Clarifying Bike-Ped Project Funding, Design and Environmental Review

Background Reading

Summary

Bike-ped


TakeAways

While it is nice that the USDOT is ‘clarifying‘ its position on the type of construction allowed for the benefit of cyclists, it does not mean that any reasonable designs will ensue.

The primary problem is that Dutch Infrastructure designs (which happen to deal quite effectively with things like ‘right hooks‘ are not readily accepted in these United States. The sole exemplar in Davis, CA has met with mixed reviews.

There does not appear to be a collective commitment to the implementation of good sound infrastructure that really solves the problems cyclists face. Instead this has devolved into a ‘me too‘ race for the building of cheap bike lanes with pretty paint schemes and very little effectiveness at reducing mayhem.

Cyclists ought to have some serious understandings of the details of the Dutch Protected Intersection design. What we are getting at present are a hodgepodge of road design exemplars in each city. Chicago has as many different road design examples as their are streets. Nobody is certain that any of this works and more importantly these designs are often maintenance nightmares.

Be careful what you wish for.

Staying Focused On What Really Matters

Dearborn Street PBL is considered the ‘jewel in the crown‘ of bicycle infrastructure design. It might be, but if that is so then we have a very long way to go. The basic design which utilizes two-way cyclists traffic is highly suspect. It creates a rather annoying problem for pedestrians in the crosswalks at the end of each street section as well as problems for motorists trying to get to their parked vehicles.

But instead of examining these issues people are focused on gender use determinations at various times of the day. That might be interesting information but is surely not essential to helping to determine whether the overall safety of all riders is being enhanced by the design.