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Bike Lanes: Solid or Dashed

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View Poll Results: Should bike lanes be solid or dashed?
Always solid
3
11.54%
Always dashed
5
19.23%
Either can be appropriate depending on the situation
18
69.23%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

Bike Lanes: Solid or Dashed

Old 07-07-08, 08:27 PM
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JohnBrooking
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Bike Lanes: Solid or Dashed

I know that some bike lanes are dashed approaching an intersection, but my question is, why are they not all dashed all the time? To keep cars out? Well obviously cars can't ride fully in them anyway. To me, that doesn't seem worth the impression it also gives that bikes need to stay in, not least to beginning cyclists.

In all car lanes, solid means do not change here, dashed means okay to change. Why should bike lanes be any different?

Anyone know if this has ever been seriously proposed by groups that decide such things, like AASHTO?

We had some discussion of this last year sometime, but I'm thinking about it more and wanted to promote to its own thread and see how a poll would turn out.
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Old 07-08-08, 02:51 AM
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Actually the California MUTCD defines different types of white lines as follows:
Broken white line: "crossing the lane line markings with care is permitted"

Solid white line: "crossing the lane line markings is discouraged"

Two solid white lines: "crossing the lane line markings is prohibited"
(see page 28 of California MUTCD part 3, here: https://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/si...UTCD-Part3.pdf) Warning: Large document (11.7MB)

I think having the bike lane line being solid (exactly like a truck lane on a highway) is good at getting the segregationist purpose of the bike lane across. Obviously when there's a truck lane on a highway it's legal for a truck to go to the left of the solid line to pass a slower moving truck or dodge debris, just like it's legal for a faster moving cyclist to merge left across a solid bike lane line to pass a slower moving cyclist or dodge debris (among other things). A solid line doesn't prohibit crossing like a pair of solid lines would, but discourages crossing it without a good reason, which is a good representation of the wording in the vehicle code regarding bike lanes.

Having a solid line also helps differentiate a very wide bike lane from a narrow general use lane, and discourages motorists from crossing the bike lane line unless necessary to turn (also a reflection of the law).

Dashing the line prior to intersections is obviously a good idea, both to encourage motorists to properly merge into the bike lane prior to beginning their right turn, and to show to cyclists that it is legal (and may be a good idea) for them to merge left out of the bike lane when a right turn is authorized.

I voted for "either can be appropriate"
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Old 07-08-08, 03:16 AM
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I didn't vote because I think bike lanes should be separated from automobile traffic by more than just a painted line. There should be a curb and perhaps a line of parked cars. It makes no sense to me to do it any other way.

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Old 07-08-08, 06:35 AM
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I think in some arterial applications, a double white line with dashes on the bike side, solid on the motorist side would both increase the buffer zone as well as indicate to cyclists they are free to leave the lane.
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Old 07-08-08, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
I didn't vote because I think bike lanes should be separated from automobile traffic by more than just a painted line. There should be a curb and perhaps a line of parked cars. It makes no sense to me to do it any other way.

Nice idea, but in many places may not be practical due to available space. So if you can't separate the bike lane from the traffic lanes should they just not bother?

Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
I think in some arterial applications, a double white line with dashes on the bike side, solid on the motorist side would both increase the buffer zone as well as indicate to cyclists they are free to leave the lane.
I like that idea.

-D
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Old 07-08-08, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by derath View Post
Nice idea, but in many places may not be practical due to available space. So if you can't separate the bike lane from the traffic lanes should they just not bother?-D
Our politicians told us for years that there wasn't enough space, but when they realized we weren't going to take no for an answer and that we wouldn't accept painted lines as an excuse for properly separated paths, they found a way to do it.

There always seems to be plenty of space for cars, but when it comes to bikes...
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Old 07-08-08, 06:59 AM
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What happens at intersections? Around here whenever an MUP intersects a side street (or even a driveway to a strip mall) there is a stop sign for the MUP. I'd much rather just stay on the road (with or without a bike lane) and keep my right of way and visibility at intersections.
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Old 07-08-08, 07:03 AM
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It seems many cyclists in the Big Apple are coming to the same conclusion about the need for physically separated bike lanes:

https://www.streetfilms.org/archives/...ed-bike-lanes/
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Old 07-08-08, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by JeffB502 View Post
What happens at intersections? Around here whenever an MUP intersects a side street (or even a driveway to a strip mall) there is a stop sign for the MUP. I'd much rather just stay on the road (with or without a bike lane) and keep my right of way and visibility at intersections.
Bingo! Through cyclists on segregrated sidepaths consistently come up to the right (i.e., wrong) side of right-turning motorists. They are likely to be overlooked by motorists turning left across their paths. Two-way sidepaths make the situation even worse, with contraflow cyclists endangering themselves and everyone else.

In an urban environment, 25mph/40kph speed limts (the California default for residential and central business districts) and full vehicular integration of bicyclists into the main traffic flow makes the most sense. In residential areas with well-connected grids of streets, I really like the "bicycle boulevard" concept, which relies on traffic calming to make motorists, not cyclists, second-class citizens.

On high-speed prime arterials and parallel to freeways, I am much more sympathetic with the "separate facilities" and "segregationist" arguments, but only if we take care to engineer the intersections properly, which does not include setting up cyclists for right hooks or left crosses.
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Old 07-08-08, 07:59 AM
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There are traffic lights at intersections which must be obeyed by cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. In many cases, the bike lane is raised going through the intersection, forcing cars to cross at a crawl. It's not the problem some of you make it out to be.

Look at what happens when there is no physical barrier between bike lanes and car lanes:

https://nyc.mybikelane.com/
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Old 07-08-08, 08:06 AM
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That's not what happens here...seems like an exception to the rule, not the norm. Maybe they should enforce their parking laws and increase fines for illegal parking...maybe instant tow/30 day impound for multiple offenses?
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Old 07-08-08, 08:52 AM
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Traditionally Sweden has gone for bikelanes that are seperated from the traffic.

The traditional ones looks like this (this one is in Lund, but most seems to be this way):

source: rosnix.net/~per

That kind of bikelanes are common, although this one is unusaly big, and for two way traffic.


source: cykelguiden.nu

Ah yes, doorzones... Now the page mention that the statics on that street in Stockholm that started with those is less bike-accidents. I am not sure this is due to the fields though, it's more that people know of this, due to a media frenzy when they was first there. And as you see, the usal trouble with thoose occurs.
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Old 07-08-08, 09:05 AM
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FWIW Personally I would rather see sharrows then bike lanes as a general rule though there are still situations where stripe and dashed bike lanes would be more appropriate.
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Old 07-08-08, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
FWIW Personally I would rather see sharrows then bike lanes as a general rule though there are still situations where stripe and dashed bike lanes would be more appropriate.
"Sharrows" had me running to my Funk and Wagnalls. In case there are other verbally challenged types out there:

sharrow
n. an arrow-like design painted on a roadway to mark a bicycling route.

How are arrows any better than other kinds of lines?
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Old 07-08-08, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
How are arrows any better than other kinds of lines?
They can be used to indicate the suggested lateral position for bikes (usually through) in places where there is not enough room for a bike lane, or where a lane would be inappropriate, for example in merge areas.
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Old 07-08-08, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnBrooking View Post
In all car lanes, solid means do not change here, dashed means okay to change. Why should bike lanes be any different?
This probably depends on jurisdiction. In Ontario a solid white line means "restricted access", while a dashed white line means that *any* vehicle may cross the line. As such all our reserved lanes (bus lanes, bike lanes, HOV lanes, taxi lanes, etc.) use a solid white line except for merge zones before intersections. On all newer bike lanes the pavement is also marked with a diamond, and signs are used to indicate what vehicle type(s) may use that lane.

In addition to vehicle type, the restriction can also be day/time based. For example some of our downtown bus lanes - marked with solid lines and diamond symbols - are signed "Buses only Mon - Fri 7:00-9:30 am, 4:00-6:30pm". (Might be off a bit on the times, but you get the idea).

It sounds complicated but is actually simple in practise - if you see a solid line, assume you can't cross unless the signs say you can.
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