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Old 04-04-13, 04:43 PM   #1
1nterceptor
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Group ‘politely’ installs illegal bike lane protectors

"The group—calling themselves the Reasonably Polite Seattleites—wanted to make a statement about how easy and affordable it would be for the city to use the method to make bike lanes safer all over the city. To stress how polite they are, they attached them using an adhesive pad for easy removal, according to an email sent to SDOT and Seattle Bike Blog."

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Old 04-04-13, 05:13 PM   #2
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Those type of lane dividers scare the sht out of me. One more thing to keep track of and dodge. I don't like dodging stuff when I'm cycling.

On the other hand, they are not bad to hit and they will also have the effect of slowing traffic down and segregating fast (cars) from slow (bikes). It might mean trading a one or two "black swan" type serious bicycle/car accidents for several dozen low impact bike crashes (both stand alone and car crossing/hooking) per year.
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Old 04-04-13, 06:10 PM   #3
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Those type of lane dividers scare the sht out of me. One more thing to keep track of and dodge. I don't like dodging stuff when I'm cycling.

On the other hand, they are not bad to hit and they will also have the effect of slowing traffic down and segregating fast (cars) from slow (bikes). It might mean trading a one or two "black swan" type serious bicycle/car accidents for several dozen low impact bike crashes (both stand alone and car crossing/hooking) per year.
I like the demo. They need some of those small round speed bumps, or ground reflectors. Cheap, and a step in the right direction.
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Old 04-04-13, 06:49 PM   #4
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In the mid-'80s, Contra Costa County (Bay Area, CA) had these in a few places. They removed them because of the problems cyclists were having with them. There just aren't many places to put them where they don't interfere with cyclists' need to leave bike lanes for debris or to prepare for left turns.

Personally, I would prefer less road furniture and more traffic law enforcement with much stiffer punishments for scofflaws.
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Old 04-05-13, 08:40 AM   #5
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I would prefer these plastic pylons over being clipped by a car any day. Where cyclists have to ride on high speed high volume roads, these should be standard.
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Old 04-05-13, 09:55 AM   #6
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plastic pylons don't last long. Portland had them on a bike lane and they are all gone
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Old 04-05-13, 01:00 PM   #7
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Terrible poorly thought out idea.

More obstacles for cyclist to hit.
Harder to merge left for left turn.
Harder to safely pass slower cyclists.
Harder to merge left to avoid being to right of right turning vehicle, instead a barrier to communication and actually being part of traffic.
No motor vehicle traffic to keep bike lane naturally swept.
No way for street sweeper or plow to keep clean.
No proven safety benefit.

When I see separations like these ahead, the first thing I do is to make sure I am not trapped in such a lane.
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Old 04-05-13, 01:11 PM   #8
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I am trying to figure out how a cyclist could become "trapped" in this sort of arrangement... seems like plenty of room to go between the pylons... of course one may have to slow down. But certainly this is not a "brick wall" folks.



Certainly safer than road bumps, reflectors or curbs, eh?

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Old 04-05-13, 01:12 PM   #9
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And look at that improved lane visibility...




Personally I have always thought that these would be a great idea on high speed high volume arterial roadways...
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Old 04-05-13, 01:19 PM   #10
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I am trying to figure out how a cyclist could become "trapped" in this sort of arrangement... seems like plenty of room to go between the pylons... of course one may have to slow down. But certainly this is not a "brick wall" folks.
I don't know about you, but when I merge left into traffic flow it involves signalling, looking back, sometimes moving partially into shared travel lane (or on lane separation stripe) to gain notice of intent, adjusting speed as needed and merging into a gap. Coordinating all this while avoiding those posts is just asking for trouble. Also slowing down is often the last thing one wants to do to enable a smooth merge.
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Old 04-05-13, 03:18 PM   #11
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I don't know about you, but when I merge left into traffic flow it involves signalling, looking back, sometimes moving partially into shared travel lane (or on lane separation stripe) to gain notice of intent, adjusting speed as needed and merging into a gap. Coordinating all this while avoiding those posts is just asking for trouble. Also slowing down is often the last thing one wants to do to enable a smooth merge.
If I am merging into traffic, it is not likely moving at 45+ MPH. It is on roads with traffic speeds above 45MPH that I would like to have these pylons... 50MPH and faster roads that tend to be the high speed arterial roads in this area.

I tend to merge at about 17-20MPH. I tend to make "chicken lefts" on high speed roads. (cross over and turn bike around to make a "ped like" crossing). Oh every now and then I get to make a real left on a high speed road... but the traffic gaps have to be so wide that I would have plenty of time to cross between pylons.

Most of my commuting is on 50MPH-65MPH roads. When I used to commute on interstate 5, I put my arm out and waited for traffic to slow down to my speed... I never "merged." (this was at an off ramp, mind you)

I would not want these things on any road that had a speed limit below 45MPH.
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Old 04-05-13, 04:15 PM   #12
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I would not want these things on any road that had a speed limit below 45MPH.
Agreed if 45mph posted limit is inclusive.

This discussion is about as you specified in earlier post: "this sort of arrangement.." with embedded photo. That is the type of road we are discussing, not a long stretch of intersection-less higher speed (for example 50mph+ posted) road.
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Old 04-05-13, 04:26 PM   #13
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Agreed if 45mph posted limit is inclusive.

This discussion is about as you specified in earlier post: "this sort of arrangement.." with embedded photo. That is the type of road we are discussing, not a long stretch of intersection-less higher speed (for example 50mph+ posted) road.
Think of it as "the use of pylons as demonstrated in this photo, but for high speed arterial roads." (I actually have no idea of the speed limit on the road pictured)

Frankly on lower speed roads, I am a vehicular cyclist and "drive my bike, as the driver of a vehicle." It is only on higher speed roads that I feel cyclists "need" any assistance such as BL or well designed paths. It has been my experience that roads with speeds under 35MPH can serve motorists and cyclists fully equally.

Even on high speed roads with intersections... cyclists often find it difficult to make "vehicular" turns and resort to sidewalk cycling or Foresters "ped like turn."

I could see pylons posing a issue at driveways... obviously there would have to be some other treatment there.
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Old 04-05-13, 06:34 PM   #14
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In the mid-'80s, Contra Costa County (Bay Area, CA) had these in a few places. They removed them because of the problems cyclists were having with them. There just aren't many places to put them where they don't interfere with cyclists' need to leave bike lanes for debris or to prepare for left turns.
Debris is a real problem in bike lanes here. Any windy weather brings plenty of small branches down. I routinely have to move to the left (and sometimes leave the bike lane) to avoid them. The debris is currently managed by routine but infrequent street sweeping. This would be impossible with the pylons in place and so the bike lanes would quickly become impossible forcing cyclists to abandon them altogether.

Nice statement, but not ready for prime time.
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Old 04-05-13, 08:13 PM   #15
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They should go to every state!!! Reflectors are better than no reflectors.

But why did it take random f-ing people to do this sh*t???!!

We should start something involving a group of cyclists that add one more cyclist to their group every day a cyclist is killed. Just a thought...

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Old 04-05-13, 08:50 PM   #16
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I'm actually impressed with what the MN State Hwy Dept did on a couple of road projects in the area. The shoulders are nicely paved and three feet wide with about 10" wide rumble strips right on the white fog line. The rumble strips are in sections about 30 feet long with about 15 feet in between making it easy to take the lane without having to cross the rumble strip. It's nice because the rumble strips are loud enough that you can easily hear a car behind you cross onto the shoulder or clipping the white line, but it still leaves plenty of decent pavement to ride on. It's almost like having a bike lane.

When I cross over into North Dakota I don't have to look for the signs, I know by the very narrow shoulders that drop steeply to a gravel edge and are usually about half blocked with the rumble strip. One ND State Hwy I have been on has a rumble strip down the center yellow line which discourages drivers from crossing the center line to give cyclists or pedestrians adequate clearance. These aren't the gentle buzzing rumble strips either, they'll rattle your teeth.
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Old 04-05-13, 10:21 PM   #17
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The rumble strips sound like a great solution.
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Old 04-09-13, 01:19 PM   #18
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And look at that improved lane visibility...




Personally I have always thought that these would be a great idea on high speed high volume arterial roadways...
For that kind of road I'll agree.

The problem I see is that drivers will think of those as a total separation. Which translates to NO BIKES ALLOWED outside of them.

I don't see that as a huge downside on really high speed roads. Heck it could even translate to bikes are allowed unless these are present. (For some drivers, the really anti bike ones are great at a kind of doublethink to ban bikes anywhere).
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Old 04-09-13, 01:39 PM   #19
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For that kind of road I'll agree.

The problem I see is that drivers will think of those as a total separation. Which translates to NO BIKES ALLOWED outside of them.

I don't see that as a huge downside on really high speed roads. Heck it could even translate to bikes are allowed unless these are present. (For some drivers, the really anti bike ones are great at a kind of doublethink to ban bikes anywhere).
Got be careful here... I have no idea of the speed limits on the road pictured... and frankly I do not want to see such treatment on low speed roads.
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Old 04-09-13, 01:56 PM   #20
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Debris is a real problem in bike lanes here. Any windy weather brings plenty of small branches down. I routinely have to move to the left (and sometimes leave the bike lane) to avoid them. The debris is currently managed by routine but infrequent street sweeping. This would be impossible with the pylons in place and so the bike lanes would quickly become impossible forcing cyclists to abandon them altogether.

Nice statement, but not ready for prime time.
Bike lanes need cleaning. Cars kick all the debris off their tire tracks onto the edge of the road.
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Old 04-09-13, 01:57 PM   #21
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If hit by a motor vehicle, these poles will do nothing to change its speed or trajectory.
if hit by a bicycle, they will almost certainly change its speed and trajectory in unpredictable and out of control manner.

They make it harder for cyclists to leave the bike lane as needed for their safety and practicality and do nothing to keep motorists out.
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Old 04-09-13, 02:42 PM   #22
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I like it!
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Old 04-09-13, 02:58 PM   #23
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I vote no on bike lane/motor lane barriers.

So many things wrong with them, I don't know where to start. Okay, here's the top one on my list:

All vehicles are supposed to turn right from the rightmost edge of the road. If the rightmost lane is a bike lane, the motorist must merge into that lane before turning. When they don't do that, they are turning right across the bike lane, leading to the far too common "right hook" collision.

It's hard enough to convince motorists to merge into the bike lane as it is. Sticking up barriers will almost guarantee that they won't merge before turning, and more right hooks will take out more cyclists.
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Old 04-09-13, 08:21 PM   #24
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The problem was the group did it for $350, the city would have to charge taxpayers an average of $20,000 per mile to do the same thing. You see, the city can't do anything unless a traffic/road engineer study is done, that alone will cost about $5,000 per mile; then they have to source the cones to get specially built traffic endurance safety cones that will cost $350 each; then it will take a crew of 8 guys at $22 an hour to take 6 hours to put up the cones, plus 2 supervisors being paid $35 an hour to watch the other 8 (and that cost per hour does not include their benefits and pension plan); then you have the fuel costs of the trucks etc etc etc. So you probably don't want the city to raise taxes more just to pay for cones going up all over the city to mark bike lanes at $20,000 per mile.

And putting those cones up like the group did could have resulted in jail time and fines for the accused because the city would have claimed that since no safety engineer road surveys were done nor installed according to road protocols the group may have endangered other people by their actions. They luck out on that one.

And to think, some people thought it would be that easy and that cheap. Good grief! We're talking about governments here boys and girls, not private citizens doing good deeds.
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Old 04-10-13, 06:52 AM   #25
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Great response by the city engineer! I hope that cycling continues to grow and that we see an enhanced infrastructure for bikes in heavily traveled areas across the country.

My township (which is a rural suburb of a small city) has a great plan for bike paths but no money to do it with. It's not just labor costs and engineering studies; for every piece of asphalt laid down, there needs to be retention areas, maintenance plans (snow removal, etc.), and every road crossing needs to be a "safe crossing", meaning either at a controlled intersection or putting up flashing lights and dismount signs on a stretch of road with clear line-of-sight.

I wish it was easier, but there is so much red tape to cut through that a $5000 path ends up costing $20,000.

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