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Great new bike lane in Eagle Rock, NOT

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Great new bike lane in Eagle Rock, NOT

Old 10-21-13, 11:20 AM
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Keith99
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Great new bike lane in Eagle Rock, NOT

Last weekend I went to my college homecoming. Since I still support the college Rugby clubs it hasn't been that long since I was there, but a gap of a few months.

On Colorado Blvd they have taken out a lane going both ways and put in a bike lane. It takes the full space a normal traffic lane took (in an area where all the lanes were often full) and it has this 'nice' hashed area keeping the bikes 'safely' away from the cars.

And forces the bike line into the door zone.



Major fail.
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Old 10-21-13, 11:35 AM
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Pics?
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Old 10-21-13, 12:20 PM
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Occidental?
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Old 10-21-13, 04:07 PM
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If it was where a full lane was (minimum of 10') then there should be more than enough room without having to be in a door zone....

Are you saying that they took a full lane and put parking spaces there and made it a bike lane?

Like the other poster said...
Pics would be nice.
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Old 10-21-13, 04:11 PM
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Sounds more like they used up one lane worth of space to add a bike lane to both sides of the road which if its two bike lanes one on each side both half a lane wide that with parked cars tucked in tight along side that does mean they are pretty much door zone bike lanes. At least that's how I "read in-between the lines" of the OP.

Agreed pictures would be nice but a more detailed written description would suffice.

Personally I'm opposed to bike lanes being on any road with road side parking regardless of width. My view being basically if automobile traffic can slow or stop and wait for someone to parallel park they can certainly also slow down and wait a little bit for a bicycle using the main traffic lanes as well and that if the speeds are low enough for roadside parking to be safe and sane they are also low enough for cycling in traffic in the main lanes to also be safe and sane and if not then they need to entirely remove the road-side parking which makes plenty of room for bike lanes coincidentally.

Also, if you are correct that the bike lane is a full vehicle lane width then why not also allow cars to use it as well and why restrict it to bikes only? I'd much rather cycle down a four lane road with road-side parking "taking the lane" in the slow lane of the two lanes going each direction then cycle down either:
----- a two lane road with road-side parking which makes it so that cars can't just easily move into the fast lane to pass me and its either risk getting them mad by "taking the lane" or put myself into a close pass situation trying to share the lane sandwiched between close passers and parked cars.
----- or a two lane road with both full lane width bike lanes and road-side parking where vehicle traffic has to constantly cross the bike lane to park and pull out of parking spaces making for multiple side-swipe hazards from both sides and cramming automobile traffic into only two lanes one each direction and blocking things up while leaving an open bike lane as a temptation for the most aggressive motorists to try to use as a speedway shortcut.

Putting the bike lane on the outside of the parking lanes is a potential solution using the parked cars as a buffer barrier but it needs to be wide enough not to still be a door zone lane and unless every intersections is properly signaled to prevent conflicts between automobile traffic in the main lanes and the buffered bike lanes which also have visibility issues both to see and be seen that can create another set of safety issues at the intersections.

Done correctly bike lanes both buffered and non-buffered can work, and I certainly support them when done correctly, but I rarely see them done correctly and often times they are more of a way of further marginalizing cyclists and not about safety for cyclists but rather about "getting cyclists out of the main part of the road and out of the way and out of the sight of automobile drivers".

Last edited by turbo1889; 10-21-13 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 10-21-13, 04:31 PM
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Also, "full lane" doesn't always mean 10' minimum. I've seen supposedly full traffic lanes marked with offical painted lines and routinely used by car traffic that when a heavy cargo truck tries to use them the tires on each side are riding on the lines and I've measured them with a tape measure and found them to only be 8' (slightly less or more). So far 7', 1-3/4", measured inside edge of painted line to inside edge of painted line, is the narrowest main lane I've actually seen and stopped, pulled over, and waited for a break in traffic to measure with my little tape measure I keep in my bike bag to confirm it actually was as narrow as I thought it was.
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Old 10-22-13, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by SpecialX View Post
If it was where a full lane was (minimum of 10') then there should be more than enough room without having to be in a door zone....

Are you saying that they took a full lane and put parking spaces there and made it a bike lane?

Like the other poster said...
Pics would be nice.
I didn't know it was coming so I didn't take notes on how it was before. BUT I remember there were definitely 3 lanes and now there are 2. Actually going to homecoming it caught me by surprise. I was just about to take advantage of how the lights had been to make an easy transition into the rightmost lane when I realized the rightmost lane was gone so I was already in it.

The lanes were narrow before and that could be the main reason behind the redesign. But for a few months it is going to catch people by surprise when the lane isn't there.
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Old 10-22-13, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by G1nko View Post
Occidental?
Yup.
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Old 10-22-13, 02:13 PM
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Class of '87. Go Bengals.
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Old 10-22-13, 03:25 PM
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I'm guessing you didn't take any pics. How about a google maps link?
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Old 10-22-13, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by walrus1 View Post
I'm guessing you didn't take any pics. How about a google maps link?
What good would that do? This is new. Google does not get their views by magic. It would be an amazing coincidence if they got a new view within the last 3 months.

BTW they took a full lane on each side.

Perhaps this will help people understand, it is one other thing I hate. Have you ever seen where they have a 14 foot or so median and they then line the left turn lane so there is about 4 feet between you and oncoming traffic? Oh an do the same the other direction so anyone in the left turn lane going the other way sticks out blocking your view?

This is like that. They had plenty of room to keep bikes out of the door zone and instead they put in a hashed area between the bike lane and traffic. Again to the LEFT of the bike lane. That forces the bike lane right, right into the door zone.
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Old 10-22-13, 06:03 PM
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@Keith99 You'd be surprised. Google can update some roads on a pretty regular basis.
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Old 10-24-13, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by walrus1 View Post
@Keith99 You'd be surprised. Google can update some roads on a pretty regular basis.
Guess they could for the satellite view. But they have not.

It does confirm that it was 3 lanes each way and I know it is now 2 each way.
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Old 10-25-13, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
Last weekend I went to my college homecoming. Since I still support the college Rugby clubs it hasn't been that long since I was there, but a gap of a few months.

On Colorado Blvd they have taken out a lane going both ways and put in a bike lane. It takes the full space a normal traffic lane took (in an area where all the lanes were often full) and it has this 'nice' hashed area keeping the bikes 'safely' away from the cars.

And forces the bike line into the door zone.



Major fail.
planners working with cycling advocates do the same crap here. they add parking, gore areas and/or medians and effectively reduce the overall pavement space available for sharing. terrible.
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Old 10-26-13, 10:41 PM
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Similar problem here. In a repaving/restriping project on a street with parking on one side, the idiotic traffic planners/engineers decided to put a hatched buffer strip between the travel lane and the bike lane that does not have adjacent parking rather than using that space to move the door-zone bike lane further from the parked cars. The result is that cyclists in one direction face a larger intersection hazard by being pushed further into the gutter and cyclists in the other direction who don't know any better will be riding in the door zone. (There's no way to get out of the door zone without staying out of the bike lane altogether, which is what I do.)

Cyclists just aren't hit by overtaking traffic on 25 mph roads very often. They are, however, regularly whacked at intersections and by car doors. I sure wish the traffic planners understood this. Then again, maybe they do and this is just a way to get us out of their way, as in permanently.
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Old 10-27-13, 10:22 AM
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I certainly agree that very few bike lanes are correctly implemented and that is a situation which needs to be dealt with so that when we get a bike lane its actually a good and useful one and it isn't public funds being wasted or worse yet serving as a way to put cyclists in even more danger.

As to the OP's description, of how exactly the bike lanes were set-up, now that he has provided a better description. If I were the one who had been in charge of doing that bike lane (converting a three lanes of cars each direction down to two lanes of cars and a bike lane (or two) in each direction. My solution would have simply been to put another dashed white line down the middle of the right most lane dividing it into two bike lanes that were half of a regular lane width wide with a bike lane symbol and arrow for direction of travel (with traffic) in each of the two new bike lanes side by side and let cyclists themselves decide whether they wished to be closer to the parked cars or to the moving car traffic lanes. Doing so would also encourage cars to first safely merge into the bike lanes before taking right turns rather then right hooking cyclists (might even put up signs saying for them to do exactly that).

For those desiring a google maps link, here you go: https://goo.gl/maps/dhoJe From the description provided so far by the OP of this thread that be a location I found using Google maps that fits his description of how the road was before they changed it to include bike lanes as he describes.

As to how I would ride in the new bike lanes as he says they are, well I'd ride in the thatch painted buffer zone.
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Old 11-04-13, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
planners working with cycling advocates do the same crap here. they add parking, gore areas and/or medians and effectively reduce the overall pavement space available for sharing. terrible.
Same here in Cincinnati. They took a perfectly fine road to ride on and put in a door zone bike lane. I used to ride this road everyday to and from work. Luckily, I no longer work in that direction and don't have to use that road anymore. Now, they want to do the same on a road that I do use everyday. unfortunately, I was not able to make it to the discussion meeting to plead my case not to do it.
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Old 11-08-13, 11:24 PM
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For a road with both bike lanes and roadside parking, I still say that the best (safest) arrangement is traffic lane, bike lane, buffer zone, and THEN the parking at the curb. Keeps the cyclists in the bike lane as visible as possible, especially at intersections.
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Old 11-09-13, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
For a road with both bike lanes and roadside parking, I still say that the best (safest) arrangement is traffic lane, bike lane, buffer zone, and THEN the parking at the curb. Keeps the cyclists in the bike lane as visible as possible, especially at intersections.
I would agree that is a better option but I personally would prefer an arrangement of from center line or middle turning lane outward to edge on both or either side of:

----- Full width, not too wide or too narrow (about 10-foot wide) full width vehicle lane(s)
----- Two narrow barely half lane width bicycle lanes (think just barely over 4-foot wide) that together also serve as a right hand turn lane that cars must safely and respectfully merge over into straddling both before taking a right hand turn or parking (right hook protection).
----- Narrow bare minimum (that extra 2-foot left over from a 10-foot lane by narrowing down to using only 8' for the two bike lanes) thatch painted door and pedestrian walk zone.
----- Parking Lane (adequate but not excessive width)
----- MUP Sidewalk (nice surface and at least 4-foot wide)


I think such an arrangement would work out the very best for both cyclists, pedestrians entering and exiting parked cars, and yes even car drivers. Let the individual cyclist themselves pick whether they prefer the bike lane closer to the parked cars or closer to the moving cars. Plus two bike lanes makes it easier to pass other cyclists or to be passed by other cyclists with minimal cyclist/cyclist collision risk. And, yes, with a wide sidewalk marked for MUP use it allows those cyclists who prefer to be completely off the road to on a side-path to do so provided they do so at a reasonable speed and with respect for pedestrians (and vic-a-versa).

To my mind that would be the perfect way to convert a road like the OP is talking about that used to be 3@wide vehicle lanes + parking lane + sidewalk down to just 2@wide vehicle lanes using up one lane of space for bicycle infrastructure. If you have an entire wide vehicle lane of space at your disposal you can fit more then just one bike lane and a buffer zone into that width. Making two bike lanes in that space plus a bare minimum door buffer zone ped. walk area for parked cars gives cyclists their own choice as to what they personally prefer and are comfortable with and gives far better capacity as well in the same amount of space.

Granted your not going to get a full wide vehicle lane of space to use on every conversion project. But where you have it like the specific road the OP is referencing and it is slated to be used for bicycle lane(s) its stupid to make only one bike lane where you could fit two of them for many reasons. I personally would even go so far if I was the one designing such a conversion to use two different bicycle symbols to mark the two lanes. Standard bike symbol with direction arrow in the right most of the two bike lanes closer to the parked cars and a road bike with rider in the tuck position obviously moving at high speed with streak lines coming off the back of his bike with about twice as long but same width directional arrow for the left bike lane closer to vehicle traffic. I don't think people would have a hard time understanding that with both of the symbols and arrows side by side in two distinct 4' wide bike lanes.

Sure, some cyclist would still try to go fast in the far right edge of the right most bike lane and would still get doored because the 2' buffer wasn't quite enough with a long door that opened. But then the city could just point to the two symbols and ask why they were going that fast in the bike lane closer to the parked cars and that is partially why there are two different symbols because if you choose the right most bike lane closer to the parked cars you need to go slower because your closer to the parked car doors. Something similar applies to cyclist who might prefer to use the left bike lane close to the auto traffic even in the left most part of it but go really slow so they get passed closely by a lot more cars over the same distance and the passing speed differential is higher giving less reaction time and rising the risk of "getting sliced" by a sliding contact type collision. The closer you get to automobile traffic the more important it is to minimize the speed differential between you and them. Either way you are giving people a choice of multiple options that are all acceptable depending on riding style, thats a better solution then a "one size fits all" just a single bike lane set-up a certain way (and usually the wrong way).

Plus on that minimum width buffer zone and ped. walk for entering and exiting parked vehicles. Most parking lanes are wide enough that you don't have just the extra 2-foot of width you get by narrowing up the two bike lanes down to just the bare minimum 4' width (that's what I consider bare minimum width for an official bike lane and nearly perfect width if you have more then one bike lane side by side) often you can also squeeze at least another foot of width out of the parking lane which makes that thatched buffer zone and ped. walk zone on the left edge of the parked cars a little wider and also encourages people to tuck their parallel parked cars up nice and tight to the curb edge by narrowing up the parking lane a little with a wider thatch painted buffer and ped. walk zone.

Last edited by turbo1889; 11-09-13 at 10:32 AM.
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