using it. I hesitate to complain to the powers that be, since the next time they decide to devote resources to facilitate bikes, they might bypass it because of my complaint on this situation.

    I contend that this is worse than a bike lane in a door zone. Would you let someone with the city know that this road is a poor example of bicycle accommodation?
    06 Trek 7.5 FX

  2. #2
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Is that actually marked with bike stencil in the bike lane behind that angled-parked cars? Unbelievable!

  3. #3
    Senior Member PsySal's Avatar
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    Yipes, that one is brutal! I am in the "bike lanes are overall bad" camp. There are a few bike lanes I don't mind using. Most of them though I avoid due to them being in the door zone or other associated foolishness. This one takes the cake though, by making it actually an impossible situation for drivers to back out safely.

  4. #4
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Check out this old thread:
    Bike lane follies

  5. #5
    Senior Member cooperwx's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link, Al. It's useful to see that other examples are out there. And to someone else, thanks for actually bumping the year-old thread filled with the old "all-bike-lanes-are-bad-bike-lanes" crap.

    I know my original post was a bit long, but does anybody think I should talk to city hall about this?
    06 Trek 7.5 FX

  6. #6
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooperwx
    Thanks for the link, and to someone else for bumping the year-old thread filled with the old "all-bike-lanes-are-bad-bike-lanes" crap.

    I know my original post was a bit long, but does anybody think I should talk to city hall about this?
    Maybe not city hall, but find if there is a 'cycling coordinator' or equivalent rep. to the 'transportation planning' department. Also contact and work with local cycling advocacy groups (Although you may find that one or more of them are who advocated for these lanes in the first place.)

    Al

  7. #7
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    "all-bike-lanes-are-bad-bike-lanes" crap.
    Hmmmm... assuming a travel lane is the same width whether painted lines are on it or not, what possible advantage is a bike lane, other than to 'keep you in your place' - regardless of conditions?

  8. #8
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    Hmmmm... assuming a travel lane is the same width whether painted lines are on it or not, what possible advantage is a bike lane, other than to 'keep you in your place' - regardless of conditions?
    You guys keep looking at this with a victim mentality. I prefer to look at the lines as a way to keep MOTORISTS in THEIR place.

    That said, I really don't let lines dictate where I ride. It's a shame that so much energy is expended debating paint.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  9. #9
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    You guys keep looking at this with a victim mentality. I prefer to look at the lines as a way to keep MOTORISTS in THEIR place.

    That said, I really don't let lines dictate where I ride. It's a shame that so much energy is expended debating paint.
    Unfortunately Chip, it's been my experience that when eschewing* the BL, I seem to raise more than the usual ire of JAMs (I love that acronym).

    Yes, "the lines as a way to keep MOTORISTS in THEIR place" is fine and dandy, as long as you realize that when you define "their space" they feel justified in defending it.

    * right now, our BL's are filled with about 1" of sandy gravelly oatmeal after a winter of sanding)

  10. #10
    Senior Member cooperwx's Avatar
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    So you all agree this lane is poorly designed and unsafe. As has been mentioned on in other threads, I think motorists will look at me eschewing (thanks, packer) the designated lane and wonder why their dollars are funding other bike infrastructure projects.
    06 Trek 7.5 FX

  11. #11
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Yeah, that POS could be considered a good example of a public boondoggle...or worse.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  12. #12
    Fritz M richardmasoner's Avatar
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    I don't believe all-bike-lanes-are-bad, but bike-lanes-behind-diagonal-parking-in-a-20-mph-zone-are-bad.

  13. #13
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richardmasoner
    I don't believe all-bike-lanes-are-bad, but bike-lanes-behind-diagonal-parking-in-a-20-mph-zone-are-bad.
    If one bike lane is bad, then they all are bad in the sense that they propogate the meme that they are where cyclist belong - even when they're bad.

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