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tales of bike lane abuse

Old 10-11-10, 02:01 PM
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tales of bike lane abuse

Good article on bikes lanes in today's NY Times:

Tales of Bike Lane Abuse

https://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...ke-lane-abuse/

October 11, 2010, 2:12 pm
Tales of Bike Lane Abuse
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

Bike lane abuse? Say it ainít so!

The dedicated bicycle lane, one of the Bloomberg administrationís signature additions to the New York streetscape, has re-engineered the cityís byways so that two-wheelers get a more equal share of the roadspace. But a report by the Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer, found that interlopers often intrude, gumming up bike traffic and running afoul of city rules.

Pedestrians walk in the lanes; cyclists travel the wrong way in the lanes; cars open their doors into the lanes; motor vehicles, including police cars, taxis and other city-owned cars, park in the lanes. These are among the conclusions of a three-day study this month that examined bicycle lanes at 11 locations throughout Manhattan.

At 36th Street and Broadway, staff members observed 240 incidents of pedestrians walking in the lanes. Bicyclists blew through red lights 100 times at Centre Street and Chambers Street. And the bicycle lane was blocked by cars 117 times at St. Nicholas Avenue and 145th Street.

And enforcement remains an issue. In a 22-hour survey, the staff noticed about 275 motor vehicles blocking a lane, and only two tickets were issued.

The study also discovered school buses idling in the lanes; unmarked police cars that cut through protected lanes to avoid red lights; and lanes where cyclists traveling the wrong way outnumbered those following the proper direction.

Mr. Stringer said he was a fan of the bicycle lanes, and he released the report to draw attention to the lax enforcement of their rules. ďWe need to develop a bicycle-friendly culture where New Yorkers respect the bike lane and clear the path,Ē he said.

He recommended an increase in protected bicycle lanes, which are separated from traffic by a physical barrier, and stepped-up patrol by traffic enforcement agents to ticket scofflaws, along with better signage. Mr. Stringer also wants the city to collect data on crashes in bicycle lanes so that their effect can be better measured.
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Old 10-11-10, 02:10 PM
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A physical barrier would be nice. I would like to see a 3" curb that would discourage drivers from wandering into the bicycle lane.

As far as cyclists going the wrong way, I would like to know why. I'll bet the reason is because it is difficult to get to the other side of the street to travel in the correct direction.
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Old 10-11-10, 02:32 PM
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DC just had a similar article. Most of the time around here it isn't too big of a deal when a few well-intentioned or otherwise unknowing people jog or walk in the bike lane.
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Old 10-11-10, 04:06 PM
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I have not a clue as to how to stop cyclists from riding the wrong way in a bike lane. I deal with this CONSTANTLY on my commute in the Rockaway's of Queens, with what I call the "Rockaway Wrongways", numbnuts on beach cruisers who come around a corner directly into oncoming bike traffic. They NEVER look !. I have had way too many near misses.

I also question the City's design of a bike lane directly against the curb. I've seen 2 versions, one that is simply a protected lane, painted as such, with no barricades separating the bike lane from the car lane, the other the kind you see in Manhattan, with a parking lane, then a bike lane against the curb.

With the former, the inclination is to NOT ride in the actual lane as that area of the road surface tends (as any roadie knows and has experienced) to attract and collect the most debris and glass. The other issue is related to how you learn the rules of staying "Visible". One of the tricks experienced road riders learn is to not ride as far to the right of the shoulder as is possible, but instead to ride nearer the edge of the marked lane, so as to be noticed. The same holds true for riding a bike lane dead against the curb. To pedestrians, you are not as noticed as when you are 3 ft. into the roadway. Thus with the current City design, you are more likely to have a collision with pedestrians.

The Manhattan isolated lanes scare me even more. They are set right against the curb, where pedestrians are likely to use the bike lane if the sidewalk is crowded. They often are set against parked cars and you can believe that not a car passenger on this planet is going to have the awareness to look rearward or into the mirror before opening a car door into the path of oncoming cyclists. An absolutely dumb idea and I'm surprised nobody has been killed yet as a result.

Here's a link to the NYC brochure on cycling in the city and some of what I consider problems with lane designs are apparant.

https://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/download...t_brochure.pdf

SB
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Old 10-12-10, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by SactoDoug
A physical barrier would be nice. I would like to see a 3" curb that would discourage drivers from wandering into the bicycle lane.
That's a bit unrealistic as it would make certain maneuvers impossible for motorists.

Frankly, the biggest beef I have is with people emptying lawn waste into the bike lane. Yes. Riding through grass clippings isn't so bad; the part that sucks is having to stop because you have a stick jammed all up into your rear derailleur.
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Old 10-12-10, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by graytotoro
That's a bit unrealistic as it would make certain maneuvers impossible for motorists.

Frankly, the biggest beef I have is with people emptying lawn waste into the bike lane. Yes. Riding through grass clippings isn't so bad; the part that sucks is having to stop because you have a stick jammed all up into your rear derailleur.
I would scoop it back in to their yard. The lady that lives next door to me sweeps her leaves right out in to the street. She is an old broad. She says the wind just takes them away.
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Old 10-12-10, 07:08 AM
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I'm thinking about writing a letter to the track coach at a local high school. He has the kids run, in a pack, on the bike lane, going the wrong way, with no reflective gear, before sunrise.

What a moran.
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Old 10-12-10, 08:09 AM
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I posted the article for you "lucky" folks with bike lanes. There are no bike lanes or paths on my commute route, and very few in my city at all. The "bike paths" here are multi-use trails that go nowhere in particular, so they are generally useless for commuting and not much better for exercise. Every now and then I'll ride on one of the paths as part of a longer ride through the city, and I'm reminded how much I dislike riding on them. The pavement is crappy, joggers with headphones are everywhere, people pushing strollers, nobody watching where they are going or aware of who might be approaching. You have to ride very slow unless you want to run into someone.
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Old 10-12-10, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by graytotoro
That's a bit unrealistic as it would make certain maneuvers impossible for motorists.

Frankly, the biggest beef I have is with people emptying lawn waste into the bike lane. Yes. Riding through grass clippings isn't so bad; the part that sucks is having to stop because you have a stick jammed all up into your rear derailleur.

I should have explained what I meant by a 3" curb better. The curbs that we have in California are gradually sloping and not the hard 90 deg curbs that most of the rest of the country sees. It would be more like a hump that can be driven over slowly but at speed will definately cause the driver to notice.

I also hate it when people dump their yard waste or place their garbage cans in the bike lane. It forces me to have to go around them and into the car traffic which is dangerous. It is also bad when people or the city let their trees get so overgrown that the branches block the bike lane again forcing cyclists into the traffic.
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Old 10-12-10, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by SactoDoug
I should have explained what I meant by a 3" curb better. The curbs that we have in California are gradually sloping and not the hard 90 deg curbs that most of the rest of the country sees. It would be more like a hump that can be driven over slowly but at speed will definately cause the driver to notice.
Only works in areas of the country without snowplows.
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Old 10-12-10, 09:59 PM
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So annoying. I've only encountered one salmon in the bike lane so far. My response to him was to stop in the lane and force him to figure it out. Perfectly good sidewalks all over my ride yet people still insist on walking or jogging in the bike lanes. Then there's the trash cans. Luckily that's only once a week. There's already a few jumping the gun today, but by tomorrow, the entire length of the street will have cans in the bike lane.

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Old 10-12-10, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SactoDoug
I should have explained what I meant by a 3" curb better. The curbs that we have in California are gradually sloping and not the hard 90 deg curbs that most of the rest of the country sees. It would be more like a hump that can be driven over slowly but at speed will definately cause the driver to notice.

I also hate it when people dump their yard waste or place their garbage cans in the bike lane. It forces me to have to go around them and into the car traffic which is dangerous. It is also bad when people or the city let their trees get so overgrown that the branches block the bike lane again forcing cyclists into the traffic.
That's a rolled curb. There are still issues with low clearance vehicles, drainage and street sweepers.
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Old 10-12-10, 10:12 PM
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my personal favorite is the grand street Chinatown green lane right next to the curb/sidewalk (going to Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges). its a tourist trap as is + the uber bustle of a typical chinatown street (fish stands on the outside/stores that spill out with merchandise on the sidewalk). there is fish chum/delivery vans/people right on the street. the green lanes are caked in scum/runoff.

in fairness during commute hours (late afternoon and morning) you can move along, but the lanes are essentially useless because traffic moves along at less than 20mph anyway.

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Old 10-12-10, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rex_kramer
but by tomorrow, the entire length of the street will have cans in the bike lane.
Me, it's lemons to lemonade, a golden opportunity to take the lane, and in not having to worry about riding in the door zone.
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Old 10-12-10, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by rex_kramer
Then there's the trash cans. Luckily that's only once a week.
96 gallon toters. Perfect for breaking a hand or finger on.
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Old 10-12-10, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by rex_kramer
So annoying. I've only encountered one salmon in the bike lane so far. My response to him was to stop in the lane and force him to figure it out. Perfectly good sidewalks all over my ride yet people still insist on walking or jogging in the bike lanes. Then there's the trash cans. Luckily that's only once a week. There's already a few jumping the gun today, but by tomorrow, the entire length of the street will have cans in the bike lane.
When I have the time, I will often move the trash cans out of the bike lane and into the next lane to the left. It gives the car-bound travelers a chance to deal with what we deal with every day.

As far as bike-lane salmon go, I just get a stern look on my face, speed up and aim right at them. So far I haven't had any takers for a collision with 200 pounds of ugly. I make exceptions for people who are obviously homeless, drunk, very young or very old. Even jerks have limits to their bad behavior.
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