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Designated cycle lane.

Old 07-19-16, 04:40 PM
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Designated cycle lane.

I live in Central Massachusetts and a designated cycle lane is like finding a road without a pothole. Very rare and this is the only one that I've found on all my rides. We do have a few roads and I mean a few with a wide breakdown lane to ride in. We also have around 6 miles total of rail trails (paved) cut into 3 sections within riding distance of my house. How are the roads where you live for riding ?
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Old 07-19-16, 04:53 PM
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We don't have many potholes, so that's really not an issue. There are bike lanes on maybe half the major roads in the city. Some are good, others have so many driveways and side roads it's safer to get out in the lane. But I mostly ride in the more rural area where I live. Endless miles of two lane country roads. No shoulders or bike lanes, but no real need for them as traffic is quite light. It's really a dream place to ride.
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Old 07-19-16, 06:32 PM
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Florida roads are awesome with bike lanes even in rural areas, thanks to tourist dollars. The bike trails are all VERY nice.
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Old 07-19-16, 06:52 PM
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Heh, in some places around here, the pothole patches practically ARE the road! The "bicycle lanes" are just road shoulders with paint markings. The Clark Bridge is especially bad, since all the debris up to and including lumber and bricks end up in the bicycle lane. On bad days, it's like trying to navigate a junk yard.
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Old 07-19-16, 07:51 PM
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In most places, a bike lane is only a suggestion.
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Old 07-19-16, 09:34 PM
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Fort Worth and nearby towns have some bike lanes but I use them cautiously. The bike lanes in the quiet Benbrook neighborhoods nearby are often used for street parking and there's no apparent enforcement, so I often end up riding in the car lane anyway.

The city bike lanes can be tricky. Often they're between vehicle traffic lanes to the left and parking to the right, so you're trapped between the door zone on one side and brush-by traffic on the left. Every right hook encounter I've experienced occurred in designated bike lanes *after* the offending driver had passed me, then swerved right to cut me off. That's just driver negligence or indifference. I don't blindly ride up behind vehicles when approaching intersections or driveways because I know the risk of being right hooked.

I prefer the controversial sharrows because it's clear that bikes can use the entire lane, and vehicles are inconvenienced enough that they have to pass in the next lane -- usually safely.

Some of my favorite rural routes have wide shoulders and relatively low traffic. Those are a pleasure to ride.

We also have the Trinity Trails, which also offer some useful cycling access to some areas that would be tricky or dangerous to reach via city streets. I see some estimates that the trails are 40 miles long but actually they're much longer than that. Besides the conveniently paved MUP there are also many miles of gravel road along the levees that used to be designated only for authorized access but are now open to the public. And with all terrain tires you can even ride along the flat grassy tops of the levees. I've been exploring a little each week and keep hearing from other riders about additional areas that aren't clearly mapped.
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Old 07-19-16, 11:11 PM
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In Tucson, AZ


Potholes? Yes!

Dedicated bikelanes and bike paths? Yes!
You can now ride a roughly 100 miles loop completely around town.
Over 400 miles of bike lanes/paths.
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Old 07-20-16, 05:21 AM
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Here on L.I., a lot of bad roads not getting fixed due to lack of funding and it's worse this year then in the past. There are a lot of roads, finding ones that don't have a lot of traffic is the key and some have bad surfaces no matter.

Not much in the way of paved paths, one very nice one that goes to Jones Beach in southern Nassau County as well as along the beach for 3.5 miles (so 9 total). It gets super busy after about 10 in the morning on weekends as does the other 15 mile long wooded paved path, that I completely stay off of due to crowding.

Not a painted bike lane to be found in this area unless you go to NYC which has hundreds of miles of them. Not as helpful as you'd want though as the penchant for NYC residents in cars is "why park when you can double park", so a lot of times you dodge cars parked in the bike lane. This is something the NYPD does not enforce as they don't write traffic tickets, that's the job for parking enforcement and they don't do it either. Sich is life in NYC.
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Old 07-20-16, 10:04 AM
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I'm honestly not a fan of bike lanes.
  1. A little white paint isn't going to stop a distracted driver or other hazards. It's false security.
  2. They're often painted in the door zone, and when that's the case, they antagonize motorists who think we should be riding in them.
  3. Here in CA, when there is a bike lane present, we are compelled to use it, even when there is no other traffic on the road. That often makes riding side by side illegal in conditions where it is perfectly safe and reasonable (e.g. when there is no other traffic).
  4. My belief is that they don't exist to make it safer for cyclists ... rather, they exist (and have more support among motorists) because they want to marginalize cyclists and get them out of their way.

Much preferred:

Roads with little traffic, wide shoulders, good sightlines and bailout options.
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Old 07-20-16, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat
Fort Worth and nearby towns have some bike lanes but I use them cautiously. The bike lanes in the quiet Benbrook neighborhoods nearby are often used for street parking and there's no apparent enforcement, so I often end up riding in the car lane anyway.
One thing I've found is that if you can catch a cop and report it directly to him, a parking problem is an easy way for him to kill some time on a low-risk, low-effort task. With any luck, he can do almost all the work from the soft seat inside his air conditioned cruiser, only getting out to place 3-4 tickets at a time. Dispatch won't give it any priority, but the individual cops will make a note and head over there when they want a break from dealing with people face to face.

Some of my favorite rural routes have wide shoulders and relatively low traffic. Those are a pleasure to ride.
90% of the drivers on the shoulderless farm-to-markets around here have plenty of experience getting behind a tractor that a five year old on a tricycle could do laps around even when it's running at top speed, so they stay back, wait for a wave around, then pass quickly in the oncoming lane when signaled to, regardless of what sort of center line there is. I never worry about a truck in the mirror out there; the small cars are the ones who think all these slowpoke hicks need to get out of their way on farm to market roads.
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Old 07-20-16, 10:30 AM
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Yesterday, I witnessed a car turning right on a red light, (perfectly legal here after a full stop behind the line), cut off a cyclist who was riding on a designated bike path that runs along side the street.
I captured it with my dash cam, but unfortunately I was not close enough to catch the license number on video, and I was more concerned with checking on the cyclist than running down the motorist.
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Old 07-20-16, 01:31 PM
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Yeah, I might ask the Benbrook police what the policy is on parking in the bike lane. I'm seeing some folks doing this long term, every day, so it's not just a one-off thing with weekend visitors.

Dan's video reminded me I need to post a video of Tuesday's ride. I only got a proper action camera last week and wasn't even sure I'd keep it. Almost seemed like a superfluous novelty. I'd been using various P&S digicams mounted on the bike, and while the video quality was good I worried the bike vibration would damage the fragile telescoping lenses.

But I forced myself to use it every ride for at least a week or so. Sure 'nuff, Tuesday I had three close calls in one morning, including one particularly aggressive pickup driver who seemed determined to hit me, looking directly at me and adjusting his turn radius toward me even after my evasive maneuvers. But one of the three drivers, a lady in a van, rolled down her window and apologized for starting to cut left in front of me -- she appeared to have been distracted, probably her phone.

Usually I'll go weeks between incidents. Tuesday was catch-up day.

But I suppose I'll keep the camera.
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Old 07-20-16, 02:06 PM
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That video shows a lot of tar filled road cracks.

Around here, not a lot of potholes. But, there are some road cracks.

I hit this near Portland, in a bike path (where they skipped marking the corner).





I cut around the storm sewer grate, and hit the crack right next to it hard
A police officer stopped while I was repairing the tire and I reported the problem to him. He said he was going to follow up. I haven't been back there since.

I've been down two wicked descents recently that hit bad sections of road. I suppose it is time to head back and report them. 20% downslope with road cracks is terrifying.

A few parallel storm sewer grates. This is in a bike path. I've reported it a couple of times without any luck. Several more, just this is the worst.

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Old 07-20-16, 04:17 PM
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Cyvle lanes everywhere I live. Pain in the arse, really are. Cars parked in em. All the time. And they taper to nothingness when traffic islands beckon.

Totzlly mentzl planning, and a waste of money when the road I like is vull of holes just where youd indicate to turn right. Somebody got killed there some time back.

I reckon they just got round to fixing them . .
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Old 07-20-16, 05:03 PM
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Bike lanes are the greatest introduction to vehicular cycling I could ever imagine:

vehicular cycling.jpg



Never experienced a 'bicycle boulevard', but the concept seems promising.

Bicycle boulevard on 14th Street Albuquerque NM.jpg
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Old 07-21-16, 12:17 PM
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We have large number of designated bike lanes in Austin (TX). Probably not unexpected, for a college town. Recently, I've seen a few that have a sign saying the lane was for bicycles and parked cars.

I ride the sidewalks a lot when I have to do streets (I'm primarily a mountain biker). It's legal to do here except for six or seven prohibited sections downtown. In the years I've been doing this in the suburbs, I've not had a problem with pedestrians.

The city has constructed about 80% of a 10-ft wide concrete MUP from the north part of town to the downtown area, going through greenbelt areas. It should be finished in three or four years (hah!). Austin is relatively bike-friendly, except for a number of drivers who seem bike-blind. We seem to get a half-dozen or so hit-and-runs every year that result in fatalities.
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Old 07-21-16, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Bike lanes are the greatest introduction to vehicular cycling I could ever imagine:

Attachment 531705



Never experienced a 'bicycle boulevard', but the concept seems promising.

Attachment 531706
The houses that have cars on that street won't go 18 miles an hour. The people that cut through that street won't go 18 miles an hour. What will happen? Speed bumps, which will make everyone unhappy. I can think of a dozen suburban streets here with speed bumps to limited speed to under 35mph.

I've had 3 a-holes pass me on the right shoulder of a 2 lane 55 mph road, because 55 wasn't fast enough for them.
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Old 07-22-16, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Gyro
The houses that have cars on that street won't go 18 miles an hour. The people that cut through that street won't go 18 miles an hour.
I dunno. Where I live we have near-universal compliance with 20mph speed limits (in school zones) even on major thoroughfares.
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Old 07-23-16, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart
Yesterday, I witnessed a car turning right on a red light, (perfectly legal here after a full stop behind the line), cut off a cyclist who was riding on a designated bike path that runs along side the street.
I captured it with my dash cam, but unfortunately I was not close enough to catch the license number on video, and I was more concerned with checking on the cyclist than running down the motorist.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ip2jG_cRqh4

If US license plates were legible from 25 yards as in most other countries, many hit and runners would be more easily caught!
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Old 07-25-16, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK

A few parallel storm sewer grates. This is in a bike path. I've reported it a couple of times without any luck. Several more, just this is the worst.

I thought those cyclist-killers went out with the 1970s. Cyclists and cycling advocates led an aggressive campaign against them in the early 1970s, and they were gradually replaced with safer designs, which means almost anything other than a big open hole.
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Old 07-25-16, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat
The city bike lanes can be tricky. Often they're between vehicle traffic lanes to the left and parking to the right, so you're trapped between the door zone on one side and brush-by traffic on the left. Every right hook encounter I've experienced occurred in designated bike lanes *after* the offending driver had passed me, then swerved right to cut me off. That's just driver negligence or indifference. I don't blindly ride up behind vehicles when approaching intersections or driveways because I know the risk of being right hooked.

I prefer the controversial sharrows because it's clear that bikes can use the entire lane, and vehicles are inconvenienced enough that they have to pass in the next lane -- usually safely.

Some of my favorite rural routes have wide shoulders and relatively low traffic. Those are a pleasure to ride. ...
Excellent points -- I feel the same way.
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Old 07-25-16, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by RonH
Florida roads are awesome with bike lanes even in rural areas, thanks to tourist dollars. The bike trails are all VERY nice.
+1 on that! Even up here in the much more rural northwest Florida panhandle we have a lot of designated bike trails, most are very nice except in the very crowded tourist season. We also have bike lanes on most highways or quieter residential streets nearby. Being in a bike lane still puts you at risk if you aren't careful but so much SO much better than just hugging a white line and hoping for the best.

Florida legislature has also dumped a bunch of money into future bike trails that include several coast-to-coast trails and one the length of Florida. Still a lot of work to do but it's great progress, thank you for all your tourist dollars.

Keep Florida green, bring cash!
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Old 07-25-16, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
...A few parallel storm sewer grates. This is in a bike path. I've reported it a couple of times without any luck. Several more, just this is the worst.

Yikes. One of the routes suggested by Google maps has these types of storm drains running parallel to travel, perfect for trapping bicycle wheels. Fortunately I noticed in time to avoid them, but if I'd taken my first ride at night I might not have noticed until it was too late.

And it illustrated that Google maps' suggestions for bike routes are useless. Every suggested route in my area was more dangerous than the many alternatives. I had to explore on my own and asked other cyclists for tips to the better routes.
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Old 07-25-16, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by John E
I thought those cyclist-killers went out with the 1970s. Cyclists and cycling advocates led an aggressive campaign against them in the early 1970s, and they were gradually replaced with safer designs, which means almost anything other than a big open hole.
Originally Posted by canklecat
Yikes. One of the routes suggested by Google maps has these types of storm drains running parallel to travel, perfect for trapping bicycle wheels. Fortunately I noticed in time to avoid them, but if I'd taken my first ride at night I might not have noticed until it was too late.

And it illustrated that Google maps' suggestions for bike routes are useless. Every suggested route in my area was more dangerous than the many alternatives. I had to explore on my own and asked other cyclists for tips to the better routes.
I've been riding a road bike since the 70's, and just learned never hit storm sewer grates. Which is why the other grate in Portland with the crack just to the left edge caught me after dark, (150 miles into my ride).

To some extent, the grates might have been ignored with the MTB boom.

But, with local cities being "cheap", even if they haven't made new parallel drains for quite some time, they apparently chose not to replace the old ones, and it can take a long time for them to wear out.

It appears as if many around here have had cross bars welded on them. I still don't think they would be fun to ride across,, and could be potentially damaging to wheels and tires. Unfortunately the grate above doesn't have full cross bars for some reason. Wore off?

The other thing is I think the local cities have built bike lanes around places that included the storm grates, apparently more concerned with painting stripes than with bike safety between the lines.

Maybe this summer I'll try to get photos and locations of all the storm grates and send them in printed form to the city. My Bike Friday (local bike company) should make more impressive photos. There are also some wicked bike lane manhole covers in one lane.
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Old 07-25-16, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart
Yesterday, I witnessed a car turning right on a red light, (perfectly legal here after a full stop behind the line), cut off a cyclist who was riding on a designated bike path that runs along side the street.
I captured it with my dash cam, but unfortunately I was not close enough to catch the license number on video, and I was more concerned with checking on the cyclist than running down the motorist.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ip2jG_cRqh4
Fortunately it doesn't appear as if there was any major damage.

Is that a bike path or a sidewalk?

That is really the issue with reverse direction riding on sidewalks. The driver's attention is focused in the opposite direction looking for traffic coming. I presume the issue also occurs with pedestrians, but they are moving slower so they may be seen earlier, and perhaps the pedestrians also learn not to step in front of moving vehicles.
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