Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-07-07, 12:54 PM   #1
cooperwx
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
cooperwx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Asheville, NC
Bikes: Trek 7.5 FX
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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?
cooperwx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-07, 01:47 PM   #2
Helmet Head
Banned.
 
Helmet Head's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: San Diego
Bikes:
Posts: 13,075
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Is that actually marked with bike stencil in the bike lane behind that angled-parked cars? Unbelievable!
Helmet Head is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-07, 01:51 PM   #3
PsySal
Senior Member
 
PsySal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Bikes: Late 80's Miele road racing bike, 2005 Norco Mountaineer
Posts: 90
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
PsySal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-07, 02:46 PM   #4
noisebeam
Al
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
Posts: 14,109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Check out this old thread:
Bike lane follies
noisebeam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-07, 10:44 AM   #5
cooperwx
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
cooperwx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Asheville, NC
Bikes: Trek 7.5 FX
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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?
cooperwx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-07, 10:47 AM   #6
noisebeam
Al
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
Posts: 14,109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
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
noisebeam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-07, 01:31 PM   #7
Bikepacker67
Banned
 
Bikepacker67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Ogopogo's shoreline
Bikes: LHT, Kona Smoke
Posts: 4,086
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
"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?
Bikepacker67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-07, 01:45 PM   #8
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
Posts: 24,366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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
chipcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-07, 02:22 PM   #9
Bikepacker67
Banned
 
Bikepacker67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Ogopogo's shoreline
Bikes: LHT, Kona Smoke
Posts: 4,086
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
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)
Bikepacker67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-07, 02:33 PM   #10
cooperwx
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
cooperwx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Asheville, NC
Bikes: Trek 7.5 FX
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
cooperwx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-07, 02:48 PM   #11
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
Posts: 24,366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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
chipcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-07, 03:35 PM   #12
richardmasoner
Fritz M
 
richardmasoner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: California
Bikes: Trek, Spesh, GT, Centurion
Posts: 960
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't believe all-bike-lanes-are-bad, but bike-lanes-behind-diagonal-parking-in-a-20-mph-zone-are-bad.
richardmasoner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-07, 05:00 PM   #13
Bikepacker67
Banned
 
Bikepacker67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Ogopogo's shoreline
Bikes: LHT, Kona Smoke
Posts: 4,086
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
Bikepacker67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:49 AM.