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Old 03-29-07, 07:16 PM   #1
LittleBigMan
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Stripes

As Brian said, 17 feet of pavement is 17 feet of pavement. Who can't handle a stripe, or the lack of one?

My own perspective, not a scientific one, just day-to-day commuting, is that bike lanes need to be clean.

I'm for sweeping the bike lanes. If you install one, it's your job to keep it swept clean. Just the POV from a user.
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Old 03-29-07, 07:46 PM   #2
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The 2-3' band of space that overlaps the stripe is an ambiguous if not possibly illegal place to ride. A stripe results in less usable pavement space (all else being equal)

Al
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Old 03-29-07, 07:52 PM   #3
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The stripe changes motorist expecatations of where the cyclist should or may be. Motorists may be more likely to drive in response to the stripe vs. the presence of a cyclist. This changes the interaction dynamics when communicating with motorists while riding on a road with stripe vs. without all else being equal.

This effect is of greatest impact when: intersections are approaching or debris that fell just after the daily cleaning are present.

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Old 03-29-07, 08:00 PM   #4
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Stripe or no stripe, I still ride where I feel safest for that particular stretch of road.
One thing about the painted sttripes though that I have noticed as a motorist. When the road is extra wide without a strip, motorists tend to drift left and right. When there is a paintet stripe, their drifting is lessened. I guess it has something to do with the "keep it between the lines" quote burned in everyones mind.
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Old 03-29-07, 08:31 PM   #5
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You are right, pj7. When roads are narrower the bike lanes feel more cramped. But when the roads and bike lanes are generous, they really do keep motorists from drifting all over the f-in' place.
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Old 03-30-07, 07:28 AM   #6
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I dunno. I ride in that 2-3' "dead" area regularly, without problems. From noisebeams video, I believe he does also. I think the 2-3' zone is a contrived grievance. 17' is 17' is 17'.

Debris in the bike lane is an issue, but one which is adequately solved, in my experience, by regular street sweeping.

Between WOLs and BLs, it's a wash, from my perspective.
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Old 03-30-07, 08:22 AM   #7
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Adequate sweeping costs a lot more than adding thermoplastic stripes to wide pavement over the life of the stripe. I find that the organizations that decide striping policy for roads typically have either no budget for or no control of street sweeping. It falls to the cyclists to try to clamor for public money to get the lanes swept, and the cyclists must do this repeatedly, forever, with minimal political support. This is why some cyclists find it to be less work to advocate for leaving plain wide outside lanes, which are automatically swept by cars for the lifetime of the road.

Most of the bike lane stripes here in town are 4 or 5 feet from the edge of the pavement. The debris line starts about 1-2' to the right of the stripe. This puts my tires on the stripe, about where I rode before the stripes were added to these same roads. I never experienced a close pass or other harassment on these roads until the bike lane stripes were installed. I suspect that the close passes and such are a result of my apparent disobedience of a traffic control device that directs me closer to the curb.

In raleigh there is one road, Edwards Mill Road, that features mostly wide bike lanes next to a road with typical traffic speeds of 50 mph:
http://www.humantransport.org/bicycl...dwardsmill.htm
Here I think that if the bike lane stripes were ended in advance of the intersections, and if they were well swept, I would be happy to ride in the bike lane, and might believe that the stripe increases my safety under some rare but significant circumstances. But they don't, and aren't.

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Old 03-30-07, 08:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
I dunno. I ride in that 2-3' "dead" area regularly, without problems. From noisebeams video, I believe he does also. I think the 2-3' zone is a contrived grievance. 17' is 17' is 17'.
Of course I do sometimes, but I mostly try to be either fully in our fully out of the BL. To do this one must be at least 3' into primary lane or well into BL. I think the only BL riding videos I've shown are demonstrating static use of BL, then I guess I ride close to the line inside BL due to my discomfort with riding closer to curb. This puts my shoulder over the stripe.

But yes, it is prime space to be cycling. Most other cyclists I observe ride along the stripe too.

It is strange to me that the stripe is intended to define a bike lane to be used like other vehicular lanes, yet a significant portion of cyclist ride the stripe, a non-vehicular (and like I said probably technically illegal) use of lane striping.

This is of course alternately a reason to make the minimum standard for a BL width to 6'. 4-5' doesn't cut it.

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Old 03-30-07, 08:40 AM   #9
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I dunno, five feet would be pretty good!
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Old 03-30-07, 08:44 AM   #10
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they sweep the bike lanes fairly regularily in Seattle; they even sweep the MUPs that serve a lot of transportational cyclists in the region.

stripes add order to traffic flow on public roads. When I ride up on stopped traffic in a wide outside lane, cars and trucks are all over the lane; vehicles also are free to drive wherever in a wide outside lane they want.
lane stripes that add classed lanes for bikes add more space for bikes on congested thoroughfares, allow passing of stopped traffic, allow more orderly and safer passing of bikes, and encourage people to bicycle as transportation.

the bike lanes get swept fairly regularily in Seattle. Steve-maybe you 'bike advocates' in Cary can lobby for regular sweeping of the bike lanes, steve, instead of fighting striped bike infrastructure, dude!
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Old 03-30-07, 08:51 AM   #11
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it's not a very good argument to use the "they don't sweep the BL" excuse as an excuse to not have bike lanes at all, IMO. some get swept, some don't. THAT's something you can probably do something about with a bunch of phone calls.
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Old 03-30-07, 08:58 AM   #12
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rando, they don't sweep the BLs often enough.

I live where you do and the amount of hard debris (bolts, nails, rocks, broken tailights, etc.) that accumulates after the monthy or so sweeping that does occur in BLs to the left of RTOLs is rediculous.

BLs on 25mph streets tend to stay much cleaner. I recall you saying to don't (or avoid) riding in BLs on arterials either. I imagine 40,000 cars (and many trucks including construction ones) a day quickly adds to the debris fields.

How often should they be swept? Every week? Day?
I would think to stay clean of hard flat causing debris they would need to be swept weekly and immediately after every storm (think late fall monsoon) to remove piles of organic debris.

Thats a lot of sweeping. Probably non stop given the miles of BLs in Tempe.

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Old 03-30-07, 09:02 AM   #13
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sounds like they need to sweep the bike lanes more often where you live, al.

last fall, a majority of seattle voters- a majority of the general public- voted in a 270 million dollar alternate transportation funding package that will be going a long way for improving alternate transportation use and maintence, including bike lane sweeping.
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Old 03-30-07, 09:03 AM   #14
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AL, I believe you! but, I have not encountered this where I ride. sometimes I see glass but it never stays around very long.
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Old 03-30-07, 09:04 AM   #15
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Bek,
How often does a street get swept where you are? What do you consider often?

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Old 03-30-07, 09:07 AM   #16
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From the city web site:
"The City of Tempe is divided into four geographical areas. These areas correspond to four sweeping routes that have been developed by our Street Sweeper Operators. The goal of our Street sweeping program is to sweep all residential streets once a month, in coordination with the City's uncontained/bulky item collection program. That frequency equates to every residential street in Tempe being swept approximately once every four weeks. Arterial streets are swept every eight to twelve working days. "

http://www.tempe.gov/streetsweeping/...ebsite_map.pdf

So 8-12 working days - every 2-3wks is when the arterials get swept. Obviously this is insufficient except for N/WOLs. Should cyclists demand more?

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Old 03-30-07, 09:07 AM   #17
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at LEAST 5 times a day, al.

why is it any real concern, seattle sweeps its bike lanes fairly regularily.

you need to work on YOUR community sweeping YOUR bike lanes, dude! you think every 3 weeks is insufficient? GET SOME MORE DURABLE TIRES, speed racer.
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Old 03-30-07, 09:09 AM   #18
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Five times a day!

Wow. Do cyclists complain about sweepers blocking the BL? Surely they must be encountered very often at that rate.

Do you know the city budget for such frequent sweeping?

Its a real concern as the hard debris causes most cyclist to not use the BL. On recreational club rides that is a big reason why they are not used. Especially ones to the left of RTOL. A sure flat tire otherwise and hell to the person who lead the line thru one.

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Old 03-30-07, 09:13 AM   #19
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^^^^
5 times a day?! Do you mean 5 times per month?

FWIW, once a week is a good schedule for an arterial. I believe that this is the schedule for most of our heavily traveled arterials around here.
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Old 03-30-07, 09:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
GET SOME MORE DURABLE TIRES.
Much of the debris, piles of organic matter, 1/2" diamter bolts, bits of car mouding, palm fronds, small branches, fields of glass, bottle ends, etc. must be avoided regardless of tire size.
I use 28c gatorskins, hardly a racer tire. I know riders who use 2" tires who get flats regularly. Bigger tires are not neccesarily more flat resistant.

Anyway, why should I need off road tires just to use sub standard facilities when there are clean roads just 2' away?

Al
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Old 03-30-07, 09:31 AM   #21
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al, it sounds like they sweep the roads every three weeks. sounds like you are overemphasising your 'debris' issues, dude. maybe you need a personal street sweeper to clean your commute route for you. I sense a little 'crybaby' anti-facilties attitude versus a commuter who understands the urban environment and road conditions, al. no offense.


the original poster asked, who needs bike lane stripes?

COMMUNITIES need bike infrastructure, to encourage bicycling as transportation, get sidewalk cyclists off the sidewalks and learning road skills and mixing it up with traffic instead of remaining sidewalk cyclists. communities need on-road bike infrastructure to increase roadway bike traffic, show drivers that bikes are on roads, and concurrently increase the safety of all cyclists in a community.

Who needs bike lane stripes? COMMUNITIES need on road bike infrastructure to encourage bikes as transportation. 50 mile wide lane arterials do NOT facilitate the general publics' greater use of bikes for transportation.

yes, bike lanes need to be cleaned.

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Old 03-30-07, 09:43 AM   #22
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I think once a week would be a good rate for most places. Bike lanes, and all the parts of the roadway that need it, should be swept regularly...
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Old 03-30-07, 10:15 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
al, it sounds like they sweep the roads every three weeks. sounds like you are overemphasising your 'debris' issues, dude. maybe you need a personal street sweeper to clean your commute route for you. I sense a little 'crybaby' anti-facilties attitude versus a commuter who understands the urban environment and road conditions, al. no offense.
I am certainly not over emphasizing debris issues in the metro-phx area. You are being a bit offensive. There is a difference between 'crying about it' vs. noting it as a local issue, but still dealing with it (not riding where debris accumulates)

My commute route is nice and clean, thank you.

One of the issues is that 'Phx-metro' is a collection of municipalities and sections of non incorporated county. My commute takes me thru three cities (Tempe, Mesa, Chandler). I've been thru over a dozen cities/communities on a single weekend ride (Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix/Awatukee, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Maricopa County, Guadalupe, Scottsdale, Queen Creek, Mesa/Lehi, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Gila River Indian Community, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community) Road conditions and maintence (sweeping) vary greatly. Tempe actually has some of the best roads in the region.

Point here is that local cleaning advocacy doesn't solve the debris problem. Thats one reason I prefer a bicycle facility that doesn't require addtional sweeping beyond what is typical for any road.

Al
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Old 03-30-07, 10:25 AM   #24
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This touches on something that I was recently thinking of. Generally debris in the bike lane does not seem to present much problem, with one exception - paved bridges. Earlier this year, I suffered a spate of punctures (10 or so in the space of a couple of weeks). The problem area seems to have been the bridge that crosses central expressway and the railway (or railroad ) here in Mountain View. The lane is very heavily littered with grit, glass, screws (I caught a wood scew there last year ) etc.
It is swept occasionally, but the debris builds up soon enough.

Since two or three weeks now, I have avoided the bike lane, just for the short stretch of road over the bridge in favour of the rightmost of the 3 "regular" lanes. Generally no problem from motorists, except one instance where I was "told" to use the bike lane. So far touch wood I have not had a flat (wish I had not said that...).

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Old 03-30-07, 10:38 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
the original poster asked, who needs bike lane stripes?
No, I didn't. In fact, I said elsewhere bike lane stripes could benefit some people who prefer them.
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