# Vehicular Cycling (VC) - Bike Lane deaths

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10-18-06, 01:55 PM
Do you have numbers telling how far it should be?
Do I have numbers for how far what should be? How far cyclists should be riding from the curb? No! Where cyclists "should" be riding should be based on where passing traffic is, not where the curb is.

The European standard is 1 meter from passing traffic. Forester says 3' to the right of traffic, that's what is taught in LAB classes (CANBIKE classes as well, I'm fairly sure).

So, according to traffic cycling best practices, and referring to your photo again, the safe traffic cyclist should be somewhere several feet to the LEFT of the bike lane stripe (because that's where 3' to the right of passing traffic would be), while the vast majority of cyclists tend to ride several feet to the right of that.

Edit: If 3' feet to the right of passing traffic puts you closer than 3' from the curb, then the lane is arguably too narrow to be safely shared, and you should be even further left, controlling the lane. This is based on the rough rule of thumb that a cyclist needs about 3' buffer space on each side to be safe - this buffer size requirement of course varies based on factors and conditions. In some cases, like if cyclist is traveling faster than 25 mph downhill, it may need to be more. At very slow speeds you can get away with less, of course.

genec
10-18-06, 01:57 PM
WTF?

Where did you get "a few inches"? I never wrote a few!

For some reason you seem to equate "inches" with "a few inches" in your mind.

try going into the local hardware store and say "I just need inches of that..."

or tell someone to move a desk "inches," and see if they move it a whole foot, or even 18 inches.

But here we are arguing semantics again... petty details over a situation that is much larger in scope.

CTAC
10-18-06, 01:57 PM
Do I have numbers for how far what should be? How far cyclists should be riding from the curb? No! Where cyclists "should" be riding should be based on where passing traffic is, not where the curb is.

Then what was the point of computing?

10-18-06, 02:02 PM
Then what was the point of computing?
What is the point of computing what?

galen_52657
10-18-06, 02:04 PM
Then what was the point of computing?

being obtuse for obtuseness's sake simply proves your position is weak

10-18-06, 02:05 PM
But here we are arguing semantics again...
Speak for yourself. I clarified what I meant in the original post a long time ago. You're the one still going at it.

10-18-06, 02:08 PM
being obtuse for obtuseness's sake simply proves your position is weak
Yes, and very typical. What often comes next is a claim of not having been serious all along, just playing along for the entertainment of debate (a particularly favorite tactic of Chipcom). Yet, in the end, they won't concede the points we're making either. They just fizzle away.

CTAC
10-18-06, 02:48 PM
Yes, and very typical. What often comes next is a claim of not having been serious all along, just playing along for the entertainment of debate (a particularly favorite tactic of Chipcom). Yet, in the end, they won't concede the points we're making either. They just fizzle away.
Do you think anyone is serious debating BLs with you? :D

Bicycle lanes in the Silicon Valley do a good job bringing people on roads on bicycles who otherwise would never consider cycling as transportation. They do for advocacy and safety more then you would with zillions of posts here. I have people at my office who started riding after I hanged a map and they figured that there are bilke lanes from their home to the office. What we have here may not necessary be the option for other places, and I never said that we should put crappy BLs everywhere.

10-18-06, 02:53 PM
Do you think anyone is serious debating BLs with you? :D

Bicycle lanes in the Silicon Valley do a good job bringing people on roads on bicycles who otherwise would never consider cycling as transportation. They do for advocacy and safety more then you would with zillions of posts here. I have people at my office who started riding after I hanged a map and they figured that there are bilke lanes from their home to the office. What we have here may not necessary be the option for other places, and I never said that we should put crappy BLs everywhere.
In other words, dodge everything we've been saying. Typical. :rolleyes:

noisebeam
10-18-06, 02:53 PM
Bicycle lanes in the Silicon Valley do a good job bringing people on roads on bicycles who otherwise would never consider cycling as transportation. They do for advocacy and safety more then you would with zillions of posts here. I have people at my office who started riding after I hanged a map and they figured that there are bilke lanes from their home to the office. What we have here may not necessary be the option for other places, and I never said that we should put crappy BLs everywhere.
Another (partial) fallacy. I concede that BLs may help advocate for bicycle as transport, but not for safety. Combining a novice traffic cyclist with BLs that often put cyclist in unsafe roadway position and give false sense of safety to novice cyclist is a recipe for unsafe cycling.

Its like putting floaties on kids and throwing them in the deep end of a pool before they know how to swim.

Al

sbhikes
10-18-06, 02:59 PM
BLs may help advocate for bicycle as transport, but not for safety

And yet nobody quibbled with me on my thread about the bike lane on the 101 that the bike lane would be the safest place on the road to ride...

noisebeam
10-18-06, 03:08 PM
And yet nobody quibbled with me on my thread about the bike lane on the 101 that the bike lane would be the safest place on the road to ride...

A marked bike lane for a specific time and place on a road may very well be the safest place to ride, but that is very different than saying that bike lanes make roads safer. I hope you can understand the difference.

Al

CTAC
10-18-06, 03:09 PM
Combining a novice traffic cyclist with BLs that often put cyclist in unsafe roadway position and give false sense of safety to novice cyclist is a recipe for unsafe cycling.

I see no evidence supporting that. Do you assume a novice wobbling along the road with dense 40-50mph traffic would choose better position on the road with no BL than with BL on it? Keep in mind that in most cases we do not have calmer streets for commute here.

derath
10-18-06, 03:09 PM
And yet nobody quibbled with me on my thread about the bike lane on the 101 that the bike lane would be the safest place on the road to ride...

Ok everyone, over to Diane's thread. She is feeling left out. :D

Its like putting floaties on kids and throwing them in the deep end of a pool before they know how to swim.

My kids LOVED that. Well until the floaties slipped off and they sunk to the bottom. Then they just kinda sat there. Hmm.

-D

10-18-06, 03:27 PM
A marked bike lane for a specific time and place on a road may very well be the safest place to ride, but that is very different than saying that bike lanes make roads safer. I hope you can understand the difference.

10-18-06, 03:30 PM
Combining a novice traffic cyclist with BLs that often put cyclist in unsafe roadway position and give false sense of safety to novice cyclist is a recipe for unsafe cycling.

I see no evidence supporting that. Do you assume a novice wobbling along the road with dense 40-50mph traffic would choose better position on the road with no BL than with BL on it? Keep in mind that in most cases we do not have calmer streets for commute here.
I can't speak for Al, but what I see is novice cyclists who have the sense to avoid a street (use an alternative) with fast/busy traffic for which they do not have the skills and experience to travel on safely, unless the street happens to have a bike lane, which gives them the false sense of security to ride on it. They seem to file the concept associated with "bike lane" in the same place in their brain as "bike path", and ride accordingly... oblivious to the traffic around them. That's a recipe for unsafe cycling.

derath
10-18-06, 03:31 PM
A marked bike lane for a specific time and place on a road may very well be the safest place to ride, but that is very different than saying that bike lanes make roads safer. I hope you can understand the difference.

Al

That is a good point. Generally I have found that drivers will ignore any lane markings when convenient for them. An example:

There are roads near my home that are 2 lane roads, varying in posted speeds of 35-50mph. Some of them have a shoulder. Some have a shoulder with a little cyclist guy painted on them. I fail to see how the sections of shoulder with the cyclist painted on them is any safer than the sections without.

On these roads, cars will regularily swerve into this shoulder area, typically to go around a car who has stopped to make a left hand turn.

-D

10-18-06, 03:35 PM
Bicycle lanes in the Silicon Valley do a good job bringing people on roads on bicycles who otherwise would never consider cycling as transportation. They do for advocacy and safety more then you would with zillions of posts here. I have people at my office who started riding after I hanged a map and they figured that there are bilke lanes from their home to the office. What we have here may not necessary be the option for other places, and I never said that we should put crappy BLs everywhere.
Bike lanes arguably do some of that, with a huge caveat about the safety claim, arguably everywhere, not just in Silicon Valley.

But all that shows is that cyclists who are not familar with how to act like a vehicle driver while riding a bicycle in traffic, but are comfortable with the pedestrian rules of the road and like being treated accordingly by motorists while riding bicycles, are attracted to bike lanes. Duh.

noisebeam
10-18-06, 03:37 PM
I can't speak for Al, but what I see is novice cyclists who have the sense to avoid a street (use an alternative) with fast/busy traffic for which they do not have the skills and experience to travel on safely, unless the street happens to have a bike lane, which gives them the false sense of security to ride on it. They seem to file the concept associated with "bike lane" in the same place in their brain as "bike path", and ride accordingly... oblivious to the traffic around them. That's a recipe for unsafe cycling.
That what I had in mind.
Also encouraging things like making left turn across traffic from bike lane instead of merging across lanes to go into left turn lane, which I just saw again yesterday going home.
Or being unable to safely manage permanent bad bike lane designs which do still exist in most communities (including DZ bike lanes, BL to right of lane from which other vehicles can turn right, etc.) and also being able to safely manage dynamic conditions that make a BL unsafe such as debris, construction which temporarily closes lane, etc.
Al

10-18-06, 03:41 PM
That is a good point. Generally I have found that drivers will ignore any lane markings when convenient for them. An example:

There are roads near my home that are 2 lane roads, varying in posted speeds of 35-50mph. Some of them have a shoulder. Some have a shoulder with a little cyclist guy painted on them. I fail to see how the sections of shoulder with the cyclist painted on them is any safer than the sections without.

On these roads, cars will regularily swerve into this shoulder area, typically to go around a car who has stopped to make a left hand turn.

Absolutely.

Gene, when you drive to the cove, do you ever take LJVD? Have you ever noticed how many motorists ignore the gore striping prior to the left turn lanes for TP Road? Next time, pay attention to this.

Ha ha. I just looked it up on Google. As luck would have it, the picture was taken while a white truck is skirting the gore I'm talking about.

When the two left turn only lanes get backed up a bit more, cars are regularly driven right down the middle of that island to get to the leftmost left turn lane.

CTAC
10-18-06, 03:44 PM
is very different than saying that bike lanes make roads safer
Well designed lanes do make road safer by making drivers more aware of the bikers presence, and by sending a clear message that bicyclists have every right to be here on the road.

10-18-06, 03:47 PM
T
Also encouraging things like making left turn across traffic from bike lane instead of merging across lanes to go into left turn lane, which I just saw again yesterday going home.
I see it all the time too. It's like they treat the bike lane as "base" and only leave it when absolutely necessary as quickly and for as short a distance as possible.

joejack951
10-18-06, 03:51 PM
Well designed lanes do make road safer by making drivers more aware of the bikers presence, and by sending a clear message that bicyclists have every right to be here on the road.

Even the best designed bike lanes put cyclists in a position where drivers are not used to encountering traffic (compare how many bikes use the road to cars using the road) and send a clear message to motorists that cyclists belong outside of the normal traffic lanes.

10-18-06, 03:52 PM
Well designed lanes do make road safer by making drivers more aware of the bikers presence, and by sending a clear message that bicyclists have every right to be here on the road.
Do you really believe this?

Do you not realize that "get off the road" and "get in the bike lane" are synonymous to most people (including cyclists as well as motorists and law enforcement)? To these people, a bike lane is effectively a shoulder, and is not part of the road. In other words, it's not for vehicular traffic.

The idea that bike lanes send a "clear message that bicyclists have every right to be here on the road." is absurd - they do the exact opposite. Bike lanes send a clear message that bicyclists have an obligation to get and stay out of the way of motorists.

noisebeam
10-18-06, 03:55 PM
Well designed lanes do make road safer by making drivers more aware of the bikers presence, and by sending a clear message that bicyclists have every right to be here on the road.
How does a painted stripe do this any better than a properly designed Share the Road sign or sharrows or other similar?

Actually BLs do the contrary of 'sending a clear message that bicyclist have every right to be on the road.' Many motorists and some cyclists in fact wrongly believe that cyclists are not allowed full use of the road because BLs are present. This even carries over to roads without BLs, where some people believe that if a BL isn't present, cyclist shouldn't be on the road at all.

Al

CTAC
10-18-06, 03:55 PM
But all that shows is that cyclists who are not familar with how to act like a vehicle driver while riding a bicycle in traffic, but are comfortable with the pedestrian rules of the road and like being treated accordingly by motorists while riding bicycles, are attracted to bike lanes. Duh.
Would you prefer them to drive a car then? They would not ride unless they feel safe.

noisebeam
10-18-06, 03:59 PM
Would you prefer them to drive a car then? They would not ride unless they feel safe.
I would prefer they learn how to cycle in traffic before cycling in traffic. If that means not cycling, then so be it.
Why do you advocate making cyclists feel safe to get them cycling, if they are not actually prepared to be safe? Your tempting them with false security into an activity they are not prepared for.
Al

10-18-06, 04:01 PM
I would prefer they learn how to cycle in traffic before cycling in traffic. If that means not cycling, then so be it.
Why do you advocate making cyclists feel safe to get them cycling, if they are not actually prepared to be safe? Your tempting them with false security into an activity they are not prepared for.
Al
+1

genec
10-18-06, 04:06 PM
How does a painted stripe do this any better than a properly designed Share the Road sign or sharrows or other similar?

Actually BLs do the contrary of 'sending a clear message that bicyclist have every right to be on the road.' Many motorists and some cyclists in fact wrongly believe that cyclists are not allowed full use of the road because BLs are present. This even carries over to roads without BLs, where some people believe that if a BL isn't present, cyclist shouldn't be on the road at all.

Al

So erase the white lines and leave up the signs... life should be much better then.

Now convince the politicians that this will work.

noisebeam
10-18-06, 04:09 PM
So erase the white lines and leave up the signs... life should be much better then.

Now convince the politicians that this will work.
That has always been my position. WOL with additional 'StR' type signage and markings that do not indicate any particular roadway position unless all vehicles must use same roadway position.

I am also fine (neutral) with a BL stripe on long stretches of intersectionless roads that have high speed limits and volumes.

Al

10-18-06, 04:19 PM
So erase the white lines and leave up the signs... life should be much better then.
:beer:

Now convince the politicians that this will work.
Politicians? Try convincing the "bike" advocates like CTAC. :rolleyes:

genec
10-18-06, 04:32 PM
:beer:

Politicians? Try convincing the "bike" advocates like CTAC. :rolleyes:

Well the "bike" advocates use "bike lanes" to request funding through politicians from Federal sources to widen roads. The Federal sources understand the concept based on "alternative transportation" and "bike lanes." Wider roads can be WOL.

You want changes, that is where the changes need to take place. At the top.

The "bike advocates" are only using the "resources" that have been set up by the "rule makers."

While you're at it, convince those at the top that the 85th percentile rule for establishing speeds on roads in California should include all legal vehicles that use that road.

derath
10-18-06, 04:54 PM
This even carries over to roads without BLs, where some people believe that if a BL isn't present, cyclist shouldn't be on the road at all.

+10

I was actually about to post the EXACT same thing.

-D

10-18-06, 05:00 PM
Well the "bike" advocates use "bike lanes" to request funding through politicians from Federal sources to widen roads. The Federal sources understand the concept based on "alternative transportation" and "bike lanes." Wider roads can be WOL.

You want changes, that is where the changes need to take place. At the top.

The "bike advocates" are only using the "resources" that have been set up by the "rule makers."

While you're at it, convince those at the top that the 85th percentile rule for establishing speeds on roads in California should include all legal vehicles that use that road.
The desire for road widening accounts only for a tiny percentage of the bike lanes that "bike" advocates call for.
It is true that most "bike" money is targetted for "facilities", and a large percentage of that pot goes to "bike lanes". But like with all addictions, the best response is to just say NO.

Edit: Also, you're kidding yourself if you think decisions like this are made "at the top" by the "rule makers". Modern American politics are all about "special interests", and the tiny political niche of bicycling advocacy is no different. The relevant "special interests" in this niche are the bike manufacters and those "on the dole" one way or another: traffic engineers, law enforcement, "bike planners", motorist advocacy (AAA), advocacy lobbyists, etc. They all benefit from more and more bike lanes.

genec
10-18-06, 05:02 PM
The desire for road widening accounts only for a tiny percentage of the bike lanes that "bike" advocates call for.
It is true that most "bike" money is targetted for "facilities", and a large percentage of that pot goes to "bike lanes". But like with all addictions, the best response is to just say NO.

LOL... right, let me know when politicians can be trained to keep hands out of the kitty.

Free money... free money... Like I said... you have to start at the top for that one. :D

10-18-06, 05:07 PM
LOL... right, let me know when politicians can be trained to keep hands out of the kitty.

Free money... free money... Like I said... you have to start at the top for that one. :D
Huh? The only benefit that politicians get from using money in the kitty on bike lanes is to appease the special interests (see the Edit: portion of my previous post).

noisebeam
10-18-06, 05:11 PM
They all benefit from more and more bike lanes.
Want to see an example of the desire for more lanes and more bike lane look alikes at the expense of common sense and safety? It also shows how narrow BLs come to be. So desperate to be 'cycle friendly' a too narrow lane was called a 'bike route' instead and roadside bushes are being trimmed to extract a few extra inches of riding room in the gutter.

(note no need for anyone to comment on the other letters in this great collection of examples of narrow lane and letters to the editor. A great read as I pointed out in another thread I just posted this link and pretty much reads like an A&S thread)

Al

genec
10-18-06, 05:33 PM
Huh? The only benefit that politicians get from using money in the kitty on bike lanes is to appease the special interests (see the Edit: portion of my previous post).

OK then, in reality you will have to change all those "on the dole" and anyone else benefitting from BL before all BL can be erased. Sounds like one huge upstream swim.

OR you can admit that the intertia for moving that monster is too huge, and that the reality is BL are not going away... at which point you should join the "BL crew" and work within the system to improve BL rather than remain the lone voice in trying to remove them. I know you are not really "alone..." but the weight of all those "on the dole" is far greater than those lonely cyclists out there trying to rid the world of BL.

As long as cycling advocacy remains splintered... the results will be pretty much what we see today. As soon as that advocacy comes together in a single unified voice... we can have the same power as the ADA or MADD.

Otherwise... You're just spittin' into the wind...

CTAC
10-18-06, 05:33 PM
I would prefer they learn how to cycle in traffic before cycling in traffic.
It's called daydreaming, right?

genec
10-18-06, 05:37 PM
It's called daydreaming, right?

No, it's called teaching kids how to ride bikes at the same time we teach reading writing and arithmetic.

Since driving or being part of traffic is so much part of our society... why is it that we don't teach how to do this as part of our educational system?

The reality is bike riding and bike rodeos used to be part of the lessons available at public schools... and in some areas it still is.

Time to bring it back everywhere. Just like PE and shop, and music.

CTAC
10-18-06, 05:38 PM
How does a painted stripe do this any better than a properly designed Share the Road sign or sharrows or other similar?

Lanes do the same. I'd prefer sharrows and signage over bike lanes for low volume traffic streets. Lanes are better for high speed high volume multilane roads, where 'sharing' is impossible or impractical.

noisebeam
10-18-06, 05:39 PM
It's called daydreaming, right?
Better the daydream than the alternate nightmare that results from encouraging those who don't know by painting stripes.
Look, lack of stripes is not going to make all people learn how to cycle in traffic, but it will make some give second thought to how they are going to get from A to B safely. With stripes one is incorrectly telling novices there is a safe way from A to B and no further learning or skills are needed.
Al

10-18-06, 05:43 PM
Better the daydream than the alternate nightmare that results from encouraging those who don't know by painting stripes.
Look, lack of stripes is not going to make all people learn how to cycle in traffic, but it will make some give second thought to how they are going to get from A to B safely. With stripes one is incorrectly telling novices there is a safe way from A to B and no further learning or skills are needed.
Al
:beer:

I think the most important concept for cycling advocates to convey is that knowing how to ride a bike is not the same thing as knowing how to ride a bike in traffic. The difference isn't enormous, but it is significant. And if you're not sure what it is, that's a good sign you haven't learned it yet.

noisebeam
10-18-06, 05:45 PM
Lanes do the same. I'd prefer sharrows and signage over bike lanes for low volume traffic streets. Lanes are better for high speed high volume multilane roads, where 'sharing' is impossible or impractical.
No, re-read our entire conversation on this. Lanes do worse. They 'put' cyclist away, they discourage sharing the road. Sharing the road is always possible, essential and practical - the alternate is separated bike paths.

But yes, on long stretches of intersectionless high speed high volume roads (i.e. not any urban or suburban) there may be a case for a bike lane.

Al

sbhikes
10-18-06, 05:59 PM
Lanes do no such thing.

a) only a small amount of people attend their bicycle advocacy meetings in their respective cities,
b) most of those who do attend drive to the meetings,
c) those of us who live in towns and cities with healthy bike advocacy groups also have a lot of on-street facilities,
d) those of use who have healthy bike advocacy groups also ride to the meetings,
e) those of us who live in places with lots of on-street facilities also have many more cyclists plying the roads than those of us who do not, despite worse weather in some cases.

We who actually ride on roads with well-designed bike lanes should be the ones to judge them. The rest of you have no idea.

noisebeam
10-18-06, 06:33 PM
Lanes do no such thing.
We who actually ride on roads with well-designed bike lanes should be the ones to judge them. The rest of you have no idea.
Well I ride in a LAB awarded Silver Level Bike Friendly City (just like Santa Barbara) and ride on roads with both AASHTO guideline BLs, those without any specific facilities and roads with WOLs. I think that is a broad experience to base what does and doesn't work.

Al

galen_52657
10-18-06, 06:41 PM
The rest of you have no idea.

Oh, yes we do!

Bike lanes in these parts may be much less extensive than out west, but any deviation in design standard is minimal at best. The only thing you may have going for you is the fact that after a certain amount of exposure, at least some of the general public will take notice and possibly show a little deference to cyclists.

But the fact remains, bike lanes as currently configured on both coasts (and in the middle one would presume) are woefully inadequate:

1) Totally insufficient in width - a five foot wide bike lane is only suitable for single file cycling. A cyclist overtaking another cyclist at speed would have to (shudder) negotiate with motor traffic, merge left out of the bike lane and overtake the slower cyclist before returning to the bike lane.

2) Still fail to address the right hook and left hook at intersections.

3) Give novices a false sense of security which will ultimately lead to them to have difficulty on the majority of roads that have no bike lane.

And a host of other issues which have all been detected in infinite detail here....

10-18-06, 07:05 PM
a five foot wide bike lane is only suitable for single file cycling.
If you're centered it gives you only 1.5 feet of buffer on each side.
If you're at the stripe, your buffer on the right increases to a respectable 3' or so (assuming the bike lane is actually 5' in width), but the buffer on your left quickly approaches zero.

sbhikes
10-18-06, 08:05 PM
It is NOT the responsibility of bike lanes to address right/left hooks. That is your responsibility.

The lanes don't provide any more of a "false sense of security" than any other crazy scheme you can think up, and don't prevent nor preclude any of the necessary merging and monitoring you otherwise have to do. They do reduce the amount of paranoid monitoring you have to do of your rear.

All of you seem to have a problem in that you do not know how to use bike lanes. Bek has been pointing that out for some time, and I can see that it is probably true.