Friday, January 20, 2012

Best Use of A Bike Lane?

These pictures were taken next to Crockett High School on Stassney Lane. Now you might not be able to tell because of all the cars parked, but there is a bike lane somewhere in there. It appears full of parents waiting to pick up their children.

Now I understand parents the need for a waiting area, but this situation presents cyclists with two problems. First, the need to merge with traffic to go around these vehicles. Traffic speeds on Stassney are around 40 mph I would guess, so this is no small task. Plus, there is a risk of being doored, especially in a situation like this. You can't move over far enough to the left without impeding traffic, but if you stay to the right you are right in the path of a door thrown open. Now, you hope people look before opening their door, especially on a busy street like Stassney, but you cannot count on other people to be diligent.

I'm not sure if this is always the situation at this section of the road. I went by when school had recently been let out, so it could be this affects very few people. Other times of the day cyclists might not have any obstructions on their lane. I'm trying very hard though to remember a time when I've seen a cyclist on the actual road, instead of the sidewalk.

It is probable this situation causes very few issues for cyclists and drivers on this road. However, it does represent a different kind of problem. Why bother making bike lanes if you are going to use them as a parking lot?

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