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New Road Designs Seems Like A More Efficient Way to Kill Cyclists

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New Road Designs Seems Like A More Efficient Way to Kill Cyclists

Old 06-14-23, 09:47 AM
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New Road Designs Seems Like A More Efficient Way to Kill Cyclists

An "interesting" proposal for a road in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The tittle is from a car-centric website that picked up the story.

Jalopnik.- So, We Are Just Trying to Kill Bicyclists Now
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Old 06-14-23, 10:03 AM
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Much to my amazement in British television shows, most all the country roads look like one lane roads. And when two vehicles meet coming in opposite directions or one wants to pass a slower vehicle, someone has to give and move over.

Like anything else it depends on how much traffic is on the road. In the right circumstances with the right amount of traffic, I'd have no issue with cycling the road even if there weren't a bike lane marked on either side.
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Old 06-14-23, 10:09 AM
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I dont see cars slowing down for cyclists.
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Old 06-14-23, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Much to my amazement in British television shows, most all the country roads look like one lane roads. And when two vehicles meet coming in opposite directions or one wants to pass a slower vehicle, someone has to give and move over.

Like anything else it depends on how much traffic is on the road. In the right circumstances with the right amount of traffic, I'd have no issue with cycling the road even if there weren't a bike lane marked on either side.
You bring up a good point. I think I'd like this proposal better without dedicated bike lanes. The writer at Jalopnik also bring up the point that this road, even though it is supposed to be traveled at 25mph that cars are usually doing 30 and they speculate that it may be higher speeds than that. That makes it a bit worrisome.
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Old 06-14-23, 11:00 AM
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Foolish idea for a simple reason.

Originally Posted by Velo Mule
An "interesting" proposal for a road in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The tittle is from a car-centric website that picked up the story.

Jalopnik.- So, We Are Just Trying to Kill Bicyclists Now
am I correct in reading that they think a parking lane would slow down traffic?

In any case, between the two bike lanes and the parking lane they have 19 feet of additional roadway width. Eliminating the “parking” and narrowing each bike lane to three feet would add 13 feet to the roadway, more than enough for two way traffic. This should be more than adequate unless the road is heavily traveled, which the context suggests it is not.
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Old 06-14-23, 01:51 PM
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I don't really see a problem with the plan. If I'm understanding this correctly, it's a section of road that is only about 3,600 ft in length (West of Rambling road to a parking lot, where the road ends).

However, I imagine this section of road sees a bunch of traffic with about six turn-offs to sizable neighborhoods and the apartment complex at the end of the road. It will definitely be an improvement over what's there now, based on what I saw on google maps Street View.

We have similar road around here that is super narrow and dead ends, but has tons of neighborhoods and sees a bunch of traffic, not only from the home owners, but also working trucks going to all those houses. (There is nothing but houses off this section of road). Luckily there are a combination of roads to bypass this major road and a couple separated bike lanes, but they're broken into two sections.

IMHO, that's the worst road to ride on with a bike, because it's so narrow and busy.



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Old 06-14-23, 05:27 PM
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Obviously they used the consulting firm of Narishkeit & Mischegas.
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Old 06-14-23, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule
An "interesting" proposal for a road in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
If every driver and cyclist were intelligent, kind, law abiding citizens with ample time to arrive at their destinations, then MAYBE this would work in the USofA. Sadly, that diagram brought George Carlin to mind (God rest his soul). I vote NO.

“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”

― George Carlin
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Old 06-14-23, 08:40 PM
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And yet 90% of the people online know they're smarter than everyone else.
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Old 06-14-23, 08:45 PM
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I have ridden hundreds of miles on roads in Scotland with a single lane with turnouts and not had any problems. But not in the big cities there.

It could be made to work here in the US if there were traffic cameras every 100 feet and then anyone who passed a bicycle too close got their car impounded for a month, but since that will not happen, I am not convinced it will work.
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Old 06-15-23, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Much to my amazement in British television shows, most all the country roads look like one lane roads. And when two vehicles meet coming in opposite directions or one wants to pass a slower vehicle, someone has to give and move over.
After several trips to the UK I’ve concluded that in the UK, driving is a cooperative effort. In the US it’s always a competition. I avoid public roads as much as possible.

I will report, though, that I recently had to ride about 20 miles on upstate New York State public roads with traffic doing 60mph. The shoulders were “variable” but all the traffic did as much as they could to maximize passing distances. That part of the ride was still crushingly boring though.
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Old 06-15-23, 11:03 AM
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Yikes!

Originally Posted by DangerousDanR
I have ridden hundreds of miles on roads in Scotland with a single lane with turnouts and not had any problems. But not in the big cities there.

It could be made to work here in the US if there were traffic cameras every 100 feet and then anyone who passed a bicycle too close got their car impounded for a month, but since that will not happen, I am not convinced it will work.
traffic cameras every 100 feet. Now that’s not a threat to our constitutional rights is it? And even then, like you say it probably wouldn’t work…..
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Old 06-15-23, 11:09 AM
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100% of us are above average…

Originally Posted by jon c.
And yet 90% of the people online know they're smarter than everyone else.
You have to remember that in the vast majority of educational institutions at every level, the average grade given to students is “B”. This persists even as data come out in some “groups” (naming them is a no no!) of high school graduates have reading and math skills at the eighth grade level.

I try to drive as little as possible. Not only does it save money, but it is a better use of my time when I go. Healthier for me and the environment, as well as others on the road, since I don’t really consider myself a good driver.
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Old 06-15-23, 11:32 AM
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A wide paved [just on one side] shoulder would have a lot more usability imo.
there are many narrow roads by me that are posted 45+ mph that are in cities with school zones/bus pick up. That in it self makes no sense.
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Old 06-15-23, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul
A wide paved [just on one side] shoulder would have a lot more usability imo.
there are many narrow roads by me that are posted 45+ mph that are in cities with school zones/bus pick up. That in it self makes no sense.
Yeah I thought about that myself. It doesn't help much with autos on the non-shoulder side. Plus it makes us poor bikers ride face to face! Horrors! In any case, dollar for dollar, the best return on investment in highway safety is installing, improving, and widening shoulders.
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Old 06-15-23, 12:01 PM
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So a journalist might not fully understand or have extensive experience with a bicycle facility treatment, and writes a article about it presumably intended to engender controversy. Not exactly an uncommon experience.

A very pro-ABL viewpoint can be seen at https://www.advisorybikelanes.com/

The Markings and Bicycle Technical Committees of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) are analyzing this issue and may develop a proposal for inclusion in future national traffic control references. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has approved at least 35 experimental locations for this marking treatment. Operation and safety data from these locations is hopefully forthcoming to help guide the assessment.

Disclosure: I am under contract to manage the daily operations of NCUTCD.
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Old 06-15-23, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Prowler
After several trips to the UK I’ve concluded that in the UK, driving is a cooperative effort. In the US it’s always a competition. I avoid public roads as much as possible.
I think you might be correct. At least about it being a competition in the USA. I can't say for myself about the UK or most anywhere else.

It'll probably be the reason here in the USA, that many solutions for integrating motor vehicles, cyclists and other types of traffic will be ineffective or even worse than doing nothing.
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Old 06-15-23, 09:59 PM
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I think this scheme makes perfect sense for a limited, specific situation. Namely a narrow country lane that already need drivers to crowd edges to pass.

Basicly there are 3 options.

1 No markings, and let folks sort it out.

2 Traditional center line which causes issues because it implies that cars can safely drive their respective lanes, which isn't actually true. Also may cause passing drivers crowd cyclists because they don't know they can legally cross the center.

This design has benefits in instructing drivers to drive the "chicken" lane, leaving the sides for bikes. Of course they will have to slow and pull over when someone comes the other way.

IMO the best part of the design is that it truly reflects how country drivers actually drive on these narrow roads.

FWIW I've driven many of these narrow b roads. They teach drivers to plan and be alert. The moment you see someone coming the other way, you have to slow and scout for a place to pull to the side, before both of you are face to face and nose to nose.

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Old 06-15-23, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
So a journalist might not fully understand or have extensive experience with a bicycle facility treatment, and writes a article about it presumably intended to engender controversy. Not exactly an uncommon experience.

A very pro-ABL viewpoint can be seen at https://www.advisorybikelanes.com/

The Markings and Bicycle Technical Committees of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) are analyzing this issue and may develop a proposal for inclusion in future national traffic control references. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has approved at least 35 experimental locations for this marking treatment. Operation and safety data from these locations is hopefully forthcoming to help guide the assessment.

Disclosure: I am under contract to manage the daily operations of NCUTCD.
In principal I think the ABL is a great idea. The issue I have is the drivers who populate the roads in my fair city of Fargo ND. And their attitudes are mirrored by the absolutely inept clown show that lives in the traffic engineering office in this city. So pardon me while I vent:

The road in front of my office is a great example. It passes along side of a university and past a couple of small R&D facilities for a few companies. The university has been slowly but surely been building agricultural research facilities that have large footprints but few people working in them along the road.

The traffic volume is never all that great. So it is one lane each direction. No on street parking. And the road bed is forty (40) feet wide. It is posted 35 MPH (which is too fast for the land use along the road) but, by all that is holy, there is never a traffic slowdown on that road. The traffic appears to be traveling in the 45-50 MPH range.

This kind of over built road exists all over Fargo. There are roads with three lanes, 20 feet wide each, and they wonder why traffic moves at 60+ in a 40MPH zone?

Lots of people complain about the traffic speed in their neighborhoods, and they get some token enforcement. Then the speed goes back up, because a 20 foot wide lane with almost no in/out traffic invites 45-50 MPH or faster speeds. But the metric the city seems to be using is traffic backups, and there are none. So it is all good to them.

Bike lanes? There are so many major league screw ups it is pathetic. Lanes that end for a block, then resume. One that switches sides of the road on a one way street that is another two lanes / 40 feet wide road that runs by the university. Only this one also goes through a residential neighborhood. I would feel safe driving 60 MPH on that stretch of road. That is just plain wrong.

The people who live in those houses near the University are hopping mad, but nothing is done about it, because the metric for the city seems to be "no traffic backups. It needs some bollards to protect bicycle lanes on both sides, and the car traffic needs to be reduced to one lane. That will never happen. Traffic might backup for fifteen minutes because the people at the University are too stupid to stagger their schedule.

I could go on for hours. Maybe traffic engineering that aims to get cars within 2.5 miles on a 60 MPH limited access road, then move at no more that 20 MPH in a mixed mode area? A five mile grid of fast limited access roads and then a not more than 10 minute drive?

Oh, yeah. Any driver caught talking on a cell phone while driving is suspended for a week. Any driver caught texting or using any electronic device that requires them to look away from traffic while driving gets a one year suspension. I am just tired of the drivers who think that something is so important that they have to look down at their phone while they are driving. And I see that a lot riding my bike to work.

And that is why I don't think the ABL will work. It might work on rats in a lab, but I have my doubts how well it will work on the people who drive the streets of Fargo. I was a firefighter/medic in a rural area for a number of years and can see it working great in rural areas and very small towns, but not in cities.
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Old 06-15-23, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by DangerousDanR
In principal I think the ABL is a great idea. The issue I have is the drivers who populate the roads in my fair city of Fargo ND. And their attitudes are mirrored by the absolutely inept clown show that lives in the traffic engineering office in this city. So pardon me while I vent:

The road in front of my office is a great example. It passes along side of a university and past a couple of small R&D facilities for a few companies. The university has been slowly but surely been building agricultural research facilities that have large footprints but few people working in them along the road.

The traffic volume is never all that great. So it is one lane each direction. No on street parking. And the road bed is forty (40) feet wide. It is posted 35 MPH (which is too fast for the land use along the road) but, by all that is holy, there is never a traffic slowdown on that road. The traffic appears to be traveling in the 45-50 MPH range.

This kind of over built road exists all over Fargo. There are roads with three lanes, 20 feet wide each, and they wonder why traffic moves at 60+ in a 40MPH zone?

Lots of people complain about the traffic speed in their neighborhoods, and they get some token enforcement. Then the speed goes back up, because a 20 foot wide lane with almost no in/out traffic invites 45-50 MPH or faster speeds. But the metric the city seems to be using is traffic backups, and there are none. So it is all good to them.

Bike lanes? There are so many major league screw ups it is pathetic. Lanes that end for a block, then resume. One that switches sides of the road on a one way street that is another two lanes / 40 feet wide road that runs by the university. Only this one also goes through a residential neighborhood. I would feel safe driving 60 MPH on that stretch of road. That is just plain wrong.

The people who live in those houses near the University are hopping mad, but nothing is done about it, because the metric for the city seems to be "no traffic backups. It needs some bollards to protect bicycle lanes on both sides, and the car traffic needs to be reduced to one lane. That will never happen. Traffic might backup for fifteen minutes because the people at the University are too stupid to stagger their schedule.

I could go on for hours. Maybe traffic engineering that aims to get cars within 2.5 miles on a 60 MPH limited access road, then move at no more that 20 MPH in a mixed mode area? A five mile grid of fast limited access roads and then a not more than 10 minute drive?

Oh, yeah. Any driver caught talking on a cell phone while driving is suspended for a week. Any driver caught texting or using any electronic device that requires them to look away from traffic while driving gets a one year suspension. I am just tired of the drivers who think that something is so important that they have to look down at their phone while they are driving. And I see that a lot riding my bike to work.

And that is why I don't think the ABL will work. It might work on rats in a lab, but I have my doubts how well it will work on the people who drive the streets of Fargo. I was a firefighter/medic in a rural area for a number of years and can see it working great in rural areas and very small towns, but not in cities.
I lived in a town where the favorite things for cyclists to do was to complain about people, speeding, not just a little bit, but noticeably over the speed limit on a fairly major road in their town. I suggested, “why don’t you do this. When you are riding on that road in your automobile, go the speed limit or maybe even a little bit less. Let the traffic pile up behind you as an example, and as a favor to any other cyclists on the road at the time.”

i’ve yet to get a real response to this suggestion. My suspicion is simple. They don’t bother to go under the speed limit when they’re on that road themselves. Following the law, setting an example, is always for the other guy.
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Old 06-16-23, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff
I lived in a town where the favorite things for cyclists to do was to complain about people, speeding, not just a little bit, but noticeably over the speed limit on a fairly major road in their town. I suggested, “why don’t you do this. When you are riding on that road in your automobile, go the speed limit or maybe even a little bit less. Let the traffic pile up behind you as an example, and as a favor to any other cyclists on the road at the time.”

i’ve yet to get a real response to this suggestion. My suspicion is simple. They don’t bother to go under the speed limit when they’re on that road themselves. Following the law, setting an example, is always for the other guy.
I am a PITA for the other drivers around here. The old man in a Jaguar going the speed limit... Except for the one posted for the few corners we have.

Some day someone driving an SUV is going to hit me from behind because I actually stopped for a yellow light while they were texting on their phone.
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Old 06-16-23, 10:20 AM
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Hah!

Originally Posted by DangerousDanR
I am a PITA for the other drivers around here. The old man in a Jaguar going the speed limit... Except for the one posted for the few corners we have.

Some day someone driving an SUV is going to hit me from behind because I actually stopped for a yellow light while they were texting on their phone.
speed limit in a Jaguar. I love it. Do you ever take out in the country and hit the gas!?
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Old 06-16-23, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff
speed limit in a Jaguar. I love it. Do you ever take out in the country and hit the gas!?
Maybe... I spent quite a few years as a volunteer fire fighter/ medic in a very rural area and I don't want to go for a ride in the back of the bus.
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Old 06-16-23, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff
am I correct in reading that they think a parking lane would slow down traffic?

In any case, between the two bike lanes and the parking lane they have 19 feet of additional roadway width. Eliminating the “parking” and narrowing each bike lane to three feet would add 13 feet to the roadway, more than enough for two way traffic. This should be more than adequate unless the road is heavily traveled, which the context suggests it is not.
The whole point is that the residents want a parking lane, and this is one way to get it.
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Old 02-26-24, 10:00 PM
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These signs are popping up on state roads near me (the North Shore of Massachusetts). Nice gesture, but I can't see any driver giving 4 foot clearance. In this photo, 4 feet is the distance from the telephone pole to the rear reflector of my Raleigh Sports.


Nice sign in Rockport, Massachusetts
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