Chicago Bikelanes

Here are some photos of bicycle facilities in downtown Chicago from July 2014.

1. 2-way cycle track on Dearborn (looking south) at Madison, Chicago Loop

Cycletrack with narrow lanes.

This cycletrack has narrow lanes, a special hazard to contra-flow (SB) cyclists, who are next to the sidewalk. It would be safer to have a buffer between the sidewalk and the track instead of next to the parking/turn lane.


Dearborn is a 1-way street with 2-way cycle lanes. Note how narrow the lanes are. Does this meet design standards? There is also a falling hazard from the curb and a hazard from pedestrians stepping off the curb without looking because no moving cars are in that lane.

It would be best to eliminate the track entirely. This would give cyclists wider lanes. Blocks in downtown Chicago are short enough that it’s not a big time eater to have to detour one block west (to Clark St.) in order to go south.

2. 2-way cycle track on Dearborn, looking north, at Madison, Chicago Loop

Cycletrack with narrow lanes.

Cycletrack with pedestrian in SB bike lane.

A pedestrian was standing in the SB bike lane. There is a small puddle at the curb. (At another location, a larger puddle completely covered the SB bike lane. Note separate signal phases for cycle track and left turns, which reduces green time for both, adds to congestion and air pollution.
Installation of the cycle track required prohibiting left turns on red from Dearborn onto one-way WB streets and from one-way EB streets onto Dearborn.

3. Hubbard looking east from Orleans, Chicago. Where’s the bike lane?

Missing bike lane?

Missing bike lane?

There is no pavement marking in the travel lane relating to bikes. (The cars are legally parked.) Are cyclists expected to ride on the sidewalk? Or to “share” the curb lane with parked cars?

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New Haven & Albany Bikelanes

Here are some photos of bicycle facilities in New Haven and Albany from June 2014.

1. Elm St. at Temple looking E, New Haven, CT

This bike lane is a "coffin corner", to the right of a straight through/right turn lane.

This bike lane is a “coffin corner”, to the right of a straight through/right turn lane.

2. Elm St. well placed bike lane, out of door zone, New Haven, CT

A wide one-way street with plenty of room to keep the bike lane out of the door zone.

A wide one-way street with plenty of room to keep the bike lane out of the door zone.

3. Humphrey St. bike lane entirely in door zone, New Haven, CT

Bike lane is squeezed between travel and parking lanes, creating a serious "dooring" hazard.

Bike lane squeezed between travel and parking lanes, creating a serious “dooring” hazard.

4. Clinton Ave. bike lane, looking E from Lexington Ave., Albany, NY

Enough room for bike lane to be out of the door zone except where vehicles are parked illegally too far from the curb.

Enough room for the bike lane to be out of the door zone except where vehicles are parked illegally too far from the curb.

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MOVE OVER OR SLOW DOWN, a good safety message

In my new hometown of Prescott, Arizona, I’ve gone exploring looking for good and bad places to ride my bicycle.

I found a really bad place: a narrow bike lane on a hilly multi-lane road, Willow Creek Road. The bike lane confines cyclists to their own little ghetto while traffic rushes by, inches from the left elbow. There are many intersections which invite right hook collisions and collisions from poor sight lines. A steep downhill run just ahead allows cyclists to coast upwards of 40 mph, at which speed one should not be occupying a narrow bike lane, next to motorists who are ignoring you. Continue reading

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The new mission (or vision) at LAB

Here, in its entirety, is what LAB posted on its website on January 17, 2014, regarding its emphasis for at least the near-term future.  Bill Hoffman’s comments follow.

LAB is no longer a membership organization; it’s a lobbying group that happens to have members.

Continue reading

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Momentum Magazine vs. John Allen on Cycling Infrastructure

Rather than retype everything, go here:
http://labikes.blogspot.com/2014/02/when-did-momentum-magazine-lose-its.html

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“I Am Traffic”

A new bicycling education and advocacy organization “I Am Traffic” held a colloquium in Feb. 23-24 Orlando. You can watch some of the presentations and read some really good educational material from the website.
The keynote speaker was Keri Caffrey who talked about How to Achieve the Vision for a culture that supports successful behavior.
normal_cyclist

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I Am Traffic Goes Live

I Am Traffic, a web resource put together by the Cycling Saavy folks, is up and running.  This is a product of the group that’s meeting in February in Orlando to create a new, national bicycle education organization. The CyclingSavvy folks are the main drivers. More details to come. check with Keri Caffrey and Mighk Wilson. Meanwhile, check out the link.

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Bicycling Safety: The Real Issues

Let’s start with what should be the obvious problems — riding on the wrong side of the road [note 1], no lights at night [note 2], flagrant traffic violations like running red lights and riding on sidewalks. These are best addressed with education, teaching people that bicycles are really vehicles that must be operated according to the standard Rules of the Road.

Unfortunately, most “bike safety education” is done so poorly that many people think it is safer to ride on sidewalks or wrong way and that flouting traffic laws makes little difference. Sometimes we even hear of police encouraging bad practices. Continue reading

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15th St. cycletrack, Washington, DC

On Nov. 16, 2012, I had occasion to try the cycletrack on 15th St. NW in Washington, DC. The track is in two parts. The southern part, about 3 blocks long, runs on the west side of 15th between Pennsylvania Ave./E St. and New York Ave., alongside the US Treasury Department. At New York a cyclist can turn west on the former part of Pennsylvania Ave. that passes directly in front of the White House, where the street has been converted to a non-motorized plaza for security reasons. Cyclists can ride there in order to reach streets to the west, including 17th and the continuation of Pennsylvania toward the northwest.

Does this cycletrack improve cyclist safety?
Clearly, no. By its very nature, it cannot.

Continue reading

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On Visual Attention, Inattentional Blindness and Assertive Safety Practices

VisualAtentionZoneA couple years ago, I was riding to the local “Homeless Depot” on a Sunday around noon. I had to pass a local mega church that had a police officer directing traffic out of a parking lot to my left. The officer was standing in the center turn lane. As I approached, I could see the end of the line of exiting cars, so I slowed in order to avoid stopping. I timed it well — as I drew up to the officer, he signaled me to proceed. Continue reading

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