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  1. #1
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    I'm confused about bike lanes...

    There are not many at all around here (Long Island, NY), but there are a couple streets that do have them. One of them is on my commuting route. It's through a residential area, and the people who live on this street park their cars curbside...in the bike lane. It doesn't seems like a good idea to ride in and out of it. It doesn't seem reasonable that it would be legal to park in the bike lane (especially since all these houses have decent length driveways), but yet it's not discouraged by law enforcement that I know of, as they would be writing about 100 tickets per side per day on this particular 2 mile stretch. Am I missing something?

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    I assume their are no "No Parking" signs on the street of the bike path since the cops would be giving tickets. I dont think its right for their to be a bike path and people to park their cars their, but it is also a residential neighborhood which in theory should have low traffic. I bet the local goverment had to put bike paths in either to A. promote more biking when the housing was being built or B. Because people in the area requested they but their. So the local gov probably put them in and forgot about them being their.

    Its just one of those things that gets overlooked by the area goverment. If you feel like it, I suggest looking more into with your local goverment office.
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  3. #3
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    The primary purpose of a bike lane is to make it possible for automobiles to travel at an unsafe speed. You need to ride in the lateral position on the road which is safest for you - which has nothing to do with where a bike lane may or may not be painted. You should be far away enough from the curb to avoid any cars (considering their doors being open) that are parked along the side of the road - you should not be weaving back and forth to avoid parked cars since when you are closer to the curb, you are invisible to approaching cars. A good rule of thumb is to ride about where the right tire of an auto driving down the street is.

    Too many cyclists place the convenience of the motorists as a higher priority than their own safety.

  4. #4
    Senior Member frymaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterE0 View Post
    Am I missing something?
    yes. a sufficient level of skepticism.

    bike lanes, for the most part, exist exclusively at the whim of non-biking politicians in search of votes; are implemented by beaurocrats who have a list of specifications for success of the project that rarely, if ever, includes usability or safety; are maintained by city work crews who aren't sure what a bike lane is supposed to look like and, thus, can never properly judge if their maintenance attempts are successful; and, lastly, are policed by cops who a) have little understanding of the basic law let alone the minutiae of bicycle legislation and b) really wanted to tough guy hero-types busting major drug rings when they hooked up with the force and are bitter about being given a ticket book and a radar ***.

    it would require nothing less than the immediate and dramatic intervention of a omnipotent and benevolent diety for this formula to result in anything less than utter and abject failure.

    just be thankful your bike lane doesn't travel under a bridge with 5'6" clearance, have parallel storm sewer grates running it's entire breadth every ten metres or travel through the Corridor of Rotating Knives.
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  5. #5
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    yes, the cooridor of rotating knives, i believe they did away with those as standard bike lane design back in, oh, 1873.

    bike lanes facilitate the travel of bikes and cars on roadways.

    are you sure this is a bike lane and not a delineated parking strip?

    can you get us pictures??

    Toole design, a firm that is helping communities with bike master plans around the country, has bicyclists on staff that ride the cities they consult, and look at the best way to accomodate bikes on streetscapes, not how to 'push bikes aside'

    the claims by the integrationalists about bike infrastructure is simply ludicrous. look at cities with facilties rich accomodations, these communities consistently show higher bike modal share.

    and the trend away from designing streetscapes for motorists is going to blossom in this country as peak oil and recession get citizenry and governments alike to question the veracity of heavy handed design to faciitate SOVs.

    streetscapes will becomming more bike rich, more people will be riding, and cities around the country and world recognize the part bikes can play in reducing carbon emmissions, meeting Kyoto protoccols, and make for healthier citizenry and streetscapes.

    current revisions to road design manuals now direct planners to consider cars 'secondary' on local, neighborhood roads. bikes and peds take precendence in design of local streetscapes.

    the age of auto dominance of roads is coming to conflict, hinder and economically affect every american, the 'integrationalists' need to get on board and integrate [/i]themselves[i] with the new road order of thoughtful, accomodating streetscape design.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 05-27-08 at 04:03 PM.

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    I think it would be wise of you, in riding this route, to stay far enough to the left to avoid the door zone and maintain that road position so that your actions are predictable to other road users.

    This link has an excellent chapter on road position:
    http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/

    As to the cars parked curbside, if they are parked illegally I would be on the phone with local law enforcement, and not just once. I would also document who I talked to and when.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post

    are you sure this is a bike lane and not a delineated parking strip?

    can you get us pictures??
    Yes, and yes. I can probably find a Bike Route sign and a photo of a parked car occupying said lane in the same shot.

    I do ride in the lane, out of the door zone. I know how to ride there safely, it's just a bit of madness that irritates me. Also, the bike lanes tend to collect all the road debris that is pushed to the outsides of the road. Sticks, pine needles, garbage, etc., which adds some nice features to the experience. I stay clear of them, but I imagine that somewhere, some amazing politician is debunking more bike friendly routes because the ones in existence don't get used as it is. Even though they 1) are blocked by parked cars 2) are full of road debris 3) go from really nowhere to nowhere, about 4 miles and then it ends on both sides, lol and 4) go right through a pretty seedy are that I wouldn't be comfortable in on a bike. Obviously the people here don't care to travel by bicycl!

  8. #8
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterE0 View Post
    There are not many at all around here (Long Island, NY), but there are a couple streets that do have them. One of them is on my commuting route. It's through a residential area, and the people who live on this street park their cars curbside...in the bike lane. It doesn't seems like a good idea to ride in and out of it. It doesn't seem reasonable that it would be legal to park in the bike lane (especially since all these houses have decent length driveways), but yet it's not discouraged by law enforcement that I know of, as they would be writing about 100 tickets per side per day on this particular 2 mile stretch. Am I missing something?
    Not much.

    Wonder what would happen if about 100 bicycles were parked in the "car lane?"

    No worries

  9. #9
    njm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    bike lanes facilitate the travel of bikes and cars on roadways.

    ...

    the claims by the integrationalists about bike infrastructure is simply ludicrous. look at cities with facilties rich accomodations, these communities consistently show higher bike modal share.

    and the trend away from designing streetscapes for motorists is going to blossom in this country as peak oil and recession get citizenry and governments alike to question the veracity of heavy handed design to faciitate SOVs.

    ...

    the age of auto dominance of roads is coming to conflict, hinder and economically affect every american, the 'integrationalists' need to get on board and integrate [/i]themselves[i] with the new road order of thoughtful, accomodating streetscape design.
    Bekologist's lofty language belies the impracticality of this segregationist model.

    His thinking is great for people in Portland or Cambridge, Massachusetts, but for most people in America, the day when streets are designed for bicycles before cars are a long way away.

    Too often, separate bicycling infrastructure faces a chicken-and-egg problem: "high bike modal share" may arise if it's built, but until then there isn't enough cycling demand to justify building bike lanes or MUPs.

    In the meantime, integration of bikes with motorists on streets can provide a kind of artificial insemination, providing the seed germ of demand and demonstrating the feasibility of bicycle commuting and car-free living.

  10. #10
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njm View Post
    ...integration of bikes with motorists on streets can provide a kind of artificial insemination, providing the seed germ of demand and demonstrating the feasibility of bicycle commuting and car-free living.
    Funny how I've been doing exactly that for many years with nary a problem.

    Now, with gas nearing $4 a gallon, people are saying things to me like, "You have the right idea." Ya, I do, but I had it when gas prices were slightly over $1 a gallon.

    I'm not against bike lanes or paths, as long as my road use isn't infringed upon.
    No worries

  11. #11
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    to the OP:

    'bike routes' are NOT bike 'lanes' unless there is an up to code bike lane striped on the road.

    just being called a 'bike route' doesn't mean the road has a bike lane.

  12. #12
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    and to Njm: relying on integration to secure higher modal share?

    again! why would anyone think 1/2 of a percent bicycling modal share is a stunning endorsement for bike commuting in communities that have no bike infrastructure, versus double digit bike participation rates in cities that better accomodate bikes thru infrastructure?


    and, njm, artificial insemination? you mean, like, unnatural animal husbandry where neither party enjoys themselves, njm?

    which is the more realistic course of action to encourage bikes as transportation, njm??? integrations' paltry half a percent, or the infrastructure model seen in communities that show 5,6, 16, 25 percent bike modal share???

    integration is a coping method for dealing with auto-weighted roads, and leaves bike riding largely the domain of fearless youthful males in america.

    countries that use a facilites rich model of public space design show higher participation rates, as well as more particiation in bicycling across all ages of both men and women.

    integrationalism is a pathetic excuse for bike advocacy.

    and njm: the current codebook for street design instructs planners to consider cars 'secondary' on 'local', neighborhood streets. that means, in any given town or city in america, when planners look at public space design of local neighborhood roads, THEY ARE INSTRUCTED TO PLACE CARS SECONDARY to other uses. This is codified in the 2007 revisions to the national manual of road design.


    so the day that people in america see roads designed for uses other than cars IS UPON US, not your defeatist notions of 'a long time to wait'.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 05-27-08 at 09:03 PM.

  13. #13
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    and njm: the current codebook for street design instructs planners to consider cars 'secondary' on 'local', neighborhood streets. that means, in any given town or city in america, when planners look at public space design of local neighborhood roads, THEY ARE INSTRUCTED TO PLACE CARS SECONDARY to other uses. This is codified in the 2007 revisions to the national manual of road design.
    Can you link to that manual? It's the first I've heard of that guideline, and I suspect many local planners have not kept up with it either.
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  14. #14
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    My bad, it wasn't the 2007 revisions to the MUTCD, it is in the 2004 AASHTO 'Green Book' I seriously doubt road engineers are not familiar with that guide.....

    I was just reading an article, let me link to that if possible......you might find it an interesting read...

    www.planetizen.com/node/30681
    Last edited by Bekologist; 05-28-08 at 06:19 AM.

  15. #15
    Team Fat Boy SeattleShaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njm View Post
    Bekologist's lofty language belies the impracticality of this segregationist model.

    His thinking is great for people in Portland or Cambridge, Massachusetts, but for most people in America, the day when streets are designed for bicycles before cars are a long way away.
    Unless things have changed considerably, the bike lanes in Cambridge are particularly noxious examples of door zone lanes. My favorite examples are those lanes painted in on the narrow streets around Harvard. The roads are not wide enough for an automobile and a cyclist to coexist side by side, narrow stripe of paint notwithstanding. I remember when the Cambridge Politicians made a great show of how progressive they were by painting in these silly things.

    I rarely use bike lanes, but am generally supportive of well designed examples. Unfortunately, most bike lanes that I have encountered in the US - including those in Cambridge and most of hem here in Seattle - are painted firmly within door zones and are counterproductive at best.

    Bike lane supporters generally point to Europe as the panacea, frequently without acknowledging that Euro bike lanes are generally very different than the lip service US variety and that Euro drivers are generally much more careful around cyclists than knuckleheaded american drivers.

    Whatever you do, stay out of that door zone and ride predictably.

  16. #16
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterE0 View Post
    There are not many at all around here (Long Island, NY), but there are a couple streets that do have them. One of them is on my commuting route. It's through a residential area, and the people who live on this street park their cars curbside...in the bike lane. It doesn't seems like a good idea to ride in and out of it. It doesn't seem reasonable that it would be legal to park in the bike lane (especially since all these houses have decent length driveways), but yet it's not discouraged by law enforcement that I know of, as they would be writing about 100 tickets per side per day on this particular 2 mile stretch. Am I missing something?
    Aside from the point that bikelanes on residential streets are kinda nonsensical, it's possible that there are restrictions on parking. I know of one bikelane that is only 'officially' a bikelane between 6 and 9 a.m. and 3 and 6 p.m., with car parking allowed the rest of the time. I know of a couple of similar restrictions on regular lanes too, but whateva. Check for signage, and if still in doubt, ask your local council.

    I also heard, and YMMV of course, that if they are parking illegally, call the council parking fine people - their fines are a lot higher than the police can charge. I heard this from a police constable I contacted in just such a situation.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  17. #17
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OP
    Am I missing something?
    believe the OP is confusing a signed 'bike route' which requires no road treatments specific to bikes, and bike laned roads that have AASHTO compliant bike lanes.

    clarification, please.

  18. #18
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterE0 View Post
    Am I missing something?
    Yes you are, but you won't like it when I tell you.





    You are missing the point of bike lanes. They are not for bikes to ride in. That is why no tickets are written. In fact cars parked in the bike lane helps bring about a bike lanes ultimate goal.
    The point of a bike lane is to get bikes off the road. If the bike lane is unuseable, all the better to achieve the goal.
    Not too much to say here

  19. #19
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    don't conflate 'bike route' with 'bike lane', maddy!

    Bikelanes facilitate bikes and cars with differing operating characteristics sharing the same roads. Bikelanes have the bonifide effect of reducing wrong way cycling (Hunter) reduce sidewalk riding at intersections (Hunter), are safer than unaccomodated roads (Moritz), encourage bike riding in communities and reduce the indexed accident rate for bicyclists (everywhere).

    the hyperbole and inflated claims from the bikelane haters in this thread is overwhelming in its' disinformation....

  20. #20
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    this is a bike lane on a bike route. There is signage/street markings for both.

  21. #21
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I'd have to see it to belive that cars are parking with aplomb in 'bikelanes' as a matter of course. I'd love to see some pictures of this noncompliant road design. BTW, is this Queens or Montauk?

    Wide curb lanes designed to be used both by parked cars and bikes, signed as 'bike routes' are also not bike lanes....


    If cars ARE parking in bikelanes, local enforcement and government involvement, perhaps facilitated thru local bike advocacy groups are your best channel to improve both debris conditions and parking infractions in the bike lanes.

    Federal Highway Admin.... "bicyclists should be included as a matter of routine in the planning, design and operation of transportation facilites" sounds like your local Long Island traffic engineers are failing federal road engineering guidelines....
    Last edited by Bekologist; 05-28-08 at 07:50 AM.

  22. #22
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    This is a very appropriate application of: "This thread is useless without pics!"


  23. #23
    Senior Member frymaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
    Wonder what would happen if about 100 bicycles were parked in the "car lane?"
    it's called "critical mass".
    "Let's try and keep the constructive answers in the commuting forum." --SheistyMike

  24. #24
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njm View Post
    In the meantime, integration of bikes with motorists on streets can provide a kind of artificial insemination, providing the seed germ of demand and demonstrating the feasibility of bicycle commuting and car-free living.
    Interesting metaphor. I wonder how much cycling on the raodways has to follow an ad-hoc approach. out in the boonies where I am (occassional suburbs) I find the shoulder can and should be the cycling lane. I occasionally enter the car lane, and they occassionally enter mine.

    But heck in a city where roadways date back to colonial times and space is at a premium? MAybe full integration is the only alternative.

    And everything in between.

    roughstuff
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  25. #25
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    Happens all the time here in DC. Here's an anecdote that Eric Gilliland, Executive Director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, posted on a local list recently:

    A not so funny story about the bus/bike lanes in Chinatown. A local cyclist recently told us that she had been issued a warning by MPD for riding in the bus/bike lane. The officer’s rational was that so many drivers ignored the lane restrictions that it was actually unsafe to ride a bike in it. Ridiculous.
    Also read this post:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BikeWa.../message/10565
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