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Old 08-16-07, 11:04 AM   #26
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That said, most of the roads in the area that cross I-5 often require dealing with multiple lanes of traffic entering or exiting the freeway. Bike lanes are not striped through these interchanges - nor would there be a logical place to route them. Crossing I-5 can be a barrier to a potential commuter cyclists, if they are only comfortable on roads with bike lanes.
Yes, there are a number of "two traffic lane freeway entrances" here, and no, there's probably no effective way of "bike laning" them. I suppose they could turn the solid line into two dashed lines, they way they often do through right turn lanes, but I don't think it's critical, because getting safely across these entrances is not difficult. You simply look over your shoulder and proceed if there is no traffic, and if there is, you can signal with your left hand and then go. Most drivers, in my experience, are bright enough to understand that the cyclist does not intend to enter the freeway, and so do not need any encouragement to slow down and allow the cyclist to cross.

I suppose that might be an impediment to commuters, but anyone impeded by that is likely to be impeded by darn near anything. It's just not a very big deal.
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Old 08-16-07, 11:52 AM   #27
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Yes, there are a number of "two traffic lane freeway entrances" here, and no, there's probably no effective way of "bike laning" them. I suppose they could turn the solid line into two dashed lines, they way they often do through right turn lanes, but I don't think it's critical, because getting safely across these entrances is not difficult. You simply look over your shoulder and proceed if there is no traffic, and if there is, you can signal with your left hand and then go. Most drivers, in my experience, are bright enough to understand that the cyclist does not intend to enter the freeway, and so do not need any encouragement to slow down and allow the cyclist to cross.

I suppose that might be an impediment to commuters, but anyone impeded by that is likely to be impeded by darn near anything. It's just not a very big deal.
The problem that will occur when the traffic load becomes so heavy that motorists feel it is difficult to slow down... when they feel the pressure from the bumper to bumper 45-50MPH traffic "pushing them along." Under those circumstances, the cyclist will lose due to the freeway like configuration of the roads... with those dual on-ramps making the surface street function as part of the freeway system.

When motorists have lots of room to respond, they can and will tend to be generous... however, when they feel pressure from congestion, then decisions to grant cyclists and peds "perceived favors" falls by the wayside. This is where this type of design fails at both the BL level and the VC level. It is in effect a very auto centric design.
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Old 08-16-07, 01:16 PM   #28
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It's difficult to cater to everyone with limited resources. So no matter what happens, most of us will still be ranting and moaning on BF.
Trust me, ranting and moaning on BF has nothing whatsoever to do with 'resources' of any type, limited or otherwise.

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Old 08-16-07, 01:36 PM   #29
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This is where this type of design fails at both the BL level and the VC level. It is in effect a very auto centric design.
Here's a picture of Edwards Mill road in Raleigh where the marked and signed bike lane is directed into a dual-lane freeway on-ramp just past a "Bike Lane Ends" sign:



The on-ramp design is stupidly wasteful. The two on-ramp lanes actually narrow to one just before they merge onto the freeway. There is no signalization at the point where two lanes are used. Thus, having two lanes provides zero improvement in capacity over a single lane.
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Old 08-16-07, 01:55 PM   #30
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Yes, there are a number of "two traffic lane freeway entrances" here, and no, there's probably no effective way of "bike laning" them. I suppose they could turn the solid line into two dashed lines, they way they often do through right turn lanes, but I don't think it's critical, because getting safely across these entrances is not difficult. You simply look over your shoulder and proceed if there is no traffic, and if there is, you can signal with your left hand and then go. Most drivers, in my experience, are bright enough to understand that the cyclist does not intend to enter the freeway, and so do not need any encouragement to slow down and allow the cyclist to cross.
In this area, one common configuration for the street approaching the freeway ramp is that the rightmost lane is dedicated for the freeway on-ramp, and the next lane over is a dual straight/right. Clearly a negotiation with traffic is required to get past the ramp - but I agree with Gene about doing the negotiation at the ramp during heavy traffic. Ever seen pedestrians try to use the crosswalks across these ramps? They have to rely on the generosity of not one, but two motorists to be stopped at the same time.

So, in advance of the intersection, I merge out of the bike lane into the center of the straight/right lane. (Sometimes that may require starting the merge before the end of the bike lane striping.) That requires a negotiation with traffic, but my doing the negotiation earlier, I don't have to do a last minute negotiation at the ramp. If it's rush hour traffic, I'll use the left tire track of the straight/right lane, because it makes it obvious that I'm going straight, and makes it easier for the freeway traffic to slip by on the right. Then I'll move back over into the bike lane after I've cleared the intersection. I find that doing the merge earlier gets me through the area faster, and the motorists don't have to play guessing games as to how I'm going to cross the ramp.
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Old 08-16-07, 05:40 PM   #31
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Okay. In the above illustration, I'll simply look behind me -- often all that is necessary to catch the motorist's attention -- and then ride on the dashed line. Then another look behind as I approach the straight/turn option lane, with the same results. Again, not rocket science.

Of course, for folks super concerned about it, it is again worth noting that, at least in the area of south OC we are talking about, there are almost always other options, including several overpasses.

Oh, and as for the "autocentric" buzzword? At the heart of that word lies "...and all the streets are built for CARS!!!". Which, for the most part, will earn you blank stares from rational folks.

Seems to me most of this "VC" business has got a bit of a pipedream quality to it. And while there's usually nothing particularly harmful about the average pipedream, I'd hate to see bike lanes ignored or even removed due to them.

Not that I'm worried, of course -- I'd never heard of "VC" before logging into BF, and neither had anybody else I know. And in my experience, it takes a LOT of words to convince a rational person to vacate the bike lane in favor of the middle of the road -- and most folks are too well informed about cultism for it to ever really take off, IMO.
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Old 08-17-07, 08:01 AM   #32
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Okay. In the above illustration, I'll simply look behind me -- often all that is necessary to catch the motorist's attention -- and then ride on the dashed line. Then another look behind as I approach the straight/turn option lane, with the same results. Again, not rocket science.
This is a good point - destination positioning is not rocket science - but the ease of this realization assumes that one is already thinking of themselves as a driver.

There is an alternate paradigm - the pedestrian-on-wheels paradigm - that deters many bicycle users from using destination positioning, and encourages many road engineers to route bikeways contrary to destination positioning, or to design roads so that destination positioning is more unpleasant or dangerous than it has to be.

Consider this design, which has been modified (digitally) from before to make the second lane from the right wider:



Now consider removing the second on-ramp lane in the picture entirely (it isn't needed for capacity). Would this not be better for cycling?

A very different engineering approach would be for the government to designate a sidewalk-type path on the opposite side of the road, crossing the ramps at crosswalks. This design, which has been proposed by the DOT, appears to be based on the pedestrian-on-wheels paradigm.

This is where I believe vehicular cycling has the most value as a paradigm - to explicitly identify where and how it differs from competing, conflicting paradigms of how to operate a bicycle. There will always be debate over how to apply driving concepts to cycling, but this disagreement seems small to me compared to the divide between bicycle driving and promotion of pedestrian-on-wheels inspired operation.
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Old 08-17-07, 09:09 AM   #33
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Isn't it possible to cater to more than one kind of cyclist?
This I seriously doubt. Back when someone invented a cycling helmet, they never expected it to become mandatory. The first person who painted the first bike lane never expected cities to relegate cyclists to them 100%, when cars took over from horses, they didn't create many horselanes to segregate them from traffic. Dual systems often fail in their general purpose. I'm thinking of Education and Healthcare. In both instances, the private institutions pay better salaries and draw good personel away from public institutions, eventually leaving the public institutions as shadows of their previous selves. It seems to me that as bike lanes become more and more commonplace, the laws applying to them continuously grow in number, and the freedoms get to be fewer and fewer, these freedoms don't only diminish through government legislation but also through personal "censorship".

Most BL riders I've seen, when approaching an intersection stick to the bike lane until it disappears, at which point, like frightened deer in headlights, they stay to the right of all traffic and then use pedestrian cycling to cross left or go straight on. My safety on bicycle is not to "merge when the sign allows me to" I merge ahead of time, whenever I detect a gap in traffic, as small as it may be, the same as if I were motoring. If I need to turn left, I may switch to the left lane a half a km ahead if there's an opening. When I eventually started driving a car, I took the exact same approach.

As we get older we can see how society evolves, how voluntary behaviors in society become mandatory behaviors, how freedom behaviors become legislated behaviors. As it stands cyclists in most cities have rightful access to ALL pavement zones except for freeways. And just as when women's lib decreased it's fight intensity for salary equity, the salary gap began to widen once more;... If we do not fight to maintain access to EVERY INCH of available pavement we will loose that access. Segregation for "safety" was one of the reasonings Apartheid used in South Africa. In the original writings, segregation was for the "good and advancement" of black people, to encourage them to thrive in "their own lane" so to say...

The other day, in the Whitehorse swimming pool's nearly empty hot tub I was floating on my back holding onto the edge with my toes so as to not float away and enjoying listening to the bubbling, well the lifeguard came up to me in a frenzy and said NOOOOOOOOOO do not submerge your head you'll get ear infections!!!!!! Funny how I've been doing that behavior for over 30 years and never got an ear infection!

You watch, the day that a "critical mass" of cyclists choose the BLs over the street, that'll be the beginning of the end for street access to cyclists. By then cyclists will be so lulled into believing it's safer there, there will be no fight to be banned from the motoring lanes. That is simply the way our society functions.
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Old 08-17-07, 09:56 AM   #34
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This is a good point - destination positioning is not rocket science - but the ease of this realization assumes that one is already thinking of themselves as a driver.
Indeed, for most BL riders, it IS rocket science, because they have not enough experience negotiating traffic to be at ease doing it, only practice makes perfect.

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Now consider removing the second on-ramp lane in the picture entirely (it isn't needed for capacity). Would this not be better for cycling?
I have never been to the aforementioned intersection, but there's a pretty good opposite example in South Fort Lauderdale, southbound between Able Car Rental and the Airport exit, there's on-ramp for 595 :
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=l&hl=e...&t=k&z=17&om=1
It's a one lane ramp that should be two lanes as the traffic is often times backup beyond Able Car Rentals (I don't own a car but often rent if needed). So what do motorists do, "hang" in the non turning lane until ahead of the traffic jam and at the very last minute rush onto the ramp lane.

So at least having the second lane designated as a possible turning lane WARNS the cyclist of the extra care needed in this location. The fact that double lanes becomes single on ramp is not indicative of unneeded capacity, as the speed differentials between the highway, the ramp, and the city streets work out.

The digital remastering is pretty cute, but are you implying that an 11' motoring lane is becoming a 14' motoring lane? or that a 14' motoring lane is becoming a 17' motoring lane? Because to me the preceding "BL" looks like a simple shoulder...
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Old 08-17-07, 10:04 AM   #35
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Haven't read any of the responses so there might be overlap:

1. There is nothing I hate more from a cyclists perspective and from that as a taxpayer as the 200 feet of "bike lane to nowhere." I mean, seriously, what is the point? Did the construction crew just have leftover paint?

2. Don't run the bike lane all the way to the intersection because drivers seem to hate when you merge out of a bike lane before it ends. Give plently of room for the cyclist to merge.

3. Wider is better; even more important is cleaner is better. I can keep a straght line in a narrow bike lane if it is not full of crap. Not cleaning the bike lane again defeats its entire purposes and pissess of both motorists and cyclists because the cyclist must ride outside the bike lane.

4. If there is street parking, run the bike lane between lanes of traffic rather than next to the parking lane. Opening car doors tend to negatively impact a cyclist's health

5. Just cause there is a bike lane doesn't mean I like traffic zipping past me at 65 mph. If you are going to designate the street as a bike route and both painting a bike lane, lower the speed limit!
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Old 08-17-07, 11:42 AM   #36
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So at least having the second lane designated as a possible turning lane WARNS the cyclist of the extra care needed in this location. The fact that double lanes becomes single on ramp is not indicative of unneeded capacity, as the speed differentials between the highway, the ramp, and the city streets work out.
In this particular location, the "city street" (Edwards Mill) is a 45 mph arterial with few junctions (speeds over 50 mph are common) and the closest traffic signal up-road from this RTOL configuration is at least a mile away. The right-turning traffic will never be heavy enough to saturate a single turn lane; only if the freeway itself becomes blocked by a crash would traffic ever back up onto Edwards Mill (this freeway doesn't experience congestion at this location in this direction except for a serious crash on a semi-annual basis).

Since traffic capacity per lane is less at freeway-merge speed than at right-turn speed, the capacity is limited by the single merge lane at the top of the ramp rather than a single turn lane onto the ramp. The only reason for having two turn lanes is to increase the speed of drivers headed into the turn, by delaying their merge into a single lane after they leave Edwards Mill.

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The digital remastering is pretty cute, but are you implying that an 11' motoring lane is becoming a 14' motoring lane? or that a 14' motoring lane is becoming a 17' motoring lane? Because to me the preceding "BL" looks like a simple shoulder...
The existing lane is 12'. The bike lane behind the camera is 4', stenciled and signed with bike lane markings.

Here are more pictures of the area: http://www.humantransport.org/bicycl...dwardsmill.htm
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Old 08-17-07, 12:02 PM   #37
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... The existing lane is 12'. The bike lane behind the camera is 4', stenciled and signed with bike lane markings.

Here are more pictures of the area: http://www.humantransport.org/bicycl...dwardsmill.htm
Interesting doc... Now regarding the road, that means a 12' motorist lane becomes a 16' motorist lane, interesting, I'm not sure any repainting of lines can make it easier on the cyclist, no easy way out, just pedal like hell!

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Old 08-17-07, 12:55 PM   #38
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(One post addressing several different poster's stuff -- hope it's not confusing.)

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This is a good point - destination positioning is not rocket science - but the ease of this realization assumes that one is already thinking of themselves as a driver.
Probably a nitpick, but I don't consider myself a bicycle "driver" and don't think the labels are important one way or another. I'm just a guy on a bicycle trying to enjoy myself and not get killed. And when it comes to riding in traffic, I really don't think it takes a whole lot of brain power to manage it. Yeah, a guy who is absolutely brand new to cycling has a learning curve, but I don't see that textbooks and classes are necessary here.

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Now consider removing the second on-ramp lane in the picture entirely (it isn't needed for capacity). Would this not be better for cycling?
Probably, though I don't consider it especially important. But perhaps I misunderstand: if we're talking little detail changes like that, I have no problem at all. I'm only arguing against the folks that want to dismantle bike lanes entirely in favor of trying to get every motorist in America to accept being blocked by 15 mph cyclists taking the whole lane to themselves.

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when cars took over from horses, they didn't create many horselanes to segregate them from traffic.
That's because the cars were hardly faster than the horses. Speed differential is the number one reason why I want to be "segregated" (is their some kind of Godwin's law for comparing bike lanes to apartheid?) whether I'm in my car or on my bike. I can only imagine the mess that results from a horseman getting smacked by a 60 mph Continental.
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Old 08-17-07, 01:09 PM   #39
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... I want to be "segregated" (is their some kind of Godwin's law for comparing bike lanes to apartheid?) whether I'm in my car or on my bike. I can only imagine the mess that results from a horseman getting smacked by a 60 mph Continental.

I just got a vision of the cow being smacked by the car during in "Oh Brother Where Are Though". And then also by the knowledge in Canada that when a car hits a moose, the driver is likely to die as the moose's legs get cut off by the bumper and the body slams through the windshield. Nearly 100% fatality rate to drivers in those conditions.

Very interesting your analogy to Godwin's law, I'd never heard of this before, I guess I don't spend enough time chatting. Wikipedia rightly states that overuse of Nazi analogies are bad in a historical sense. I don't think we're quite there yet with the Apartheid analogy, it just happens to be more part of my political timeframe. Indeed cyclists aren't dying in the same numbers as Black South Africans, far from it, however the rhetoric on paper WAS in fact that similar.
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Old 08-17-07, 01:26 PM   #40
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... Probably a nitpick, but I don't consider myself a bicycle "driver" and don't think the labels are important one way or another. I'm just a guy on a bicycle trying to enjoy myself and not get killed. And when it comes to riding in traffic, I really don't think it takes a whole lot of brain power to manage it. Yeah, a guy who is absolutely brand new to cycling has a learning curve, but I don't see that textbooks and classes are necessary here.
Interesting cuz I most certainly consider myself a driver. I'm 41 and owned a motor vehicle only 4 years, 10 years ago. Because I lived near the Arctic circle 30 miles from town.

So before that, my bike WAS my car, and since that my bike IS my car. I take it everywhere cars go, on ferries, drivethrus, car parks, tunnels, bridges, in an amongst all car lanes and even sometimes illegally on the highway. I give rides to other people by sitting them on my seat and myself pedaling upright for a few miles unless it's a steep uphill, just gotta shout to my passenger "knees in" if I come close to anything. I sometimes eat and drink while driving, Yes I DRIVE IT. I do my groceries on it, to the extreme of having both saddle bags full, by back pack full with a grocery bag hanging from it and two more bags on my handlebars. I've been on road touring trips for months on end and crossed borders and mountain ranges on it, I've hauled luggage and boxes on it when I changed apartments and it's also been my delivery vehicle. I hardly ever bring it "inside", as when I arrive anywhere I instantly pop the lock off the frame and lock it to anything in sight. I signal when I turn and I look behind me before stopping, I often break the letter of the law but only after assessing that I'm not endangering myself or others. Once in a while I enter my baby Brodie in a road race and do better than my cross country skiing races!

But only rarely do I ride a BL, only to accompany my aging mother or friend's child, I just don't feel safe there.
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Old 08-17-07, 02:42 PM   #41
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Thanks for being a good sport, Tallard. A&S needs more of that, and I need to stop being an A&S hole myself.

Bike commuting at the arctic circle... More of a man than I am!
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Old 08-17-07, 04:13 PM   #42
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This is fairly nice design for cyclists but what about pedestrians? One thing we are pushing here is trying to square off interchanges like this into regular styled intersections.
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Old 08-17-07, 05:33 PM   #43
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Doesn't that make life more difficult for car drivers?
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Old 08-17-07, 06:24 PM   #44
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Well a more complete answer; as roads are expanding we want to see all multi lane ramps with ether a pedestrian over pass bridge and a treatment like what Steve showed for cyclists or a squared of interchange. Bike peds represent 13% of the traffic fatalities and we should demand 13% of the budget for our accommodations.

Anyway the impact on drivers going from ramps to intersection type design is more delay dispersion then an actual delay or a “difficulty” for car drivers.
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Old 08-18-07, 01:47 AM   #45
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Drop by south Orange County, Ca. sometime. Wide, smooth, clean, well-marked bike lanes are the norm here. It's a situation that makes me think the "VC, take the lane" types are off their rockers. Living here makes it easy to forget that many cyclists still have to deal with narrow, shoulderless lanes -- and when those folks advocate a technique that may work for them but is utterly nonsensical for riders with good bike lanes, it's easy to start making fun.
Given that your experience differs, perhaps you could broaden your perspective.

I find the opposite true. On my 30 mile round-trip commute, the roads are fine for me, just as they are. But I don't assume that bike lane advocates are "off their rockers" because they don't have my perspective.

EDIT: I just read your response to Tallard. good job with the understanding, bro
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Old 08-20-07, 11:07 AM   #46
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This is fairly nice design for cyclists but what about pedestrians? One thing we are pushing here is trying to square off interchanges like this into regular styled intersections.
Agreed; I promote squared-off intersections with conventional crosswalk designs, or if a slip-type turn lane configuration is used, the radius and width for the lane should be designed to limit vehicle speeds and reduce the width pedestrians must cross, with a generous refuge island on the other side of the slip lane.

The problem we have here in NC is that the state designs all the new important roads as high-speed mini-freeways (notice no sidewalks in the picture), but the localities later zone the surrounding land use at major junctions as high intensity commercial, which results in many potential pedestrian trips.

The adjacent land will get developed with sidewalks added along the road frontage, but the sidewalks will end when they approach the interchange, and start up again at the other side of the interchange. The interchange land belongs to the state, and the state won't pay for sidewalk installation, and if the municipality volunteers to pay for it, the state will resist, citing a desire to not encourage pedestrian travel through an area they deem unsafe for pedestrians.

The opposite side of the road currently has right-angle and single-turn-lane junctions. I suspect that is the only side of the road that will ever get a sidewalk facility. There has been a proposal to route a multi-use path through this interchange, which would lure many of the southbound cyclists over to that side of the road and require them to operate on the left side opposite the normal flow of traffic where right-turning traffic volumes are heavy. This is why I prefer a conventional intersection design with good sidewalks on both sides and more pleasant conditions for on-roadway cyclists traveling in both directions.
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Old 08-20-07, 11:12 AM   #47
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Given that your experience differs, perhaps you could broaden your perspective.

I find the opposite true. On my 30 mile round-trip commute, the roads are fine for me, just as they are. But I don't assume that bike lane advocates are "off their rockers" because they don't have my perspective.

EDIT: I just read your response to Tallard. good job with the understanding, bro
Now if only others could understand that blanket denial of certain facilities is just plain foolish as different areas have different requirements and different road patterns.

Just as I say that VC works, provided the road speeds and situations call for it, facilities also work under the right conditions... there is "no one size fits all" solution.
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Old 08-20-07, 11:40 AM   #48
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Now if only others could understand that blanket denial of certain facilities is just plain foolish as different areas have different requirements and different road patterns.

Just as I say that VC works, provided the road speeds and situations call for it, facilities also work under the right conditions... there is "no one size fits all" solution.
What are the bike lanes providing in Six Jours case that would not be provided if all of the excessive lane width was just striped as a very wide shoulder? His situation is not "facilities working"; it's just an area where they paved a lot more width than they really needed to. He's even admitted that the bike lanes do nothing to help in negotiating the freeway on-ramps, arguably the most dangerous situation a cyclist might encounter.
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Old 08-20-07, 12:18 PM   #49
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What are the bike lanes providing in Six Jours case that would not be provided if all of the excessive lane width was just striped as a very wide shoulder? His situation is not "facilities working"; it's just an area where they paved a lot more width than they really needed to. He's even admitted that the bike lanes do nothing to help in negotiating the freeway on-ramps, arguably the most dangerous situation a cyclist might encounter.
The bike lanes provide two simple things... they tell motorists that cyclists do indeed belong on the road, in spite of the freeway like speeds, and they help guide the motorist (stay between the lines) similar to all the other lines on the road.

The BL for cyclists provide a guideline for cyclists and offer a guideline on where to ride and give psychological comfort.

It has been long noted that BL on long intersectionless stretches of roadway are not a bad thing...

Beyond that, the BL help to reduce the ambiguity of a shared WOL... a motorist can clearly see a cyclist is leaving the right edge relative to the BL, when such movements are required.

BL are far from perfect, but then no line on the road offers anything more than guidance and psychological comfort and in this, BL are no different.
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Old 08-20-07, 12:33 PM   #50
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... they tell motorists that cyclists do indeed belong on the road, in spite of the freeway like speeds, and they help guide the motorist (stay between the lines) similar to all the other lines on the road.
Oh yes, that I would like, BLs on limited access freeways. BLs as a was of INCREASING cyclist access instead of reducing it
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