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Bike Lane Danger?

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Old 01-06-18, 12:45 AM
  #51  
Slaninar
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
This was perfectly normal and acceptable in Italy, but in the US it caused many a driver to freak out and/or get mad.
North Italy is a (motor)cycling heaven IMO. Love the way those people ride and drive. All starting almost at once at green lights, drivers watching out for (motor)cyclists, allowing each other to filter and move on whenever there's room.
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Old 01-06-18, 10:17 AM
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We've had a great number of bike lanes added to many streets here in Jax, Fl and I can say that the author is absolutely wrong about them making car-bike interactions 89% more dangerous.

But then again, I'm just going off the design incorporated into my area; I don't know, but maybe there's something to this claim when it comes to NYC (and other) designs. I don't get them green boxes and would hate to see them incorporated here in my area.

I don't see bikelanes as making cycling safer and I can see how a mindset like that could lead to less safe cycling; bikelanes simply give me more real estate and make it easier for cars to pass, period. I suppose you could argue that for that reason they make cycling more safe, but again, I don't see it that way, because I don't want to become complacent.

As for bike safety/accident studies he cites, I don't trust them, at least here in the states; however, I am curious about the studies he referenced from Europe, since those might be more accurate, but he didn't provide a link...

The article may be more accurate for some areas, but totally off base for my area and experience.
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Old 01-06-18, 10:44 AM
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I'm with you in your common sense, pretty much instinctive distrust of local govt. bureaucrats and their ability to "help" bike riders. What do most of them know about the subject? Little or nothing, and the little they think they know has been spoon fed to them by loud-mouthed activists with various agendas.

And what you end up with is something like the poster above described, painted lines and signs that everyone on a bike MUST follow by law, that go up onto sidewalks, make unsafe crossings, and lead unsuspecting bike riders into all kinds of various traps and pitfalls, designed by some dumb overpaid bureaucrat who has never lifted his fat leg over a bike even once in his entire worthless life. Because "Bike Safety!"

No thanks, spend that money on something else.
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Old 01-08-18, 04:03 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post


In my country it's usually the driver's responsibility, no matter what happens. For a cyclist/pedestrian collision - the cyclist gets it. I had a situation:

Riding slowly on a separate bicycle lane. An elderly pedestrian runs for a bus, across the lane, jumping between a tree line, hitting me sideways (my upper body took most of the hit). He fell, and started shouting, crying. I had called an ambulance, they picked him to the hospital. Then came the police and took my data. Another cyclst, that was riding behind me, stopped to give his report to the police, of how it all happened. There was no way for me to see, or avoid the pedestrian.

I was then taken to the hospital along with the bike Blood was taken, to test for alcohol. The final verdict was: if the pedestrian has any bones broken, the public prossecutor would press criminal charges against me, for causing "grevious bodily harm" - and I'd have to pay some good lawyers and forensics to avoid a severe fine. If there's no bones broken, then it's settled, no charges ?!?!?! From then on, I like bike lanes even less.
I've always thought this is the way it should be. Drivers should not only drive in a manner to avoid hitting cyclists or pedestrians, they should drive in a manner that they don't put other lives at risk even when it is the cyclist doing something stupid.

More dangerous vehicle is at fault in an accident, period. Cyclist shoots out in front of a car out of a blind alley and gets hit? Driver was going too fast.
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Old 01-09-18, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
I've always thought this is the way it should be. Drivers should not only drive in a manner to avoid hitting cyclists or pedestrians, they should drive in a manner that they don't put other lives at risk even when it is the cyclist doing something stupid.

More dangerous vehicle is at fault in an accident, period. Cyclist shoots out in front of a car out of a blind alley and gets hit? Driver was going too fast.
I think that is very unfair. Like I've explained in the example of what had happened to me.
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Old 01-09-18, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
I think that is very unfair. Like I've explained in the example of what had happened to me.
Abe had his sarcasm index set a little high, I think!
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Old 01-09-18, 07:38 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
I think that is very unfair. Like I've explained in the example of what had happened to me.
Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
Abe had his sarcasm index set a little high, I think!
Steve
No, I was being serious.

IMO, itís the responsibility of the person who chooses the form of transport that increases danger to society to avoid all collisions. If youíre driving down a narrow neighborhood street witb parked cars, you should be going slow enough that you can stop if a child runs out from between the cars. Same principal applies to bikes.
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Old 01-09-18, 07:45 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
I've always thought this is the way it should be. Drivers should not only drive in a manner to avoid hitting cyclists or pedestrians, they should drive in a manner that they don't put other lives at risk even when it is the cyclist doing something stupid.

More dangerous vehicle is at fault in an accident, period. Cyclist shoots out in front of a car out of a blind alley and gets hit? Driver was going too fast.
You're making an argument for drivers to drive no faster than 20-mph (at best) in most city areas. I understand and agree with going slow down a residential area with parked cars, because kids come out of no where; however, there are so many other areas where cyclists and pedestrians just need to know that they cannot just come bolting out of a blind area.
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Old 01-09-18, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
No, I was being serious.

IMO, itís the responsibility of the person who chooses the form of transport that increases danger to society to avoid all collisions. If youíre driving down a narrow neighborhood street witb parked cars, you should be going slow enough that you can stop if a child runs out from between the cars. Same principal applies to bikes.
I understand your point, even agree. The law in my country is such that if there was any chance of avoiding the accident, the non-pedestrian is charged. However, there should be a line. Just like train operators aren't held responsible for a person, car, or a bus jumping in front of them on the rails.
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Old 01-09-18, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
I understand your point, even agree. The law in my country is such that if there was any chance of avoiding the accident, the non-pedestrian is charged. However, there should be a line. Just like train operators aren't held responsible for a person, car, or a bus jumping in front of them on the rails.
Fair enough. It shouldnt be absolute. Like if a person ran full speed across a restricted access expressway where traffic is doing 70mph, that would be an exception. But yes...if there are people present when youíre riding or driving, itís your responsibility to account for others stupidity.
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Old 01-09-18, 08:37 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
You're making an argument for drivers to drive no faster than 20-mph (at best) in most city areas. I understand and agree with going slow down a residential area with parked cars, because kids come out of no where; however, there are so many other areas where cyclists and pedestrians just need to know that they cannot just come bolting out of a blind area.
Correct. On a residential street not meant for through traffic, with viisibility limited beyond parked cars at the road edge, 20mph or so seems like a reasonable speed. In fact, I believe most resodential speed limits are 20 or 25.
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Old 01-09-18, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
IMO, itís the responsibility of the person who chooses the form of transport that increases danger to society to avoid all collisions.
You're right. I was just having a discussion about this with the conductor of my commuter train. They're going to reduce the speeds of the trains to 10 MPH just in case a pedestrian slips on the tracks.

You see where this is going, I hope. It's possible for a cyclist (or motorist, locomotive driver) to be riding responsibly and have something suddenly appear. You're raising the bar pretty high to make the cyclist (motorist, locomotive driver) responsible for people "doing something stupid". *All* road users have a share in the responsibility for public safety.

But I see others have made the same point. We'll have to agree to disagree on this. I'll do everything reasonable in my power to avoid an accident, but I'm not going to walk my bike.
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Old 01-09-18, 01:20 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
But yes...if there are people present when youíre riding or driving, itís your responsibility to account for others stupidity.
This goes for all the traffic - whether walking, cycling, or driving.
The nuisance of all the paperwork is more than enough even when there's no one hurt - at least for most people.

Still, at least in my country, even when riding/driving with all due caution, one can get charged and fined for things that you can't possibly expect people to avoid - like the example I had.
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Old 01-09-18, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
Correct. On a residential street not meant for through traffic, with viisibility limited beyond parked cars at the road edge, 20mph or so seems like a reasonable speed. In fact, I believe most resodential speed limits are 20 or 25.
Yeah, but the way you presented your point seemed to go beyond just the residential areas, i.e. say on roads with a 45mph speedlimit. There are so many chances of a car hitting someone, just from them slipping and falling into the street.

Reminds me of my last accident about three years ago, I was on a shoulderless 45-mph roadway during rush hour and my front wheel collapsed, catapulting me into the center of the lane (right on the broken white lines between the lanes -- both going my way).

To this day I don't know how I survived that, all I can say is that something clicked and I acted totally on instinct and by absolute luck got out of the road in time -- I could easily have gotten run over.

If I did get run over, it would not have been anyone's fault, but as I read your point, it seemed to say that everyone around me should have driven super slowly...?

BTW, the 3-foot rule in this case is irrelevant, since I was thrown at least 8 feet into the center of the road.
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Old 01-10-18, 05:20 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
North Italy is a (motor)cycling heaven IMO. Love the way those people ride and drive. All starting almost at once at green lights, drivers watching out for (motor)cyclists, allowing each other to filter and move on whenever there's room.
Most of Italy is (motor)cycling heaven. Sure, in some of the bigger southern cities like Napoli it can get a bit hectic, but there usually isn't much good riding to be done in the cities anyway (at least motorcycle riding).

But yes, the proliferation of motorcycles and scooters has made drivers very aware, and even in congested areas there is usually some order to the madness which helps two-wheeled vehicles get through. (But don't get me started on idiots commuting to work on BMW GS1200's with full luggage mounted!)

Originally Posted by work4bike
I don't see bikelanes as making cycling safer and I can see how a mindset like that could lead to less safe cycling; bikelanes simply give me more real estate and make it easier for cars to pass, period. I suppose you could argue that for that reason they make cycling more safe, but again, I don't see it that way, because I don't want to become complacent.
The first time I read this, the whole complacency angle didn't seem relevant to me, but now that I'm thinking about it further, it seems to be a real thing here in NY. I see a lot of riders (particularly on Citibikes) that seem to think the bike lane gives them the indisputable right of way, no matter what, and they almost act as if no vehicle ever has the right to encroach upon it, even at an intersection.
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Old 01-15-18, 09:59 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
Devil's Advocate position: Bike lane "etiquette" is not followed. Cars parked in bike lanes force cyclists into traffic, which puts the cyclists at increased risk. Violators are almost never ticketed. I've been reporting (with photographs) these incidents for months and to my knowledge only one ticket was issued... because I snagged a parking enforcement officer who would have otherwise passed by. Another thing that really irritates me is that the bike lanes are often not maintained by the city. Below are two images I took this morning; now, I *could* try to ride through that stuff, but I don't think it's right. And that snow fell about 5 days ago. The bollards make it necessary for the city to bring in Bobcats to plow the lanes instead of the whole street being plowed by the regular plow. Also, several of the bollards have been knocked off; tire tracks are visible where they used to be located.
I hate to say it, but I almost think it would be better (in this location) to remove the bollards and leave the painted lines, plow the lanes and (hopefully) have better enforcement.
Steve

EDIT: Sorry... I don't know why the images are rotated.
I'll add a pitchfork or two to your argument. One of the hot things here in Denver is "protected lanes" which are a lot like your pictures with similar results. Crap gets pushed into the "protected lane" and never gets cleaned out. The result is an impassible lane. A cyclist is required to ride out in the traffic lane but, thanks to the ghettoization brought about by the "protected lane", you'll catch all kinds of hell from motorists.

The other problem I'm seeing everywhere here is "floating parking". The cars are moved away from the curb by about a carwidth and the bike lane is shoehorned into the space between the curb and the park cars. The lane is 3 to 6 ft wide and there is usually a gutter pan taking up a substantial amount of the lane. This wouldn't be a problem except that the transition from pavement to gutter pan is wide enough to catch a tire on. Riders also don't have enough room between the curb and the cars if a door is opened in front of them. Additionally, the rider can be masked at corners from cars behind and they turn across a bicyclist traveling straight through. It's a hidden right hook! Cars also park into the bike lane but if you ride out in the street, you'll catch hell from motorists.

The other "innovation" we have here is to put the bike lane on the left side of one-way streets. Motorists don't expect cyclists to their left so intersections can be very tricky. There is also one lane where you have to transition from the left lane to the right lane at an intersection where the road goes to two-way traffic.

Making riding "more comfortable" for newbie riders isn't making it safer for the rest of us and only teaches the newbies bad habits.

Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
Here's what a good design with a bad implementation (law enforcement and planning) looks like (not my video):


Volume 2



I had read some studies that conclude that more bike lanes/paths usually result in more people riding bicycles - which results in motorists being more used to bikes, resulting in cyclists being a bit safer.
I would say that the video isn't an example of a "good" design. It's a slap dash approach to shoehorning a bike lane into a space without impacting motorists. Most of the "bike path" is a sidewalk. There's even one place where a rider would have to worry about not just car doors but being doored by a store door.

I have to say, however, that it is similar to my experience with riding in Amsterdam which is supposed to be a bicycle Mecca. I didn't find it so.

Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Yeah, you've shown those before. Maybe I've just been fortunate to live in places with proper infrastructure ... where they have their own lights for cyclists that are separate from autos.


DeutschlandGermany:
The second video is just a driver being a jerk. It also shows the problem with totally separated bike path systems. The woman riding the road couldn't have ridden the bike path at anything more than walking speed. At the beginning of the video, you see two cyclists to her right that are riding side-by-side and they don't really have that much room.

I also noticed that the driver is filming this to show how much of a jerk bicyclists can be but all I see is another entitled driver. He doesn't seem to have a problem moving around the (probably illegally) parked car but can't just go around the cyclist.

The video also demonstrates my point about ghettoization of bicyclists with bike paths. Essentially it says "stay off my road!"
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Old 01-15-18, 11:05 AM
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I do think there should be more respect for the bike lanes. But...

Parking: No all day parking, but perhaps use it as a break-down lane. Perhaps the occasional rapid in/out delivery, assuming the bike lane doesn't have heavy traffic.

Construction Signs: These bug me. Reasoning is to get them close to the traffic lanes, but look at alternatives. If there is a grassy strip to the right, I'd put them off the road. If there is a sidewalk to the right, then there is no good place to put the signs.

Sweeping and debris: Hard to say how much sweeping is necessary, but a clean lane is safer than a dirty lane. Sweep once a month? However, around here, it seems to be 1x or 2x a year.

Yard debris? Garbage Cans? There have to be alternatives.

Keep in mind, the alternative to a bike lane is no bike lane. I.E. Riding in the traffic lane all the time. So... I'd rather share it than not have it.

As mentioned above, one of the functions of the bike lanes is also to keep traffic moving. So a parked car in a bike lane keeps traffic moving better than parking it in a driving lane.
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Old 01-15-18, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I would say that the video isn't an example of a "good" design. It's a slap dash approach to shoehorning a bike lane into a space without impacting motorists. Most of the "bike path" is a sidewalk. There's even one place where a rider would have to worry about not just car doors but being doored by a store door.
The design is mostly from the previous century. Pedestrian paths are usually (90% of the time) divided by a few meters of grass. Cars parked and pedestrians walking the lanes are breaking the law by doing so. A path I think you're referring to in Vol2 is an exception to the design - it was done afterwards, without previous planing, obviously. And yes - very bad and dangerous for cycling IMO - stores and newspaper stands with doors swinging into the lane.
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Old 01-15-18, 12:08 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I do think there should be more respect for the bike lanes. But...

Parking: No all day parking, but perhaps use it as a break-down lane. Perhaps the occasional rapid in/out delivery, assuming the bike lane doesn't have heavy traffic.

Construction Signs: These bug me. Reasoning is to get them close to the traffic lanes, but look at alternatives. If there is a grassy strip to the right, I'd put them off the road. If there is a sidewalk to the right, then there is no good place to put the signs.

Sweeping and debris: Hard to say how much sweeping is necessary, but a clean lane is safer than a dirty lane. Sweep once a month? However, around here, it seems to be 1x or 2x a year.

Yard debris? Garbage Cans? There have to be alternatives.

Keep in mind, the alternative to a bike lane is no bike lane. I.E. Riding in the traffic lane all the time. So... I'd rather share it than not have it.

As mentioned above, one of the functions of the bike lanes is also to keep traffic moving. So a parked car in a bike lane keeps traffic moving better than parking it in a driving lane.
Because of all those reasons you just mentioned, if the road has more than one travel lane in each direction, I like having no bike lane vs. having one and either being required or motorists expecting me to use it. Without a bike lane (with multiple narrow lanes) I can easily control the right lane, and don't have to worry about parked cars, signs, garbage cans, debris or any of that stuff. Far easier and less stressful than a road with a bike lane where I'm having to dodge broken pavement, debris, parked cars, and keep a constant watch to make sure a motorist doesn't pass and then right hook me.
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Old 01-15-18, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
The design is mostly from the previous century. Pedestrian paths are usually (90% of the time) divided by a few meters of grass. Cars parked and pedestrians walking the lanes are breaking the law by doing so. A path I think you're referring to in Vol2 is an exception to the design - it was done afterwards, without previous planing, obviously. And yes - very bad and dangerous for cycling IMO - stores and newspaper stands with doors swinging into the lane.
Actually from the very beginning of the first video, the whole thing looks like it's an afterthought. When the cyclist turns off the road into the "bike lane" it looks like an abandoned trolley way. It only gets worse from there.

I did notice about about 20 seconds into the first video there is a woman running in front of the cyclists into the bike path while there is a very wide pedestrian path about 5 meters away. The bike path even curves towards it as the woman runs along the bike path.

All in all, if that system was "planned" that's a truly poor commentary on the traffic engineers' abilities.
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Old 01-15-18, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
which is why I hate bike boxes. Forcing motorists to negotiate passing the same cyclists again and again and again is really dumb. Oh there's a cycle lane you say? Well all those people in that bike box will NOT move immediately into the cycle lane, nor would they all fit. I know what London cycle lanes and bike boxes look like. And they're ridiculous.
I fully agree but you and I are in the minority. It makes absolutely no sense to me to get in front of a line of cars that have probably passed me once just to have them pass me again. As my wife says, the best place to be is behind the last car through the intersection. You have a breather before more cars start to pass you again.
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Old 01-15-18, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
All in all, if that system was "planned" that's a truly poor commentary on the traffic engineers' abilities.
Bike lane was designed to curve before exiting across the car lanes. So the cars can see the cyclist's wider, side, profile as they approach and turn, and so the cyclist gets in front of a car, not come from the blind side of the car, before going across the road. Lane moves out, then in, before the intersection. For the straight way, it is pulled in to leave room for the car parking, but it's divided from the pedestrian path by a grass covered area - both the bike lane and the pedestrian path are wide enough.
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Old 01-15-18, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by esther-L View Post
In the U.S. drivers aren't trained to look for a cyclist passing next to the curb before turning right on green.
That's because you aren't supposed to be passing on the right, either with a bicycle or with a car. You can if there is a turn lane and you aren't passing someone in that turn lane that is turning, i.e. trying to beat them to the light. You could also pass if there is a bike lane there but, for the most part, bike lanes run out before turn lanes in my experience.

On the other hand, just from the standpoint of self-preservation, passing a line of cars on the right when the light is green is just asking for having your 3rd dimension voided.

Originally Posted by esther-L View Post
There isn't a countdown timer on traffic lights for me to know when a red is about to change to green.
There usually is but most people don't notice it. If the intersection has a walk light, the walk light will start to flash from 10 to 20 seconds before the light turns to yellow. Often these even have a count down on them. I wouldn't pull away from a red before it turns green for you, however. Too many people try to beat the yellow and are often going through a very red light.
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Old 01-15-18, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
Bike lane was designed to curve before exiting across the car lanes. So the cars can see the cyclist's wider, side, profile as they approach and turn, and so the cyclist gets in front of a car, not come from the blind side of the car, before going across the road. Lane moves out, then in, before the intersection. For the straight way, it is pulled in to leave room for the car parking, but it's divided from the pedestrian path by a grass covered area - both the bike lane and the pedestrian path are wide enough.
Those are niceties. I'm talking about the video as a whole. Not much thought seems to have gone into designing the system so that cars can't park on it, it's not routed in front of doors for stores, it's not overloaded with pedestrians, and that it is wide enough.

Looking at the video, it looks more like the system was grafted onto an existing sidewalk system.
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Old 01-15-18, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post

Looking at the video, it looks more like the system was grafted onto an existing sidewalk system.
If I didn't know it was supposed to be a "bike path", I'd have thought it was a vid of a cyclist riding the sidewalk.
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