Friday, September 26, 2008
Today's (proposed) Cycle-Track Picture
This is a proposal for a one-way urban bike side-path (or cycle track), with a two-way sidewalk adjacent. The proposal calls for this treatment on both sides of the street. Notice how the BluMagick™ paint protects the path users from vehicles entering and exiting the parking lot.
This design proposal would remove two lanes from a street (one in each direction). The street it is pictured on is a two-lane street with off-peak on-street parking. The parking lanes would be removed (so in this picture, the parked cars you see are blocking the travel lane). Oddly, why would any street with low enough traffic volumes to allow it to be reduced to two lanes, with no parking, require a parallel cycle path? Sounds kinda CIC to me.
In recent studies in Northern Europe, cycle-tracks have been shown to increase injuries to cyclists by collision two to four times, and higher, due to intersection and driveway conflicts with automobiles and pedestrians. Older studies in the US have shown the same results. This is the reason the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) discourage these designs in their Guide to the Development of Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities (AASHTO-GDBPF). Designs like this explicitly say "bicycles do not belong on the street", and encourage motorist confrontations with cyclists who insist upon exercising their right to operate as a vehicle.
The estimated cost for a facility like this is about $3-5 million a mile, or more, depending upon utility and drainage relocation costs. Who knows what evils lurk under urban streets and sidewalks? Sometimes, Public Works does, but not always. Water mains, gas mains, phone lines, fiber-optic lines, sewer lines, storm water lines, native American burial grounds, and even old pioneer cemeteries. Digging up 150 year old streets is no fun.
Looks nice, though.