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

How are your bike lanes?

Notices
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.

How are your bike lanes?

Old 07-27-11, 08:10 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 238

Bikes: Trek FX 7.2

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
How are your bike lanes?

Around where I live, it's not really even worth going where there are bike lanes. The city does not clean them up so they are full of debris and glass. It's pretty much a guaranteed flat tire if you spend any appreciable amount of time in them.

Plus there are all kinds of obstacles like parked cars, garbage bins, and drains that extend at least halfway into the lane. So you have to salmon all over the place and worry about going into the traffic lane. I have a much, much better experience just riding on roads than trying to find and use bike lanes. They seem to do a better job at keeping the car lanes clean...

Is this just my non-bike-friendly city or is this pretty common?
dolanp is offline  
Old 07-27-11, 08:31 AM
  #2  
totally louche
 
Bekologist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: A land that time forgot
Posts: 18,023

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

Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 9 Posts
it depends.

it depends on how much focus a city places on bicycling as transportation. we 'mericans live in a VERY car-centric country, I can only imagine san antonia is pretty darn focused on moving cars around unregulated texas sprawlsville.

However, in cities that value and plan for bicyclists as part of the transportation mix, bikelanes are swept, maintained and restriped regularily, and in a state of growing improvements.

additionally, long standing scholarly studies have shown bicyclists are safer along roads with bikelanes than when without, and bikelane infrastructure is strongly associated with a build in of ridership in a community.

how are your bikelanes? well, it depends on where you live, and how much focus your city places on bicycling as transportation.
Bekologist is offline  
Old 07-27-11, 09:00 AM
  #3  
24-Speed Machine
 
Chris516's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Wash. Grove, MD
Posts: 6,058

Bikes: 2003 Specialized Allez 24-Speed Road Bike

Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
In the DC-Metro region, for me specifically where I have biked, in Montgomery County, NW DC, and Northern VA, I have only seen two bike lanes. One on a one mile stretch of a 40mph arterial road in the northern part of Montgomery County. One on a three block stretch of one street in a business district in the southern end of the county.

When I lived in Duluth(Minnesota) several years ago, despite being in a much more bike-friendly region, they didn't have any bike lanes, either.

I ride in traffic anyway. I always have and always will.
Chris516 is offline  
Old 07-27-11, 09:12 AM
  #4  
The Fat Guy In The Back
 
Tundra_Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 2,543

Bikes: '81 Panasonic Sport, '02 Giant Boulder SE, '08 Felt S32, '10 Diamondback Insight RS, '10 Windsor Clockwork, '15 Kestrel Evoke 3.0, '19 Salsa Mukluk

Liked 187 Times in 121 Posts
Bike lanes? What are those?

Our city does have a really good MUP system, however. There are certain areas that attract a lot of the stroller/dog walking/rollerblade traffic, but there are some really long stretches that are rarely used by anything other than bikes. This makes our MUP actually useful for commuting via bike, so I tend to utilize it as much as I can.
__________________
Visit me at the Tundra Man Workshop
Tundra_Man is offline  
Old 07-27-11, 09:22 AM
  #5  
Junior Member
 
Pink Elephant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bike lanes are the same here (Winnipeg, Canada). The bike lanes are the roughest and have the most crap covering them. My commuting route is on a major road and we have diamond lanes (only bus and bikes) during rush hour. Since that's when I ride, I don't have to deal with parked cars, I can avoid crappy parts of the road by just moving within the lane, and I only have to deal with a few drivers turning right. I find it much more enjoyable than the majority of the bike lanes.

I just remembered that we have a (small) stretch of bike lanes which are paved on the boulevard of residential streets next to the curb. Those are by far the best bike lanes I've ever ridden on.
Pink Elephant is offline  
Old 07-27-11, 01:27 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
DeadheadSF's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 230

Bikes: Giant Defy Advanced 3, Trek 520

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
San Francisco Bay Area ("Silicon Valley") is pretty decent as far as bike lanes go. There are some notable exceptions (poor design decisions, mainly forced due to the layout of the roads), but overall, the bike lanes themselves are usually pretty well maintained. Occasionally, you find some that are full of debris, but it's rare. We're blessed here. However, I won't be satisfied until we have separated "bike-only" lanes that are physically separated from cager traffic by some kind of barrier.
DeadheadSF is offline  
Old 07-27-11, 02:03 PM
  #7  
Hogosha Sekai
 
RaleighSport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: STS
Posts: 6,669

Bikes: Leader 725, Centurion Turbo, Scwhinn Peloton, Schwinn Premis, GT Tequesta, Bridgestone CB-2,72' Centurion Lemans, 72 Raleigh Competition

Likes: 0
Liked 21 Times in 15 Posts
ha, Sonoma County in the north bay has wonderful bike lanes actually..
RaleighSport is offline  
Old 07-27-11, 02:29 PM
  #8  
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Posts: 27,079

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

Liked 4,532 Times in 3,158 Posts
In San Diego and surrounding area, the BL vary widely... from narrow BL that include the gutter pan and vanish suddenly on 50MPH roads to wide well laid out BL that include traffic sensors. We have it all here... including bike paths with stairs.
genec is offline  
Old 07-27-11, 02:37 PM
  #9  
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

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ours are quite spotty, we've one that has a length of about 300 yards then comes to an end. Our road shoulders are not very clean either. So I tend to ride on the white line and slide to the shoulder only when a series of cars approach.
Northwestrider is offline  
Old 07-27-11, 03:16 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tampa/St. Pete, Florida
Posts: 9,352

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

Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by DeadheadSF
San Francisco Bay Area ("Silicon Valley") is pretty decent as far as bike lanes go. There are some notable exceptions (poor design decisions, mainly forced due to the layout of the roads), but overall, the bike lanes themselves are usually pretty well maintained. Occasionally, you find some that are full of debris, but it's rare. We're blessed here. However, I won't be satisfied until we have separated "bike-only" lanes that are physically separated from cager traffic by some kind of barrier.
I'm sorry, but I don't think that separated "bike-only" infrastructure with a physical barrier is the answer. As I think it was Genec that told us about a car that ended up going through the chain link fence and taking out a cyclist on a separated "bike-only" lane. About the only physical barrier that would stop a car would be some sort of concrete retaining wall.

Which isn't safe either as it creates a giant blind spot that blocks us from the view of motorists.

What we need is an aggressive education program and an aggressive enforcement of the laws that are already on the books.
Digital_Cowboy is offline  
Old 07-27-11, 05:32 PM
  #11  
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Posts: 27,079

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

Liked 4,532 Times in 3,158 Posts
Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy
I'm sorry, but I don't think that separated "bike-only" infrastructure with a physical barrier is the answer. As I think it was Genec that told us about a car that ended up going through the chain link fence and taking out a cyclist on a separated "bike-only" lane. About the only physical barrier that would stop a car would be some sort of concrete retaining wall.

Which isn't safe either as it creates a giant blind spot that blocks us from the view of motorists.

What we need is an aggressive education program and an aggressive enforcement of the laws that are already on the books.
Actually for a totally separate bike path... I'd take the concrete wall... there is no reason that motorists need to see you on such a path. Only at intersections that are "at grade" is there a reason to be seen by motorists. And at such intersections, you are at risk.

Aggressive education and enforcement seems to only last a short while. Concrete is forever and constantly reinforces the message.
genec is offline  
Old 07-27-11, 05:41 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
degnaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 1,606
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
The one bike lane I know of in Erie is on 6th street from downtown to Presque Isle. It disappears often, is narrow, has poor pavement quality, and has door zone segments.

Bike lanes in State college are more acceptable, but they're more often than not filled with gravel and debris.
degnaw is offline  
Old 07-27-11, 06:20 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tampa/St. Pete, Florida
Posts: 9,352

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

Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by genec
Actually for a totally separate bike path... I'd take the concrete wall... there is no reason that motorists need to see you on such a path. Only at intersections that are "at grade" is there a reason to be seen by motorists. And at such intersections, you are at risk.

Aggressive education and enforcement seems to only last a short while. Concrete is forever and constantly reinforces the message.
Yeah, I guess if it's thick enough and well reinforced with re-bar it should stop just about any car that is flying into it. And I guess it's better to have the "grease" stain on the street side of the barrier than it to be created by a cyclist getting creamed.
Digital_Cowboy is offline  
Old 07-27-11, 06:40 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 6,401
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 15 Posts
South Orange County, California - the great majority of streets have fantastic, well paved, wide, clean bike lanes, which make it a joy to ride around here. Some of our major arteries have no bike lanes and not enough shoulder for safe riding - and high enough speeds that "taking the lane" would be foolish, IMHO - but there is always a way to avoid them and still get where you're going without significant additional distance.
Six jours is offline  
Old 07-27-11, 06:54 PM
  #15  
Je pose, donc je suis.
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Back. Here.
Posts: 2,898
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 2 Posts
Tokens towards a LAB bronze, apparently.

Several are dangerously in the door zone. Many disappear at inconvenient times. Basically, lines on the pavement to make someone at City Hall feel good.

/Charlottesville, VA
Pedaleur is offline  
Old 07-28-11, 05:10 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
irwin7638's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Kalamazoo, Mi.
Posts: 3,100

Bikes: Sam, The Hunq and that Old Guy, Soma Buena Vista, Giant Talon 2, Brompton

Liked 123 Times in 51 Posts
Acually, the bike lanes here are contiguous to the car lanes and streets are swept on a regular basis. That is until the fall.



Marc
irwin7638 is offline  
Old 07-28-11, 08:08 AM
  #17  
Junior Member
 
Alistair92's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
They're waay to small here, but fortunately here we have a cycle path which is a much safer and easier way to travel.
Alistair92 is offline  
Old 07-28-11, 08:24 AM
  #18  
Banned
 
dynodonn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: U.S. of A.
Posts: 7,466
Liked 78 Times in 67 Posts
Originally Posted by dolanp
..... The city does not clean them up so they are full of debris and glass. It's pretty much a guaranteed flat tire if you spend any appreciable amount of time in them.....
I grew tired of waiting for my city to clean the bike lanes, so I started my own small cleaning campaign along my most traveled routes. I just started with the worst offending sections that were the safest to clean. In addition, I purchased a set of Pilot Citys to take care of the sections of bike lanes that I couldn't easily clean.
__________________
Prisoner No. 979




dynodonn is offline  
Old 07-28-11, 01:20 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Consularrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Frankfurt am Main, Germany/Arlington, VA
Posts: 494

Bikes: Surly Pugsley, Jamis Renegade, Kona Rove, Salsa Pistola, Raleigh M60, Raleigh Sport Touring Team USA

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Chris516
In the DC-Metro region, for me specifically where I have biked, in Montgomery County, NW DC, and Northern VA, I have only seen two bike lanes. One on a one mile stretch of a 40mph arterial road in the northern part of Montgomery County. One on a three block stretch of one street in a business district in the southern end of the county.

When I lived in Duluth(Minnesota) several years ago, despite being in a much more bike-friendly region, they didn't have any bike lanes, either.

I ride in traffic anyway. I always have and always will.
Must be in a different part of the NoVA/DC area. Both DC and Arlington have added numerous miles of bike lanes in the four years I have lived here. The biggest problem with them is that they are almost always adjacent to on street parking and rarely outside the door zone. We also don't get much attention on cleaning an maintenance either. In addition there are MUPs that can actually be used as fairly direct commuting routes.
Consularrider is offline  
Old 07-28-11, 02:00 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
DeadheadSF's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 230

Bikes: Giant Defy Advanced 3, Trek 520

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy
I'm sorry, but I don't think that separated "bike-only" infrastructure with a physical barrier is the answer. As I think it was Genec that told us about a car that ended up going through the chain link fence and taking out a cyclist on a separated "bike-only" lane. About the only physical barrier that would stop a car would be some sort of concrete retaining wall.

Which isn't safe either as it creates a giant blind spot that blocks us from the view of motorists.

What we need is an aggressive education program and an aggressive enforcement of the laws that are already on the books.
I won't say that I disagree with you - the idea of physically separated bike lanes is a pipe dream for me. But, while you're correct that physical barriers won't stop a serious crash, having a physical barrier of some sort will help to "keep honest people honest", so to speak. Ideally, what I'd like to see (and this has been implemented successfully in other countries):

|| ROAD || PARKING || BIKE LANE || SIDEWALK ||

Or something to that effect. This way, we don't have to worry about cagers parking in the bike lane, the parking area provides a large area of separation from the road, and the sidewalk will keep the peds (except for the especially dumb ones or those with much greater sense of entitlement) off the bike path.

There is no ideal solution though, and the solution I suggest would be very costly to implement.

Education and aggressive enforcement would help, for sure, but it would be difficult to enforce. And education only works for people who are willing to learn. It doesn't address the problem of physical proximity of cars to bikes. It doesn't address the problem of aggressive @#*$&heads who enjoy harassing bikers.
DeadheadSF is offline  
Old 07-28-11, 07:17 PM
  #21  
Je pose, donc je suis.
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Back. Here.
Posts: 2,898
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by DeadheadSF
|| ROAD || PARKING || BIKE LANE || SIDEWALK ||
Ugh. Those suck.
Pedaleur is offline  
Old 07-28-11, 09:12 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
silmarillion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 720

Bikes: 2012 Cinelli Mystic Rat, Nashbar CX

Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
We have a little of both. Bike lanes that are poorly maintained, and begin and end in areas where no one really wants to go.

We have neat parks all over the county, but no way other than the road to bike from park to park. I never ride in MUP's accept for the Silver Comet Trail, which gets so crowded at times it's better just to ride on the roads.

I would like to see some kind of lanes painted or made that will allow people to commute under an interstate without being run over by people trying to get on or off the freeway. It sure would make my morning commute a little longer and a lot safer.
silmarillion is offline  
Old 07-28-11, 10:13 PM
  #23  
Sprockette
 
wabbit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Canada
Posts: 5,503
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
some of the ones we have are ok, but there are some which are ridiculous because they have manhole covers, junk, crap, etc. There's one that's separated by those flexible poles and it's a hill. The downhill side is sh@t, full of ditches, crap, pad pavement etc. If it's not rush hour, I forgo that lane, but you risk being honked at. The bike PATHS are actually in pretty good shape actually, but there are the usual bumps from tree roots, etc.
__________________
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.
wabbit is offline  
Old 07-28-11, 10:50 PM
  #24  
24-Speed Machine
 
Chris516's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Wash. Grove, MD
Posts: 6,058

Bikes: 2003 Specialized Allez 24-Speed Road Bike

Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Consularrider
Must be in a different part of the NoVA/DC area. Both DC and Arlington have added numerous miles of bike lanes in the four years I have lived here. The biggest problem with them is that they are almost always adjacent to on street parking and rarely outside the door zone. We also don't get much attention on cleaning an maintenance either. In addition there are MUPs that can actually be used as fairly direct commuting routes.
When I have traveled on the full length of Wisc. Ave. in DC from the DC-MD line at Friendship Heights Metro Station all the way down to M St., I haven't seen a single bike lane anywhere on Wisc. Ave.. I haven't seen an 'absolute' bike lane on M St. except for the turn onto the Key Bridge. Going into NoVa N. Meade St. just past Rosslyn Metro from the Key Bridge. The roads inside Fort Myer notwithstanding. 2nd St. coming out of Fort Myer. Then S Fillmore St. which becomes S Walter Reed Dr., taking that all the way down to S Arlington Mill Dr. then S Taylor St. and 28th St. S down in Shirlington.

None of those roads have a bike lane.

As for MUPs, I don't use them for health reasons. Some cyclists turn MUPs into their own personal high speed freeway, I have been knocked over on MUPs because of that. Also the pedestrians become an obstacle. Lastly, With my health issues, if I had a problem on a MUP, an EMS vehicle could not safely get on the path to help. I would have to be Med-Evac'ed by chopper.

That is why I stick to the roads and 'taking the lane'.

Last edited by Chris516; 07-29-11 at 01:38 PM.
Chris516 is offline  
Old 07-28-11, 11:28 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tampa/St. Pete, Florida
Posts: 9,352

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

Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by DeadheadSF
I won't say that I disagree with you - the idea of physically separated bike lanes is a pipe dream for me. But, while you're correct that physical barriers won't stop a serious crash, having a physical barrier of some sort will help to "keep honest people honest", so to speak. Ideally, what I'd like to see (and this has been implemented successfully in other countries):

|| ROAD || PARKING || BIKE LANE || SIDEWALK ||

Or something to that effect. This way, we don't have to worry about cagers parking in the bike lane, the parking area provides a large area of separation from the road, and the sidewalk will keep the peds (except for the especially dumb ones or those with much greater sense of entitlement) off the bike path.

There is no ideal solution though, and the solution I suggest would be very costly to implement.

Education and aggressive enforcement would help, for sure, but it would be difficult to enforce. And education only works for people who are willing to learn. It doesn't address the problem of physical proximity of cars to bikes. It doesn't address the problem of aggressive @#*$&heads who enjoy harassing bikers.
The problem though is that the kind of "barrier" that you're talking about. Is that it masks cyclists in the bike lane from motorists field of view. And when they "pop" out at intersections the driver is "surprised" by the cyclist "appearing out of nowhere." Not to mention what happens if/when a motorist looses control of their car and hits a parked car sending it into a cyclist?

If we're talking a separated/barriered bicycle infrastructure than a concrete wall is probably the only way to go.
Digital_Cowboy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.