So you've picked an example of a horribly designed lane to make your point. Even if I were to agree with you, it's dishonest. 95% of the bike lanes I've ever ridden in have been intuitive and well marked.
No. I posted a story that details the usual confusion caused by irregular traffic control designs, where wishes take precedence over analytical observation. Because these treatments are almost always politically driven, good designs are a rarity.But, if you think a straight-through lane to the inside of a right-turning lane is good, then there you are.Having experienced bike-lanes in Portland, Austin, Montreal, Madison, Tulsa, and Houston, I've yet to see very many miles of bicycle facilities that are well maintained, well designed, or even "intuitive". 95% is a high number.
Thomas, let me back up a second. You may be onto something about "95%".If you can accept the idea that you need a segregated space, no matter how narrow, or debris filled, or poorly maintained, then I can see how the majority (95%?) of travel in such a lane seems acceptable, even intuitive (presuming there are no door-zones). However, the greatest danger in bike lanes is indeed the 5% (BTW: hit from behind data for bike lanes appears to be the same for streets without bike lanes). The 5% would be every driveway and intersection, where a right-turning motor vehicle will by design cut across your path. The serious injury/fatality danger of the 5% becomes a considerably higher percentage (50%?) of bicyclist injuries.
Thomas - where would you put the bike lane? Serious question. Head on over to cycling savvy.com and have a look. It might make you think twice.
Once again, I don't necessarily disagree with the original post or PM Summer. I've commuted, both vehicularly and in bike specific structures, almost daily for the past 6 years. The point I am trying to make is that not every bike lane is designed by morons, cycled by incompetent road users, or assaulted by conflicts of automotive right-of-way.
Thomas, you are absolutely right. They aren't. A bike lane is a useable tool in the toolbox, that has a function. many would be shocked to know that I argued for them in the past, in specific locations where their application was appropriate.The trouble is, far too many "bike lane advocates" (and they aren't bicycling advocates) think it's the only tool in the box ("when your only tool is a hammer, all problems look like nails"). I wish you would take up Whareagle on his offer to attend a Cycling Savvy course. Here's my offer: if you don't like it/think it was beneficial, I'll personally refund your course costs.
Regarding the Cycle Savvy course, here's what an experienced cyclist and LAB instructor has to say about it...Being a long-time vehicular cyclist, ex-active advocate, anddisgusted LCI, I recently took the Cycling Savvy course to help coaxmy (freakin' brilliant but cycling-scarred) girlfriend past herwell-learned fear of cycling around cars.The course is GREAT!Not necessarily in this order; it eschews the advocacy position ofthe formerly taught EC courses, suggests that you go to your LBS tolearn more about maintenance, teaches a very basic safety check formechanical issues, sort of touches on bike fit on a one-to-one basis,builds bike-handling skills and confidence therein in a closed-courseenvironment, gives a very comprehensive overview of traffic laws andtheir application to slow moving vehicles, teaches how to cope withexisting dangerous infrastructure, teaches by instruction and examplehow to negotiate lane changes and turns in high traffic volumesituations, examines the problems with various bike-specific roadwaytreatments and suggests methods to avoid these problems, and puts itall on the road with a solid half day of practicum executed as you'dexpect to be commuting most of the time - one by one.I was VERY impressed with the ease of uptake - the information waspresented clearly, without jargon or advocacy emphasis, but alsowithout dumbing it down at all. I brought an absolute novice with mewho was very much afraid of roadway riding; she's currently not atall afraid to control lanes as needed for safety, and negotiates lanechanges assertively and safely. I have MANY miles under me in thisriding environment, but I don't think I could have done anywhere nearas thorough a job of conveying this material the way I learned toteach it previously.I also observed some of the other students in the class "unlearning"some of their ingrained behaviors - it will likely take them moreeffort overall, but they did pick up the important points and runwith them almost immediately.Overall I feel that the class, given its compactness and clarity ofpresentation, utterly eclipses what I had learned to teach as anLCI. I recommend that anyone on this list with an opportunity("opportunity" - we drove four hours one way and got a nice cheapmotel) to take this course, no matter what your cycling or advocacycredentials, should take it - and bring a hesitant friend. Youshould also, life permitting, consider becoming a Cycling Savvyinstructor - I think this is a program worth getting behind, and I'vebeen assured that it won't end up with the "numbers for the sake ofnumbers" outlook that seemed to prevail when I got my LCI.Hope this review ends up being useful!Best regards,Whitney TurnerLCI #902
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