Monday, February 11, 2008

Location, not the lane, explains lack of use

David Smiley's piece about Broward County's lightly-used bike lanes continues to draw comment. One that makes a lot of sense to me appears on Transit Miami, where Gabriel observes,
Nobody in their right mind will ever feel comfortable riding a bike on a street with eight lanes of vehicles.
Gabriel smartly included a photo showing just how big Pines Boulevard is on the stretch in question. That picture for some reason never displayed in my browser when I read the Herald article, so I missed that aspect of the matter.

A Transit Miami reader suggests an alternative I like: Putting the bike lanes on a street parallel to the thoroughfare and one or more blocks removed from it. That would provide just-as-good access to the major destinations along the thoroughfare, but draw the vulnerable vehicles away from the fast and heavy traffic.

In fairness to the Broward planners, I haven't been up to see what options were available to them. Maybe the collector roads do have bike lanes, or maybe they're cut by canals that forced the bike lanes to be placed alongside the boulevard. These just aren't simple yes-no decisions.

1 comment:

Mighk said...

The number of lanes is less important than the access management of the road. I'd rather be on an 8-lane road with medians, controlled left turns and limited driveways, than a 4-lane street with a center turn lane and lots of driveway cuts.

Most people are not able to judge bicycling risk competently. They go by fear instead of reason.