By now, most of you are familiar with bicycle lanes. But some cities are considering switching to cycle track configurations. We urge city officials to install cycle tracks.
Ordinary bike lanes position the lanes on each side of the street so cyclists ride in the same direction as traffic. Kind of like this:
But meet the cycle track. The National Association of City Transportation Officials has an excellent description complete with a slideshow. A cycle track puts both lanes of bike traffic on the same side of the road. In some cases this can be done very safely (at least with respect to collisions with cars). Take a close look at the picture below and you’ll quickly see that this is also a very expensive solution from New York:
Washington, DC, has somewhat less concern for their bicyclists.
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Experienced cyclists will recognize a problem with the above solution. If this is a two-way street, the right cycle track lane has riders moving against traffic.
About a century ago I was a long-distance bike rider. This was when you needed muscle. My bike “only” had ten speeds. Two lessons were drummed into my head. First, bicycles are vehicles. Ride in the direction in which traffic is moving. Second, drivers are idiots. When you’re on your bike, always assume nearby drivers will make decisions most likely to damage you. In my many years of biking I never came close to a collision with a motorized vehicle.
Portland seems to have designed their cycle tracks to eliminate cyclists entirely. Note the wet street, an added feature.
But us folks here at PFPFP are all in favor of this idea. We predict the reduction in population will be swift and permanent.