They're doing the same thing in NYC. They just repaved a stretch of First Avenue, and basically cut it from 5 lanes down to 3 for vehicular traffic. One lane is now reserved exclusively for buses (they've been ticketing cabbies for using the bus lanes recently), and the other is now exclusively for bicycles. The really retarded thing about the whole exercise is that they have basically substantially increased the danger to bicyclists.
First, they moved the parking spaces on the left side of the avenue out to the second lane from the curb, and then turned the curb lane into a bike lane. That means that drivers who park will now be opening their doors into the bike lane - which happens even on the unmodified streets - but now the bicyclists won't have anywhere to go other than (a) threading the needle at high speed (some of them go quite fast) between the opened door and the curb, (b) hitting the door and going head over heels, or (c) hoping they can jump the curb onto the sidewalk without hitting anything or anyone (fat chance).
Second, the bicycle lane gives way to a left-turn lane for each street into which cars can turn from the avenue. Further, these turning lanes cut across two lanes, basically, because they have to go from the third lane from the curb, across the second lane, which is now for parking, and into the curb lane to make a turn. That means that a car that's trying to make a left turn will (a) be hidden from any bicyclists in the bicycle lane by the row of parked cars, until (b) it suddenly veers over, across two lanes, to get into the left-turn lane, a maneuver that will leave both cyclist and driver with precious little time to see each other and take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision. Of course, the loser in that every single time is going to be the cyclist, not the car.
Finally, by putting in a dedicated cycle lane, they've made it much more dangerous for pedestrians because they do not enforce any of the traffic laws against cyclists (like stopping at a red light), which means that a lot of riders simply ignore red lights and keep on going without even slowing down if they know that there's no cross-traffic to deal with. Of course, that does not include pedestrians, who are a lot harder to see than cars and trucks, and who react very unpredictably when they realize they're about to get mown down by a speeding cycle. In those collisions, the pedestrian will almost always lose.
Oh well, at least it'll be a boon to the tort lawyers (although it's gonna boost city taxes even higher to pay for all of those new lawsuits from injured pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicle owners who've had their cars damaged).
posted on 08/16/2010 11:48:23 AM PDT
(The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance -- Thos. Jefferson)
One lane is now reserved exclusively for buses (they've been ticketing cabbies for using the bus lanes recently), and the other is now exclusively for bicycles.
Oh man, you mean that's not a motorcycle lane? No wonder I keep getting such scornful looks.
BTW, that nonsense isn't just confined to Manhattan. They royally screwed up Kent Ave in Brooklyn with that nonsense for example. Used to be a convenient two way street; now it's one way with a motorc--I mean bicycle lane between the parking lane and curb. Such a pain now that I stopped frequenting Williamsburg establishments.
posted on 08/16/2010 1:08:23 PM PDT
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