Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Slalom in the Bike Lane

I'm not sure what to make of the complete streets improvements along busy Colchester Avenue. On one hand I'm grateful to have a separate lane, albeit very narrow. It's littered with sand, trash, and raised drain grates, pipe end covers, all of which are hazardous to pedal over. As you can see in this video, navigating this bikeway requires constant attention, often weaving around obstacles.

I was excited to see this thoroughfare transform from four auto lanes to two, with a center turn lane and the piece-de-la-resistance: adding bike lanes. Overall it has helped, allowing more space for cyclists, even with riding the slalom course. But after a year of use, I truly wonder about the quality of the space allotted to two wheeled transit. Why aren't grates and pipes flush with road surfaces? Really, you would think this would also help with road plowing in the winter.


  1. The Devil's in the details, isn't it? Sometimes a city will be responsive if you send them a letter about such things, explaining in detail how the conditions may be making it unsafe or how it's impractical to use because it's too narrow, or intersects too many times with blind side streets and entrances that don't afford a view to see a cyclist approaching so close to the curb.

  2. Sadly this is seen too many times the world over.....I find that a lot of bike lanes are just a token and not properly thought through.



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