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?