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Columbus Bike Lanes — News, Updates & Discussion

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Transportation Columbus Bike Lanes — News, Updates & Discussion

This topic contains 275 replies, has 74 voices, and was last updated by  jbcmh81 3 years, 6 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 151 through 165 (of 276 total)
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  • #1002888

    DTown
    Participant

    I think that sharrows can be, and to some extent already are, helpful, in the same way that any other road signage is helpful. Crosswalks don’t magically prevent cars from running you over, but over time they have become the safest place for people to cross the streets. Most drivers and most pedestrians notice and react to them, almost unconsciously. I’m guessing that the very first painted crosswalk didn’t register at all with drivers, and didn’t seem any safer to a pedestrian than throwing yourself prostrate across the road.

    It took time.

    Sharrows can work, as a reminder, which is helpful. They subconsciously remind drivers that bikes might be here, and that they should be in the lane with you. They remind bikers to move into the lane where they belong. It won’t deter the idiots (on bikes or in cars), no more than a speed limit sign stops someone from speeding, or a no jaywalking sign stops a pedestrian from crossing in the middle of a block.

    I don’t understand why people are so set against them.

    #1002891

    Graybeak
    Participant

    sigh.

    #1003083

    substance
    Participant

    I prefer bike lanes if they’re well-designed and well-maintained, on streets without on-street parking,
    …..
    To those that like the NYC cycletracks, were you around in Columbus in the early 80s? If not, check out this blog post from John Allen.

    http://john-s-allen.com/blog/?p=5722

    Thanks for linking to the John Allen blog. I was around in the 80s, but just not in Cbus. It looks like those lanes were badly designed.

    80s bike lanes

    It created a trough that separated the bikes too much. Snow plows and street cleaners could not reach them
    In the 30 years since then, it looks like some planners have figured out a better method

    Prospect Park West, Brooklyn
    PPW bikelane
    This design allows the street to be maintained and allows persons of all ages to ride safely !
    It lets the average person run their errands on bike. Currently the only places I feel safe on a bike in Columbus is when I am on a path in a park. I want to be able to ride on the streets without the fear of being seriously injured.
    Sharrows are ok, but I don’t really feel safe.
    I have biked for over 30 years in urban areas, and only really felt safe in that last few years in Brooklyn, after NYC vastly improved their bike infrastructure

    It took activist to push for those changes and a powerful mayor to get it done.

    #1003262

    pkovacs
    Participant

    I agree with you DTown. I think the sharrows are working. The only reason I said I like the bike lanes, too, is that they create additional road width for cyclists to use. And since Columbus law allows us to avoid the bike lanes if we want, we can ride in other lanes when we need to. I think the sharrows are very helpful on High st but I wish the city hadn’t discontinued them at the locations where there is only one travel lane (between Hudson and Lane). It’s like they’re telling us that cyclists don’t belong on roads where we’ll be in the only travel lane. Hudson is going to get sharrows cause it will be designated as another bike connector. I’ll be curious to see whether the fast & furious motorists will be more patient when we control the lane eastbound using the sharrows. I currently ride Weber eastbound because it’s wider. I wish that more cyclists that are riding the roads would attend the t&pc bicycle subcommittee meetings.

    #1003758

    c_odden
    Participant

    Hudson is going to get sharrows cause it will be designated as another bike connector

    I realize I’m coming to this late (please forgive)… but really? Hudson? Why not Arcadia, which connects to Summit & 4th just as effectively (better actually, since 4th is 2-way north of Hudson), doesn’t get horrifically backed up at rush hour, and doesn’t attract rage-ridden drivers the way Hudson seems to.

    I don’t understand why people are so set against them.

    I’m a cycle commuter and don’t drive, and even though I don’t get close to prevailing automobile speeds I’m not tooling along at 8mph. There are a lot of folks for whom it would be a challenge to get above 10-12mph, sharrow-ed lanes aren’t great for them, and I want them to have access to roadways, too. Dedicated lanes let cyclists of different speeds negotiate with each other, without bring automobiles into the mix.

    Because there’s no cycling licensure here (anywhere?), there’s a steady influx of cyclists who aren’t experienced or confident on roads. Short of requiring training and licensure, I prefer dedicated lanes for reducing intimidation and invite people to cycle on roadways, without putting them in a mix where they’re at greater risk of suffering an accident as well as helping cause one.

    #1003930

    CB_downtowner
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>pkovacs wrote:</div>
    Hudson is going to get sharrows cause it will be designated as another bike connector

    I realize I’m coming to this late (please forgive)… but really? Hudson? Why not Arcadia, which connects to Summit & 4th just as effectively (better actually, since 4th is 2-way north of Hudson), doesn’t get horrifically backed up at rush hour, and doesn’t attract rage-ridden drivers the way Hudson seems to.

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>DTown wrote:</div>
    I don’t understand why people are so set against them.

    I’m a cycle commuter and don’t drive, and even though I don’t get close to prevailing automobile speeds I’m not tooling along at 8mph. There are a lot of folks for whom it would be a challenge to get above 10-12mph, sharrow-ed lanes aren’t great for them, and I want them to have access to roadways, too. Dedicated lanes let cyclists of different speeds negotiate with each other, without bring automobiles into the mix.

    Because there’s no cycling licensure here (anywhere?), there’s a steady influx of cyclists who aren’t experienced or confident on roads. Short of requiring training and licensure, I prefer dedicated lanes for reducing intimidation and invite people to cycle on roadways, without putting them in a mix where they’re at greater risk of suffering an accident as well as helping cause one.

    Good post. I think that helps explain my position a few posts back and I appreciate people on here giving me the “experienced cyclist” view and pointing out that sharrows do help there.

    I consider myself a casual cyclist. Sometimes it’s my own bike, sometimes it’s COGO. I would imagine a good chunk of the COGO market is in that mix of slower bikers. And from this perspective, I would agree with you that there are a lot of times where certain roads (particularly between German Village and Short North) don’t feel even close to safe for casual road biking. Walking too. I walk about a mile every day. Downtown crosswalks are too often ignored, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had drivers turn into me… sometimes by accident, and sometimes they ride my hip as if I’m ruining their day. I like the steps the city is taking to make the streets more walkable and bikeable, but as of right now, still a lot of progress has to be made in reducing drivers who resent sharing the road with other types of commuters.

    #1004297

    c_odden
    Participant

    I think that cycling advocates are often harder-core cyclists. Albeit not universally, those folks (I count myself among them) (1) ride faster, and (2) are more experienced with the subtleties of dealing with autos. If we design solely for that population, we aren’t inviting the kind of broad usage that I think we envision when we talk about diverse mobility.

    Also, as much as my dream is for folks to abandon their cars and go with a mix of cycling, public transit and (as a last resort) taxis and car rental, one of the advantages of getting drivers on bikes is diversifying experience within the individual person, not just supporting diversity across people who themselves are married to one form of transit or another. I know some drivers who didn’t appreciate the perils of cycling on the street until they tried doing it regularly. That appreciation may make them better drivers, at least with respect to sharing the road. Sharrows may encourage cyclists and motorists to become more skillful at sharing, but I doubt this will do much to expand the population of cyclists on the road.

    (I’m claiming that dedicated bike lanes will have this effect, even though they segregate cyclists from motorists. Sure, you don’t have to learn to negotiate within a lane the way you do with sharrows, but you have ample opportunities to learn about each other at intersections, etc.)

    #1005606

    Graybeak
    Participant

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/04/07/city-plans-5-6m-in-bike-related-upgrades.html

    City spending 5.6 million dollars on bike stuff. Including painting 56 sharrows.

    #1020125

    substance
    Participant
    #1041803

    News
    Participant

    Protected Lanes Not Part of New Plan for Bike Lanes Downtown
    September 16, 2014 7:10 am – Brent Warren

    The city revealed plans last month for new bike lanes on four major downtown arteries; Long, Spring, Third and Fourth streets. These plans call for a combination of painted bike lanes, signs and sharrows along the length of each of the streets Downtown. The plans do not call for physically separated lanes – or cycle tracks – something the city had indicated in January that it was studying for Third and Fourth streets.

    READ MORE: https://www.columbusunderground.com/protected-lanes-not-part-of-new-plan-for-bike-lanes-downtown-bw1#comment-131061

    #1041823

    byJody
    Participant

    Dispatch Reporter Steve Wartenberg is riding the Ohio to Erie Trail, Cincinnati to Cleveland this week.

    Read his experience riding the Ohio to Erie Trail Connector through town. Think our anemic bicycle infrastructure is a disadvantage to Columbus? Would you spend your leisure time riding a bicycle on West Broad Street?

    Yes Steve – I agree, a completed trail AND better biking on West Broad would be transformational.

    … “A few miles west of Columbus … the path ends, and we were on the streets. These roads got busier and busier and then we turned onto W. Broad Street … and it was really busy. Scary busy. Too busy. Especially as you pedal by the on and off ramp for 270.

    We had to ride about 3 miles on W. Broad before turning left onto Westgate, and then we followed some quiet back streets until – finally! – we were back on the path, about 2 miles west of Columbus.

    They’re working on completing the Camp Chase portion of the trail, so future Ohio to Erie riders can avoid all this drama and adrenaline rush and cars whizzing by you. So please: hurry up and get it finished.”

    REAL MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/blogs/best-bike-blog/2014/09/day-2-ohio-to-erie-trail.html

    #1046694
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    So, part of the problem with keeping the lanes wide through this area is that it keeps the speed limits high (35mph) but designed for people to travel comfortably at 40mph.

    Meanwhile in NYC, the standard speed limit is dropping from 30mph to 25mph to help save lives:

    http://www.wnyc.org/story/speed-limit/

    #1046784
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    I took a ride on the Long Street bike lane yesterday (Sunday) from High Street to I-71 to test it out and see how it feels. Obviously, I didn’t die in the process, so it served its purpose in getting me safely from point A to point B, but I couldn’t help but notice a lot of problems with the bike lane along the way. It seems like the whole thing was done as an afterthought without a lot of consideration for how it would actually work from a safety or functionality standpoint. This applies to drivers too, because I doubt anyone wants to drive next to a bike lane that appears to change form every block, leaving bike riders confused as they change lanes.

    Here’s an illustrated example from High to 71 headed east.

    You start on Long immediately off High with a dedicated bike lane. That changes nearly right away at Pearl Alley where all lanes jog mid-intersection a few feet to the left and the bike lane disappears and turns into a sharrowed parking meter lane.

    Keep in mind that these sharrows are placed in the center of the lane, which is also a parking meter lane, which means that cars park on top of the sharrows:

    Another half-block up (we’re not even to Third Street yet) and the sharrow jumps out of the far-right lane into a middle travel lane, since the far-right lane turns into a turn only at Third. Would you feel safe navigating this lane change during rush hour?

    At Third, you’re expected to cruise straight through the intersection but then jump back over all the way to the right because the bike lane is now back:

    From here you can see the businesses on the far left that almost lost their parking meters because we needed a fourth full-time travel lane. Obviously, the three travel lanes are in such heavy use that a fourth travel lane between Third and Fourth was so critical:

    From here on, the bike lane remains pretty much intact as a continuous path. But there’s still some issues. Namely, not everyone feels the need to park all the way to the right at the curb for metered parking. This car was parked half in the bike lane with no one around and no one in it. Will this type of infraction be ticketed?

    Smooth sailing near Columbus State and CCAD. For those of you who don’t venture Downtown on the weekends, this is what this area looks like all day on Sunday. Rarely a car in sight:

    It’s worth mentioning that there are a couple of bus stops along the way. This one is just east of Washington. The bike lane turns from a solid line to a dashed line, which I guess means WATCH OUT because the bike lane and bus stop zone are the same thing right here:

    I applaud the effort that the city is undertaking to make Columbus more bike friendly, but this implementation is maybe a D+/C- in my book because of all of the issues along the way. Keep in mind that this is only a one-mile stretch. Most of the problems seem to stem from an inability to properly integrate car lanes, bike lanes and on-street parking in a seamless fashion. The constant changes, especially around Third and Fourth are not pleasant surprises for bikers or for drivers, and are likely to be the cause of crashes in the future.

    And in the end, as long as the travel lanes are kept larger than 10 feet wide and the speed limit is 35mph through here, it will never really feel safe for anyone on a bike other than the most hardcore of riders. I would not want my wife riding here. I would not want my children riding here. Honestly, I don’t even want myself riding here. I’ll stick to Gay Street as much as possible instead. There’s no bike lane there, but the street is designed to be narrow and slow and rarely do cars travel any faster than 20-25mph there. Much safer environment for bike riders.

    #1046793

    Pro Se
    Participant

    Agree entirely Walker–there is no need for four lanes here. Three lanes would serve rush hour sufficiently and keep traffic moving. The city needs to figure out who it is serving–the suburbs who get out of dodge at 5 or the people moving back into the central city.

    I know it isn’t as simple as that and perhaps there is pressure from the large employers who have consolidated downtown to keep traffic moving but we need a better balance.

    I applaud the effort but it is a starting point at best.

    #1046797

    DTown
    Participant

    Very nice write up, and the pictures amply show why traffic engineers in Columbus appear to have no clue about what (if anything) they’re trying to accomplish. Just keep paving it, slap some lines and decals down here and there and call it a day.

    The idea that Columbus needs 35 MPH freeways shooting in all four directions through downtown to accommodate the 10 hours/week of “rush hour” traffic needs to be tossed.

    These new lanes are pure afterthought, and seem liable to get inexperienced people trusting to them hurt.

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