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Riding on the road when there’s bike lanes

Old 09-21-22, 10:23 AM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
How do you find an urban street with no trucks and no SUVs? Glad your Garmin picks up the vehicle moving near you in a sea of vehicles. Does the Garmin also advise the driver you are there when he has no possibility of seeing you?

What are you comparing this lane to? Are you suggesting that people just don't ride in cities? In my experience this arrangement is generally better and faster than trying to ride with the SUVs and trucks in the road.
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Old 09-21-22, 10:24 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by b88 View Post
I never knew they put traffic lights in. I used to ride as far as Sherbourne then turn back. That's good to know, thanks. I just saw the light installed on google map. The lineup of cars trying to get on the DVP during rush hour must piss the hell outta motorists.
A lot of things piss off drivers including other drivers.

I've been on the northbound direction of the DVP during rush hour. Slow and not a cyclist in sight.
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Old 09-23-22, 01:22 PM
  #103  
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Sorry for the tardy reply.

Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
And if the bike lane is blocked, totally impassable ... the cyclist just stands there?
I guess if they have no common sense, sure. The law/rules aren’t handcuffs. But is is quite clear that if a usable path exists, it is mandatory to use it. There are exceptions, for instance, if there is construction blocking the path, not only is acceptable top divert around and out into the road to pass it, it is frequently signed as such.

Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I did a short bit of online searching but I didn't ever see the actual statute--I know how to search for US law, and I like to read the actual laws, not some other person's interpretation---often one person posts some understanding with an air of great authority and everyone repeats that, while the actual law says quite another thing.

Many US bike laws say bikes must use the bike lane but in another clause explain that bikes may use auto lanes if conditions warrant---but not many people read the fifth clause of the third section , and just repeat the first line of the first section.

I don't know Belgian law .... not in Flemish, not much French, nor Walloon, or whatever languages Belgian people might speak. I do know that I would look more deeply. Otherwise, if I dropped a small barricade in a bike lane, no rider could go around it. Seems unlikely .... but who knows?

I did see that apparently Belgian bike lanes are bi-directional ... so you will always meet oncoming bike traffic. Seems inefficient, but whatever.
Try this: https://www.kuleuven.be/transportation/pdf/cycling-guide-2017 It is hosted by KU Leuven (a research university one town over, which my son will coincidentally matriculate to next fall…humblebrag). But it is published by the Police, in English, due to the large expatriate student community there. Generally, the rules and regulations they explain are unchanged.

Note, not all lanes are bidirectional, only when there is a lane on one side of a street, OR if it is clearly marked as such. Otherwise, they are unidirectional with the vehicle traffic on the corresponding side of the street.
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Old 09-24-22, 09:55 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
What are you comparing this lane to? Are you suggesting that people just don't ride in cities? In my experience this arrangement is generally better and faster than trying to ride with the SUVs and trucks in the road.
The photograph I quoted showed a floating parking lane with nothing but sedans. Haven't seen anything like that in decades. It was far easier to ride in the city when sedans were the dominant motor vehicle. Not coming back. Sight lines allowing a bike to be seen above roofs of sedans are not ideal, they are way better than the usual situation where drivers have no idea at all what is in the bike lane adjacent. Out of sight, out of mind.

I would compare that lane to same road when it was wider. Wider because no bike lane. Bicycles are maneuverable, the most maneuverable vehicle on the road. Which is a safety feature. What do you do in the bike lane when someone steps off the curb? Or even when there is a ped or skateboarder or dog or child near the curb? You cannot safely assume that child is remaining on the curb and behaving sensibly. Worse is when any of the above steps from between parked trucks into the bike lane. Or when they poke their head from behind parked trucks and there is no way to guess intent.

The only safe and frequently the only possible speed in bike lanes is the speed of the slowest user. You report doing 21mph in a bike lane. I will have to assume you were in splendid isolation in some venue with no other bikes, no peds, really no nothing but you and pavement. I don't know urban settings like that. Entire discussion of bike lanes universally assumes ideal circumstances that never happen.
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Old 09-24-22, 11:17 AM
  #105  
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So again I rode on the same street I originally complained about. Except this time I stayed in the bike lanes when they were available. As I was about to cross a traffic intersection on a green, a car turning left cut me off. He didn’t even see me. The car behind him almost didn’t see me either but came to a stop. When he saw me at a standstill in the middle of the intersection, he turned left.

It was a clear sunny day around noon time. Granted I admit partial blame because I do have lights and did not mount them that day. If I had a flashing headlight, probably would have made a difference.

So riding in the bike lanes or on the road. When your time is up, it’s up.
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Old 09-24-22, 12:10 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by b88 View Post
It was a clear sunny day around noon time. Granted I admit partial blame because I do have lights and did not mount them that day. If I had a flashing headlight, probably would have made a difference.
Actually, in another thread on this site, the experts have determined that flashing front lights irritate drivers and make them want to hit cyclists.

Basic take-away---riding in traffic is dangerous and as @b88 notes, no matter how many precautions you take, some day might just be your day. Lots of us have done decades of dangero9us urban commuting and survived---and most of us by using varied methods, so I won;'t say "This is the answer ... ."

Whenever you have hurried, harried, self-important humans in cars on roads with cyclists, the cyclists are vulnerable. No matter what infrastructure, if you and cars are on the same road surface, there is potential for disaster.

We had a poster here from (as far as I can recall) the Philippines, where traffic laws are more like traffic "suggestions' (which I guess is the case in a lot of places.) Can you imagine the sort of traffic environment where even big SUVs are not safe, where anybody might go anywhere at any time regardless of traffic signs or signals or marked lanes or even curbs (I was in a taxi in Beijing where the driver no joke went right up onto a wide sidewalk to get pass some cars blocking an intersection.)

I appreciate what I have.
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Old 09-24-22, 01:46 PM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
The only safe and frequently the only possible speed in bike lanes is the speed of the slowest user. You report doing 21mph in a bike lane. I will have to assume you were in splendid isolation in some venue with no other bikes, no peds, really no nothing but you and pavement. I don't know urban settings like that. Entire discussion of bike lanes universally assumes ideal circumstances that never happen.
Absurd assertions abound. Bike lanes have sections where there are riders ahead of you and when there are not. I'm perfectly capable of slowing from 21 to a speed at which I can safely pass or evade others in the lane, then resume speed. And as I said, I was doing this on Mass. Ave., not some low traffic section of the cities I was riding in, you're the one assuming things are either splendid isolation or completely blind circumstances. Seriously, do you ever ride on urban bike lanes? If you did, you'd probably realize that some of them are actually pretty good, and useful for much faster safe travel than trying to ride in the lane.
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Old 09-24-22, 02:42 PM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by b88 View Post
As I was about to cross a traffic intersection on a green, a car turning left cut me off. He didn’t even see me. The car behind him almost didn’t see me either but came to a stop. When he saw me at a standstill in the middle of the intersection, he turned left
This is why you take the lane at intersections. To be seen.
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Old 09-24-22, 03:09 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
This is why you take the lane at intersections. To be seen.

What you mean. The bike lane runs parallel to the road and continues right after the intersection.
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Old 09-24-22, 03:25 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by b88 View Post
What you mean. The bike lane runs parallel to the road and continues right after the intersection.
That is why some cyclists ride with bright lights. But you said you didn't mount yours that day. So that is also what loud horns are for.

A pedestrian in that situation wouldn't have stood a chance with those drivers because they have neither and do have their own space too (the crosswalk).

Last edited by Daniel4; 09-24-22 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 09-24-22, 04:24 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
This is why you take the lane at intersections. To be seen.
Originally Posted by b88 View Post
What you mean. The bike lane runs parallel to the road and continues right after the intersection.
I mean you exit the bike lane just before the intersection and merge into vehicle lane. Then you ride in the center of the vehicle lane, so no idiot driver tries to squeeze past you from behind.

When you're well through the intersection, you may then return to the bike lane.
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Old 09-24-22, 04:30 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
This is why you take the lane at intersections. To be seen.
Originally Posted by b88 View Post
What you mean. The bike lane runs parallel to the road and continues right after the intersection.
He means "Get out of the bike lane and into the traffic lane if it will help people Not hit you."

If you nearly got hit, something went wrong. Blame the driver, or the other driver, or the traffic engineer ... I don't care ... but when it is My skin getting gouged and torn, My bones getting broken, I take action to prevent those things from happening .... Including getting way off to one side or right in the middle or wherever else ....

When I started there were No bike lanes. You just rode your bike and survived. I guess it is a lost art.
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Old 09-24-22, 04:33 PM
  #113  
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I assumed he meant head-on drivers turning left across his path .... but once again, if you are in their way enough, they will often give up right of way, because the headaches of killing a cyclist ..... I mean, you have to call the police, and insurance and then sure, you get off with no charges because well, it was a just a bicyclist, and on the street, to boot .... but it might make you late for work, and in really extreme cases, you might scratch the paint or even crack a plastic bumper. Drivers avoid those things.
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Old 09-24-22, 04:36 PM
  #114  
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I hate the bi-directional bike lanes and road side MUPs my city has started installing. Every intersection you never know if someone will cut you off or right hook you from behind. I avoid the roads with cycling infrastructure so I can deal with traffic in a predicable manner, confusion makes drivers do stupid things.
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Old 09-24-22, 05:32 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
A lot of things piss off drivers including other drivers.

I've been on the northbound direction of the DVP during rush hour. Slow and not a cyclist in sight.
During rush hours in Toronto, Canada, the DVP (Don Valley Parkway) is often referred to as the Don Valley Parking Lot.

Cheers
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Old 09-25-22, 06:05 AM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Absurd assertions abound. Bike lanes have sections where there are riders ahead of you and when there are not. I'm perfectly capable of slowing from 21 to a speed at which I can safely pass or evade others in the lane, then resume speed. And as I said, I was doing this on Mass. Ave., not some low traffic section of the cities I was riding in, you're the one assuming things are either splendid isolation or completely blind circumstances. Seriously, do you ever ride on urban bike lanes? If you did, you'd probably realize that some of them are actually pretty good, and useful for much faster safe travel than trying to ride in the lane.
Really absurd assertions such as when a bike lane is immediately adjacent to curb and sidewalk a cyclist must pay attention to what is on the sidewalk. Absurd assertions such as when trapped in a narrow slot between curb and a parked truck there is zero visibility of the adjacent road. A commenter above actually asserts he in fact can see traffic from bike lane. What? Yes I can think of a lane where 21mph would be briefly possible, the lane on Sheridan past Northwestern University. But not in any hours when there are pedestrians. Not when anyone else is using the lane. And before there were lanes it was possible to ride the road at 25 or 30 or whatever you could do.

There is a big contingent here that is going to assert lanes are good regardless of how bad and ill conceived the vast majority are. The best on-street lanes still turn cyclists into rats in a maze. The freedom of cycling is gone. You think some marginal illusory safety is enough justification to give up freedom. I think the safety is completely illusory. The lanes are flat dangerous. I never see old people riding the lanes. They were on same streets before. Every street that gets a lane sees a big drop in cycling traffic. The traffic moves to the next side street and you absolutely see the diverted bikes on the side streets. How many destinations could anyone have if only willing to ride where there is a lane?

I have 64 years of riding in traffic. Two accidents with injury caused by motor vehicles. One of those was with a Post Office truck traveling the wrong direction on a oneway bike lane. The other was a blind drunk driver exiting an enter only alley at speed. Both accidents connected to extreme police negligence. The drunk was wife of local police lieutenant, they knew she drove drunk habitually. Two stitches in my chin, forty stitches in my leg. That's total extent of traffic injuries in a lifetime. It is simply not possible to ride a bike when paralyzed by fear. Bike lanes do not cure fear. It just means I have to suffer someone elses fear.
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Old 09-25-22, 06:18 PM
  #117  
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A simple solution to floating parking visibility issue the cities could easily implement is to not allow parking in what are now the last two spaces before the intersection or driveways. That would provide visibility to both the drivers and cyclists. It’s not rocket surgery.
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Old 09-26-22, 12:16 AM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Really absurd assertions such as when a bike lane is immediately adjacent to curb and sidewalk a cyclist must pay attention to what is on the sidewalk. Absurd assertions such as when trapped in a narrow slot between curb and a parked truck there is zero visibility of the adjacent road. A commenter above actually asserts he in fact can see traffic from bike lane. What? Yes I can think of a lane where 21mph would be briefly possible, the lane on Sheridan past Northwestern University. But not in any hours when there are pedestrians. Not when anyone else is using the lane. And before there were lanes it was possible to ride the road at 25 or 30 or whatever you could do.

There is a big contingent here that is going to assert lanes are good regardless of how bad and ill conceived the vast majority are. The best on-street lanes still turn cyclists into rats in a maze. The freedom of cycling is gone. You think some marginal illusory safety is enough justification to give up freedom. I think the safety is completely illusory. The lanes are flat dangerous. I never see old people riding the lanes. They were on same streets before. Every street that gets a lane sees a big drop in cycling traffic. The traffic moves to the next side street and you absolutely see the diverted bikes on the side streets. How many destinations could anyone have if only willing to ride where there is a lane?

I have 64 years of riding in traffic. Two accidents with injury caused by motor vehicles. One of those was with a Post Office truck traveling the wrong direction on a oneway bike lane. The other was a blind drunk driver exiting an enter only alley at speed. Both accidents connected to extreme police negligence. The drunk was wife of local police lieutenant, they knew she drove drunk habitually. Two stitches in my chin, forty stitches in my leg. That's total extent of traffic injuries in a lifetime. It is simply not possible to ride a bike when paralyzed by fear. Bike lanes do not cure fear. It just means I have to suffer someone elses fear.
One of the big dangers(?) of lots of bicycle lanes, especially completely segregated ones, is that if a new bicyclist ONLY rides in them, then they never learn how to deal with traffic and that means that they can't or won't ride where there is no bike lane. Also, it means that they don't learn how to recognize traffic hazards let alone deal with them.

Here in Ontario Canada I don't see any well designed bike-lanes except maybe the very odd one and those aren't long enough to be meaningful.

Cheers
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Old 09-26-22, 08:41 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
A simple solution to floating parking visibility issue the cities could easily implement is to not allow parking in what are now the last two spaces before the intersection or driveways. That would provide visibility to both the drivers and cyclists. It’s not rocket surgery.
Except then that is where the UPS truck will stop. The simplest solution is to not implement an inherently dangerous (and expensive) design in the first place.
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Old 09-26-22, 09:59 AM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
One of the big dangers(?) of lots of bicycle lanes, especially completely segregated ones, is that if a new bicyclist ONLY rides in them, then they never learn how to deal with traffic and that means that they can't or won't ride where there is no bike lane. Also, it means that they don't learn how to recognize traffic hazards let alone deal with them.

Here in Ontario Canada I don't see any well designed bike-lanes except maybe the very odd one and those aren't long enough to be meaningful.

Cheers
The single biggest dangers are cars. Get rid of bicycles and bike lanes and road fatalities don't change that much. Get rid of cars and serious road incidences plummet dramatically. Look at the annual road fatalities and injuries for Toronto and how 2020 showed a drop even when bicycling increased.

My previous 30 years of cycling in Toronto without bike lanes have not convinced me that it is safer than my last ten years of cycling in bike lanes. The close calls I still get are all outside of bike lanes.

Surveys taken post-pilot project are all consistent showing an overall increase in approval of bike lanes- and that includes motorists, pedestrians and cyclists combined. And even though motorists still have the biggest portion against the new protected bike lanes, they have a surprisingly larger approval rate than expected.

So, I take solace knowing that the people here who oppose bike lanes are amongst the minority of those surveys.

Last edited by Daniel4; 09-26-22 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 09-26-22, 10:29 AM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Really absurd assertions such as when a bike lane is immediately adjacent to curb and sidewalk a cyclist must pay attention to what is on the sidewalk. Absurd assertions such as when trapped in a narrow slot between curb and a parked truck there is zero visibility of the adjacent road. A commenter above actually asserts he in fact can see traffic from bike lane. What? Yes I can think of a lane where 21mph would be briefly possible, the lane on Sheridan past Northwestern University. But not in any hours when there are pedestrians. Not when anyone else is using the lane. And before there were lanes it was possible to ride the road at 25 or 30 or whatever you could do.

There is a big contingent here that is going to assert lanes are good regardless of how bad and ill conceived the vast majority are. The best on-street lanes still turn cyclists into rats in a maze. The freedom of cycling is gone. You think some marginal illusory safety is enough justification to give up freedom. I think the safety is completely illusory. The lanes are flat dangerous. I never see old people riding the lanes. They were on same streets before. Every street that gets a lane sees a big drop in cycling traffic. The traffic moves to the next side street and you absolutely see the diverted bikes on the side streets. How many destinations could anyone have if only willing to ride where there is a lane?

I have 64 years of riding in traffic. Two accidents with injury caused by motor vehicles. One of those was with a Post Office truck traveling the wrong direction on a oneway bike lane. The other was a blind drunk driver exiting an enter only alley at speed. Both accidents connected to extreme police negligence. The drunk was wife of local police lieutenant, they knew she drove drunk habitually. Two stitches in my chin, forty stitches in my leg. That's total extent of traffic injuries in a lifetime. It is simply not possible to ride a bike when paralyzed by fear. Bike lanes do not cure fear. It just means I have to suffer someone elses fear.

Sorry, but you have just turned this into such a black or white issue where you want to argue that bike lanes are universally bad against someone who thinks they're universally good. SInce I don't hold either of those beliefs, you are now just berating me to convince me that I'm not a true Scotsman if I ever find riding in a lane advantageous. After all, who am I supposed to believe, you or my lying eyes? And seriously, where in any major city does a cyclist not need to be aware of what's going on on the sidewalk and the street?
And yeah, I've seen people of all ages in bike lanes. Assuming you're actually still riding through these streets, I think what's happened to you is you're just sure all lanes are like the ones you experience locally. I don't think what you're describing fits how bike lanes are used and perceived in the Boston area. The only riding I've ever done in Evanston was on a cul de sac when I was 6 years old.
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Old 09-26-22, 11:31 AM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post
Except then that is where the UPS truck will stop. The simplest solution is to not implement an inherently dangerous (and expensive) design in the first place.
To enhance the open parking spaces, place curbing/bollards next to the car lanes so the UPS truck or whomever can’t pull over and park there. How about some constructive or ingenious solutions rather than jump[ing to why it can’t work? Too much to ask?

https://www.peopleforbikes.org/stati...nomic-benefits

So let’s see some credible research studies to the contrary.
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Last edited by rsbob; 09-26-22 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 09-26-22, 12:00 PM
  #123  
pdlamb
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
To enhance the open parking spaces, place curbing/bollards next to the car lanes so the UPS truck or whomever can’t pull over and park there. How about some constructive or ingenious solutions rather than jump[ing to why it can’t work? Too much to ask?

[url]https://www.peopleforbikes.org/statistics/economic-benefits

So let’s see some credible research studies to the contrary.
Here in the real world where I live, there's only two protected bike lanes in town. One of them has 17 driveways and cross streets in three blocks. Cyclists have stop signs at every driveway, and even with green paint, most drivers don't bother checking the bike lane before making a turn.

Then we get to the "magic white paint line will protect cyclists."

Followed shortly by "why should we waste money building bike lanes?" and "why should we close off traffic lanes and increase traffic congestion when nobody's riding bikes in this town?"

Given the cost of building separate bicycle facilities, I don't expect to see any significant uptick in safe, separate bike lanes in my lifetime. Dense urban centers with mass transit options? Maybe. Rest of the world? I'm going for a ride instead of waiting for Godot.
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Old 09-26-22, 01:35 PM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Here in the real world where I live, there's only two protected bike lanes in town. One of them has 17 driveways and cross streets in three blocks. Cyclists have stop signs at every driveway, and even with green paint, most drivers don't bother checking the bike lane before making a turn.

Then we get to the "magic white paint line will protect cyclists."

Followed shortly by "why should we waste money building bike lanes?" and "why should we close off traffic lanes and increase traffic congestion when nobody's riding bikes in this town?"

Given the cost of building separate bicycle facilities, I don't expect to see any significant uptick in safe, separate bike lanes in my lifetime. Dense urban centers with mass transit options? Maybe. Rest of the world? I'm going for a ride instead of waiting for Godot.
My apologies. I thought NY was in the real world. There is no optimal solution for cities with multiple intersections and driveways, but what has been implemented can be made safer by adding additional features to aid visibility. Is it a waste of money? That is purely subjective, but accident figures don’t lie. You may live in an area where it was poorly implemented, but projecting you community to all of the US seems a bit much. But you are certainly entitled to your belief/s. Heading out for a ride now. Be safe.
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Old 09-27-22, 11:20 AM
  #125  
livedarklions
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
My apologies. I thought NY was in the real world. There is no optimal solution for cities with multiple intersections and driveways, but what has been implemented can be made safer by adding additional features to aid visibility. Is it a waste of money? That is purely subjective, but accident figures don’t lie. You may live in an area where it was poorly implemented, but projecting you community to all of the US seems a bit much. But you are certainly entitled to your belief/s. Heading out for a ride now. Be safe.

Agreed--enough with the "half empty is worse than empty" rhetoric.

I think where the discussion on bike lanes always goes bad is when people treat the damn things like they're some sort of ideological statement about the hierarchy of vehicles rather than being an engineering solution to the problem of roads that were poorly designed to handle diverse traffic. There are good implementations of this solution and there are bad ones, I tend to use the good ones and avoid/ignore the bad ones.

NY is a bit of a special case in that you have to use the bad ones whether you want to or not, but it's definitely as real as the world gets when it comes to urban riding.
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