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| | |-+  Unmarked bike lanes (now discussing Winter Park's horrible brick)
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Author Topic: Unmarked bike lanes (now discussing Winter Park's horrible brick)  (Read 9109 times)
NE2
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« on: August 25, 2010, 04:32:42 PM »

There are some lanes around here that are clearly designed as bike lanes but not marked as such (thus they're not mandatory to use) - sometimes on major state roads and sometimes on minor streets. Here's an example on US 192: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=28.332798,-81.491435&spn=0.001929,0.00515&t=k&z=19&layer=c&cbll=28.332797,-81.491264&panoid=s34bEpDWqe-ThdTF0X38uQ&cbp=12,103.59,,0,2.84

I've been working on the OpenStreetMap project and have gotten most area bike lanes mapped: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=28.4267&lon=-81.3652&zoom=13&layers=C
I've been treating unmarked lanes as a different type, tagged cycleway=unmarked_lane rather than cycleway=lane, which means they don't show up as bike lanes on the cycle map layer. I could instead use cycleway=lane and another tag to indicate that they're unmarked; they would then be rendered but the information would still be there for any custom renderings that might treat them differently.

There's no currently-defined method of tagging unmarked bike lanes in OSM; I just chose cycleway=unmarked_lane as making sense in lieu of an existing tag. So my question is whether, in the absence of a separate symbol for unmarked lanes (like the Metroplan Orlando map has), would you expect to see them shown as bike lanes or normal roads?
« Last Edit: September 12, 2010, 12:29:01 PM by NE2 » Logged
fred_dot_u
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2010, 05:15:22 PM »

There are plenty of roadways in the Daytona area on which I ride with similar markings. I attended a FLDOT meeting for repaving and restructuring of a section of US1 in Daytona Beach. The roadway was formerly lined for on-road parking. The new construction now underway was shown to have a larger margin on the left of the roadway in each direction (run-off area) and the parking width was reduced accordingly. The engineers to whom I spoke called them "undesignated bike lanes" which is gibberish in my alleged mind. If it's undesignated, it's not anything.

Calling the portion of the road suface contained within those stripes in the Google Maps links sounds suspiciously like the engineer's presentation.

With MBL only days away, I suppose I'll be spending more time uh.. discussing the finer points of the law with uninformed uniformed law enforcement officers.

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Andrewp
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2010, 06:57:30 AM »

Fred:  maybe a premptive strike to the Police Seargent's desk to make sure he knows that you know the new law .....  Huh
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caffrey
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2010, 05:23:39 AM »

Sorry about the missing posts in this thread. I was having my host migrate all the CO databases to a different data center. They failed to mention that anything new added during this process would get lost.
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fred_dot_u
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2010, 06:44:40 AM »

Did the RSS feed also get lost? I don't know if I can go on...
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caffrey
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2010, 09:42:30 AM »

They broke several things and I'm waiting for them to restore databases. I'll check the rss feeds
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caffrey
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2010, 10:17:53 AM »

OK, the feed is back and everything is functioning again
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fred_dot_u
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2010, 12:06:45 PM »

It tested out and worked for me, thanks. Best invention ever, in my opinion, when combined with a good feed reader, of course.
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NE2
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2010, 06:07:12 AM »

It seems like these are actually better than both a normal bike lane and a wide outside lane from the standpoint of theoretical freedom. In other words, if you have a wide outside lane, cyclists have to keep as far right as practicable. If you add a stripe to said wide lane and mark it as a bike lane, cyclists have to use it. But if you add the stripe and don't mark it as anything, you've turned a wide outside lane into a standard-width lane, and cyclists can now ride in its center. (This of course assumes that the police know the laws, which is about as likely as a pregnant mule.)
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caffrey
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2010, 12:33:17 PM »

It seems like these are actually better than both a normal bike lane and a wide outside lane from the standpoint of theoretical freedom. In other words, if you have a wide outside lane, cyclists have to keep as far right as practicable. If you add a stripe to said wide lane and mark it as a bike lane, cyclists have to use it. But if you add the stripe and don't mark it as anything, you've turned a wide outside lane into a standard-width lane, and cyclists can now ride in its center. (This of course assumes that the police know the laws, which is about as likely as a pregnant mule.)

The primary problem with undesignated lanes is increased harassment, and now uninformed police who will most certainly know about the MBL law (even though they don't know ANY of the other laws pertaining to bicycling, like the exceptions or safe passing laws).

As I understand it, if the undesignated lane has curb and gutter next to it, it is considered part of the roadway and subject to the FTR law anyway. Either way, we lose. One thing I've learned about police is the statute has to be written explicitly to allow us use of the lane or they won't believe it. It it is possible to interpret a law against us, they will.

A 4ft undesignated lane is a clearly-marked space where we are expected to be (legally or not). A wide lane can't really be visualized, so you can get away with riding farther out into it and encouraging a lane-change.
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NE2
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2010, 06:39:30 PM »

As I understand it, if the undesignated lane has curb and gutter next to it, it is considered part of the roadway and subject to the FTR law anyway.
So are you saying FTR already applied to bike lanes (both marked and unmarked), and the new law didn't change anything?
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caffrey
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2010, 06:55:43 PM »

As I understand it, if the undesignated lane has curb and gutter next to it, it is considered part of the roadway and subject to the FTR law anyway.
So are you saying FTR already applied to bike lanes (both marked and unmarked), and the new law didn't change anything?

In practical application, yes. The new law just added a layer of discriminatory language to an already discriminatory law. The differences are somewhat subtle when it comes to these situations. I highlighted a few here:

http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/2010/06/04/why-were-facing-a-mandatory-bike-lane-law/

There are several roads that have narrow minimum-width bike lanes shoehorned next to narrow travel lanes. Most of these configurations occur on multilane roads. It is far more comfortable to ignore the bike lane and control the lane. If the space is 14ft, I would have to defend the practice under the FTR law. However, under the MBL law, it would be specifically illegal. And worse, there are many places where the DOTs have striped space to the right of the travel lane that is so substandard, it cannot be designated as a bike lane. Yet, to the untrained eye, it looks like one.  The MBL, creates more opportunities for harassment by motorists and law enforcement for avoiding these bike-lane-like deathtraps.

George has more on the undesignated lanes here:

http://flbikelaw.org/2010/05/pavement-ribbon/
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Mighk
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 05:20:10 AM »

It hinges on the term practicable.  One could argue it is practicable to bike in an undesignated bike lane if it has the same width as a designated one.  The worst problem comes in when the undesignated lane is less than standard width (<4 ft.).  Particularly since motorists tend to center their vehicles in the general use lane when a bike lane stripe (or what appears to be a bike lane stripe) is present.  So if you're in a 3-foot undesignated lane next to an 11-foot general use lane, some motorists may give you less than 3 feet of passing clearance.  Complicating that more is the fact that debris often collects in the "bike lane," making it necessary for the cyclist to shift left to avoid it.  By comparison, with a 14 foot lane (the same total width), the debris gets pushed into the gutter and passing motorists tend to shift to the far left side of the lane.  So we generally get better passing clearance with a 14-foot lane than with an 11/3 combination.  To me that means it is not practicable to ride in such an undesignated 3-foot space, but good luck convincing an officer or judge of that.

The next question is whether cyclists can drive two-abreast.  To hear some officers explain it, cyclists only have the right to drive two-abreast if there's no motor traffic around.  If that were the case, there would be no point to even having the two-abreast section in 316.2065; the far right section would completely negate it.

If cycling two-abreast is only permitted when the lane is too narrow to share with a motor vehicle (since a solo cyclist can already control the lane in that situation), then the prohibition on cycling two-abreast when "impeding traffic" would be moot.  The two-abreast impeding traffic prohibition can only conceivably apply to a sharable width lane, meaning cyclists could travel two-abreast in a wide lane unless other traffic was being impeded.  One might be able to make the same argument for a roadway with bike lanes, but I'd give such an argument a slim-to-none chance on the road, and only a slightly less slim chance in a courtroom.

Any law which requires this much analysis to explain to the average person is really bad law in my book.
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NE2
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« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2010, 01:04:03 AM »

Back to the original question: would you prefer to see these marked on a map as bike lanes or not (the information would still be in the database either way)?
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scrouds
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« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2010, 08:29:03 AM »

I keep thinking about this question, and come up with 2 good sides.  Its not a bike lane, but it is.

right now, I'm leaning  towards inclusion.   Like it or not, VC iss a minority position, and I'm thinking the gutter bunnies are a little bit safer knowing where the bike lanes are, official or otherwise. Undecided

Would be nice if a renderer would read the hazards and render them in a different shade.  But that's neither here nor there on this issue.
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