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Thread: Bike Lanes in your community.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian martini's avatar
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    Bike Lanes in your community.

    Who here has had the opportunity(or would LIKE) to institute a new bike lane program? Or are you in the process of doing so right now? What were any obsitcales that you had to overcome? Did you create whole new paths or were the lane simply created by painting a stripe on the road? Did you modify the roadways to accomodate cyclists? If it has been instituted, have there been any maintenance headaches?

    Thanks! You're helping me once again finish up homework. Y'all are a wonderfull lot.
    You're more boring than you know.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by martini
    Who here has had the opportunity(or would LIKE) to institute a new bike lane program? Or are you in the process of doing so right now? What were any obsitcales that you had to overcome? Did you create whole new paths or were the lane simply created by painting a stripe on the road? Did you modify the roadways to accomodate cyclists? If it has been instituted, have there been any maintenance headaches?

    Thanks! You're helping me once again finish up homework. Y'all are a wonderfull lot.
    Martini,

    Check out these reports online they might help.

    Kalamazoo Non-Motorized Transportation Plan


    Kalamazoo River Valley Trailway Plan

  3. #3
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Bike lanes are a "oil industry/hegemony" conspiracy to make drivers feel good about their community, meanwhile they are dangerous and serious transportation cyclists avoid them like the plague. You will get more people to cycle for transportation if you let the citizens know that you are serious about making your community cycle-friendly, maintain and clean up your roads, sweep the lanes, and prosecute dangerous drivers. Convert the public works team, the cops, and the City prosecutor and you'll have most of the battle won. Good Luck.

    There is a place for off-road family or beginning cycling in all communities, but these bike/ped hard surface trails should never be confused with travel routes for cyclists. They are just recreational.

  4. #4
    maudit anglais
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    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo
    Bike lanes are a "oil industry/hegemony" conspiracy to make drivers feel good about their community, meanwhile they are dangerous and serious transportation cyclists avoid them like the plague.
    Yes, and no. Bike lanes do have a place - especially if they are used to re-distribute roadspace. Our most successful examples are where we have taken a four-lane roadway and reduced it to two lanes, plus bike lanes (along with sep. left turn lanes and on-street parking in some cases). The effect on traffic (esp. speed) has been dramatic - and the feared congestion has largely not appeared. The level of cycling has risen dramatically over the past 10 years. In some inner City neighbourhoods the Walk/Cycle mode accounts for over 30% of AM Peak trips. I think the bigger problems with bike lanes revolve around implementation in higher-speed suburban settings - especially if they are just tacked onto an existing roadway.

    Here's a link to the City of Toronto's cycling homepage. Lots of great info on cycling in the City. From here you can view the Toronto Bike Plan - which envisages an eventual 1000km network of lanes, trails and links providing a comprehensive cycling network across the City. We've already started implementation.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tranplanner
    Yes, and no. Bike lanes do have a place - especially if they are used to re-distribute roadspace. Our most successful examples are where we have taken a four-lane roadway and reduced it to two lanes, plus bike lanes (along with sep. left turn lanes and on-street parking in some cases). The effect on traffic (esp. speed) has been dramatic - and the feared congestion has largely not appeared. The level of cycling has risen dramatically over the past 10 years. In some inner City neighbourhoods the Walk/Cycle mode accounts for over 30% of AM Peak trips. I think the bigger problems with bike lanes revolve around implementation in higher-speed suburban settings - especially if they are just tacked onto an existing roadway.

    Here's a link to the City of Toronto's cycling homepage. Lots of great info on cycling in the City. From here you can view the Toronto Bike Plan - which envisages an eventual 1000km network of lanes, trails and links providing a comprehensive cycling network across the City. We've already started implementation.
    Yeah, I guess my event horizon didn't include the real big city applications. Good points TP!

  6. #6
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    I commuted to work on a bike lane for years. It was much better than the streets. It also had an exceptional Monterey Bay exposure and a short trek through Cannery Row in the middle.

    Not many people have bike trails that start where you want to start and stop where you want to stop for bike commuting. But, when you have it, it's very nice.

    In my current location, we have bike trails on streets, but they are very low traffic streets. It's pretty safe, and we have a reasonable number of people who get around by bike.

    I think it depends a lot on the circumstances. Our in-street bike paths work for in-city access and get a good level of local use. "Serious" cyclists tend to cycle as recreation rather than commutes, so we mostly see them peddling out of town.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    our is getting better and better...

    Bikes are good!
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  8. #8
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    One thing that bugs me about some of the new bike lanes here is that they do stupid things like create one for the length of a bridge then they stop abruptly and cyclists have to fight with vehicles for space, thereby making things more dangerous than when there were no bike lanes. I've also seen bike lanes with 'gaps' where bridge railings etc protude into the lane so it simply stops, then starts again beyond the obstruction. Very dangerous as it forces cyclists into the traffic lane. Not sure this is quite on-topic, but I've got pics if you want 'em!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Chicago has probably the most aggressive bike lane striping program in North America (according to some of my bicycle advocate friends). The bike lanes do make things safer, especially since they are wide enough that if you put your tire on the white line, you're outside the door zone.

    The primary downside to them is that many automobile drivers appearently believe that if the bike lane exists, then bikes are required to use it and get angry and (even more) aggressive if bikes aren't in it.

    Here's the website (it includes a difficult to navigate map): http://www.cityofchicago.org/trans/BikeInfo/

  10. #10
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Chicago has probably the most aggressive bike lane striping program in North America (according to some of my bicycle advocate friends). The bike lanes do make things safer, especially since they are wide enough that if you put your tire on the white line, you're outside the door zone.

    The primary downside to them is that many automobile drivers appearently believe that if the bike lane exists, then bikes are required to use it and get angry and (even more) aggressive if bikes aren't in it.

    Here's the website (it includes a difficult to navigate map): http://www.cityofchicago.org/trans/BikeInfo/
    jordanb is right about the drivers thinking you have no rights once you are outside of the bike lane. The most dangerous areas are where the lane is striped across an intersection. We are better off if the bike lane stops 100 feet or so before the intersection so we can enter the traffic flow and do turning movements like a car. I'm as fast or faster through an intersection as a sedan, and I get right back to my subserviant position as soon as possible after clearing the intersection. The car door swing zone is the worst danger. For some reason some drivers think you ought to hug the curb and ride in the door zone. Sometimes it gets real narrow, that bike lane.

  11. #11

    How to Not Get Hit by Cars, Collision Type #2: The Door Prize

    http://bicyclesafe.com/ Found at the ever resourceful Bike Forums.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    The best bike lanes I've seen were in the Agoura Hills/Oak Park area outside of Los Angeles. You of course had the main road through town with two lanes of traffic in each direction, but then you had a strip of shade trees and then a side walk and then some more landscaping and then a totally seperate wide bike lane. It suffers from the same intersection problems other have mentioned but you have no fear of getting hit by a car (or car door) and no need to try to avoid pedestrians on the non-intersection parts.

  13. #13
    Member annie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo
    Bike lanes are a "oil industry/hegemony" conspiracy to make drivers feel good about their community, meanwhile they are dangerous and serious transportation cyclists avoid them like the plague. You will get more people to cycle for transportation if you let the citizens know that you are serious about making your community cycle-friendly, maintain and clean up your roads, sweep the lanes, and prosecute dangerous drivers. Convert the public works team, the cops, and the City prosecutor and you'll have most of the battle won. Good Luck.

    There is a place for off-road family or beginning cycling in all communities, but these bike/ped hard surface trails should never be confused with travel routes for cyclists. They are just recreational.
    You need to differentiate between "lanes" and "trails".

    Lanes are on-street and are great and preferred by serious cyclists (I am one, so I've got authority on this!). They function similarly to a wide shoulder, but designating and striping actual lanes reserves space for bicyclists and makes drivers more aware of the presence of cyclists. Lanes are most effective in urban areas. In more suburban and rural areas, wide shoulders will work fine...as long as they're at least 4 feet wide and cleared of glass and debris.

    Trails are a bit more of an issue. Trails that are constructed in the road ROW, adjacent to the roadway, represent the conspiracy you speak of. NOBODY wants to use these. Serious cyclists will not use them because they involve a ridiculous number of driveway crossings, and recreational cyclists will not use them because biking adjacent to a major highway is not enjoyable.

    In Minneapolis, we've got "commuter trails" that please pretty much all users. These trails run from rural/suburban areas 10 miles or more outside the city, and connect users to downtown and to other popular neighborhoods. The trails have 3 treadways, one for pedestrians and joggers, and 2 one-way trails for cyclists and rollerbladers. EVERY level of cyclist can be found on these trails.

    (note: the treadways split and rejoin occasionally, in this photo, both directions are on the same treadway.)

  14. #14
    Member annie's avatar
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    Midtown Greenway

    And here are some pictures of the greatest trail I have ever seen. When complete, it will run across (under!!) the entire city, and will connect trails running to the western suburbs (see my previous post) to the Mississippi between Minneapolis and St. Paul (there are also trails running alongside most of the river, on each bank). Someday (I hope!) there will be retail that fronts the Greenway...the only thing so far is a yoga studio. There are also community gardens in several locations.


  15. #15
    Cyburbian martini's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by annie
    When complete, it will run across (under!!) the entire city, and will connect trails running to the western suburbs (see my previous post) to the Mississippi between Minneapolis and St. Paul
    Yep, I'm familiar with the mpls area. I live near there now, and used to work in Bloomington, and frequently get up there to ride(and drink) with my degenerate friends. I can't wait for this system to fully up and running either!

    Thanks all for the comments. There's a reason I like coming here!
    You're more boring than you know.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    A few years Bike Magazine did an article on the top 5 places to live and ride. Marquette Michigan was in that top 5! I was wondering how it could be that a place that has winter for about 6 months a year could have such an honor, so I thought about it as I rode my bike home from work, talking to some of the other people on the bike paths, and trying to find an open spot on the bike rack...
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus
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    There is alot of information available on the American Trails website:
    http://www.americantrails.org/default.htm

    you can search by topic or geography.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  18. #18
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    When I get to use the bike lanes here in Chicago, they seem to work fairly well. Unfortunately, since most, I think all, of our bike lanes are on the street between auto traffic and parked cars, about half of the drivers/parkers actually respect the bike lanes. There are always taxis, delivery trucks, etc. double-parked on top of them, which then forces the cyclist into the auto lane.

    I particaluraly dislike the joggers who insist on jogging in the bike lane. I just want to scream at them. They have the whole sidewalk devoted to them, but noooo that's not any good. I'm not fond of joggers/jogging in general.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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