The Case for Separated Bike Lanes

This video does a great job of showing how bike lanes that share roadspace with car traffic on busy streets suck. It's entitled The Case for Separated Bike Lanes and was created by StreetFilms, an NYC group dedicated to making their urban spaces more livable.

Vancouver could use this advice in a number of places. I was biking in the shared bike lanes along Pender and Richards coming home today, and in both cases it was an exercise in avoiding the buses that are making stops along those same streets. It's dangerous and not very fun. Bring on the separated lanes!

Posted by dustin on April 1, 2007 with category tags of

Separated bike lanes would be amazing!
   comment by Chris on April 3, 2007

It's funny how they are complaining about the safety of cyclists being so closes to the traffic but hardly any of them were wearing helmets...
   comment by registeredname (#141) on April 3, 2007

Wearing a helmet doesn't necessarily make you safer when biking beside traffic. Here's an interesting BBC article about it.

A bus can easily injure or kill a bicyclist, even one wearing a helmet. The best way to stop that from happening is to give bikes a separate lane that isn't shared with car traffic.
   comment by dustin (#1) on April 4, 2007

I daresay the double-parking issue is only a big one in NYC and maybe a few other uber-urban areas. I hardly ever see anyone double-park in Vancouver, and certainly not the routine in-lane double-parking this video shows.

The Netherlands has certainly made a mostly-separated system work for them, but there are some interactions that are devilishly tricky to manage. The two big ones are intersections (because with separated lanes, the bike traffic generally becomes much less visible to right-turning cars; this along with driveways is why sidewalk riding is a big no-no) and pedestrians. Separation from the cars has a very good chance of bringing one into conflict with pedestrians, with the worst-case scenario being mandated (or, as often happens, de facto) multi-use pathways. This is where pedestrians and cyclists share lanes, and it's the slowest kind of bike lane, and the most likely place for a crash.

The issue of where to put bike lanes is devilishly tricky, and there's a ton of ways to do every possible idea badly.
   comment by Ryan Cousineau on April 12, 2007

That really is a brilliant idea. I know someone in Europe who goes bicycling all the time and they make provisions like this for bicyclers. The current setup punishes bicyclers. Can anyone imagine going through that warzone to get to work everyday? As if the physical labor was not bad enough.

   comment by political forum on July 4, 2007

In Poland its much less traffic in city,
and in my city it's much roads only for bicicles
and its not so close rode for cars, its much saffer
and i dont wear helmet ;)


   comment by websearch on August 4, 2007


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