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Posted by on Apr 27, 2010 in Uncategorized | 9 comments

What’s wrong with this picture?

Hint, the plan did NOT include widening the actual road. You can read about it on Paul Schimek’s most excellent website.

Here’s what just-barely more space looks like in real life, with a truck in a parking space and a bus in the general traffic lane:

9 Comments

  1. But, but… aren’t bike lanes the proper way to make your city bicycle friendly? I mean, getting doored is so much less common than getting run down from behind, right?

  2. If the travel lanes were sloped at 48.9 degrees, you’d have a 55’ curb-to-curb without widening the road. The parking stays, bicyclists get a door-zone bike lane, and motorists keep the 16’ travel lane. Gravity and door-zones aside, everyone wins!

    • That made me laugh out loud! That observation is a keeper for future reference :-)

    • Gotta get new glasses. Should’ve said 45.6 degrees, with a 15′ travel lane (:

  3. Time and time again planners misrepresent dimensions to make bike facilities seem better than they are.

  4. I guess I’m not clear what you’re driving at (pun intended). If you look at the numbers between the light poles, encompassing the parking lane and driving lane(s) on both sides, 7 + 16 + 15 + 7 (before) = 7 + 5 + 10.5 + 10.5 + 5 + 7 (after) = 45 in both cases. Looks like what happened is their graphic designer just copied and pasted the 16′ and 15′ travel lanes from the first diagram into the second diagram without resizing them, just changing the numbers. I agree that’s rather confusing and possibly misleading, but surely the street will be striped according to the numbers. Is the point simply the visual trickery in the public meeting?

    And are you implying this is intentional, rather than just a graphic designer screw-up? (Of course, we all know graphic designers never screw up! :-))

    I guess it reflects my engineering side that I went to the numbers rather than just observing that the distance between the light poles is noticeably wider in the second diagram.

    • I tested theory and it is plausible. Who knows what the intention is, or if it’s simple incompetence. What’s clear is that it looks like there is more pavement after the bike lanes are added. Both drawings are proportionally distorted. The top one is very distorted, the bottom one is close, but not correct.

      16ft is a sucky width. It’s wide enough to look like you can shoehorn a bike lane, but all the extra space is door zone. If you must do something, the cyclist-friendly thing to do is caution-stripe the door zone and center sharrows in the usable travel lane.

  5. I will never ride a bicycle in a door zone. Period. :)

  6. I kinda like the idea of those motor vehicle lanes and bike lanes side-by-side in the second illustration, Keri. I’d make only one change – reduce all motor vehicles to not more than five feet wide. Imagine the economic benefits! We’d save enormous amounts of fuel. Parking would be far easier, and it could even see a resurgence of the British auto industry – the long awaited return of the Morris Minor, the Austin Healy Sprite, and even (gasp!) Triumph.