Friday, July 11, 2008

Downtown bike lanes -- what say you?

Bike lanes downtown -- are they working? Should there be more? Do you use them? Yay or nay. Discuss...

My two cents -- I can take 'em or leave 'em. I use them if they're along my route, but I won't go out of my way to use them. From what I've seen, for those that can't keep up with moving traffic they provide some safe harbour. I suppose having them there if nothing else reminds drivers to be more aware of cyclists on the road in general when downtown.

Seems to be a lot more bikers out this summer as compared to last summer -- gas prices and all that, I'm sure.


gravy said...

If they just put in more speed limit signs that remind downtown traffic that the speed limit is not 35--65 mph, bike lanes wouldn't be necessary downtown. Maybe some radar traps.

People should just expect to not get anywhere fast if they are driving downtown.

nicol said...

I like them for the fact you makes people in cars more aware that bikes have a right to the road too.

kevinW said...

Gravy -- speed limit signs might help, but the most frustrating part for drivers are bikes toodling along at less than 10 mph that they reaaally have to slow down for. Even if every vehicle slowed to 25 mph downtown, they'd still be held up by these toodling types.

And let's face it -- the people we ride with (group rides) are probably among the fastest 5-10% of cyclists in Lincoln. The other 90% are toodling at much slower speeds, not exactly conducive to blending in with traffic.

gravy said...

Downtown is only like seven blocks long... even 10mph isn't going to kill people if they'd calm down.

Drivers get too frustrated at bikers. <- period

Drivers will stop at long lights, slow behind semi-s or tractors, wait for a ten minute train or wait for construction blockage events, but if they get behind a bike for twenty seconds, they go banannananas!

Bike lanes just make drivers mad whether there's a bike on them or not.

yes, yes, I know, general statements but probably generally accurate.

Adrian_O said...

Don't use them. They are placed on the wrong streets (bus route).

kevinW said...

I agree Gravy. People are impatient -- that will never change. Commuting by bike has made me a little more patient.

Adrian -- buses are the arch enemy of cyclists everywhere.

nicol said...

And, semis.

nicol said...

And, pick-up trucks.

nicol said...

Vehicles in general.

Bob K said...

They had an interesting interview with a bike messenger in a Chicago paper while I was there. Lots (and lots and lots) of cyclists in downtown and in the surrounding neigborhoods. Although there are not a lot of bike paths downtown - cyclists just take the lane, there are a lot of bike paths in some of the neighborhoods like Old Town that border the downtown - Loop area.

Their pet peeves (in order)

1) Pedestrians who walk into bike lanes w/out checking for traffic. (Obviously, Chicago has WAY more pedestrians downtown).

2) Cab drivers - the messenger guy figures that its probably because messengers and cab drivers are both in a hurry to get to their destination.

3) Drivers on cell phones.

4) Buses that can't wait 5 seconds for the cyclist to clear the bus stop area or are not looking and squeeze the cyclist into the gutter.

There are towns that I've been to in Europe that have a bike path next to the sidewalk, then another curb, and then the street.