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Thread: Bike lane, no support

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    Senior Member ctg492's Avatar
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    Bike lane, no support

    Our backwards town finally got a bike lane. It really is in a bad spot and goes no where. It was put there as the advice was to get the first one where it will not "bother" motorists. So the 3 mile stretch had no road parking already since it could not be approved if it affected road parking. BUT the city lowered the speed limit from 30 to 25 even though the normal speed was closer to 40. That probably peed many off.

    Last weekend was the opening day ride. Suppose to have a police escort and the paper to take a picture, this would bring attention to the locals. 10-12 riders showed, me one of them. No police or reporter showed up, we waited. Our little 3 mile ride did happen. I thought to myself that the drivers had no idea what to do or how to treat a bike lane. A few passed in the center lane to avoid us. That was clearly not understanding how a lane worked. Two toots and revving engines in perhaps anger. A few slowing down.

    I doubt if I will use the lane as it is on the other side of town, but still my sad remark is When will the first biker be hit by a right hand turn by a motorist? As clearly there was no interest in learning how the lane works. The paper should have had an article and rules for using it. Sad over all is how I felt about the event and figure no time in my life here will there be more lanes.

  2. #2
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    The only bike lanes that I find useful are ones that are built as a protected bike lane. The USA in general does poorly in this regard.

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    Senior Member Miss Cellane's Avatar
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    My town just re-did one of the major streets into the center of town (a very long 3 year project). There is a bike lane. I have no idea what the rules are for it. Could anyone post a link? Or explain what drivers should do, especially for making a right-hand turn, as mentioned above?

    Fortunately, or unfortunately, I have not yet seen anyone riding in the bike lane. Which is odd, as people ride their bikes all over town.

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    The rules are the same as for a lane beside you for another car. Lots of bikers don't feel safe on the bike lanes on the streets mixed in with car lanes. Protected bike lanes have a median or parking spaces separating them from the cars. Like a sidewalk - imagine a "walking lane" mixed in with cars. No one would walk there. Same thing with bike lanes mixed in with cars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy View Post
    The rules are the same as for a lane beside you for another car. Lots of bikers don't feel safe on the bike lanes on the streets mixed in with car lanes. Protected bike lanes have a median or parking spaces separating them from the cars. Like a sidewalk - imagine a "walking lane" mixed in with cars. No one would walk there. Same thing with bike lanes mixed in with cars.
    A walking lane wouldn't quite be the same, since your suppose to walk against traffic, where with a bike, you are a vehicle and required to go the same way.
    Here, walking lanes would get used, I have no doubt. There are lots of areas around town, that have no sidewalks, and the street is the only place to walk in a lot of them, due to older storm ditches. (great for people walking their dogs, gives enough leash to stay in lane)
    One bike lane, though I believe we have, is improperly marked. It has solid white stripes (no passing/lane changes) and has a right turn lane on its right side, so the bikers can go straight across (up a couple miles to a big bike trail) or turn in the car lane.

    CTG, I would write a letter to the paper addressed to both them and the police dept.

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    I was using a ridiculous example just to make a point, by talking about a walking lane in the middle of the street.

    The point I was trying to make was that bicycles don't belong in the same area of the street as cars. It doesn't matter who's following the rules or not -- because it's always a bicyclist gets injured. They need their own protected lane.

    Honestly -- if we build the infrastructure correctly people will get away from driving the car everywhere that they go. Lots of people would love to live that way but it just doesn't feel safe to them.

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    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    That is really a shame. You should write a letter to the newspaper about it.

    We have bike lanes that sometimes merge into streets, but it is always clearly marked and there are "Share the Road" signs. Lots of bikes in my town; you need to reach critical mass.

    Anyhow, one bike lane is a small step in the right direction.

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    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    The trend around my neighborhood is that they just stencil paint a big bike with a couple of arrows on the pavement and call it a designated bike street. It's worthless. Fortunately we also have a few dedicated bike lanes, but it seems like a waste to just paint the pavement. I'd write someone, but somewhere in community development it is probably a standard across many areas and has support. I have a friend who died in car/bike accident and am a little sensitive to the issues.

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    Senior Member ctg492's Avatar
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    I ride a great deal. Most drivers have zero idea on how to share the road. I say Claim Your Lane, but only to a certain extent and I would rather be wrong and alive than right and dead. That was kinda the disappointment for me as if an article would have been in the paper it would a maybe have included the rights of bicyclist. Oh most would not have read it anyhow I suppose. I am on the defense all the time when riding.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctg492 View Post
    I ride a great deal. Most drivers have zero idea on how to share the road. I say Claim Your Lane, but only to a certain extent and I would rather be wrong and alive than right and dead. That was kinda the disappointment for me as if an article would have been in the paper it would a maybe have included the rights of bicyclist. Oh most would not have read it anyhow I suppose. I am on the defense all the time when riding.
    I certainly understand, but also around certain parts here cyclists can also get a genuine bad rap. Riding double, blowing through stop signs and lights, not using reflective gear and lights in the dim hours, riding on high traffic streets with narrow shoulders, and blazing like they are in the tour de france when they should be using caution. Even on dedicated bike trails I've had close calls. I almost had a head-on with another cyclist who was trying to text with one hand while riding a curvy narrow trail. There is a small but not insignificant segment of cyclists who have an attitude, like I'm on a bike and you're not so I am better that you and it's my road. I could even argue a case that the 23x700 and 25x700 road bike tires have too little road contact and do not belong in the city except on dedicated bike trails (or out on the open road). I don't like it and it's not right, but it is little wonder some drivers get a little road rage over cyclists.

    In my riding style I believe that in any situation where the right of way is debatable, the auto always has the right of way regardless of the law.

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