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Old 05-15-13, 12:04 PM   #1
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Protected bike lane critique (fresh meat!!)

And it comes with its own application of "Godwin's Law"!!

http://janheine.wordpress.com/

Some of the criticisim is of protected bike lanes hidden by parked cars (maybe, it's the parked cars that are the problem).

Let the feeding frenzy begin!!
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Old 05-15-13, 12:11 PM   #2
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And it comes with its own application of "Godwin's Law"!!

http://janheine.wordpress.com/

Some of the criticisim is of protected bike lanes hidden by parked cars (maybe, it's the parked cars that are the problem).

Let the feeding frenzy begin!!
As one of the comments said, his idea is fantastic if you are a strong male cyclist.
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Old 05-15-13, 12:28 PM   #3
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As one of the comments said, his idea is fantastic if you are a strong male cyclist.
Or, "weak" bicyclists using protected paths (hidden by parked cars) still have to deal with intersections. The protected bike paths (hidden by parked cars) lure people into riding into places that they don't yet have the skills to negotiate.

(Note that Heine is not being critical of all protected bicycle paths.)

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Old 05-15-13, 12:54 PM   #4
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The biggest flaw in the critique is this:
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In all cases, the driver did not notice the cyclist. This is the greatest danger for cyclists: being overlooked in traffic. Since drivers usually scan the road for cars, cyclists are safest if they ride where drivers look for cars. To be safe, cyclists must be an equal part of traffic.
Motorists, as the author pointed out, look for cars... regardless of whether cyclists ride in the street, right next to a motorist or in a protected bikeway, motorists are looking for cars, tend to only see cars and even if a cyclist is right in front of a motorist, drivers still decry "I didn't see the cyclist."

Now granted a protected bikeway (as shown in the pics) is NOT helping at the place where cyclists are still most vulnerable... at intersections.

Frankly I had to laugh at these bikeway installations (yes, I am the quintessential "strong rider"), these types of low volume, low speed streets hardly need much more than perhaps a sharrow or two, if even that. These are residential areas. No doubt the speed limits in these areas is something like 35MPH or lower.




Honestly, I have to agree with this critique. There are places where protected bikeways should exist... such as where high speed high volume multi-lane virtual freeways dominate the landscape (as is the case in many areas in So Cal), but I can't say any of the locations shown in the critique is one of them.
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Old 05-15-13, 01:02 PM   #5
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one problem NOT addressed by Jan is that if seattle doesnt make its streets more friendly to ride, less people will ride there. Jan surely remembers Dexter Ave N. prior to the development of the bikeway there.

It took the installation of a fairly ample bike lane NS along a key commuting route in Seattle for massive numbers of cyclists to choose to bike to downtown. prior to the bikeway network, very few people dared to bike in the city amidst the car traffic. this is still the case on ANY major commuting route into and out of seattle. without bikeways, people simply won't bike.


In the absence of bike facilities, even on streets that Jan and other experienced riders regard as no problem whatsoever, less people will bike.

Another issue is the fearmongering. Jan WON'T be 'pushed' onto a separated bikeway. Thanks to the efforts of a few dedicated bike advocates, who bucked the state bike advocacy organization, mandatory sidepath/bikelane/shoulder laws were effectively defeated in Washington state just a few years ago. if he and other riders keep vigilant to the legislation, he and other riders in washington won't have to ride a comfortable separated path otherwise known as the interurban trail between seattle and everett.

Jan can also always choose side streets or simply ride aurora ave north amidst hundreds of thousands of cars a day, if he'd rather pretend he's more like a car than an old lady on a bicycle.

He captures the own futility in his dream for bike transport, when he cautions about standard bikelanes adjacent to car traffic

Quote:
Originally Posted by jan heine
"To novice cyclists, it may be disconcerting to be passed by fast-moving cars".
It's not just novice cyclists. its less abled, young, families, elderly, my parents and girlfriend and just about everyone EXCEPT the extreme minority of riders characterized as the few and the fearless, like Jan - probably the most well known randonneur in North America.

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Old 05-15-13, 01:35 PM   #6
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a big thank you to jan heine for writing that. it should be noted that german cycling federation studies of separated infrastructure also looked at dutch statistics and found a much higher rate of injury accidents on dutch paths than on dutch bike lanes.

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if seattle doesnt make its streets more friendly to ride, less people will ride there
the copenhagenize crowd has made this their mantra but actual data shows that increases in mode share in denmark and holland (most of which occurred in the 70s and 80s) were not correlated with build out of separated infrastructure. moreover, cycling in germany has grown explosively even though bike lanes are preferred over segregated infrastructure.

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Old 05-15-13, 01:42 PM   #7
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interesting comment on the jan heine's blog post:

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I agree completely. I live in Berlin (D) and the city is slowly but surely getting rid of separate bike lanes wherever they can, and either doing nothing on the road or adding a full cyclists-only lane, even if it’s at the expense of a motorist’s lane (which it usually is )
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Old 05-15-13, 01:45 PM   #8
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That is also why I am concerned to see new facilities being put in that seem like a retrograde step. It seems like we are trying to emulate Europe, without realizing that in many ways, we were ahead of them already.


I am watching mikael colville andersen's twitter feed closely.
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Old 05-15-13, 02:38 PM   #9
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a big thank you to jan heine for writing that. it should be noted that german cycling federation studies of separated infrastructure also looked at dutch statistics and found a much higher rate of injury accidents on dutch paths than on dutch bike lanes.



the copenhagenize crowd has made this their mantra but actual data shows that increases in mode share in denmark and holland (most of which occurred in the 70s and 80s) were not correlated with build out of separated infrastructure. moreover, cycling in germany has grown explosively even though bike lanes are preferred over segregated infrastructure.
bollocks, dude. seattle, portland, minneapolis- you name it, cities didn't start seeing increases in ridership in THIS country until the cities began adding miles and miles of (largely) traffic proximate, roadway bike lanes. I'm not talking about cycle tracks.


You do conflate separate with cycletrack, and it muddles your argument. the die-hard VC and most traffic planners would suggest bike lanes, the plain jane AASHTO ones or the full lane German ones, 'separate' traffic. I bet the german ones make generous use of bollards too.

Jan is mousing about completing a major section of the interurban trail, a major, mostly separated path that runs for miles N/S out of the N Seattle neighborhood all the way to Everett. This already IS a major path corridor; the city is attempting to complete it.

i am, perhaps, as critical of unnecessary bike infrastucture as the jan, but there are places around seattle a separated path 'cycletrack' can work. I am confident it WILL work, on Seattle's interurban bike path route he's grousing about here. I recognize those photo's locations, and know the type of infrastructure that's trying to be brought to that part of seattle.

Even Jan recognizes this type of path system can work well with limited intersection conflict. I could identify a half dozen streets in seattle proper this type of infrastructure would work well.

Jan can also always simply ride aurora ave north or another main seattle arterial amidst hundreds of thousands of cars a day, if he'd rather pretend he's more like a car than an old lady on a bicycle.

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Old 05-15-13, 05:34 PM   #10
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miles and miles of (largely) traffic proximate, roadway bike lanes
jan heine is not criticizing bike lanes.

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plain jane AASHTO ones or the full lane German ones, 'separate' traffic.
a line of paint is quite the barrier.

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I bet the german ones make generous use of bollards too.
nope.
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Old 05-15-13, 06:01 PM   #11
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There is no sense engaging in a discussion with a person who thinks US and German bike lanes don't separate bike and car traffic by class of vehicle.

the ones in your state you are required to use, and the motorists cannot.

Absurd. As is Jan Heine's pissing and moaning about Seattle completing sections of the interurban trail. what a tool.
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Old 05-15-13, 06:30 PM   #12
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spare_wheel, if you've ridden on NE Multnomah lately, what is your opinion of the new protected bike lane?

I do agree with Jan. My experience with NE multnomah is terrible. Cars park right up to the intersection and it is very easy to get right hooked. Since the new installation, I've ridden on the protected bike path ~5 times. 3 of those times I came very close to being wiped out at the intersection. Now I just take the whole car lane through Multnomah. You'll never see me ride the protected bike lane again. I have noticed a significant increase of bike traffic in the protected bike lane since installation.
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Old 05-16-13, 08:39 AM   #13
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There is no sense engaging in a discussion with a person who thinks US and German bike lanes don't separate bike and car traffic by class of vehicle.

the ones in your state you are required to use, and the motorists cannot.

Absurd. As is Jan Heine's pissing and moaning about Seattle completing sections of the interurban trail. what a tool.
what is absurd is your apparent position that a painted lane where a cyclist or driver can crossover at will and flows with traffic is the same degree of separation as a physically separated lane as shown in the pictures, where the cyclist flow can be against traffic.
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Old 05-16-13, 08:55 AM   #14
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"cyclists were required by law to use the bike path, whether it was well-designed or not. Other European countries quickly followed this “innovation.” It spread to yet more countries when Germany invaded much of Europe during World War II."

As I've said before, I think there is a very good chance my children's children will not be able to ride on the street in urban areas in many US States, bike riding will be regulated and allowed in lanes and paths only. Once the infrastructure is built, the regulation will follow. The A&S community is making a big mistake by overstating the need for "special" improvements for bicycle riders.
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Old 05-16-13, 08:55 AM   #15
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spare_wheel, if you've ridden on NE Multnomah lately, what is your opinion of the new protected bike lane?
the combination of mixing zones and a wall of parked cars that obscures sight lines is a tragedy waiting to happen.
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Old 05-16-13, 09:00 AM   #16
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more cyclist -> more money, more legislation, more infrastructure (i.e. separate/painted lanes)
separate lanes -> more cyclist
Separate lanes -> win
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Old 05-16-13, 09:48 AM   #17
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what is absurd is your apparent position that a painted lane where a cyclist or driver can crossover at will and flows with traffic is the same degree of separation as a physically separated lane as shown in the pictures, where the cyclist flow can be against traffic.

Sorry that you find 'absurd' the widespread, international acceptance of bike lanes as separated, preferential facilities for bicyclists. This reality is not my fault, but the world we live in.

Sparewheels opinion that even 2-3 meter wide bikelanes adjacent to a main travel lane doesn't separate traffic by class of vehicle IS absurd.

I'm not sating anything of the sort that you're imagining, sorry. Yes, there are differing degrees of traffic separation, from none at all to fully separated. a gamut of varieties of interplay between the differing modes of traffic.

The risks of drivers 'crossing over' at will is one of the inescapable weaknesses of standard bikelanes and simple, plain jane riding on the road - motorists can
cross over, right hook, and left cross cyclists at each and every intersection, particularly on non-protected infrastructure routes.

Yes, intersections need to be carefully considered. On both sides of the atlantic, the original implementation of intersection treatments are frequently modified and improved, if operational flaws are discovered... This is the reiterative process of facilities design improvement that Jan could genuinely contribute to, and be productive in finding improvements along the interrurban trail.

Suggesting sharrows or standard bikelanes isn't going to cut it for this (and a few key other) traffic corridor(s), however. Seattle is trying to create a well considered and protected connection of a significant trail network leading out of the city, as part of an overall larger network of some, select, protected routes.

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Old 05-16-13, 10:48 AM   #18
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more cyclist -> more money, more legislation, more infrastructure (i.e. separate/painted lanes)
separate lanes -> more cyclist
Separate lanes -> win
unfortunately "separate lane" has become a code word for poorly-designed segregated infrastructure that endangers cyclists, sucks up limited funding, and does little to improve connectivity.
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Old 05-16-13, 11:04 AM   #19
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Sparewheels opinion that even 2-3 meter wide bikelanes adjacent to a main travel lane doesn't separate traffic by class of vehicle IS absurd.
it only separates bicycles by class if there is a mandatory sidepath law. moreover, its telling how upset some "advocates" get when they see cyclists in an arterial when there is a bike facility nearby. in pdx traffic planners have even taken to ranting in the media and putting up signs directing cyclists away from commercial areas.
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Old 05-16-13, 11:53 AM   #20
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it only separates bicycles by class if there is a mandatory sidepath law. moreover, its telling how upset some "advocates" get when they see cyclists in an arterial when there is a bike facility nearby. in pdx traffic planners have even taken to ranting in the media and putting up signs directing cyclists away from commercial areas.
What in the world kind of cockamamie logic is that? when there's a bike lane- and especially the ones in Oregon which are mandatory use - the bike traffic is separated by class from the car traffic. they still can leave the bikelane when necessary, but a bike lane provided on a roadway distinctly separates, and is intended to provide, specific, preferred class space for bike traffic separate from car traffic.



To suggest otherwise, to suggest two meter wide bikelanes in germany aren't intended to provide separate lanes for bikes and car traffic, is absurd.

US 4 foot or the german, much wider bikelanes are less robustly separated from traffic than a curb or barrier separated bikelane, which are less robustly separated than a parking protected bikelane, which are in turn less robustly separated than a fully separated path network.

Each variety has its own nuance of safety issues at intersections, as does mixing bike and car traffic at regular intersections. Each intersection will have unique, context specific traffic dynamics, that change depending on time of day, that need to be addressed.

if you don't grasp these core, crucial details about traffic management, all hope is lost. You simply are unable to accurately explain, or understand the fundamentals of traffic management and preferred class lanes.

But, Honk Honk! look, you're a car like Jan!

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Old 05-16-13, 12:40 PM   #21
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unfortunately "separate lane" has become a code word for poorly-designed segregated infrastructure that endangers cyclists, sucks up limited funding, and does little to improve connectivity.
Only in America. Where the car is king.

Some other countries have a more enlightened attitude.


Oh I should have mentioned that the above bike path is representative of similar bike paths all over the country of Finland, and that said bicycle infrastructure is fairly recently installed... and is NOT as a result of some medieval roadway situation as some may think.

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Old 05-16-13, 12:54 PM   #22
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What in the world kind of cockamamie logic is that? when there's a bike lane- and especially the ones in Oregon which are mandatory use - the bike traffic is separated by class from the car traffic.
when i cross a bike lane mid block to park near a shop/restaurant/cafe/bar i don't feel "separated". one of the advantages of being a cyclists is that we can ride in a bike lane, a motor vehicle lane, or even (on occasion) a ped facility. many, if not most, segregationists want to eliminate this freedom.
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Old 05-16-13, 01:49 PM   #23
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when i cross a bike lane mid block to park near a shop/restaurant/cafe/bar i don't feel "separated". one of the advantages of being a cyclists is that we can ride in a bike lane, a motor vehicle lane, or even (on occasion) a ped facility. many, if not most, segregationists want to eliminate this freedom.
I don't believe anyone wants to remove that freedom... what "segregationists" want is a way to travel that is not impeded/controlled by fast moving motor traffic, which is itself guided by drivers that do not respect state laws and that very freedom of the cyclist.

Sharing the roads is fine as long as everyone is on board and is fully aware and responsible for the control of their vehicle and respects the other road users.
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Old 05-16-13, 02:14 PM   #24
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Sharing the roads is fine as long as everyone is on board and is fully aware and responsible for the control of their vehicle and respects the other road users.
Exactly.
Where I live there are plenty of examples of both separated and painted side lanes. One major issue with the latter is how they're often occupied by parked cars, taxis, delivery vans. They're also swerved into by cars surging towards a right turn and drivers simply not paying attention.
The separated lanes have their flaws, but they seem to be the better choice in this automobile crazed district.

The Dutch cyclist, conversely, has some of the best thought-out infrastructure at her disposal. But if none of it existed, she'd probably still be safer than her counterparts over here. That's because the vast majority of Dutch drivers are well trained and aware of other road users. She can thank proper driver education and strict liability for that.
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Old 05-16-13, 02:16 PM   #25
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When I first started riding several months ago I was thinking that bike lanes are a great thing. Now that I have quite a bit more experience riding in traffic both with and without bike lanes, I'm all for riding with the traffic. The bike lanes are much more dangerous than the lane for several reasons. Wide shoulders were parking isn't allowed seems best so far to me but where parking is allowed - gotta get in the lane.
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