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How would you interpret these lane markings?

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How would you interpret these lane markings?

Old 08-16-10, 12:53 PM
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tjspiel
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How would you interpret these lane markings?

Both as a cyclist and as a driver. In some places the whole lane is wide enough and the green stripe is far enough to the right for cars and bikes to be next to each other. In other cases not.



The green stripe is a recent addition.

A block away I found a sign that shows what the lane was supposed to look like.




The sharrows were painted late last fall, but never that big and quickly wore off to the point of being nearly invisible.

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Old 08-16-10, 01:26 PM
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As a driver, I would interpret that right lane as fair game. I would figure as long as I'm left of the big green stripe I'm good. As a cyclist, I would do my best to stay in the green stripey area, so as not to get run over, assuming again that the right lane is fair game for drivers.

The sign would indicate otherwise, however...
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Old 08-16-10, 01:33 PM
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St. Paddy's day parade?

One day (hopefully sooner than later) there will be a standardization in how municipalities demark bicycle lanes. It seems in many cases, each city comes up with a convention that works for them, but ends up leaving cyclists/motorists confused, or worse, which isn't good for anyone.
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Old 08-16-10, 01:38 PM
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If you read the sign it looks like they are converting the right lane, (usually used by bikes, busses and right turners) into a lane specifically for bikes, busses and right turners!
That is really forward thinking.
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Old 08-16-10, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by szehui View Post
As a driver, I would interpret that right lane as fair game. I would figure as long as I'm left of the big green stripe I'm good. As a cyclist, I would do my best to stay in the green stripey area, so as not to get run over, assuming again that the right lane is fair game for drivers.

The sign would indicate otherwise, however...
In the first picture there is a sign (not legible) that says the right lane is only for bikes, buses, and right turns, but it doesn't exactly stand out. In some parts of the street it's not possible for a car to be in the right lane and not have it's right wheel in the green stripe.
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Old 08-16-10, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by xiyangshen View Post
If you read the sign it looks like they are converting the right lane, (usually used by bikes, busses and right turners) into a lane specifically for bikes, busses and right turners!
That is really forward thinking.
Unfortunately, the conversion occurred LAST October and hasn't really worked because drivers don't know (or don't bother) to stay out of the right lane. The city says the conversion is a success because bike accidents are down from last year (from 12 to 0) but bike traffic is also way down. Prior to the conversion there was this weird set up with bike lanes running both directions down the middle. It was strange but most everybody knew where they were supposed to be.

During rush hours and evenings this street can be really busy so dedicating a whole lane to buses and bikes has not been popular with drivers. I'm not terribly bothered by having cars in the lane as long as they respect my right to be there but sharing a lane with buses that make frequent stops can be difficult.

A lot of the cycling community is saying that rather than having the green stripe they should have repainted the sharrows bigger (like on the sign) and put more of them on the road.

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Old 08-16-10, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Kojak View Post
St. Paddy's day parade?

One day (hopefully sooner than later) there will be a standardization in how municipalities demark bicycle lanes. It seems in many cases, each city comes up with a convention that works for them, but ends up leaving cyclists/motorists confused, or worse, which isn't good for anyone.
Apparently the green stripe arrangement was borrowed from another city (in California). In that case though, the stripe runs down the middle of the lane and not on the right.
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Old 08-16-10, 01:47 PM
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I've come to the conclusion that colored markings and sharrows are only desirable if they are in the middle of the lane. Otherwise they create a defacto bike lane that may or may not have enough remaining space for drivers to pass.
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Old 08-16-10, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
A lot of the cycling community is saying that rather than having the green stripe they should have repainted the sharrows bigger (like on the sign) and put more of them on the road.
Agreed. Small signs on the side of the road saying the right lane is for buses/bikes/right turns only is not gonna cut it.
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Old 08-16-10, 02:10 PM
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Nothing is effective w/o enforcement. There are streets in DC writing on the pavement in HUGE wihite letters - BUSES AND BIKES ONLY or something to that effect. Keeps decent, respectful drivers out, but cabbies, a-holes, and bad drivers still feel they can use the lane, too, and regularly drive in the lane w/o consequences.
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Old 08-16-10, 02:20 PM
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As a cyclist I would ignore it in dry conditions. I'd pick a lane position that was safe, practical and courteous for the time and conditions present. If the road was wet I'd avoid the green.
As a motorist I'd ignore it too. If I was traveling faster than another vehicle ahead I would pass the other vehicles with the same care and courteousness I always do.
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Old 08-16-10, 02:25 PM
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What's wrong with hanging big signs over the lanes that say "BIKES AND BUSES ONLY" or something. That way you don't have paint in the lane that wears off.

We've got something similar setup on Broadway/Lincoln in Denver 'cept its a buses only lane, and only part of the time. Works though.
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Old 08-16-10, 02:38 PM
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The green stripe says to me: "For Gumby Only. Damnit".
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Old 08-16-10, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by EKW in DC View Post
Nothing is effective w/o enforcement. There are streets in DC writing on the pavement in HUGE wihite letters - BUSES AND BIKES ONLY or something to that effect. Keeps decent, respectful drivers out, but cabbies, a-holes, and bad drivers still feel they can use the lane, too, and regularly drive in the lane w/o consequences.
If I had to speculate as to why the green stripe is on the right, I'd guess it's so that car traffic can pass bikes wherever there's room. The main problem is that the street's just not wide enough to accommodate everything they wanted to do there. It's too busy for just one lane of car traffic each way so they've decided to turn a blind eye to people driving in the right lane. I've never seen anybody pulled over for it and just today I saw a cyclist pulled over, - even while there were many, many cars in the right lane. The cyclist could have done something particularly bone-headed, I don't know but it's clear that there's no enforcement of the bike/bus only rule.
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Old 08-16-10, 09:21 PM
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Be happy you're in Mpls. In Indianapolis they don't even bother painting a lane, they just put a sign on the side of the road saying "bike route." I wish I had a picture of all the hilarious places I've seen these signs in the four years since I moved here (from mpls!). Most often on four lane split highways I've found myself on and on every local street used heavily by cars for commuting into the city which doesn't have a shoulder.

In the winter you can't see any of those markings anyway, and really, don't complain too loudly about cycling in mpls
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Old 08-17-10, 06:19 AM
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If I didn't know otherwise, I would assume that it's some sort of temporary road marking for a parade or a road run or something.

That's pitiful.
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Old 08-17-10, 07:32 AM
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Below is the text description from: https://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/bicycles/. Does not resolve the confusion about the green markings, though. The improvements listed for 1st Avenue have been completed and are a drastic improvement over the previous bike lanes. I ride on 1st Avenue every day, and feel reasonably safe. Since they removed the center bike lane on Hennepin, I refuse to ride on Hennepin at all. The cars in the shared lane are annoying, but stopping with the busses every block is intolerable. My vote: ride on 1st and avoid Hennepin.

Improvements to both Hennepin and 1st Avenues will be implemented for bicycling in the coming weeks. On Hennepin Avenue these improvements will include:
  • Enlarging the “bus, bike, right turn” pavement text
  • Adjustments to the placement of the shared lane markings that better indicate where the bicyclist should ride
  • Adding green color to the shared lane markings to further emphasize the presence of bicyclists in the right lanes

On 1st Avenue N improvements will include:
  • Creating two foot buffer zones next to the bike lanes to provide more space between the bike lanes and parked cars
  • Adding plastic delineators (aka “candlesticks”) on a seasonal basis to provide a barrier between the bike lanes and parked cars
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Old 08-17-10, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by kegoguinness View Post
The green stripe says to me: "For Gumby Only. Damnit".
Ob. Eddie Murphy.
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Old 08-17-10, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
How would you interpret these lane markings?.

Incorrectly.
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Old 08-17-10, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by swen0171 View Post
Be happy you're in Mpls. In Indianapolis they don't even bother painting a lane, they just put a sign on the side of the road saying "bike route." I wish I had a picture of all the hilarious places I've seen these signs in the four years since I moved here (from mpls!). Most often on four lane split highways I've found myself on and on every local street used heavily by cars for commuting into the city which doesn't have a shoulder.

In the winter you can't see any of those markings anyway, and really, don't complain too loudly about cycling in mpls
For a US city it's a nice place to ride a bike and I'm very appreciative of the infrastructure we have. They listened and made some substantial improvements on 1st Ave. I also realize that there's probably a lot of pressure not to have any bike lane on Hennepin at all. The problem (it appears to me) is that they've arrived at a compromise that really doesn't work well for anyone. From a cyclist's standpoint, what was promised really hasn't been delivered, - at least not yet.
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