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The case for bike lanes

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The case for bike lanes

Old 06-10-19, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
There is one protected bike lane where I commute. Oddly enough, it turns into a non-protected one, but I prefer the non-protected one. Crossing intersections is safer, IMO, with NP bike lanes as drivers coming out of a street would focus more on the road than they would a bike lane that is segregated.
The first protected bike lane installed in Denver was on 15 Street in Downtown. It was placed on the left hand side of the street because 15th has a lot of bus traffic. No one expects bikes to be on the left side of the street so people pulling out of business and hotels (especially visitors) don't expect a bike to be going down that side of the street. Another, even worse, problem in that once it gets to Larimer Street, the protected lane ends and the cyclists are expected to return to the "normal" right side of the street in the distance of a 3 lane intersection to a nonprotected lane across a busy intersection.

At least this one isn't designed around floating parking lanes which are almost worse. And heaven help you if you don't want to ride in the protected lanes.
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Old 06-10-19, 02:52 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The first protected bike lane installed in Denver was on 15 Street in Downtown. It was placed on the left hand side of the street because 15th has a lot of bus traffic. No one expects bikes to be on the left side of the street so people pulling out of business and hotels (especially visitors) don't expect a bike to be going down that side of the street. Another, even worse, problem in that once it gets to Larimer Street, the protected lane ends and the cyclists are expected to return to the "normal" right side of the street in the distance of a 3 lane intersection to a nonprotected lane across a busy intersection.

At least this one isn't designed around floating parking lanes which are almost worse. And heaven help you if you don't want to ride in the protected lanes.
One of my good friends was hit by a right-turning vehicle while he was travelling on a segregated two-lane bike lane, but against the normal flow of traffic. It was exactly as you described--driver focused his attention to the left of him on the traffic. Cyclist coming from the right of him on the bike lane. My friend should have been more vigilant, but he was a bit of a newbie to this whole cyclo-commuting thing.
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Old 06-10-19, 04:30 PM
  #28  
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Studies in Denmark and Copenhagen show that roads cost taxpayers money but bike lanes saves taxpayers money.
They design there road systems to properly control pedestrian, bicycle and motor vehicle traffic so there is less chance of carnage in the street. When there is a problem they work with the public and most people are on board with the changes.

We have yet to come near this kind of implementation of integrating the roads so they are safe for everybody. Our heart is not in it. Much of the bicycle infrastructure is poorly implemented and incomplete. It seems like someone complains and the politicians pop for something to quiet the complainers. The difference it seems it they care about everybody in there communities and we only give a crap if we get a piece of the action.
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Old 06-10-19, 05:36 PM
  #29  
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We have a few blocks of protected lanes on a few downtown streets. It just occurred to me they were put in around the time the bike share rental racks appeared all around that area. I haven't seen the lanes get much use and the bike share enterprise has pulled out due to very low usage. The demand is too low to really justify such infrastructure.

By law all new construction and significant reconstruction projects require accommodations for cyclists, but unprotected lanes or sharrows satisfy those requirements.
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Old 06-10-19, 05:43 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
One of my good friends was hit by a right-turning vehicle while he was travelling on a segregated two-lane bike lane, but against the normal flow of traffic. It was exactly as you described--driver focused his attention to the left of him on the traffic. Cyclist coming from the right of him on the bike lane. My friend should have been more vigilant, but he was a bit of a newbie to this whole cyclo-commuting thing.
We have protected lanes that are actually designed for contraflow. They aren’t wider than normal lanes so the bicycle lane in each direction is only 4’ to 5’ wide. I wouldn’t ride one contraflow to traffic for love nor money! It’s a really, really, really dumb idea.
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Old 06-10-19, 07:32 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
​​​​​​Thanks, very interesting. Often thought how I could institute this in my daily life... still thinking. , but winter is a barrier for me.
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Old 06-10-19, 07:41 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 One of my good friends was hit by a right-turning vehicle while he was travelling on a segregated two-lane bike lane, but against the normal flow of traffic. It was exactly as you described--driver focused his attention to the left of him on the traffic. Cyclist coming from the right of him on the bike lane. My friend should have been more vigilant, but he was a bit of a newbie to this whole cyclo-commuting thing.
Many times when people quote bicycle/motorized vehicle collision statistics they say that the leading causes of them are riding against traffic and right away violations. When facilities like this are built. They had some money ear tagged for this project and made a decision without a care in the world for how it would turn out. I lived in a student town in the early eighties. A notice was put in the paper that they needed input from citizens on a proposed bike lane. I and several others went to the meeting. The city was required to have the meeting. Our words fell on deaf ears. They told us what they would do and just did it. It was a two way painted in the road bike lane on one side of the road. Once the project was finished they even warned bicyclists using that road they would be ticketed if they didn't use the bike lane. The bike lane was removed in less than six months of use. Bike car collisions on that road increased dramatically.
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Old 06-10-19, 07:42 PM
  #33  
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Eek! A bikelane! Or worse, a MUP.

I simply do not get the “I can ride a bike anywhere” crowd who can’t ride a bike anywhere.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
And heaven help you if you don't want to ride in the protected lanes.
Heaven helped?

Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Rode to SOWA for an art gallery show closing, not quite Amsterdam, but lots of bikes:


If you look closely, you can see the shadow of "cannondale":


And new protected bike lane on Mass Ave outbound to Harvard Square, between Trowbridge Street & Unnamed Place (Quincy? Bow? Harvard?):


The world as we know it does not end if you don't use the protected bike lane:


-mr. bill
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I wouldn’t ride one contraflow to traffic for love nor money! It’s a really, really, really dumb idea.
Like and a penny:

Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Out and about on errands on a beautiful morning.

Let's call this Work In Progress.

Part One - Cambridge:

Work on Mass Ave just inbound of Porter Square down to the punchlist, bricks around hydrant, trees will be planted. But what's up with the utility survey lines? Are they really going to cut into it already to service utility lines?:


The new two-way bike lane on Brattle, inbound. Do not enter has no bicycle exception, almost no markings mean you need to really pay attention to what you are doing:


But green paint in the intersections has been installed. (The plastic bollards and cones are not tactical urbanism. They are temporary until more permanent separators are installed.):


At the far end, not quite sure what to make of the green paint on half. But at least there is now a stop sign:


Lots of changes across the river, warning signs on this side of the river:


The BU bridge, with one on a bike inbound and one on a bike outbound:


-mr. bill
Really, HTFU.

And get rid of your frap and must use nonsense.

If YOU don’t like it? Then don’t use it!

I have no patience for I don’t want it therefore you can’t have it.

-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 06-10-19 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 06-11-19, 09:00 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Eek! A bikelane! Or worse, a MUP.

I simply do not get the “I can ride a bike anywhere” crowd who can’t ride a bike anywhere.
I can and do ride anywhere. I use MUPs. I use onstreet bike lanes. I use roads. And, occasionally, I go where there aren’t roads. That doesn’t mean that I have to like nor agree with poorly designed facilities.

Heaven helped?
Yes, heaven help you if you don’t use the poorly designed facilities. I regularly use a road instead of the stupid protected lanes. I’ve been buzzed and yelled at to “get over on the bike path”. Generally, I’ll take another road so as to avoid using those paths.

Really, HTFU.

And get rid of your frap and must use nonsense.

If YOU don’t like it? Then don’t use it!
I’m already hard enough, thank you very much. I don’t use them because they are poorly designed. I object to the money spent on a poorly designed facility and then the implication from car drivers that I should have to use that poorly designed facility because that money was spent on it.

As an example of how poorly designed these facilities are, look at your second picture in your self quote above. It’s the typical floating parking lane and shows all of the flaws of that design. It’s too narrow and the cyclist is trapped against the curb if someone opens a car door or if the rider has to maneuver to avoid an obstacle or debris. At the intersection, the cyclist is masked from traffic that might be turning right. I don’t mind bike lanes on the other side of cars because I have room to maneuver if the need arises.

I have no patience for I don’t want it therefore you can’t have it.

-mr. bill
And I have patience for being forced to use poorly designed bike facilities.
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Old 06-11-19, 10:40 AM
  #35  
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[QUOTE][
And get rid of your frap and must use nonsense.

If YOU don’t like it? Then don’t use it!

I have no patience for I don’t want it therefore you can’t have it./QUOTE]

At first I thought that the author of this tripe was just ignorant. After a closer look I have determined that the author of this tripe is trying to manipulate everyone into doing something unnatural . You know it is against the law and also tantamount to having a death wish to ride against traffic and you still want all of us to do this.

Last edited by Rick; 06-11-19 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 06-11-19, 10:48 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
I rarely watch such videos, let alone one that is over 40' long, but I did this one, and enjoyed it. The speaker also had a TV series on TVO called The Life-Sized City which explores some of the ideas that he spoke of in the video you posted. Worth a watch if you have the time.

https://www.tvo.org/programs/the-life-sized-city
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Old 06-11-19, 11:02 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
As an example of how poorly designed these facilities are, look at your second picture in your self quote above. It’s the typical floating parking lane and shows all of the flaws of that design. It’s too narrow and the cyclist is trapped against the curb if someone opens a car door or if the rider has to maneuver to avoid an obstacle or debris. At the intersection, the cyclist is masked from traffic that might be turning right. I don’t mind bike lanes on the other side of cars because I have room to maneuver if the need arises.
I'm all for a critique of a poor design. But critique, don't stereotype.

So let's review your "critique:"

There is not even a bike lane, not a sharrow, not nothing on the segment of Mass Ave leading up to the parking protected bike lane.

The entrance to the parking protected bike lane. Note the speed limit is 20 mph! Note no masked by parked cars.

The first intersection - daylighted by a loading zone. But no matter, even when there is a commercial vehicle loading/unloading there, it's a one-way road, can't get right hooked here.

The second intersection. I usually am turning left here, guess which lane I've been riding in? Absolutely, the left lane. Honked at for "riding in the road?" I remember once? Heaven help me, I can't stand such stress.

But no matter, let's continue on straight ahead. (While we are here, how big are car doors? Which is why buffer.)

The problem "intersection." Note the delivery vehicle parked in no-parking. But it is just a driveway into a church. I pray to the local diety for protection from the congregant who is going to ZOOM into the sacred driveway, but see that my prayers have already been answered by a narrow driveway entrance guarded by granite fence posts.

Another daylighted low vehicle count driveway.

And now, my trip of horror is over. BTW, MBTA operators are trained to operate where there are people on bikes and people on foot.

BTW, at the intersection, Uber operators are apparently untrained.


Scared for life, because of this "poorly designed" bike facility and one M******* who honked, I now avoid Harvard Square all together.

-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 06-11-19 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 06-11-19, 11:20 AM
  #38  
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One more thread becomes an epeen-swinging, snot-slinging contest.

Luckily some folks snuck in some good stuff before it went south.
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Old 06-11-19, 11:26 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
At first I thought that the author of this tripe was just ignorant. After a closer look I have determined that the author of this tripe is trying to manipulate everyone into doing something unnatural . You know it is against the law and also tantamount to having a death wish to ride against traffic and you still want all of us to do this.
I don't know... is it possible they got the idea for those contraflow bike lanes from watching cyclists do it without encouragement? On the bridges around here they have one contra-flow bike lane on one side or the other. The separation is enforced by double striping and break-away bollards. I don't see the panic. Compared to some of the things cyclists do, cycling contraflow with markings, separators and The Law on their side ... a non-issue. I know ... it's like having parents that say "go ahead, stay up all night, it's cool". It's hard to believe its suddenly o.k. Again, I don't know, I've been riding since the late 60's. I've seen lots of things. None have killed me. If more cyclists stopped second guessing traffic engineers, more would survive! Pedestrians travel contraflow under similar conditions. Who has a problem with that? Moreover pedestrians walk and run on the shoulders (contraflow) of roadways without barriers of any kind. Who has a problem with that? A good runner can sustain 6mph for hours. 10mph for an hour or more. An unfit cyclist in other words. And even if a fit cyclist is maintaining double those speeds, the occasions and locations of contraflow lanes or door zone lanes or what have you ... they are limited. You are not going to spend the duration of a 10 mi. commute riding contraflow. Maybe for the length of a football field or less in 10 miles of travel. Much ado about nothing much.

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Old 06-11-19, 11:32 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I don't know... is it possible they got the idea for those contraflow bike lanes from watching cyclists do it without encouragement?
Impossible!

-mr. bill
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Old 06-11-19, 01:50 PM
  #41  
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Let's me start by saying that I stated the wrong picture as an example. The one I meant to point out was actually the third one. My mistake.

Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
I'm all for a critique of a poor design. But critique, don't stereotype.
I don't think that word means what you think it means.


Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
But no matter, let's continue on straight ahead. (While we are here, how big are car doors? Which is why buffer.)
In your third picture (again, I got it wrong the first time), the bike way is (roughly) 2 meters or about 6 feet. A car door ranges from 80 cm to 100cm (32" to 39"). A door opened into the travel lane reduces the lane by more than half and there is no "buffer" for the cyclist to move to to avoid the door opening. Floating parking lanes trap the cyclist between the car and the curb by design. If someone exits the vehicle without looking...a very common occurrence...the cyclist has even less room. Floating lanes are about the dumbest idea anyone ever came up with.

Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
The problem "intersection." Note the delivery vehicle parked in no-parking. But it is just a driveway into a church. I pray to the local diety for protection from the congregant who is going to ZOOM into the sacred driveway, but see that my prayers have already been answered by a narrow driveway entrance guarded by granite fence posts.
Yes, by all means "note the delivery vehicle parked in a no-parking zone. People often do things they aren't supposed to do. A motorist turning into the church parking lot may not notice a cyclist in the protected lane because the cyclist is masked by the illegally parked van. A cyclists in the protected lane may not notice the turning vehicle because it is masked by the illegally parked van. Either way, a collision is almost inevitable. And, again, it points to why floating parking lanes are a very dumb idea.


Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
And now, my trip of horror is over. BTW, MBTA operators are trained to operate where there are people on bikes and people on foot.

BTW, at the intersection, Uber operators are apparently untrained.
It's nice that you provide all these wonderful examples of why the protected lanes that are being implemented everywhere are dumb ideas. They are confusing to bicyclists and motorists. They block vision so that both motorists and cyclists can't see what is going on. Making something confusing and invisible (which is what blocked vision is) is seldom a recipe for a good outcome.


Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Scared for life, because of this "poorly designed" bike facility and one M******* who honked, I now avoid Harvard Square all together.

-mr. bill
Who's stereotyping now?
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Old 06-11-19, 06:38 PM
  #42  
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I don't care about anyone's opinions .... but My opinion (which is of course the most important) is that I do Not want a line of parked cars on my left, a curb and pedestrians on the right ... pedestrians can move, doors can open, and cars in the road cannot see me. if I need to join the travel lane (say to make a left turn) I have to sneak out from behind or between parked cars ... and I cannot make any sort of signal announcing my intentions in advance, since my front wheel will be in the road before my arm.

Luckily if a parked car backed up before pulling out (say, because it wanted to make a u-turn) I would see the brake lights---but seeing a passenger behind a headrest preparing to disembark, my odds aren't so great. On top of that, the edge of the bike lane ids going to be studded with storm drains, access hatches, bad patches laid over holes made for utility access, and whatever road debris (gravel, broken glass, trash, whatever) always ends up in the gutter .... so when a car door does swing open unexpectedly or not, while the design allows sufficient space to theoretically pass safely, reality might or might not give me that option.

And yes, as others have said, the answer is to simply go slowly through dangerous terrain. However, the point of bike infrastructure is Not to make bike so slowly, but quite the opposite--to allow them as unfettered operation as much as possible. That is the main reason why the floating parking lane is a bad design. Give me six feet of clean pavement ---or even four feet----next to the traffic lane (while the debris builds up in the gutter where the cars are parked) and I can maneuver just fine at whatever speed I can manage that day. Even with a four-foot lane I can overtake slower cyclists (which could exist, theoretically) and be overtaken by faster. Six feet would be like a superhighway.

Plus, if the bike lane is immediately adjacent to the traffic lane, i can switch lanes when it is safe, not when I am forced to.

In terms of which design makes more sense .... I have yet to hear any benefits of the floating traffic lane. And as far as car-bike collisions are concerned ... most of them in urban environment happen at intersections, which, as noted, would be worse with the floating lanes because drivers would not be able to see cyclists in advance.
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Old 06-11-19, 07:51 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I don't care about anyone's opinions .... but My opinion (which is of course the most important) is that I do Not want a line of parked cars on my left, a curb and pedestrians on the right ... pedestrians can move, doors can open
Typically a protected lane has room to stay out of the door zone unless passing another cyclist, that said pedestrians not reading it as a danger area is an issue.

and cars in the road cannot see me. if I need to join the travel lane (say to make a left turn) I have to sneak out from behind or between parked cars ... and I cannot make any sort of signal announcing my intentions in advance, since my front wheel will be in the road before my arm.
This is a much bigger issue - not already being part of the traffic flow creates more problems at the points where you interact with it.

And yes, as others have said, the answer is to simply go slowly through dangerous terrain. However, the point of bike infrastructure is Not to make bike so slowly, but quite the opposite--to allow them as unfettered operation as much as possible.
Unfortunately, I don't think that's true. Bike lanes, especially protected ones, are more about giving lots of people the confidence to ride, than about making things faster for those who already do. In famous "bicycle cities" people ride fairly slowly. Confident vehicular cyclists tend to prefer the flexibility of mixing in with other traffic, especially in situations where that might not be all that much faster.

In an ideal world, you'd have a choice, unfortunately most places where lanes go in then decide to require you to use them.

That is the main reason why the floating parking lane is a bad design. Give me six feet of clean pavement ---or even four feet----next to the traffic lane
The problem is that if you do that, drivers (especially delivery, for hire, and notoriously police official and private vehicles and other placards) then claim it as their parking/double parking zone.

Plus, if the bike lane is immediately adjacent to the traffic lane, i can switch lanes when it is safe, not when I am forced to.
That's great if the bike lane is respected; in denser areas where it becomes the other parking lane you end up constantly being forced into the ordinary traffic lanes.

And as far as car-bike collisions are concerned ... most of them in urban environment happen at intersections, which, as noted, would be worse with the floating lanes because drivers would not be able to see cyclists in advance.
Yes and no, we've had a lot of mid-block issues with cars, trucks, and busses impinging on an unprotected lane or hitting cyclists avoiding obstacles in it. And doorings or people swerving to avoid a door being killed by overtaking traffic. But you are right, the issues at intersections are real, and fully protected lanes not only likely enhance them, but almost by definition leave them as where the collisions happen, because it's all but the only place they can.
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Old 06-12-19, 02:05 AM
  #44  
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The biggest problem with bike lanes is that they don't last long enough to take you anywhere. I don't know of a single bike lane in my city that can take you across town or even into downtown from other parts of the city.

The rail system which should provide the foundation for a city's bike paths, sadly fizzle with gaps and holes to fill the Grand Canyon. The Santa Monica paths are some of the best I've seen anywhere. Too bad they don't span long enough to be meaningful.

One moment it will be wide, smooth and isolated, The next it will just drop you into traffic leaving you wondering if it continues somewhere down the road or is this the point where they just ran out of money.

At another point the bike path is little more than a bad joke. Less than 6 inches wide of asphalt with the remainder being the 14" concrete drains. If that's not pathetic enough, there's less than a few inches between the cyclist and the passing motorist. Even economy cars would have navigate carefully to squeeze by. Consequently, most bike riders avoid it altogether and are forced instead into using the sidewalk.

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Old 06-12-19, 07:30 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Typically a protected lane has room to stay out of the door zone unless passing another cyclist, that said pedestrians not reading it as a danger area is an issue.
Not in my experience. Protected lanes without floating parking lanes tend to be wider but floating parking is more popular. The third picture in mr._bill’s post above shows the typical width of a floating parking lane I’ve seen. They tend to be only about 6 feet wide to begin with and a foot to 18” is taken up by a gutter pan. Riding down the center of one (to avoid the pavement/gutter pan seam) puts the cyclist about 3’ away from cars which is fully in the “door zone”.

As to pedestrians...and the ever present electric scooter menace...I happen to have ridden on a protected lane yesterday. The number of people strolling down the middle of the lane with a wider sidewalk than the bike lane right next to it was incredible.

This is a much bigger issue - not already being part of the traffic flow creates more problems at the points where you interact with it.
Exactly. And that is my major issue with “protected” lanes. They are meant to make cycling friendlier for people new to cycling. An experienced cyclist should recognize the hazards and ride with heightened awareness. A newbie be able to recognize the hazards nor would they think that there is any thing they need to be aware of. These are “protected” lanes after all.

Unfortunately, I don't think that's true. Bike lanes, especially protected ones, are more about giving lots of people the confidence to ride, than about making things faster for those who already do. In famous "bicycle cities" people ride fairly slowly. Confident vehicular cyclists tend to prefer the flexibility of mixing in with other traffic, especially in situations where that might not be all that much faster.

In an ideal world, you'd have a choice, unfortunately most places where lanes go in then decide to require you to use them.
Being forced to use them...either by law or by pressure from motorists...is the largest problem I have with them. I can ride fairly comfortably in traffic. I often ride across the middle of Denver on the surface streets and can move at the same speed as a car (traffic doesn’t move fast in a city core). But when a protected lane is put in place, I experience a lot more aggressive driving towards me if I’m outside those lanes.


Yes and no, we've had a lot of mid-block issues with cars, trucks, and busses impinging on an unprotected lane or hitting cyclists avoiding obstacles in it. And doorings or people swerving to avoid a door being killed by overtaking traffic. But you are right, the issues at intersections are real, and fully protected lanes not only likely enhance them, but almost by definition leave them as where the collisions happen, because it's all but the only place they can.
Mid-block issues are seldom more than inconvenient. As the article by Solomon pointed out, trading a low incidence problem like getting hit from behind for a much more prevalent accident mode is hardly making us “safer”.
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Old 06-12-19, 08:40 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Not in my experience. Protected lanes without floating parking lanes tend to be wider but floating parking is more popular. The third picture in mr._bill’s post above shows the typical width of a floating parking lane I’ve seen. They tend to be only about 6 feet wide to begin with and a foot to 18” is taken up by a gutter pan. Riding down the center of one (to avoid the pavement/gutter pan seam) puts the cyclist about 3’ away from cars which is fully in the “door zone”.
Putting your tires just to the side of the gutter pan puts you 48" from the cars, also keep in mind the drains are not usually continuous (though I did see a stretch in New Brunswick...). The other thing is that even if you do get a door-handlebar strike the aftermath isn't into traffic; not to say that it can't still be serious injury, but the situation doesn't compound the way it does in a lot of dooring or more prevalent door-dodging deaths where the cyclist not only ends up impacting the ground with their own kinetic energy, but then getting hit or run over.

As for the drain pans, the ones with longitudinal bars that aren't safe to roll over need to go, and most have. Remaining ones need to be reported.

There's also no reason for protected lanes to be narrower overall; same travel lanes, same parked cars, just swapping sides.

Mid-block issues are seldom more than inconvenient. As the article by Solomon pointed out, trading a low incidence problem like getting hit from behind for a much more prevalent accident mode is hardly making us “safer”.
About a third of our deaths including our only bike share one seem to be mid-block. They also tend to be the ones the cyclist has the least ability to prevent (at least short of bold tactics like taking the lane that invite abuse, including from the police), and the fear that keeps most of the people intimidated from riding from doing so.

Unfortunately, yes intersections remain a large danger.

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Old 06-12-19, 08:45 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
In your third picture (again, I got it wrong the first time), the bike way is (roughly) 2 meters or about 6 feet. A car door ranges from 80 cm to 100cm (32" to 39"). A door opened into the travel lane reduces the lane by more than half and there is no "buffer" for the cyclist to move to to avoid the door opening. Floating parking lanes trap the cyclist between the car and the curb by design. If someone exits the vehicle without looking...a very common occurrence...the cyclist has even less room. Floating lanes are about the dumbest idea anyone ever came up with.
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Not in my experience. Protected lanes without floating parking lanes tend to be wider but floating parking is more popular. The third picture in mr._bill’s post above shows the typical width of a floating parking lane I’ve seen. They tend to be only about 6 feet wide to begin with and a foot to 18” is taken up by a gutter pan. Riding down the center of one (to avoid the pavement/gutter pan seam) puts the cyclist about 3’ away from cars which is fully in the “door zone”.
This one in in fact is 6 feet wide, with a three foot buffer (that makes NINE feet), plus no gutter pan, but there is a granite curb.



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Old 06-12-19, 09:10 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
This one in in fact is 6 feet wide, with a three foot buffer (that makes NINE feet), plus no gutter pan, but there is a granite curb.



-mr. bill
That's still a sub-standard bike lane. The door of a car opening is going to take up all of the buffer and a person exiting the car on the passenger side is going to step into the bike lane. It doesn't matter if the curb is granite or concrete it is still a curb and can't be ridden over. A cyclist riding in that "lane" is trapped between the car, the door of the car, the person exiting the car and the curb...emphasis on "trapped". None of those is desirable alone and certainly wouldn't be desirable in any combination. As Solomon said in his article, you are trading a fairly rare accident scenario (overtaking collisions) for accident scenarios that are much more common.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:34 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Putting your tires just to the side of the gutter pan puts you 48" from the cars, also keep in mind the drains are not usually continuous (though I did see a stretch in New Brunswick...). The other thing is that even if you do get a door-handlebar strike the aftermath isn't into traffic; not to say that it can't still be serious injury, but the situation doesn't compound the way it does in a lot of dooring or more prevalent door-dodging deaths where the cyclist not only ends up impacting the ground with their own kinetic energy, but then getting hit or run over.
In my area, the seam at the gutter pan is often broken or deteriorated much more than the pavement. Riding into the seam creates a situation that is difficult to maneuver out of because the wheel is trapped in a linear groove. It is very difficult to countersteer to get out of that groove so the wheel remains trapped until such time as the groove goes away or until such time as the cyclist falls over. Front suspension helps tremendously but most bicycles used for road riding are so equipped.

As for dooring, yes, a cyclist could hit a door and be thrown into traffic but they could also avoid hitting the door by maneuvering away from the door. In a protected lane, there simply isn't any room to maneuver or any maneuvering room you have is severely limited. The rider is "protected" from traffic but is subjected to a whole host of other hazards that they didn't have to deal with before. In other words, it's not much "protection".

Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
As for the drain pans, the ones with longitudinal bars that aren't safe to roll over need to go, and most have. Remaining ones need to be reported.
I was only addressing gutter pans not the drainage grates. The drainage grates further reduce the size of the lane and do so at the intersections where you have to pay more attention to what traffic is doing so as to not get hit by a turning car from which you might be masked.

Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
There's also no reason for protected lanes to be narrower overall; same travel lanes, same parked cars, just swapping sides.
Yes, the sides are swapped but before the protected lane was in place there was no barrier to the bicycle maneuvering away from the parked cars. In other words you have, potentially, 11 feet of travel lane you can move into. Cars moving in the travel lane could restrict that but the cars are moveable and may or may restrict your movement. A curb is fixed.



Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
About a third of our deaths including our only bike share one seem to be mid-block. They also tend to be the ones the cyclist has the least ability to prevent (at least short of bold tactics like taking the lane that invite abuse, including from the police), and the fear that keeps most of the people intimidated from riding from doing so.
Are those due to cyclists jumping out into traffic to avoid dooring or due to contra-flow cyclists? I would suspect the latter for mid-block crashes. Most accidents are going to occur at intersections and most of those, according to statistics I've seen involve a turning vehicle...usually left turning.

Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Unfortunately, yes intersections remain a large danger.
And placing cyclists in a situation where they can see or be seen at an intersection does nothing to improve safety.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:55 AM
  #50  
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JC!! There is no pleasing some of the more rabid infrastructure intolerant among us. Y'all's are really going to have to get over it. There is no perfect bike lane. If you continue to agitate for Holland style infrastructure in the U.S. you will just get bicycles banned from the public theater. America does not have a VAT tax structure that can flow millions of dollars towards socially responsible infrastructure and safety net economic undergirdment. This is as good as it gets. How often does a car door open ALL THE WAY so as to block 1/2 of the bike lane running parallel to it? That bike lane and the one on the other side of the street already cost a lane of traffic. And 20 bikes an hour (generous estimate) use it! But (some) cyclists want more. Need more to feel safe. ... ... I'm just saying ... there is no gun (that I know of) to anyone's head, forcing them to throw that leg over the top tube and play "will I be home for dinner or will I be doored to death"?
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