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?
We were blessed with yet another stunningly beautiful fall afternoon in NorCal today. You couldn’t order up better weather for a bike ride.
I spotted this row of Gary Fisher Simple City commuters in front of my LBS. Nice looking bikes…
Photo © Sacramento Bee
In my hometown paper today:
The Conversation: Can bikes and cars coexist?
Drivers are asked to share the road, and bicyclists need to do their part
By Daniel Weintraub
Published: Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008 | Page 1E
Driving home from work after dark a couple of weeks ago, I was just about to turn left off a busy commercial street near my house when I spied, out of the black, a cyclist coming at me from the opposite direction. He was clad in dark clothes, had no light or visible reflectors on his bike, and was powering, head down, as fast as he could go.
I paused, muttered something to myself, then prepared to turn again. This time I saw a second bike, which at least had a tiny, dim light, and I waited for him to pass as well. Figuring there might be one more, I peered into the darkness, and when I didn’t see anything, I began my turn. Half way through the intersection I took a final glance out my passenger window and saw, coming at me, one more cyclist without a light. I sped up and made it through safely as he passed behind me.
Read the full story →
A Deutsche Post mail delivery bike on the job in Cologne, Germany.
It’s been one after another like this all week. Ya gotta’ love bike commuting in the Fall.
The “Hoop” wins New York’s “CityRacks” bike rack design competition. From the CityRacks blog:
The design of Ian Mahaffy and Maarten De Greeve (Bettlelab), based in Copenhagen, Denmark, was selected as the first-place winner in the outdoor competition that attracted over 200 entrants from around the world. Their design was one of ten prototypes installed and tested at Astor Place since September 30. DOT intends to use Mahaffy and De Greeve’s design as the new standard bicycle rack installed on New York City’s sidewalks. The jury also recognized second-place winner Andrew Lang and Harry Dobbs of London and third-place winner Ignacio Ciocchini of New York. Mahaffy and De Greeve will receive a $10,000 prize courtesy of Transportation Alternatives, Dobbs and Lang a $3,000 prize and Ciocchini a $2,000 prize.
Mahaffy and De Greeve’s design reflects a modern simplicity that will greatly enhance the City’s streetscape. The rack is round with a horizontal crossbar, evoking an abstracted bicycle tire. Constructed of cast-metal, the design is elegant yet sturdy enough to withstand the harshest street environments.