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Old 06-19-14, 08:24 AM   #1
work4bike
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A New Bike Lane That Could Save Lives and Make Cycling More Popular

Color me skeptical. Besides I don't like the idea of taking bikelanes past the basic concept of just giving us a little more real estate, but maybe that's just me set in my old ways of cycling.

Curious on everyone's opinion. I don't really see anything here that unique, but then again I don't spend much time looking at various bike infrastructure designs. There's also a 5-minute video on the link.

BTW, this seems to be something, for now, only in Portland, Or.

A New Bike Lane That Could Save Lives and Make Cycling More Popular | Autopia | WIRED
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Old 06-19-14, 08:51 AM   #2
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I personally think it looks dumb. We're going to have to deal with pedestrians a lot if you use this plan. And every person who gets out of a car now is forced to walk across the bike lane to get to the sidewalk. While it may be better than getting doored, pedestrian/cyclist collisions will increase.

I'd much rather ride in traffic. This type of infrastructure is too expensive and it won't get approved in most cities. It would be much more cost effective to increase penalties to motorists who injure/kill cyclists.
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Old 06-19-14, 10:49 AM   #3
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If this garbage is implemented in the US, it will necessitate ending right-on-red (a good idea in and of itself) and the insertion of extra phases for the bikes in every signal cycle. Of course, that means we will spend lots of extra time at the intersections, and we'll still be at risk from the scofflaws who both don't observe the no right turn on red and who stop well past their limit lines.

Overall, we would do better to get to the heart of the issue: we need to enforce our existing traffic laws. With these designs, we still have all the scofflaw motorist issues, but then are shunted into narrow tracks that force us to ride at near-pedestrian speeds (negating our biggest urban advantage: we're faster than cars). No thanks.
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Old 06-19-14, 11:24 AM   #4
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Looks interesting but is it practical?

How many drivers are going to tear out their undercarriages on those protective islands?

It still doesn't protect from right hooks. It just puts another island they have to skirt in the street that drivers can fixate on and still not look past the hood of their car. Now it has stopped cyclists behind it.

Looks like it severely hampers auto traffic by effectively reducing the lane count.

Car and trucks are still going to block it by jumping the curb and parking closer to their destination. Then what? Ride in the (now limited) traffic lane with the cars? This will only piss off the motorists even more.

I guarantee you they will be used for parking and storing equipment and materials when service is needed for ANYTHING on the street.

Pedestrian usage from the parking lane.

Overall it LOOKS like a good idea, but will the features provide any benefit in the real world?
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Old 06-19-14, 11:44 AM   #5
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This design and similar ones have been discussed quite a bit in Portland. The pros and cons I see:

Pros:
Don't get doored by drivers or cut off by cars pulling in/out of parking spot.
Less likely to be right hooked (much less likely where signals are adjusted, and somewhat less likely where intersection is not signalized).

Cons:
Get doored by passengers and blocked by people walking to parked cars. Mom unloading her baby buggy or helping grandma and her walker could block the bike lane for minutes at a time.
Hard to pass slower cyclists. Impossible to pass bike trailers, two abreast riders, weaving newbies.
Trash, leaves, snow, even rain flooding pile up in the lane. Needs special equipment to sweep.
Ride right next to pedestrians, children, dogs, etc. Worrisome at 10 mph, outright dangerous at 25 mph.
Left turns become a two-signal phase wait.
Implicitly tells drivers that cyclists don't belong on their streets.

Admittedly I've never seen one of these in action, but at this point I'm skeptical leaning to negative.

So many people who want "separated cycle infrastructure" seem to have the idea that urban cyclists shouldn't need to watch for cars or pedestrians or other hazards, but should be able to sail along as if they were on a MUP. They also seem to think all cyclists ride slowly.

I think that, in dense commercial areas where there are also a lot of pedestrians, car traffic should be calmed to 20-25 mph using posted limits, speed cameras/signs, roadway narrowing (bumpouts, center medians, etc), speed humps, signal timing, etc, and cyclists should simply ride in the same lanes as cars. On commercial, residential, or arterial streets where car speeds are >30 mph, there should be painted bike lanes alongside the parking zone, ideally nice a wide with a painted buffer to the adjacent traffic lane, and these should be on every such street instead of just a few. In quiet residential areas where car speeds are naturally 20-25 mph, I don't see the need for any special treatment.
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Old 06-19-14, 11:51 AM   #6
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Every so often someone "rediscovers" this faulty design. I can easily see pedestrian collisions, right hooks, and jams caused by bikes waiting to "turn" left.
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Old 06-19-14, 12:56 PM   #7
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if I understand this properly, we already have this kind of bike lane, and it's dangerous as anything I have ever seen. Moving the bike lane back from the road intersection allows motorists to turn and get up to speed by the time they see you. Closest I have ever gotten to being hit was on our bike lanes. Modern motor vehicles accelerate very quickly, it was amazing how fast the person got to me from the parallel road. I have often thought that to make things safer, they actually need to merge the separated bike lane into the roads at the intersections. Still doesn't make it safe though.

My favorite part of the intersections is that now you have to look 4 ways to cross an intersection, including behind you. I guess that's why there is a stop sign at every driveway
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Old 06-19-14, 01:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
BTW, this seems to be something, for now, only in Portland, Or.
It's just a private citizen's vision and has not been endorsed by any organization or government entity in Portland. These facilities have not been built and there is no plan to build them.

I agree with bcarfree that the dangers of cycling (which are greatly exaggerated) are almost entirely due to poor driving skills and inattention by motorists. A great illustration of the lack of correlation between infrastructure and safety are the many cities in Japan with high mode share, very little bike-specific infrastructure, and low accident rates. Perhaps the fact that Japan has strict liability has something to do with this. (In Japan a motorist is always liable for insurance purposes when they hit a cyclist regardless of what the cyclist was doing.)
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Old 06-19-14, 01:40 PM   #9
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I can think of a few places that would be an improvement over present conditions, but in general I prefer normal bike lanes. Can't see how one can form an intelligent opinion without knowing where it will be.
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Old 06-19-14, 03:30 PM   #10
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Bike lane where cyclists remain hidden from drivers behind parked cars until they fly off the sidewalk (at least as drivers see it) at each intersection at speed.

AND it requires a lot of space.

A huge part of the danger for cyclists is not being seen, this makes it an order of magnitude worse.

This might be nice for 'pedestrians on bikes' but for anyone going faster than a brisk walk it is a recipe for disaster.

If widely implemented it will be the death of cycling as we know it, a boon only for those who are perfectly happy at 10 MPH and under.
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Old 06-19-14, 05:36 PM   #11
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Bike lane where cyclists remain hidden from drivers behind parked cars until they fly off the sidewalk (at least as drivers see it) at each intersection at speed.

AND it requires a lot of space.

A huge part of the danger for cyclists is not being seen, this makes it an order of magnitude worse.

This might be nice for 'pedestrians on bikes' but for anyone going faster than a brisk walk it is a recipe for disaster.

If widely implemented it will be the death of cycling as we know it, a boon only for those who are perfectly happy at 10 MPH and under.
its a facility designed by people who view cycling as a wheeled form of pedestrianism.
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Old 06-19-14, 05:46 PM   #12
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Color me skeptical. Besides I don't like the idea of taking bikelanes past the basic concept of just giving us a little more real estate, but maybe that's just me set in my old ways of cycling.

Curious on everyone's opinion. I don't really see anything here that unique, but then again I don't spend much time looking at various bike infrastructure designs. There's also a 5-minute video on the link.

BTW, this seems to be something, for now, only in Portland, Or.

A New Bike Lane That Could Save Lives and Make Cycling More Popular | Autopia | WIRED

It's just begging for a long or articulated vehicle to come across the refuge, and motorists are not going to be amused about being placed behind all of this and potentially hindering the view of crossing traffic, causing right of way difficulties and the possibility of increased accidents, not only with other cars but cyclist themselves.

One vehicle that runs quickly through a light turning red and all heck is asking to happen.

The big problem is ODOT can't be counted on to engineer these things that well. Already they have mid-block crosswalk signals in strange places, and out of area drivers who have never seen one blow right through the flashing lights, making them more dangerous than just waiting to cross. I have no faith in the idea for that reason alone.
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Old 06-19-14, 06:13 PM   #13
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I went back to the link and the posts there are pretty much claiming this is standard stuff in the Netherlands and Europe.

Anyone know if that is true?
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Old 06-20-14, 02:28 AM   #14
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I went back to the link and the posts there are pretty much claiming this is standard stuff in the Netherlands and Europe.

Anyone know if that is true?
Don't know whether it's standard stuff but here's a video that discusses this design in the Netherlands:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBwMRGxtZ9k
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Old 06-20-14, 02:45 AM   #15
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US drivers aren't a bit like Scandinavian or European drivers.
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Old 06-20-14, 06:36 AM   #16
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This is NOT a new design and was not designed by Nick Falbo as the article stated. It has been standard practice for some decades in The Netherlands, Sweden, and Finland and is becoming more common in Copenhagen, Germany and elsewhere. It is the most typical design seen in a grid of streets though is just one of numerous designs that Dutch engineers use.

This was originally documented by Mark Wagenbur @ bicycledutch.com in 2010 with an update here: Junction design in the Netherlands | BICYCLE DUTCH

This design works very well for bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. It provides less congestion for all and is safer than other alternatives.

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Old 06-20-14, 06:55 AM   #17
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I feel we need something here on our major intersections. All I know is the new Left Turn Lane changes are NOT bicycle friendly.
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Old 06-20-14, 06:58 AM   #18
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If this garbage is implemented in the US, it will necessitate ending right-on-red (a good idea in and of itself) and the insertion of extra phases for the bikes in every signal cycle. Of course, that means we will spend lots of extra time at the intersections, and we'll still be at risk from the scofflaws who both don't observe the no right turn on red and who stop well past their limit lines.

Overall, we would do better to get to the heart of the issue: we need to enforce our existing traffic laws. With these designs, we still have all the scofflaw motorist issues, but then are shunted into narrow tracks that force us to ride at near-pedestrian speeds (negating our biggest urban advantage: we're faster than cars). No thanks.
I don't know why you think this necessitates being forced to slow down so much. Even in Amsterdam and Utrecht, both very congested with people, bicycles, and cars, I can often maintain a 18 mph pace if I'm in a hurry (most bicycle traffic though averages about 13-15 mph in urban areas like Amsterdam which is a very comfortable non sweat inducing pace).

The only time there is a special phase for bicycles is simultaneous green, when all motor traffic is stopped and bicycles may go in all directions (N, S, E, W, and both diagonals), which is exceptionally efficient. Otherwise bicycles automatically get green in the same direction as cars except when cars are allowed to turn.
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Old 06-20-14, 09:36 AM   #19
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I can't help but wonder if all the naysayers early on in this thread have ever ridden anywhere but on American streets?

I notice some folks have responded just above that have biked in some European cities and have claimed great success with these intersection designs.

While I can't claim to having encountered such designs, I can tell you that my experiences in Oulu, Finland were far better than the typical cycling I have done in the US over 50+ years, including, seven car free years and some 20+ years of bike commuting. Quit the armchair quarter backing folks... take a vacation in a European city with real cycling infrastructure and bike a few miles before you diss what you don't understand.

In Oulu I found a wonderful network of well designed bike paths, and a central city core that was car free. It was fantastic. In Barcelona I found unique intersections laid out in an octagon that permitted motorists to view cyclists before making turns or entering the intersection.

Here is just a tiny taste of Oulu bike paths:

BTW that is me talking, while riding and handholding an old Kodak digital cam. The motor sound you hear early on is from a car on the nearby road. The path network is well developed and took anyone riding a bike to any area of town they would want, often in a shorter route than if by driving. And yes, the paths were plowed in the winter... which is saying a lot as Oulu is near the Arctic Circle.

I was there on a work assignment and just had to rent a bike I was so enamored with the path network. It made Davis seem just like yet another "American bike ghetto." There is about 24% bike modal share in Oulu.

Even Honolulu surprised me with ample bike parking that far surpasses what we have in San Diego. (the bike lanes on the other hand left a bit to be desired.... but that is another discussion).

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Old 06-20-14, 11:27 AM   #20
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Building European-style bike facilities doesn't turn a place into Europe, though. In an ideal world, yes, they would be fantastic. But this isn't an ideal world. This is America. (insert picture of eagle perched majestically in front of an American flag)
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Old 06-20-14, 12:01 PM   #21
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I don't know why you think this necessitates being forced to slow down so much. Even in Amsterdam and Utrecht, both very congested with people, bicycles, and cars, I can often maintain a 18 mph pace if I'm in a hurry (most bicycle traffic though averages about 13-15 mph in urban areas like Amsterdam which is a very comfortable non sweat inducing pace).
This intersection design is not used in Amsterdam. Islands, set backs, and channelization are common but not *this* design (which promotes unnecessary conflict between peds and cyclists).
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Old 06-20-14, 12:45 PM   #22
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were far better than the typical cycling I have done in the US over 50+ years, including, seven car free years and some 20+ years of bike commuting.
that's not saying much.
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Old 06-20-14, 12:54 PM   #23
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This intersection design is not used in Amsterdam. Islands, set backs, and channelization are common but not *this* design (which promotes unnecessary conflict between peds and cyclists).
I followed a couple of the links people provided and one HUGE difference was that none of the ones about Europe had PARKED CARS which are a significant visual barrier between car traffic and the bike path.

Also ratios matter. The first video I saw re the Netherlands showed an intersection where the bike traffic was a few feet backset to the right, but the limit line was a good 25 feet back.

That is entirely different from 15 feet out front but 15 feet to the right.
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Old 06-20-14, 01:36 PM   #24
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I followed a couple of the links people provided and one HUGE difference was that none of the ones about Europe had PARKED CARS which are a significant visual barrier between car traffic and the bike path.

using barriers, flower planters, and parked cages to delineate a cycletrack is frowned upon in denmark -- for obvious reasons. (they don't call them "curb-separated cycle tracks" for nothing.)
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Old 06-20-14, 01:52 PM   #25
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using barriers, flower planters, and parked cages to delineate a cycletrack is frowned upon in denmark -- for obvious reasons. (they don't call them "curb-separated cycle tracks" for nothing.)
I'm not a fan of those "barriers," either. How do they deal with the demand for parking spots on the road in Denmark?
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