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March 06, 2013

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Chris Klein

Bill, you hit upon the most important point: "Segregated cycling lanes are seen by many non-cyclists or occasional cyclists as safer than on-road cycling lanes."

Changing people's travel modes away from exclusively car involves, in part, creating a lot of cycling growth. Cycling growth is going to come from people who are non-cyclists now. We need to pay attention to what they need, not what we would consider reasonable for ourselves.

The legality and rules of crossings in Ontario is the elephant in the room here. If we are going to see more segregated cycle tracks, we need to sort out intersections. But to get the momentum to sort out intersections, we need more segregated cycle tracks.

The downside in this situation is, with as much potential as good cycling along Block Line to LRT has for changing the habits of some, failure to solve the crossing situation at Homer-Watson will probably leave a huge barrier to cycling adoption that makes the other work for naught.

David

"Except for the occasional right-turning bozo who decides the bike lane was meant for his compact car, cars stay out of the bike lanes and cyclists can ride care-free and car-free."

I like a lot of what you're saying here, Bill, but I don't like the above sentence. If a car is turning right, they're going to cross the path of a cyclist in the bike lane at some point. As a cyclist, I would much rather that happen due to a shoulder-check and legal lane change _into_ the bike lane just prior to the right turn, then as a surprise right hook.

If you check out the line painting on a lot of bike lanes around the city, the solid line separating it from the car lanes becomes a dashed line near intersections, implying that it is acceptable for cars to cross that line.

Now, if what you're complaining about is bozos who drive for three blocks in the bike lane because they want to turn right way up ahead, that's cool. But I encourage you to encourage drivers to "take the lane" when they're about to turn right across a bike lane. It's safer for everyone.

gingerbeard

"Segregated cycling lanes are seen by many non-cyclists or occasional cyclists as safer than on-road cycling lanes."

I would argue that more than the ocassional cyclist believes these are safer than vehicular cycling. David Hembrow`s fantastic blog A view from the cycle path converted me. However what he calls a cycle path I would call a cycling road.

He beautifully explains the concept of subjective safety and how these segregated road systems increasing the number of cyclists because of that feeling of safety.
These are not the same as these multi use paths we have here.

You are right, placing cyclists, effectively on the sidewalk, does make the cyclist a pedestrian rather than a vehicle. It eliminates the benifit of cycling`s speed, while pissing off pedestrians and drivers.

And it has the further effect of convincing more cagers that you don`t belong on the road anyhow. This really is a losing senerio for cyclists.

Rob (Mk.II)

Bill I share your reservations. I was particularly dismayed by the comments made by the transportation specialist that cyclists and cars cannot mix where speed limits are 50km/h or above. Pardon me but nearly every street in these cities has such a speed limit. Are they going to put a cycle track everywhere? In any case Fallowfield with the bad sight lines, parked cars all over the place and speeding motorists is far more dangerous than Block Line.

I am further dismayed that these separated cycle tracks will be especially problematic at intersections like Fallowfield, the entrance to St Mary's and Lennox Lewis Drive. The city is living in fantasyland as existing pedestrians and cyclists are staying away from those roundabouts never mind getting more people to ride or walk. This is a symptom of the city's insistence of turning neighbourhoods into isolated islands bound by high traffic multi-lane roadways.

As for dismounting at interestions and walking my bike across Homer Watson, this I will refuse to do. If I am ticketed I will fight it in court and introduce the city to the Highway Traffic Act at close quarters.

BTW Bill you're not the only one that drives the speed limit on Block Line. It's all part of my drive to rule campaign after being lectured at about how cyclists break traffic laws all the time.

Ryan

IMO if a city wants to create a 'shared' space with pedestrians, then the law to dismount MUST be ignored.

You simply can't have people use a multi-use path, then tell them to get off to cross an intersection. Use red or blue and paint a bike lane across the intersections.

We have two shared *trails* here in St. Catharines, and at crossings they have "Cyclists must dismount" signs. Only people I've seen dismount are tourists.

Look to Germany where most cities have split the sidewalk in half. A little red paint or brick laid to identify the bike lane.

It seems to work in some cities (Bremen, Koln) but there are issues.
In Hamburg so much snow and ice builds up it forces cyclists onto the road.
Pedestrians completely ignore the bike lane part of the 'sidewalk', cyclists are constantly moving back and forth dodging pedestrians.
Munich has a similar issue with pedestrians, though they are generally tourists wandering into the bike lanes.

C. Beynon

My question is, if these multi-use paths are installed, will it be mandatory for cyclists to use them?

If not, then a lot of cyclists will just continue to use the road like they always have...Only in the new scenario, there won't be a bike lane to protect them.

If the path does become mandatory, then I'll be steering clear of Block Line (which is maybe what they wanted in the first place).

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Bill Bean


  • North America is eventually going to figure out that, for all the right reasons, we need more bicycles on our roads. Dust off your bicycle and go cycling. And if the gas-burning dinosaurs start to crowd you, it's your road and you paid for it. Take the lane for yourself.

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