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  1. #1
    eternalvoyage
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    Are *any* bike lanes good bike lanes?

    Bike lanes get a lot of opposition. Are there *any* sets of criteria (that bike lanes could meet) that would satisfy? Are there any that would satisfy VC people? Or others? Or you?

    Are there good bike lanes?

    If so, what do they look like?

    (Or if none exist, but could, then what would they look like?)

    ***
    Would it be satisfactory if other criteria were met (in addition to good bike lane design)? -- such as increased levels of cyclist-education and skill development; maintenance or improvement of rights for roadway use by cyclists; accompanying laws that would make a difference? Certain policies? Anything?

    ***
    A variety of results and effects have accompanied the creation of more bike lanes. Are any of the effects seen anywhere good effects?

    ***
    Have actual surveys been done in Portland (or other cities) to determine some of the actual (rather than speculated or imagined) effects and their extents?

    Maybe there are some people here on this forum who can comment on some of this -- how bike lanes have affected their riding and their communities, etc., and how they perceive and feel about them, what messages they send to the public, or to you as part of the public....

  2. #2
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I am fine with well maintained wide bike lanes on faster/higher volume fully intersectionless roads.

    Wide means 6'. Well maintained means regular sweeping to avoid any notable build up and special sweeping for after storms (debris or snow)

    I don't prefer this over a WOL on same road, but would not be against having the stripe as long as the maintenance was well planned and there would not be intersections added in the future and if they were they would be properly dealt with by ending the BL stripe 200' before those intersections.

    Al

  3. #3
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    I am fine with well maintained wide bike lanes on faster/higher volume fully intersectionless roads.

    Wide means 6'. Well maintained means regular sweeping to avoid any notable build up and special sweeping for after storms (debris or snow)

    I don't prefer this over a WOL on same road, but would not be against having the stripe as long as the maintenance was well planned and there would not be intersections added in the future and if they were they would be properly dealt with by ending the BL stripe 200' before those intersections.

    Al
    I would probably not even complain about bike lanes if they all met noisebeam's standards, but I still wouldn't call them "good".

    A "good" bike lane is one where the condition would not be improved if the bike lane stripe was removed.

    Maybe on a freeway or a freeway-like road with long intersectionless sections with 65+ mph traffic. Maybe.

  4. #4
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Certainly some bike lanes are very good. And certainly static accident statistics with increased ridership after the implementation of bike lanes is good. I believe Portland has statistics on that.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    bike lanes are good if you find they are beneficial to you in some way in some cycling situations. if you find they are not useful, don't use 'em. the wider the better, IMHO.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  6. #6
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    ... I believe Portland has statistics on that.
    Not really, Portland has done counts of the # of cyclist crossing bridges. Then some people have tried to use those counts to claim that bikelanes = more cyclist and less accidents. Portland and no other proper study has shown improved safety or increased overall cyclist from bikelanes.

    Note: of the 4 bridge counts Portland did, only one bridge had a bikelane across it, while 2 other bridges had sidewalks that were simply renamed as MUPs and 1 bridge had its sidewalk widened and then named as a MUP (even though the thing did not meet current MUP design). On the bridge with the bikelane, cycling numbers at best stayed the same and at worst went down after the bikelane was painted on the bridge.

    Portland bikelane proponents claim that the bridge count went up on the 3 MUP bridges because of bikelanes (even though there are no bikelanes on these bridges). My guess is that the bridge counts went up on these bridges because when the sidewalks were called sidewalks, most cyclist understood that they were not for cycling. Then by calling the things MUPs, the city conveyed to cyclist that it was OK to ride on these particular sidewalks.
    Last edited by CB HI; 06-08-07 at 06:34 PM.

  7. #7
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    I also would not bother opposing bikelanes that followed noisebeam's standards. But I have never seen a bikelane that meets noisebeam's standards.

  8. #8
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    I'm not fond of using any bike lanes, but I will use them depending on traffic conditions. As stated by other forumites and by my personal experiences, that motorists give far less passing clearance when there is bike lane present than when one is not. I definitely feel less comfortable riding in a bike lane, and I prefer riding on a wide roadway or one with a wide and well maintained marked shoulder.

  9. #9
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Niles asked:

    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H.
    Are there good bike lanes?

    If so, what do they look like?
    Here's the anti-bl reply:
    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    well maintained wide bike lanes on faster/higher volume fully intersectionless roads.

    Wide means 6'. Well maintained means regular sweeping...
    Look at all those descriptors explaining what they look like.

    Al's description is so good, others (including yours truly) only had to say "me too".

    I would probably not even complain about bike lanes if they all met noisebeam's standards,
    I also would not bother opposing bikelanes that followed noisebeam's standards.
    And what are illuminating descriptions provided by the pro-bl folks?

    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Certainly some bike lanes are very good
    And what do they look like? Who knows...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rando
    bike lanes are good if you find they are beneficial to you...
    Oh, I see... Not.

    The inability of a bl supports to describe what a "good" bl looks like speaks volumes.
    I can't wait for a photo from Bek showing some snippet of a road with a decent looking short stretch of bl, like that shows anything.

  10. #10
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    good bike lanes provide dedicated road space for bikes, position bikes to the left of right turn only lanes at major intersections.

    good bike lanes provide better road position versus curb hugging by average bicyclists. a good bike lane network encourages riding in communities for both transportational and recreational uses.

    the fact head can call some bike lanes 'decent' is quite the admission. you use bike lanes when you occasionally bicycle your commute, dontchya, head?
    Last edited by Bekologist; 06-09-07 at 12:17 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  11. #11
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Niles asked:

    The inability of a bl supports to describe what a "good" bl looks like speaks volumes.
    I can't wait for a photo from Bek showing some snippet of a road with a decent looking short stretch of bl, like that shows anything.
    I didn't provide a description, Head, because Al had already provided a good one. why do you care about someone else's reply to the OP? Don't create division where there is none.
    Last edited by rando; 06-09-07 at 12:41 PM.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  12. #12
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    There are several thousand miles of "bike lanes" on the Interstate highway shoulders in the western US. Where else can you get a bike lane 6 to 8 feet wide with no pedestrians, no horses, no pets, very few other bikes, and a tailwind in whatever direction you are going? In Colorado some of the Interstate shoulders had signs for the motorists saying the shoulders were used by cyclists definately making that section of road between Denver and Colorado Springs a bike lane.
    This space open

  13. #13
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    now, if the interstates just served more utility bicyclists! someone will jump in, complaining the interstate doesn't go right to their doorstep...
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  14. #14
    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    The inability of a bl supports to describe what a "good" bl looks like speaks volumes.
    Get off. If their opinion was "most bike lanes are good," which it may be, then describing the variety of situations that can create a good bike lane would take up a page. How long is your definition of a bad bike lane?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings
    In Colorado some of the Interstate shoulders had signs for the motorists saying the shoulders were used by cyclists definately making that section of road between Denver and Colorado Springs a bike lane.
    That's interesting. Every freeway I've seen has a very different sign at its entrances.

  15. #15
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI
    Not really, Portland has done counts of the # of cyclist crossing bridges. Then some people have tried to use those counts to claim that bikelanes = more cyclist and less accidents. Portland and no other proper study has shown improved safety or increased overall cyclist from bikelanes.

    Note: of the 4 bridge counts Portland did, only one bridge had a bikelane across it, while 2 other bridges had sidewalks that were simply renamed as MUPs and 1 bridge had its sidewalk widened and then named as a MUP (even though the thing did not meet current MUP design). On the bridge with the bikelane, cycling numbers at best stayed the same and at worst went down after the bikelane was painted on the bridge.

    Portland bikelane proponents claim that the bridge count went up on the 3 MUP bridges because of bikelanes (even though there are no bikelanes on these bridges). My guess is that the bridge counts went up on these bridges because when the sidewalks were called sidewalks, most cyclist understood that they were not for cycling. Then by calling the things MUPs, the city conveyed to cyclist that it was OK to ride on these particular sidewalks.
    But aren't the bridges just a convenient place to count cyclists? That is, regardless of the bridges themselves, if you wanted to count the number of cyclists in Portland, a good place to do this is at bridges, where cyclists are forced to cross in just a few places.

    Were bike paths created in the areas around the bridges, or was the study just about the bridge facilities?

  16. #16
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Yes, the bridges are a convenient place to count cyclists. But what data does it yield?

    Since all 4 bridges are on the east Portland side, they can only count cyclist coming from the east suburbs. So is the increase on 3 of the bridges do to the growing suburbs. Probably, and would have likely occurred without bike lanes. But we cannot tell because the data has not been normalized to growth or modal split. Why did the 1 bridge with a bike lane not have any increase (but a decrease after the bike lane was painted)?

    How do bridge counts tell you if more people living in Portland are riding bikes? The answer is that it does not.
    Last edited by CB HI; 06-12-07 at 11:20 AM.

  17. #17
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI
    How do bridge counts tell you if more people living in Portland are riding bikes? The answer is that it does not.
    Why not? You can't possibly count every bike user, so it's as good of a statistical sample as any.

    Now whether or not any conclusion can be drawn from it is another matter. Does anyone have a quick link to this study? Don't make me drag out the search function...

  18. #18
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    what west side bridges????

    CBHI, clueless. you are way out in left field if you think infrastructure DOESN'T have anything to do with Portland's increase in bicycling.

    Portland's increase in bicycling is definetly becuase of bicycling infrastructure and efforts to popularize bicycling via bike lanes, boulevards, MUPs, etc.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  19. #19
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    what's a good bike lane?

    good bike lanes provide dedicated road space for bikes and position bikes to the left of right turn only lanes at major intersections.

    good bike lanes provide better road position versus curb hugging by average bicyclists. a good bike lane network encourages riding in communities for both transportational and recreational uses.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    I would probably not even complain about bike lanes if they all met noisebeam's standards, but I still wouldn't call them "good".

    A "good" bike lane is one where the condition would not be improved if the bike lane stripe was removed.

    Maybe on a freeway or a freeway-like road with long intersectionless sections with 65+ mph traffic. Maybe.
    Why are you so obsessed with the lane stripes? No sensible automobile driver objects to lane markings. They serve a valuable purpose. Why ought cyclists be so upset about them?

  21. #21
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    haven't you heard? stripes are powerful. they induce incompetent cycling and give motorists notions. eventually they will turn on us all and get us banned from the road.
    Last edited by rando; 06-11-07 at 10:41 AM.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  22. #22
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    Portland's increase in bicycling is definetly becuase of bicycling infrastructure and efforts to popularize bicycling via bike lanes, boulevards, MUPs, etc.
    http://www.graduate.technion.ac.il/T...s.asp?Id=11541

    Case study analysis of a bicycle plan that was implemented in Irvine, California. Evaluation of the plan and its results is according to the criteria derived from the literature review and by comparisons to the bicycle plan that was implemented in Portland, Oregon.

    Irvine is a place with near-optimal conditions for bicycling, such as suitable geographical and weather characteristics. It is a new city that had a bicycle plan incorporated into its general plan. It has very few physical or planning constraints. Around 80% of the proposed infrastructure is already completed, and Irvine’s population has high potential for bicycling. Nevertheless the percentage of bicycling in Irvine is not higher than the national or regional rates. Portland, as opposed to Irvine, has succeeded in raising the percentage of bicycling in the city.

  23. #23
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando
    haven't you heard? stripes are powerful. they induce incompetent cycling and give motorists notions. eventually they will turn on us all and get us banned from the road.
    Maybe they can use the bikelanes like they did HOV lanes where I used to live. Put them in and after a while say no one uses them and convert them into another lane of regular traffic.

  24. #24
    Minneapolis, MN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H.
    Bike lanes get a lot of opposition. Are there *any* sets of criteria (that bike lanes could meet) that would satisfy? Are there any that would satisfy VC people? Or others? Or you?

    ....
    Here in Minneapolis we have a couple of bike paths that all types of cyclists choose to use over the adjacent roadways. And I mean all kinds, be they DUI guy with the turned up handlebars, sans bell racerboy, or Burley hauling soccer mom. One looks like this (the midtown greenway):

    Dedicated directional bike only lanes and dedicated ped lane. Limited grade level crossings and on off ramps to return to motor vehicle allowed traffic roads. The adjacent road way is a four lane urban commercial district with lights at each intersection and 30 mph speed limit. I bet a bike could cross border to border in Minneapolis on the Greenway in about 75% the time that a car could do the same on the Lake Street (mostly due to congestion and prevalent traffic control devices).

    Don't like dedicated bike infastructure?....ride Lake Street with my blessing, but I'll be Hopkins before yeeeeeeeeee.
    Scot
    Last edited by Scot_Gore; 06-13-07 at 05:42 PM.

  25. #25
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Scot_Gore,
    That would classify as a "bike path" rather than "bike lanes".
    And a very nice bike path at that.

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