Are protected/buffered bike lanes a good idea or Not?

calvin

Active Member
I came across a couple of articles concerning innovations in separating bikes from motorized traffic. All of the new ideas seemed to be a great. See here:

http://www.smgov.net/Departments/PCD/Transportation/Bicyclists/Lanes-Facilities-Parking/

and here:


However, after reading this piece by a bicycling heavyweight, I now have my doubts. The thrust of his article is that it is safer for a bicyclist to mix it up with traffic, avoiding the use of bike lanes. See here:

http://ianbrettcooper.blogspot.com/2012/08/bicycle-infrastructure-studies.html

He provides easy access to various studies and documentation to back up his point.
 

DashRiprock

Active Member
I'm a little old fashioned...in that I'm more worried that roadways already in service be sustainably maintained since we have absolutely no money to 'build them out' further for bicycle specific travel. If a road needs to be replaced and it can be widened through reasonable cost/added future liabilities to accommodate bicycles on the far right shoulder within a specified width...this is a reasonable suggestion. Progressive policies/resulting crushing debt have driven our standard of living so far down that people are being forced to mimic the modes of transportation in 3rd world countries so the extra cost to handle this side traffic is often justified.

What most people don't understand is that we have reinvented the wheel many times in terms of issues slowing overall traffic down and negatively costing our economy exponentially (see our miserably failed and assinine effort to reduce the speed limit years ago).
We can't afford to have rotting roads slowing both car and bike traffic down anymore than we can have one bicyclist accomplishing the exact same feat on a newly paved road.
http://reason.org/news/show/traffic-congestion-and-the-economic

If a buffered bike lane isn't being used by 'x' number of bicyclists 24/7/365...there is definitely a quantifiable reason to get rid of it in terms of traffic flow vs the overall economy. If the lanes are being (over) used by people actually contributing to the economy/road maintenance as legal (road)taxpaying U.S. citizens then they have probably earned at least a suggestion for something else. It is impossible to solve bicycle traffic flow problems if funding/economic impact (safety third) is not brought into the discussion immediately.
 
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Paul E.

Active Member
Progressive policies/resulting crushing debt have driven our standard of living so far down that people are being forced to mimic the modes of transportation in 3rd world countries so the extra cost to handle this side traffic is often justified.
Um... If I may, I'd like to note that I'm forced to mimic the modes of transportation in 3rd world countries because mass transit is commonly demonized as communist and so many people can afford to have and drive cars that the traffic jams are absolutely idiotic. My commute will quite literally be much faster on a bike that can do 20 mph.
 
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Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
I definitely feel they are safer, particularly in areas like NYC. I don't mind riding with traffic, but given the choice I would prefer not to. At Eurobike there was a presentation about protected lanes and basically the feeling is that this is one of the largest contributing factors to getting more people using bikes for transportation. I imagine this ultimately will correlate to increased ebike use as well. NYC was one of the first cities to integrate these protected bike lanes and there has been a dramatic growth in cycling.

I feel this is really the only hope for us to get people to replace there cars with bikes, or better yet ebikes ;) I was riding to work today and I was nearly run over by two drivers in a row texting. I imagine I would feel much safer if I was in a protected lane, this is part of the reason I plan to move to Brooklyn.

Here's a great video of Janette Sadik-Khan who was responsible for revolutionizing much of NYC by adding shared spaces and bike lanes, many of which are protected.

 

DashRiprock

Active Member
Um... If I may, I'd like to note that I'm forced to mimic the modes of transportation in 3rd world countries because mass transit is commonly demonized as communist and so many people can afford to have and drive cars that the traffic jams are absolutely idiotic. My commute will quite literally be much faster on a bike that can do 20 mph.
I would offer that if mass transit (historically) was ever indeed paid for on anything but borrowed funds, sustainably maintained/replaced or operated privately to control costs...you probably wouldn't need a bike to make your commute today. Since the truth that I have just put forth is proven by the fact that no future effective mass transit is even possible today (everyone chooses a check in the mail over it) it is much easier to demonize/shoot the messenger.
Will those who are commuting 20 or 30 mph now on anything that's paved (bike path or not)...be able to do the same speeds tomorrow if the same pavement can't even be maintained due to the diversion of funds to massive unfunded (cough) 'liabilities'...as is being done at the moment all over the United States?
As the OP suggested, perhaps some bicyclists should be thankful (safer?) that they have roads (period) to share with automobiles that they can navigate (now)...as opposed to asking for more that we cannot afford anyways.
 
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DashRiprock

Active Member
Um... If I may, I'd like to note that I'm forced to mimic the modes of transportation in 3rd world countries because mass transit is commonly demonized as communist and so many people can afford to have and drive cars that the traffic jams are absolutely idiotic. My commute will quite literally be much faster on a bike that can do 20 mph.
I would offer that if mass transit (historically) was ever indeed paid for on anything but borrowed funds, sustainably maintained/replaced or operated privately to control costs...you probably wouldn't need a bike to make your commute today. Since the truth that I have just put forth is proven by the fact that no future effective mass transit is even possible today (no one today will choose a check in the mail over it) it is much easier to demonize/shoot the messenger.
Will those who are commuting 20 or 30 mph now on anything that's paved today (bike path or not)...be able to do the same speeds tomorrow if the same pavement can't even be maintained due to the diversion of funds to massive unfunded (cough) 'liabilities'...as is being done at the moment all over the United States?
As the OP suggested, perhaps some bicyclists should be thankful (safer?) that they have roads (period) to share with automobiles that they can navigate (now)...as opposed to asking for more that we cannot afford anyways.