The recent discussion on vehicular cycling versus separated cycling infrastructure started me thinking about what could be done to improve conditions for cyclists on the existing roads and trails in my area. Here are a few things that came to mind:
- Install traffic light sensors for cyclists at all intersections
- Repair existing potholes and broken shoulders
- Sweep streets and paths more frequently
- Restripe bike lanes to current specifications (some are dangerously narrow)
- Either restripe or eliminate bike lanes that abruptly end and unexpectedly place cyclists on narrow roads with no shoulders
- Ticket motorists who park in bike lanes
- Complete unfinished bike paths (You’ve heard of the bridge to nowhere? We have bike paths to nowhere…)
If I had to pick one, my top priority would be the stop light sensors. Because bikes trigger only 30-40% of the stop lights in the area and you never know which one is going to trigger, riders are put in the position of either taking the lane and, if the light doesn’t trigger, proceeding on red; or shuffling over to press the pedestrian crossing button. Neither of these options is particularly safe or convenient.
Most of the other items on the list (other than the bike paths) could easily be accomplished as part of regularly scheduled road maintenance if they were identified as priorities. Do you have similar repairs and upgrades that would improve cycling conditions in your area?