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Posted by on Jul 6, 2012 in Uncategorized | 7 comments

There’s a Bike Lane Marking For That!

You are no doubt familiar with the term “Crap Cycling Infrastructure.”  If only we could round up the people who designed some of these abominations, as well as the folks who pushed for their installation, and make them ride in them every day, there would be some changes made!

I used to think that any bike lane was better than nothing, but have found that to be just not true. The miserable/laughable half-mile long Primrose bike lane, which is the most direct route to get to about 90% of the places I go, continues to be reclaimed by nature.

 

That’s the directional arrow above.   On the right, you see the rear wheel of the bicycle symbol. Note the motor vehicle tire tracks.

Back in late 2009, I asked the City of Orlando to please clear the overgrown part of the bike lane, which they did. It seemed like a big improvement at the time, but I’m not planning to ask again. Having to ride in a crappy, narrow, poorly marked, intermittent bike lane is not much comfort. It just marginalizes the cyclist further, and raises the expectations of the drivers that you will get the heck out of their way. I hope the City of Orlando is not claiming this .5 mile alleged bicycle lane as part of their miles of cycling infrastructure that earned Orlando a LAB bronze level designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community.

What? You don’t think I appreciate a 13 inch bike lane space, measuring from the center of the faded away line to the edge of the loose sand and debris? My handlebars are wider than 13 inches! I know, I’m such an ingrate.

Well, recently I took a closer look and noticed that there is an appropriate bike lane marking in the northbound Primrose bike lane, which alerts cyclists to the, um, even more  “substandard” bike lane just ahead. Here it is:

Look at the seat of his pants! It’s obvious that this is the lane symbol of a cyclist who has just been buzzed-passed in a narrow faded-out bike lane by a Ford F-150, and is now heading for the sidewalk. This lane marking is not only perfect, it’s craptastic!

7 Comments

  1. Excellent commentary!

  2. #1 in my personal “Hall of Shame” for crap cycle infrastructure is the bike lane in the door zone of adjacent parked cars. So that the most dangerous place on the entire road to ride a bicycle is in the bike lane.

    Ultimately this is a matter of engineering standards. It is my opinion that failure to use the world-class CROW engineering standard constitutes gross negligence. And when the inevitable KSI casualties happen, the government agency responsible for this gross negligence needs to be sued for a gazillion dollars.

    Here is a video of proper cycling infrastructure. Note how it is not only efficient in getting people from A to B quickly, but how pleasant it is to cycle. See:

    http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2012/07/unravelling-of-modes.html

    • *yawn*

  3. So, how bad does it have to be before the Florida mandatory law no longer applies?

  4. Feel free to string up people like myself and others that advocated for bike lanes in years past. Just like you, many once believed that having a space designated for cyclists was a good idea. The City of Orlando was an early adopter of installing bike lanes, building trails (Cady Way is one of the oldest trails in the region – the opening of the Dinky Line is being promoted on this very website)and providing better conditions for pedestrians (first to install ped countdown signals which have their own unintended consequences).

    Our roads are often paved with good intentions. Rather than grouse about the past – let’s move on and continue doing a better job of improving conditions on our roadways and educating not only the lay public but also public officials about the unintended consequences of their policies.

    • Laura, I agree with you completely. Thank you!

    • I don’t recall when the Primrose bike lane was installed, but if I had been aware of it at the time, I would have definitely been among those supporting it. You are spot on about moving beyond grousing about the past and toward improving our future.

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