This is another open thread, an opportunity for our brilliant readers to discuss problems and solutions.
I avoid 2-lane roads with solid traffic like the plague. One reason I discuss multi-lane roads so much is that, I would prefer to use a 6-lane arterial to a lower-speed, 2-lane road with traffic like in the above photo.
There are quite a few roads like this around here. Unlike many other cities, the Orlando metro lacks both a consistent grid and wide lanes on 2-lane roads. The lack of a grid causes large volumes of traffic to be channeled onto these narrow roads. At peak traffic times, they are not at all fun places to ride a bicycle.
Some roads, like Bumby (shown in the photo) can be bypassed by parallel roads. Others, like Andrew’s nemesis — Hall Road — have no reasonable alternatives. Especially if you live on it. Some roads have very distinct platoons of traffic, so if you plan your entry you can ride alone between platoons for a good distance. But some roads just have a steady flow of traffic in both directions. I wrote about one of my few experiences with an at-capacity 2-lane road (Hoffner) last November.
At some point that much traffic will get in the cyclist’s way, too. In reality, it does not matter if traffic cannot pass a cyclist when they will simply be queued up again behind motorists at the next traffic light. Motorists delay motorists. When it comes to urban and suburban traffic, cyclists do nothing more than temporarily redistribute delay, they have no effect on motorists’ travel time. So my questions below have nothing to do with motorist convenience, they have to do with cyclist comfort. Very few cyclists are comfortable with a long line of cars behind them, even when we know the people in those cars will be impeded by people in other cars all the way home. Of course, the incivility and lack of perspective of those people makes our discomfort even worse.
A few questions to ponder:
- How many of you have to deal with roads like this, and how do you handle it? What roads are they?
- What are the solutions that we should advocate for making these roads easier to deal with?
- Should the solutions be social or physical?
- Should such roads be 4-laned? What are the consequences of that?
- Should they be widened for cycling (WCLs or BLs)? What if there is no right-of-way? (An example of that would be Palmer Ave., the solution was sharrows.)
- Can these roads be bypassed with connector trails?
I suspect that each road has a different optimal solution.
If you would like to post google map links to your roads, please use http://tinyurl.com/ or html code.