So there I wuz, drivin’ down the highway and whaddya know, there’s one o them cars fulla people, all smug and righteous, right there in my lane! Not in the carpool lane. Oh no. In MY lane! My tax money paid for them special lanes, but no, uppity greenies think they can just use any dadgum lane they want.
Bicycle Lane—a portion of a roadway that has been designated for preferential or exclusive use by bicyclists by pavement markings and, if used, signs.
Preferential Lane—a highway lane reserved for the exclusive use of one or more specific types of vehicles or vehicles with at least a specific number of occupants.
It doesn’t matter what you call it
- They keep the non-preferred vehicles out of their way, rather than the other way around. Yes, some bike lanes do this when traffic is backed up, but that is when a bike lane becomes most dangerous to the uninformed user.
- They don’t place their users at a disadvantage by making them less visible to other users.
- They don’t create crash conflicts with the users of other lanes.
- They aren’t subject to sudden obstruction by car doors.
- They don’t gather glass, trash, sand and organic debris.
- They don’t cause their users to be disregarded and passed closer and faster by other road users.
- Their intended users are not harassed by other users or targeted by police for not using them.
- Their designs don’t routinely violate standards. But if mistakes are made or they are found to be unsafe, they are fixed immediately. The governing agency doesn’t shrug and say, “we’ll fix it in ten years when we resurface.”
- And no one would ever consider making them mandatory.
The users of other preferential lanes are not exposed and vulnerable to serious injury when facing all of the above hazards… which are present in our mandatory “preferential” lanes, but not theirs.
As I’ve said before, a facility is only a good as the attitude of the culture that builds it. A culture that disrespects bicycle drivers and only wants them out of the way, will build marginal crap facilities to shove us into. Then they’ll pat us on the head and tell us they are doing us a favor. And if we could all have just stayed in our place, we coulda gone on pretending.