Possible Opportunity on Edgewater Drive


I happened to be in a meeting the other day discussing various planned roadway resurfacing projects. FDOT was seeking input on potential opportunities within these corridors that would be more than just the resurfacing/restriping. Edgewater Drive between Par and Forest City Road is scheduled for resurfacing in the next year or so. The City would like to add bike lanes to the corridor to improve cycling conditions. To do so would require approval from FDOT to narrow the travel lanes to 10.5′ and add a 4′ bike lane (5′ if you count the gutter pan).

I call this an opportunity because I’d rather think of it in  a positive light than a negative one. How best as a cycling community can we express our desires to improve conditions on this road?   Also, improving conditions on this corridor for cycling is a good thing since there are really no other alternate routes, but what would be the best solution?

  • Signage indicating Bikes May Use Full Lane?
  • Sharrows?
  • Candidate for roadway diet? (reduce from 5 lanes to 3?)
  • 5′ bike lane, 10′ travel lanes?
  • Narrower inside lanes so that outside lane can be wider?
  • Leave as is

This link shows a typical section of the roadway between Par and Lee.

This link shows a typical section between Lee and Forest City.

36 replies
  1. Laura
    Laura says:

    Thanks for adding the pics blog fairy! 😉

    note the cyclist on the sidewalk riding along a fence. So many curb cuts too. ugh.

  2. ChipSeal
    ChipSeal says:

    No no no no! No bike lanes on that portion between Lee and Forest City. There are far too many junctions to put a through lane (The bike lane) to the right of a straight through/right turn lane. (The right automobile lane)

    Just ask the engineers if they would construct such a street configuration for automobiles! Of course not, and for the same reasons they shouldn’t put bike lanes in that way!

    How about signs that say “Bicycles Must Ride In The Middle Of The Lane.”?

    Or “Cars Cannot Share the Lane With Bicycles on this Road”?

    At the least, “Change Lanes to Pass” with a bicycle pictured.

    Sharrows with the words “Bicycles allowed full use of the lane”.

  3. Keri
    Keri says:

    From the perspective of what’s the best and safest way to use this road, I’d say leave it alone. From the perspective of facilitating cycling on an unpleasant and intimidating corridor, which has no alternative routes, I believe we need to do something.

    Clearly, substandard bike lanes next to substandard traffic lanes is NOT the answer. That’s the worst possible implementation of an already bad solution.

    For passing comfort, a standard bike lane (5ft of pavement NOT including the gutter pan) next to a standard 12ft lane should be the minimum. That road has a lot of commercial vehicle traffic — trucks buses and utility trailers.

    But passing comfort is not the only issue here. We have large vehicles making right turns at numerous commercial driveways and major intersections, this creates a recipe for deadly right-hook crashes. Many of the intersections have rounded corners to facilitate turns at higher speeds. This also create right-hook problems. There is no RTOL at Lee Rd, that would be a suicide slot (dashing the bike lane is really meaningless to most road users).

    We have motorists trying to shoot gaps to make left turns — bicyclists in a bike lane (of any width) would be traveling in the moving blind spot of traffic in 2 lanes. The potential for left cross crashes is very serious. The continuous center turn lane expands this risk the whole length of the road, rather than limiting it to a few intersections.

    I have a strong aversion to creating attractive nuisance facilities — leading novices into situations where they feel safe only because they don’t understand the risks. Essentially, a facility like this lures novices into risky situations and decreases the ability (and legitimacy) of experienced vehicular cyclists to protect themselves by riding in the safest possible manner.

    So, going back to the best and safest way to ride on this road. Lane control. How do we facilitate lane control to make it easier? My vote would be Bikes May Use full Lane signs and (possibly) shared lane markings, along with an education campaign. In my perfect world, I’d even narrow the lanes to make them easier to control and create some green space next to the sidewalk so the road wasn’t such a damned eyesore.

    Cities have a choice in how to spend their money. They can spend it on symbolic stuff that appeals to cultural ignorance and provides at best no safety, at worst a decrease in safety… or they can start with what we know works best for cyclists and find ways to educate and eradicate cultural ignorance.

  4. Steve A
    Steve A says:

    Grind away the white line, make the RH lane as narrow as FDOT will buy – giving the leftovers to the LH lane, and put up signs with the “change lanes to pass cyclists” that ChipSeal suggests. Add an occasional advisory to the CIC types to encourage them to ride down the middle of “their” lane. The signs would be a LOT cheaper than tons of green paint and would not create expectations that conflict with existing law.

    The motorists will not be upset too much, since “their” lane will be wider, while they can still use the “cycling” lane without conflict if they need to do so or if things are busy. The cyclists will not be under the delusion that motorists won’t turn right from the RH lane.

    As Rantwick advises, spend MOST of the money on making it a decent surface for everybody! Do ALL of the above and EVERYBODY wins, which is the best solution…

  5. Keri
    Keri says:


    If you click on the image, you’ll see a larger version. I adapted this from a project I’m working on with Dan Gutierrez. The exclusion zone model is his work. That red trapezoid shape indicates the part of the roadway a cyclist should avoid when approaching intersections — riding within that area leaves a cyclist vulnerable to right hook, left cross and drive-out crashes. The zone expands lengthwise as a cyclist’s speed increases. Imagine Edgewater Dr with numerous consecutive commercial driveways and intersections, the red trapezoids for each intersection begin to connect and overlap. Thus adding a bike lane to a complex road like this places cyclists in exactly the part of the road we teach them to avoid.

    Additionally, the narrow lanes with to-scale vehicles shows how little passing clearance a cyclist would get in the substandard bike lane. Even smaller vehicles will not move over in a narrow lane when there is traffic in the adjacent lane. The result would be less than 3 feet of clearance from most vehicles.

  6. Steve A
    Steve A says:

    I think Keri & I are not in conflict here. Instead, we’re commenting in concert, coming to similar conclusions. Am I confused?

  7. Keri
    Keri says:

    I didn’t see your post until after I posted mine.

    I actually like the idea of making the outside lane narrower than the inside lane. Though that can pose a problem for large vehciles’ turning radii.

  8. Steve A
    Steve A says:

    I’ll take that as a “no, there’s harmony in our comments.” The large vehicles know they have a problem turning right and they’ll watch all the more carefully with a narrow right lane.

  9. Steve A
    Steve A says:

    Extra advisories about big vehicles taking exta space to turn right at intersections might be a good addition as well. I like those big trucks. Their drivers usually know what the heck they’re doing, what it takes to do it, and whatever helps keep casual people on bikes from getting gummed up in the wheels can’t be too negative.

    Go Casey’s Concrete!

  10. Kevin Love
    Kevin Love says:

    A 4′ bike lane is grossly inadequate. That’s just a little over a metre, and provides zero room for moving around any road obstruction. Toronto’s recommended standard is two metres with a minimum standard for low-traffic roads of 1.5 metres. Having cycled in some of the minimum standard lanes, I can attest that they really are bare minimums.

    There seems to be a couple of alternatives to provide adequate road room. There appears to be a centre turn lane. Eliminating that has two benefits. The first benefit is that it frees up adequate room for bicycle lanes. The second benefit is that turning cars then provide natural traffic calming points for other cars, particularly during times of heavy car traffic.

    For the other alternative, I make the presumption that the space between the pedestrian sidewalk and the curb was not included in the streetspace calculation. This means that the curbs on both sides could be moved four feet into the road to create a Copenhagen-style bike lane. Just eyeballing it, it should be possible to create a 2.5 metre bike lane – plenty wide enough.

    This has some advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is subjective safety – it is much more pleasant to cycle with a 12 cm curb between myself and cars. Another advantage is sightlines. Having my bicycle raised up another 12 cm is very helpful in looking over motor vehicle traffic.

    A potential disadvantage is motor vehicle sightlines from private driveways. Although I would have to be on the ground to check this out, the wall on the left side of the photo may be of concern. It may be necessary to remove 2-3 metres of the end of the wall and/or completely or partially restore the adjacent curb cut.

    Adequate education and law enforcement is also necessary to keep pedestrians out of the bike lane.

    When the curb ends at intersections, I would recommend using blue paint to mark the bicycle route through the intersection. This serves two purposes: It has an education purpose in reminding cyclists not to use the pedestrian crossing, and it also reminds motorists to expect bicycles on the blue paint.

    For an example, see this video here:


    Take a look at the lanes at 0:45, 2:10, 3:55

    Look at the car turning right at 3:35. No right hooks here!

    What is very important is the discussion about how road space was taken away from car users and given to bicycle users.

    I am a fan of Jan Gehl, the brilliant architect and urban planner. It was a true honour and privilege to see him when he was in Toronto earlier this year.

    At 9:30 Jan talks about the incremental approach. Very important! In Orlando and everywhere else.

  11. Steve A
    Steve A says:

    Just don’t go trash talking MY concrete guys. You respect them, learn how they move and they’re good people. I’ll go out of my way any day of the week to share the roads with their trucks, and they return the favor. Correcting my previous comment, it is CHARLIE’S, not Casey’s. It’s one of those continually confused things with me. Check the link for a shameless plug for a company I have no financial interest in and that is nowhere NEAR Orlando, or even Dallas for that matter…

  12. Keri
    Keri says:

    I think the city is looking for the cheap fix here. Even if a cycletrack-type facility was workable (and it’s not due to the high volume of intersections), it would be way too expensive. Taking away car capacity on that road would also be political suicide. It’s already a congested corridor.

    Removing the center turn lane would most likely increase car-v-car crashes. It would also exacerbate the left-cross crashes for cyclists and pedestrians as motorists would feel increased pressure to turn ASAP. They would shoot smaller gaps at higher speed, spending less time to scan the sidewalk for pedestrians or the bike lane for cyclists. It would also greatly increase the difficulty/comfort for cyclists to make vehicular left turns. I’d much rather stand in a TWLTL than a traffic lane while waiting for a gap to turn left.

  13. Steve A
    Steve A says:

    I favor solutions that do not TAKE from one category of road user to GIVE to another. The overwhelming majority of vehicles I share the road with agree with me.

  14. ChipSeal
    ChipSeal says:

    I think a narrower right lane, with a wider more appealing left lane is a good idea. Through trucks would prefer that lane, left turners have the suicide lane (Center lane for turning) so as to be out of the way as they wait for a gap.

    If the right lane is narrowed, the curb at cross streets may have to be redesigned to allow oversize vehicles some off-tracking room, which is expensive.

    What do traffic engineers have to say to the idea of narrowing the suicide lane? I am not sure how it’s width is affects sight-lines and similar considerations.

    It would seem, as we are kicking this around, that any change at all has ripples of new problems. Any change will have to be a compromise on some level.

  15. ChipSeal
    ChipSeal says:

    Timing and cost. From Laura’s post:

    Edgewater Drive between Par and Forest City Road is scheduled for resurfacing in the next year or so

    The resurfacing project may be canceled altogether by mid 2010 due to falling tax receipts. Even new engineering studies may be off the table. But it can be fun to dream! 🙂

  16. John Schubert
    John Schubert says:

    As usual, Keri has said almost everything I would have said.

    This isn’t Copenhagen. Even if you don’t object to their huge increase in right-hook car/bike collisions (which they themselves reported here: http://www.ecf.com/files/2/12/16/070503_Cycle_Tracks_Copenhagen.pdf), badly imitating one feature of their entire infrastructure/ culture/ cost structure/ social expectations doesn’t bring you closer to nirvana — especially when it’s the one that CAUSES accidents (and they’ve already told you it’s the one that CAUSES accidents).

    Cooler weather, shorter trip distances and $7/gallon gas would increase cycling in Orlando. They are core factors in cycling’s success in Copenhagen. Oh, can’t do that in Orlando? Stay focused on the (1) the factors that help people who are already cycling, and (2) using education to increase the safety of people who ride unsafely.

    On the specific street in question, Keri’s list of recommendations is excellent.

    Imagine you hardly ever saw someone riding unsafely. (That’s the case in Germany, in my experience.) Imagine you never saw a rider on the sidewalk, a rider blowing stop lights, a rider against traffic, an unlit rider at night. Think how that would change the public perception of cycling! Far, far more helpful than (I’m going to say it again, brace yourselves) imitating something that they’ve told you causes accidents!

    John Schubert

  17. Rantwick
    Rantwick says:

    Hey Chipseal:

    <i "whatever helps keep casual people on bikes from getting gummed up in the wheels can’t be too negative"

    Hear Hear! or is it Here Here!? Anyway, right on man! Let’s start a “don’t gum us up in your wheels” PSA thing! (he, heh. You did make me laugh with that.)

  18. Eric
    Eric says:

    Thanks to Laura to ask.
    If she were to take what she heard here back to her engineering friends she might be putting her job in jeopardy.

    I’m serious, Laura. They don’t want to know what we (the users of what they design) think.

    They want to to know what the elephants (as I call them in another post) think.

  19. Kevin Love
    Kevin Love says:

    John wrote:
    “(which they themselves reported here: http://www.ecf.com/files/2/12/16/070503_Cycle_Tracks_Copenhagen.pdf)”

    Kevin’s comment:
    The link isn’t working for me. It gives a European cycle site that doesn’t seem to be what you want. I suspect that the original document was about one of the failures along the way of the last 40 years. 40 years ago, Copenhagen was car-crazy car-clogged and with little cycle infrastructure. Yes, they have made mistakes along the way. Fortunately, we can learn from those mistakes and benchmark where they are today.

    “This isn’t Copenhagen”

    And in Copenhagen, when the car-free zones were first proposed, the nay-sayers said “This isn’t Italy. Copenhagen people will never be able to make car-free zones work.” The nabobs of negativity seem to have similar patterns throughout the world.

    “Cooler weather… would increase cycling in Orlando. They are core factors in cycling’s success in Copenhagen.”

    Cooler weather? Thank you for providing today’s amusement. I needed the laugh. Scandinavian countries like DK have issues with this white stuff that floats down in the winter. Everyone’s got an imperfect environment. Vancouver and Swiss cities deal with mountains. Toronto gets stinking hot in summer. Unlike Orlando, we’re not on the Florida penninsula, surrounded by water that moderates the climate in the summer. We deal with it.

    Take a look at minute 9 of the video I posted. One of the key players over the last 40 years gives a key secret of success: incrementalism. Copenhagen didn’t change due to some master plan. Orlando (and everywhere else) can change the same way. A proper bike lane would be a good start.

    Because, quite frankly, if you always do the same as you’ve always done, you’ll always get the same as you always got. A cliche, but true. Orlando’s cycle-hostility can change just like everywhere else that has had positive change. Or not. In a democracy its up to the people.

  20. John Schubert
    John Schubert says:


    (1) I tried the link, and, like you, got a different result. Then I looked really closely, and saw that the “)” was in the link. I removed the “)”, hit reload, and got the report.

    (2) You don’t have to speculate about what’s in the report. It’ll tell you. It’s the latest and greatest Copenhagen barrier-separated bikelanes (fashionably called cycletracks), recently installed, with before-and-after accident counts. It’s not a mistake of many years ago, it’s a “mistake” of their latest thinking.

    (3) My wife used to live in Denmark. It almost never snows there. It simply doesn’t get cold enough. (She’ll tell you that 40 degrees, raw and raining, feels mighty cold — but it doesn’t coat the ground with ice.)

    (4) We live where it _does_ snow, in Coopersburg, PA. I submit that snow and any other possible source of roadway ice is an absolute deal killer for almost everyone. I know of no community where significant numbers of cyclists are willing to accept the increased risk of falling. I came by this opinion through trial and error, riding both road bikes and mountain bikes in all sorts of conditions, and observing how few other people were willing to join me. (My point here isn’t about what you or I am willing to do. It’s about what’ll sell to the public.)

    (5) Toronto, “stinking hot” in summer? Really?

    (6) Personally, I like pedestrian malls in downtowns. When I visit Florida, I like to go to the one at St. George’s Street in St. Augustine. However, the sad fact is that downtown pedestrian malls have a high failure rate in most U.S. cities. Closer to home, in Bethlehem, PA, a pedestrian mall was a miserable failure for decades. When the city made it back into a regular street, business boomed for all the businesses on that street, and the occupancy rate in the storefronts improved. I experience no joy in saying this, but I recognize that decisions should be data driven, and any city interested in having a pedestrian mall has an obligation to do due diligence to try to ensure that it doesn’t just put merchants out of business.

    (7) The mere mention of “doing the same as you’ve done” is a strawman argument. I don’t think any bicyclist advocate is suggesting that. Rather, this is a question of whether cycling will prosper better with (1) riders who understand best practices and an environment which is consistent with best practices, or (2) an environment which actually directs cyclists to the roadway position which creates an increased risk of known collisions (dooring, suicide slot, etc.)

    (8) Our nation just had another right-hook fatality. Here:


    This was on a two-lane street with bike lanes.

    This is serious stuff. When public policy fails to consider the mechanism that causes collisions, people die.

    John Schubert

  21. Kevin Love
    Kevin Love says:

    Got the report! Two issues:

    1) I did not see a date on it.

    2) You appear to be confusing the raw number of crashes with the rate. NB: I dislike using the word accidents – most are no accident.

    So, from the first two sentences of the section headed “Conclusion” on page 8, we see what the effect was of installing separated cycle lanes. Cycle traffic increased 18-20% and the number of crashes and injuries only increased 9-10%. So it looks like the rate of crashes and injuries decreased about 10%.

    A 10% reduction in the rate of crashes and injuries seems like one more good reason to install Copenhagen-style fully-protected bicycle lanes.

  22. Kevin Love
    Kevin Love says:

    John wrote:
    “My wife used to live in Denmark.”

    Kevin’s comment:
    My wife did also. She lived in Viborg.

    “It almost never snows there”

    I don’t know about where your wife lived, but Copenhagen is no stranger to lots of snow. I’ll put up a few links in separate posts (to avoid the anti-spam robot) to photos and reports of various snowfalls in Copenhagen last winter. The first one, from December 18, may be found at:


  23. Kevin Love
    Kevin Love says:

    You’re probably wondering the relevance of snow in Copenhagen to Orlando in July. The point, of course, is that environmental issues pose technical problems. But that is no excuse to prevent solutions to enable a mass cycling culture.

    Finally, John wrote about:
    “…riders who understand best practices and an environment which is consistent with best practices…”

    I’ve been there, cycled that. In Holland. And saw and cycled for myself just why the USA has a bicycle death and injury rate 17 times as high as NL.

  24. danc
    danc says:

    Kevin, you not snowing this one over …

    CPH: “Precipitation is moderate throughout the year, and snowfall occurs mainly in December through March, but snow cover does not remain a long time.”

    ABE: “Snowfall is variable, with some winters bringing light snow and others bringing numerous significant snowstorms. Average snowfall is 82.3 centimetres (32.4 in) per year, with the months of January and February receiving the highest at just over 22.86 centimetres (9.00 in) each”

    Oh my 5 centimetres (cm) of snow that’s almost 2 inches of snow? That is some dusting! So how do get an average of over 32 inches of snow, it get’s cold and stays cold, Allentown’s January lows average −6 °C (21.2 °F) and highs average 1.3 °C (34.3 °F)

  25. Keri
    Keri says:

    Enough already with Copenhagen. Kevin you post the same stuff over and over. No one here is interested. No one here is buying it. This post was about solving a problem for cyclists on Edgewater Drive.

    We have issues to deal with here. Stop hijacking our discussions with cycletrack propaganda.

  26. Laura
    Laura says:

    “Thanks to Laura to ask.
    If she were to take what she heard here back to her engineering friends she might be putting her job in jeopardy.

    I’m serious, Laura. They don’t want to know what we (the users of what they design) think.

    They want to to know what the elephants (as I call them in another post) think.”

    What can I say, it’s a Don Quixote complex. Anyway, I brought it up as discussion here b/c I feel input from commuting cyclists is a good thing. I commend the City for wanting to improve conditions. But what I don’t want is the City to give up if someone criticizes their approach. During discussions, the City reps knew it was a very long shot to get FDOT to agree to the 10.5′ lanes. The resurfacing would go a long long way to improving things for cyclists and I think there are some good ideas in this thread. Food for thought for the powers that be anyway. All you really can do is get your comments on the record.

  27. Keri
    Keri says:

    I am grateful that Laura brought this to the community. It’s really important that both cyclists and the city understand the issues, opportunities and perspectives. Most have rarely heard a point of view that counters the common assumption that bike lanes are the solution to all problems. That assumption has lead to a nasty trend of shoehorning bike lanes into substandard spaces, rather than holistic problem solving.

    The elephants, as Eric calls them (in a future post that looks promising), have been calling the shots for too long with little alternative input or critique to counter-balance them.

    That was the impetus for this website. I want to bring the cycling community to a level of awareness and confidence as cyclists that they can ask for stuff that truly benefits them and resist symbolic stuff that doesn’t.

    Symbolic things divert money and political will away from solving real problems.

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