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Thread: Bicycle lanes/paths

  1. #1
    Cyburbian MM1648's avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    Texas
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    Bicycle lanes/paths

    This may sound ignorant on my part, but how does a city begin to designate space for bicycles on the road?

    For instance, does the city decide to make bike lanes, or does a group of bike activists bring up the issue/idea, or what is the process for a city to begin a multi-modal plan (if thats what it is called)?
    Today's classic was yesterday's innovation. -Landry

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Dec 2001
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    Mr. Cool Ice
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    A little bit of both.

    First, is usually an inventory of roads that can accomodate the 4' lanes. Some roads just arent wide enough, and I've yet to see someone widen a road just for bike paths.

    Then there is a review of the roads to see which ones make sense, i.e. do they service likely destinations for bike commuters, are speeds safe, is there on-street parking, etc.

    Since alot of these go on state DOT roads, there are typically meetings established by a statewide bike/ped coordinator for input, brainstorming, etc.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    Clearwater, FL
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    Bike/Ped Master Plan

    Have a look at our local master plan.
    http://www.clearwater-fl.com/gov/dep...masterplan.asp
    At times like this, you have to ask yourself, "WWJDD?"
    (What Would Jimmy Durante Do?)

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Quote Originally posted by MM1648 View post
    This may sound ignorant on my part, but how does a city begin to designate space for bicycles on the road?

    For instance, does the city decide to make bike lanes, or does a group of bike activists bring up the issue/idea, or what is the process for a city to begin a multi-modal plan (if thats what it is called)?
    I'd say that if cyclists haven't been asking for them, then it's probably not time to invest in bike lanes yet. There's a fair amount of political risk involved with bike lanes so that unless there's a significant user base, there's not much reason to implement them. It doesn't have to be a huge number of cyclists, but at least there needs to be some people who will use them. Otherwise the city looks bad.

    If you think they will be used, you could just go ahead and install some on a few medium volume streets where you have relatively wide roads. One-way streets tend to be good candidates. It will take the engineers a bit of trial and error before they can do it right (if ever), unless you have a good engineering department. You could also put together a plan and hold public workshops to get some feedback from the community about whether it's a good idea.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    UK
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    Don't you do traffic surveys? That will give you a good inckling of where and if to put lanes. Theres no point painting bits of road if they aren't on popular cycling routes!

    Experience shows its a bit of both, some authorities are more proactive than others, in some cases councils put cycle lanes simply where they can rather than where they should. This is always a bad idea, you waste money, theres a political fallout and cyclist can be very vocal in their derision.

    Hows about using accident data, if theres a balckspot of cycling accidents, this shoud be your priority.

    Strongly suggest doing it, but thinking carefully before doing anything.

    Does the US census have a question about mode of travel to work btw? Then you can see where in an area more people cycle.

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