Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Advocacy & Safety
Reload this Page >

Bike lanes, bike paths, or streets?

Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

Bike lanes, bike paths, or streets?

Old 04-16-11, 11:04 PM
  #1  
bluefoxicy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,212

Bikes: 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bike lanes, bike paths, or streets?

So, short version, somewhere in Europe, bike paths and bike lanes were added, and effects were studied:
  • Where segregated bike paths were added, bicycling increased along those roads by 20%; but bicycle-related accidents somehow increased by 10% more than expected (i.e. 2% more overall than explained by 20% more traffic). No word on if the actual traffic increase was from cyclists that diverted from other less bicycle-friendly routes.
  • Where bike lanes were added, cycling increased 5%. Cycling accidents increased 49%.

So, segregated bike paths increase cycling significantly but decrease safety, bike lanes increase cycling slightly but severely decrease safety. The other mode is called "Vehicular bicycling," which involves bicycles traveling in the center of the right most lane as road vehicles, of course yielding for passage by getting over to the right when necessary and prudent; this of course annoys drivers and, on narrow and semi-busy one lane roads, makes it hard for the cyclist to actually get anywhere due to constantly slowing down or stopping on the side (a wide rode is better for this by far).

The research is out there.

Personally, I kind of like segregated bike routes, but they're unmaintained and narrow. They get covered with branches and the road is all lumpy and stuff, not a smooth pave like the road. As a result, it seems like going fast is dangerous, while going fast in the street is fine.

Bike lanes yeah, they're way too narrow. Just barely enough to fit a cyclist, but cyclists are not motorists and we have a few more concerns traveling at-speed: cars don't lose control as easily, and cyclists don't lose control nearly as easy when they have a wider berth to recover in. In my city, bike lanes are sometimes 80% of a car's width; and other times a foot and a half wide, barely larger than the gutter. I can barely walk in the narrow ones, much less ride at 25-30mph along these curvy roads. Do they expect me to bike down a balance beam too?

I think some accommodation is necessary, although I can't quite figure out what. There's obviously something wrong here if bike lanes and bike paths are causing cycling accidents. Bike lanes make sense: they're like sidewalks for bicycles, and motorists are quite used to ignoring anything on the sidewalk until it jumps right out in front of them. I guess a lot of them go, "Oh, he's in the bike lane, no problem" and ignore.
bluefoxicy is offline  
Old 04-16-11, 11:54 PM
  #2  
B. Carfree
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 7,051
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 494 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
If I am on a narrow road where it is not safe to share the lane with a passing motorist I am rarely ever slowed down by having to pull out to let a stack of motorists pass. If the road is so busy that safe passing opportunities are precluded by oncoming traffic, the traffic engineers have usually gotten there before me and widened the thing.

As to bike lanes, I wonder if the research was dealing with properly constructed bike lanes (no door zones, adequate width for the traffic speed, proper intersection treatments). I know most of the ones I have been in are poorly implemented afterthoughts that increase my risk in quite obvious ways.

I also wonder where the wrecks were happening on the bike paths. Were they at intersections with "regular" roads? Also, was this in a country with strict liability? Were the wrecks solo bike, bike-on-bike or car-on-bike? I also question how much of what is basically a behavior study is transferable from Europe to the U.S. There are rather a lot of cultural differences between a socialist democracy and a country currently strongly influenced by the tea party.
B. Carfree is offline  
Old 04-17-11, 09:35 AM
  #3  
bluefoxicy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,212

Bikes: 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
As to bike lanes, I wonder if the research was dealing with properly constructed bike lanes (no door zones, adequate width for the traffic speed, proper intersection treatments). I know most of the ones I have been in are poorly implemented afterthoughts that increase my risk in quite obvious ways.
Exactly. Most bike lanes seem to be too narrow. I have seen a few that have a painting of a life-size bicycle profile (that I could ride) down the middle, turned with the long end following, so the lane's a tad wider than a bicycle is tall. Around the city there's a few extremely high traffic (3-4 lanes each direction) roads that have a lane like that; it's huge, and at certain points (3-way intersections) there's actually a barrier that the bike lane turns off into, so bicyclists can actually (get this) pass through a red light by dipping off onto a barrier separated path that's just as long as a 3-way intersections, separating them from traffic.

Aside from those areas, bike lanes are narrower than most traffic shoulders. The bicycle and rider, upright, are just about as wide as the whole lane. These are often one or two lane roads each way, making passing difficult; roads that are low-traffic and very narrow tend to not even have a bike lane.

I also wonder where the wrecks were happening on the bike paths. Were they at intersections with "regular" roads?
Riding on the sidewalk is shown to increase motor-bicycle accidents, I suspect because bicyclists can ride through the crosswalk when safe/legal but motorists glance, go "nobody there," and pull through. Bicyclists move faster than pedestrians and absolutely cannot stop that fast, so this strategy works extremely well for people walking and not at all for people going 15mph down the sidewalk.

I suspect bike path intersections with roads would have the same problem; bicyclists should stop and check the road out before crossing. I'd hate to think we'd need stop signs there to tell them to stop for traffic; you should be able to figure this out on your own. However, all that is theoretical.

As I said, though, off-street bicycle paths tend to be narrow, un-leveled BMX courses, except with pavement. The pave is hilly and bumpy and curvy, with no attention to banking, often following the curve of the terrain (which is okay) and even the texture of the terrain underneath, to a degree (which is not okay). What I wind up with here is a paved path that's like a mountain bike ride, complete with debris (sticks, branches, chunks of crushed wood) everywhere.
bluefoxicy is offline  
Old 04-17-11, 12:15 PM
  #4  
atbman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Leeds UK
Posts: 2,080
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A site to give you endless pleasure on this subject. Scroll through at your leisure

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pete.me...onth/index.htm
atbman is offline  
Old 04-17-11, 01:42 PM
  #5  
Digital_Cowboy
Senior Member
 
Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tampa/St. Pete, Florida
Posts: 9,355

Bikes: Specialized Hardrock Mountain (Stolen); Giant Seek 2 (Stolen); Diamondback Ascent mid 1980 - 1997

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
Exactly. Most bike lanes seem to be too narrow. I have seen a few that have a painting of a life-size bicycle profile (that I could ride) down the middle, turned with the long end following, so the lane's a tad wider than a bicycle is tall. Around the city there's a few extremely high traffic (3-4 lanes each direction) roads that have a lane like that; it's huge, and at certain points (3-way intersections) there's actually a barrier that the bike lane turns off into, so bicyclists can actually (get this) pass through a red light by dipping off onto a barrier separated path that's just as long as a 3-way intersections, separating them from traffic.

Aside from those areas, bike lanes are narrower than most traffic shoulders. The bicycle and rider, upright, are just about as wide as the whole lane. These are often one or two lane roads each way, making passing difficult; roads that are low-traffic and very narrow tend to not even have a bike lane.



Riding on the sidewalk is shown to increase motor-bicycle accidents, I suspect because bicyclists can ride through the crosswalk when safe/legal but motorists glance, go "nobody there," and pull through. Bicyclists move faster than pedestrians and absolutely cannot stop that fast, so this strategy works extremely well for people walking and not at all for people going 15mph down the sidewalk.

I suspect bike path intersections with roads would have the same problem; bicyclists should stop and check the road out before crossing. I'd hate to think we'd need stop signs there to tell them to stop for traffic; you should be able to figure this out on your own. However, all that is theoretical.

As I said, though, off-street bicycle paths tend to be narrow, un-leveled BMX courses, except with pavement. The pave is hilly and bumpy and curvy, with no attention to banking, often following the curve of the terrain (which is okay) and even the texture of the terrain underneath, to a degree (which is not okay). What I wind up with here is a paved path that's like a mountain bike ride, complete with debris (sticks, branches, chunks of crushed wood) everywhere.
Exactly, which is why many of us here have said that biking infrastructure here in most US cities is an afterthought and not a primary part of the road design. That and so that it can provide the local politicians with both a photo op and the opportunity so that they can pat themselves on the back and say "look at the 'good' that we're doing for the cycling community."

Without actually getting much if any input from the cycling community as to what they/we really want/need. When in reality what city planners/engineers as well as street engineers need to do is to look at the overall needs of ALL of their citizens needs and design both cities and roads that take into account everyone's needs. Not just those who are "stuck all day in a steel cage." Everyone from the pre-teen who wants to walk to school, to the teen who wants to ride their bike to school to the mother and father who want to work not too far from where they live.

Cities should be laid out so that with the exception of heavy industry/manufacturing/farming that the average person only has a handful of blocks to go to get to work to maybe a couple of miles. Trips that could easily be made walking, riding a bike or riding a bus. For those who live further way from their job there should be a rail option like we had not too many years ago.

The bottom line is that it is much harder these days for the average person to get to and from work without a car, when it should be easier to get around without one. And as it has been said before in other threads, for those few times when one does "absolutely" need a car or truck they should be able to rent one at a reasonable rate.

It would also help if more businesses would offer free or low cost delivery service of their goods. As that would also help to lessen the average person's dependence on their cars.
Digital_Cowboy is offline  
Old 04-17-11, 07:34 PM
  #6  
randomgear
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: beantown
Posts: 925

Bikes: '89 Specialized Hardrock Fixed Gear Commuter; 1984? Dawes Atlantis

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests Cycle Tracks are safer than riding in the street.
http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/cont...28696.full.pdf
randomgear is offline  
Old 04-17-11, 09:19 PM
  #7  
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Posts: 26,297

Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6338 Post(s)
Liked 60 Times in 40 Posts
Originally Posted by randomgear View Post
A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests Cycle Tracks are safer than riding in the street.
http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/cont...28696.full.pdf
Interestingly the study contrasts the vehicular cycling philosophy and suggests that adoption of that philosophy has hindered the creation of cycle tracks in the US in spite of numerous studies that indicate that cycle tracks could be safer than simply sharing the road with motorists.

Cycle tracks, which can be one or
two-way and resemble shared-use paths, are not
mentioned in the AASHTO bike guide. A longstanding,
and yet not rigorously proved, philosophy
in the USA has suggested instead that ‘bicyclists
fare best when they behave as, and are treated as,
operators of vehicles.’13 The details about cycle
tracks in the Dutch bicycle design manual CROW3
and crash rate comparisons between the USA and
The Netherlands 5 have been dismissed by vehicular
cycling proponents,14 with arguments of nontransferability
to the American environment. Cycle
tracks have been controversial, especially due to
conflicting studies with warnings of increased crash
rates.15 The warnings, which in the USA result in
striped bike lanes but not cycle tracks, come
without any substantial study of the safety of
North American cycle tracks. Using existing crash
and injury data from Montreal, Canada, a city with
a network of cycle tracks in use for more than
20 years, this study compared bicyclists’ injury and
crash rates with published data and bicyclists’
injury rates on cycle tracks versus in the street.
Compared with bicycling on a reference street, the overall RR
of injury on a cycle track was 0.72 (95% CI 0.60 to 0.85); thus,
these cycle tracks had a 28% lower injury rate.
Three of the cycle
tracks exhibited RR less than 0.5, and none showed a significantly
greater risk than its reference street. Overall, 2.5 times as
many cyclists used the cycle tracks compared with the reference
streets.
Of course as we all know, vehicular cyclists will decry this study and any others like it and refer to the now 40 year old Cross Fisher study as their source of "truth." Never mind that this Harvard study is being conducted on cycle tracks that have only been built in the last 30 years... meaning that Cross Fisher could not even contrast and compare their findings to that of the aforementioned cycle tracks.
genec is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 07:17 AM
  #8  
Zizka
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 134
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by randomgear View Post
A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests Cycle Tracks are safer than riding in the street.
http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/cont...28696.full.pdf
There was a thread about this some time ago. Look it up. The several of the sets of streets they compared had very little in common. A one way street with a cycle track compared with a two way street without, a primarily through street with a cycle track compared with a busy commercial street and so on..
Zizka is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 07:20 AM
  #9  
Dauphine
Senior Member
 
Dauphine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 118

Bikes: Terry Ganbit.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
There's a protected bike lane on Allen st. here, that ends at Houston, I rode it yesterday, at Houston they have a 'bike zone' where cyclists are expected to merge right for A BLOCK to ride with traffic and then merge left again on first ave onto a protected bike lane once 1st ave turns back in to a one way. It's a bit of a clusterfunk. Nobody would expect cars to do that, and the signage is really poor. It's like asking for an accident.
Dauphine is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 07:43 AM
  #10  
Bekologist
totally louche
 
Bekologist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: A land that time forgot
Posts: 18,025

Bikes: the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
the short version is somewhere in Europe, cycle infrastructure made cycling more dangerous? what?

there's a lousy danish study about tier II bikelanes and the resulting increases in moped accidents mixed in with bicycle collisions.....

generally speaking, and supported by numerous studies from both sides of the Atlantic,

Roads with bike facilities are safer for bicyclists than those without.

Going back to the studies of Moritz in 1993 of experienced american bicylists, and numerous other studies, have ascertained that bicycling along roads where cyclists have been accommodated is safer than riding major roads without bike facilities.

what's the question? which ones does the OP like more? well, sounds like they prefer the off road bicycle routes. Obviously. Even traffic hardened cyclists report tedium riding in challenging road and traffic conditions; a car free alternate is an enjoyable interlude.

Last edited by Bekologist; 04-18-11 at 07:49 AM.
Bekologist is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 08:16 AM
  #11  
irwin7638
Senior Member
 
irwin7638's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Kalamazoo, Mi.
Posts: 3,017

Bikes: Byron,Sam, The Hunq and that Old Guy

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 79 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
If I am on a narrow road where it is not safe to share the lane with a passing motorist I am rarely ever slowed down by having to pull out to let a stack of motorists pass. If the road is so busy that safe passing opportunities are precluded by oncoming traffic, the traffic engineers have usually gotten there before me and widened the thing.

As to bike lanes, I wonder if the research was dealing with properly constructed bike lanes (no door zones, adequate width for the traffic speed, proper intersection treatments). I know most of the ones I have been in are poorly implemented afterthoughts that increase my risk in quite obvious ways.

I also wonder where the wrecks were happening on the bike paths. Were they at intersections with "regular" roads? Also, was this in a country with strict liability? Were the wrecks solo bike, bike-on-bike or car-on-bike? I also question how much of what is basically a behavior study is transferable from Europe to the U.S. There are rather a lot of cultural differences between a socialist democracy and a country currently strongly influenced by the tea party.
According to Benjamin Disreali:"there are three types of lies; lies, damn lies and statistics."

Everything I've seen written is full of conjecture, but my personal experience over the past forty years makes me feel I am safer where dedicated infrastructure exists. It all has problems peculiar to each type, but if I'm seperated in some way from traffic, and signage exists to increase driver awareness,I feel safer and have fewer traffic problems. I'm sure the numbers will continue to circumnavigate the subject long after we're gone.

Marc
irwin7638 is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 08:48 AM
  #12  
Doohickie 
You gonna eat that?
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Posts: 14,682

Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 140 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My favorite mode of bike travel is off-road trails where they exist (around here, they follow the river and the street bridges over the river also go over the MUP, so there are very few crossings of busy streets), and cutting through residential neighborhoods. The way a city is designed will dictate whether the latter is possible; if developments tend to have limited access (in the extreme, gated communities), they can't be used for bike traffic. If they can be ridden through from one end to the other with outlets at each end, they make ideal cycling routes. As for the MUP, like I said, they follow the river. The basic infrastructure was set up by the Army Corps of Engineers when the river was rechanneled for flood control. At the tops of the levees, and sometimes at the bases, a stone road bed was installed to allow access by work crews. Once work was complete, the access roads were covered with fine hard-packed gravel, then paved with blacktop in some areas, and now the most used portions are being paved with concrete. A nice added feature is that along several sections there are two separate paths, one generally used by wheeled traffic (the paved sections) and one by foot traffic (the packed gravel).

The city is also adding on-street bike lanes. The most successful has helped create an urban village in a historical neighborhood that is revitalizing and gentrifying. This year the city is adding additional bike lanes in that area, and recently put in lanes along a thoroughfare that has quite a bit of new urban development in an old industrial district.

In some areas, an integral part of the bike infrastructure is provision for bike parking. In the past year, lots of bike racks have been installed in the near southside (the urban village I mentioned earlier) and the program is being expanded into downtown.

The point is... the city is assessing what the best method is to accommodate and encourage bicycle traffic. They revisit changes to determine what works and what doesn't in specific locations. The bike lanes along Magnolia Avenue started out as sharrows, but they removed a motor traffic lane and put in bike lanes instead. While one may argue about the safety and efficiency of bike lanes, in the areas where they have been recently introduced they have helped give bicycle traffic a visible presence, even when there are no bikes around.
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 08:48 AM
  #13  
rando
Senior Member
 
rando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 2,968
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bike lanes, bike paths, or streets? I'd use all three, depending on the situation. I also use sidewalks. as for what I think is best, I don't have an answer, or I'd say, "Depends on the area/situation". all of these can be useful for bike travel.
__________________
"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

Last edited by rando; 04-18-11 at 08:53 AM.
rando is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 08:52 AM
  #14  
Northwestrider
Senior Member
 
Northwestrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Posts: 2,470

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker, Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo, Dahon Mu P 24 , Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Rodriguez Tandem, Wheeler MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm usually forced into VC which has worked out well for me, as I never feel slowed down by it. However I would prefer a dedicated cycling path as not only are they quieter, but IMO safer.
Northwestrider is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 09:54 AM
  #15  
crhilton
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 4,568

Bikes: '07 Trek 1500, '08 Surly Cross Check, '09 Masi Speciale Sprint custom build

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you have "bike lanes" that are 18" wide I'm not surprised you have lots of accidents with them. That's like a human shoulder... Absolutely no margin for operation, much less error.
crhilton is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 10:55 AM
  #16  
bluefoxicy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,212

Bikes: 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by genec View Post
Interestingly the study contrasts the vehicular cycling philosophy and suggests that adoption of that philosophy has hindered the creation of cycle tracks in the US in spite of numerous studies that indicate that cycle tracks could be safer than simply sharing the road with motorists.
I strongly feel that cycle tracks are safer than narrow bike lanes. In fact, I think that certain use cases would produce a safer fully-segregated cycling environment than a VC environment. My commute to work, for example, comes down a narrow two-way road with a LOT of blind curves; the segregated paved track separates me from the motorists, and there are virtually no intersections along the five miles it takes me to get from point A to point B. Even with those 3 intersections there actually are, a drop tunnel would be an excellent solution to dip under the road (along with a barrier break to switch back into the street and turn off on the intersection instead).

In the general case, though, I don't think a separate, barrier segregated infrastructure is technically feasible. In the criss-cross grid layout, when you come to an intersection you are sharing it with cars. Do you really want an under-the-road tunnel everywhere? Plus riding on the sidewalk is a bad thing; so you would need a hell of a lot more real estate for transportation. Even with a "well-implemented" infrastructure, I think there would still be too many problems.

From the hip, I would probably go for bike lanes (narrow or wide) if the state policy was for VC with the bike lanes as "undertake" lanes. That meaning, I would agree with a state policy of a bicycle being a road vehicle to take the right most lane of traffic, but also dictating that a cyclist must yield to traffic when safe by pulling off to the side of the road. On narrow roads without a travel-ready bike lane, you have a problem: even if I pull off on Franklintown, in higher traffic situations the cars will not be able to safely pass me stopped at the side of the road.

And here we have a problem: We can't expect traffic to wait for cyclists; but we can't expect cyclists to wait indefinitely for traffic. The cyclist should yield to faster traffic if traveling in a one-lane road; but the cyclist should not be expected to pull off to the side and wait for rush hour to end. A sufficient bike lane would allow a much slower rate of travel than a full lane (face it, the 1.5 lane size of a bike lane + traffic lane is going to let you safely do 30, while the 0.5 lane size of the bike lane alone with traffic in the traffic lane is going to let you do 10), but this is acceptable. If traffic is truly that bad, it may be time to widen the road or suggest/supply alternate routes to motorists, who are going to suffer congestion even without the bicyclists in their way.

As you can see, this is a complex subject and it requires a "complete solution" instead of a "methodology" (VC vs Bike Lane vs Bike Path). This is a serious consideration in civil engineering and in rights of way (as I said, a bicyclist has no right to hold up tons of traffic unnecessarily; but motor traffic has no right to sideline the bicyclist indefinitely either).

That basically means the first step is to eliminate the "street" and instead consider the "unified transportation infrastructure." Highways are for cars, cargo transit, etc; urban areas are for transit including pedestrian, medical and non-medical assisted powered vehicle (EPMAD, motor scooter (legal max 30mph), bicycle, electric bicycle (legal max 20mph level ground unassisted)), street mass transit (buses), segregated mass transit (rail), and personal motor vehicle. Civil engineers should thus decide where to place sidewalks (high ped traffic), footpaths (low ped traffic and ped traffic where motor traffic isn't an issue), roads (motor, bicycle), bike lanes, bike paths, and the like. They have to decide when to make a 1 lane (per direction of travel) street with a bike lane, a multi-lane street with a bike lane, and a multi-lane street with no bike lane where the right lane is motor-legal but right-of-way fully to cyclists. They have to decide where a good stretch of road warrants a segregated bike path (i.e. lots of bicycle traffic going along one path that doesn't intersect a lot of roads, why not run a barrier-separated bike lane?) and when it warrants a bike lane and a VC/shared road policy.

So maybe we should stop looking at "Cars, bikes, and pedestrians" and start looking at "the movement of people." Because it's true, bicycles are an afterthought and sidewalks are to keep pedestrians out of the street (no, we aren't "Facilitating pedestrian traffic," we're "getting them out of the way." It's a safety thing).
bluefoxicy is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 11:12 AM
  #17  
irwin7638
Senior Member
 
irwin7638's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Kalamazoo, Mi.
Posts: 3,017

Bikes: Byron,Sam, The Hunq and that Old Guy

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 79 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post

So maybe we should stop looking at "Cars, bikes, and pedestrians" and start looking at "the movement of people." Because it's true, bicycles are an afterthought and sidewalks are to keep pedestrians out of the street (no, we aren't "Facilitating pedestrian traffic," we're "getting them out of the way." It's a safety thing).
That's where we should be headed. Here in Michigan the legislature passed a "Complete streets" initiative, which (although has no enforcement teeth to it) forces the various transportation agencies and road commissions to review each revision and improvement to accomodate all forms of traffic. So moving the most cars the fastest way is not going to be the end product. In some areas that will mean considering horse and carriage as well as cyclists and pedestrians.

Marc
irwin7638 is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 11:42 AM
  #18  
bluefoxicy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,212

Bikes: 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
That's where we should be headed. Here in Michigan the legislature passed a "Complete streets" initiative, which (although has no enforcement teeth to it) forces the various transportation agencies and road commissions to review each revision and improvement to accomodate all forms of traffic. So moving the most cars the fastest way is not going to be the end product. In some areas that will mean considering horse and carriage as well as cyclists and pedestrians.

Marc
That sounds excellent, but it depends on how it's done. For relatively high motor traffic areas (not major routes, but i.e. 1 lane streets where there's a car every 10-15 seconds), you want to accommodate the possibility of pedestrian/bicycle traffic; but if that traffic is non-existent you might go with a wide shared sidewalk or a bike lane wide enough to keep 5-10mph safely. Sure, it's crap for the cyclist, but how many cyclists are there really? Such roads are typically the ones that cut through the woods (undeveloped areas), thus they make a convenient route to work or such for drivers, and are easily expanded (narrow/move the sidewalk and add a wide bike lane).

By the same token, if you have a major bike route, or just a major traffic route (like Route 40 or Route 1 in Baltimore), sure you want to accommodate road traffic; but while you're building 3-4 lane highways, you will want to put a bike lane on the right lane and also designate bicycle right-of-way in the right lane. This is because major routes, when devoid of any bicycle commuting traffic, are still of large importance to commuters: If the amount of bicycle commuting increases significantly, people will head for those major routes because they let them easily get from one point to another rather than weave in and out of side streets for their whole trip. So you still want to mainly accommodate cars; but you really want to engineer a non-disadvantage to cyclists.

By the way, on US Route 1 in Baltimore, the right lane has no designated bike lane; but there are narrow paintings of bicycles and a direction of travel in the right side of the right lane, indicating that bicycles are designated to the right portion of the right lane. Exactly where the line is drawn is not indicated; thus it is assumed that they intend for bicycles to ride as close to the right of the lane as technically safe and effective, and if that's the middle of the lane then so be it. With no cyclists around, that lane is a pure traffic lane: there's no line that says "you're riding in the bike lane illegally!"

That strategy is flexible because if you get a rise in cyclist traffic, you've already accounted for the variation by policy. You don't need to re-engineer roads if bicycle traffic spikes, and you don't need to engineer in a useless segregated bike lane that sees 2-3 bicycles roll over it per year. Just make that lane a bit wider and designate that, yes, bicycles are intended to travel somewhere around there.

My point is that it makes sense to account for the actual traffic use case and to NOT simply consider "volume of cars," but you should minimize your trade-off to "it's passable but we really don't anticipate it being important" where it's of obvious non-importance. Completely eliminating any use for non-motorist traffic should stick with highways.

At least, that's what I think. I'm going to have to mill on this a lot.
bluefoxicy is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 12:20 PM
  #19  
mikeybikes
Senior Member
 
mikeybikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Edgewater, CO
Posts: 3,214

Bikes: Tons

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
The research is out there.
Where?
mikeybikes is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 12:25 PM
  #20  
invisiblehand
Part-time epistemologist
 
invisiblehand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,867

Bikes: Jamis Nova, Bike Friday NWT, STRIDA, Austro Daimler Vent Noir, Haluzak Horizon, Salsa La Raza, Hollands Tourer, Bike Friday tikit

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by genec View Post
Interestingly the study contrasts the vehicular cycling philosophy and suggests that adoption of that philosophy has hindered the creation of cycle tracks in the US in spite of numerous studies that indicate that cycle tracks could be safer than simply sharing the road with motorists.
Interestingly, many people will believe anything that confirms their prior beliefs even if the evidence is fatally flawed.

http://washingtonwheelman.blogspot.c...-track-to.html

You can't get anything meaningful from that study.
__________________
A narrative on bicycle driving.
invisiblehand is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 04:06 PM
  #21  
Pedaleur
Je pose, donc je suis.
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Back. Here.
Posts: 2,898
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post

there's a lousy danish study about tier II bikelanes and the resulting increases in moped accidents mixed in with bicycle collisions.....
Yeah, those guys (scooter drivers) suck.
Pedaleur is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 04:30 PM
  #22  
contango 
2 Fat 2 Furious
 
contango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: England
Posts: 3,996

Bikes: 2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc, 2009 Specialized Tricross Sport RIP

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A lot will depend on just what is meant by a "segregated bike path". In my home town we have bike paths that are completely closed to motor vehicles but are almost invariably shared with pedestrians and other non-motorised users. It's very common to find pedestrians ignoring the "pedestrians only" half of a path and wandering across the cycle lane, usually with children and/or dogs roaming freely in the bike path.

Bike lanes on roads are sometimes segregated by a small kerb, sometimes they are just a green stripe painted at the roadside. Some of them in London are wider and painted sky blue - in theory these are great but the only one I've personally cycled along seemed to go from being very wide to being very narrow to disappearing to coming back again, to the point I just cycled as if there were no cycle lane.

A lot of segregated bike paths are very slow to use because they stop at every side road, so if you want to travel at any speed you're better off on the road. Other bike lanes at the roadside are too narrow for a cyclist to overtake a slower cyclist without moving into the flow of traffic, which becomes a liability when you encounter an inexperience cyclist who does things like stop dead without any warning.
contango is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 05:57 PM
  #23  
CB HI
Cycle Year Round
 
CB HI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 13,566
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1246 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Pedaleur View Post
Yeah, those guys (scooter drivers) suck.
Yeah, especially those speedster Danish scooter drivers racing around at 15 mph rather than the normal Danish bicycle speeds of 8-10 mph.
__________________
Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.
CB HI is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 06:59 PM
  #24  
bluefoxicy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,212

Bikes: 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by contango View Post
sometimes they are just a green stripe painted at the roadside. Some of them in London are wider and painted sky blue - in theory these are great but the only one I've personally cycled along seemed to go from being very wide to being very narrow to disappearing to coming back again, to the point I just cycled as if there were no cycle lane.
There's a few of these around here:



I like this. Especially notice the smooth, well-maintained road.
bluefoxicy is offline  
Old 04-18-11, 07:30 PM
  #25  
Pedaleur
Je pose, donc je suis.
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Back. Here.
Posts: 2,898
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Yeah, especially those speedster Danish scooter drivers racing around at 15 mph rather than the normal Danish bicycle speeds of 8-10 mph.
It was just an off-hand comment, but for the record, 35-40 km/h is not uncommon.
Pedaleur is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.