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January 19, 2003

Bike Lanes: Heaven or Hell?

1st thoughts:

1. The welfare of good cyclists is not the objective of the Bike Lane.
2. The judgement of Lane Designers is suspect.
3. You are often better off NOT using the Lane, and riding using proper road riding behavior.

After many moons of pedaling the pavement I have finally come across a bike lane that cements my feeling that riding in a Lane can be dangerous.

This lane is several miles long, on a major street, and is positioned to the LEFT of parked cars...... IN THE DOOR ZONE.

Yes, you read right, cars are allowed to park along the curb in the area NORMALLY reserved for Bike Lanes, & where bike riders would travel anyway.

Wassup with that?

This means trouble, and despite the supposed convenience I've decided to use another route to get to my destination.

I don't like Lanes because they give cyclists, AND motorists a false sense of security.

The naive cyclist assumes the motorist won't intrude on his path, and the ignorant motorist believes that cyclists BELONG in the gutter, and should never share the rest of the road.

The rest of us, cyclist and motorist, know otherwise.

Bike Lanes cause hazards in all sorts of locations and situations for the cyclist, and I've begun to realize, over the years, that being a vehicular cyclist instead of always hugging the gutter is a safer way to travel.

The added fact that I am more likely to encounter glass, gravel, and other trash & debris that could cause my steed a flat, while hugging the curb, is further reason to avoid being restricted to using such an area.

I share the public roadway with motorists, and as long as I practice safe cycling techniques I should have little to fear from motorists or them from me.

The more motorists, and cyclists, who learn to properly, and safely, share the road, the better traveling upon it will be for both of us.:-)

January 19, 2003 in The Opinionated DUDE | Permalink

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Comments

I have found it so hard to survive on the road without a bike lane. I commute to school and back home and have found that i have to take short cuts through Schools and use the sidewalks just to get to school alive. It is obviouse there needs to be change, so what is the best way to help us cyclists stay alive on the roads of today?

Posted by: Danielle Fetzer | Feb 27, 2006 3:27:11 PM

There are plenty of useful safe cyling links in my sidebar to help your learn how to ride the roads, and a wonderful book by John Forester, called "Effective Cycling".

Posted by: Kiril Kundurazieff | Mar 10, 2006 6:30:47 PM

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