Monday, April 5, 2010

Buffered bike lanes

Check out this fantastic video produced to educate the public about Portland, Oregon's installation of buffered bike lanes, something used quite extensively in New York (thanks to Peter Berkeley for sharing this link on Facebook).

On the Right Track from Mayor Sam Adams on Vimeo.

Here is a picture of a buffered bike lane in New York showing what it should not be used for. Note the potholes and drainage grate - they didn't get everything right.

What I find interesting in the video is the bridge in the background as Mayor Adams talks. It would appear to be a vehicle bridge that has one lane used by cyclists and pedestrians but I see no marking on the road to delineate this. I Googled and found a Streetfilms video on the Bridge - it is Hawthorne Bridge. It is clear in the video that it does have a kerb between the cars and bikes but interestingly no railing. Considering the obvious capacity issues on the ped and cycle section this seems a bit risky.

The bridge carries 7,200 cyclists per day which is 20% of the traffic on the bridge and it would appear that there are many pedestrians on the bridge too. Any conflict between cyclists or with pedestrians could catapult a cyclist straight into traffic.

Interesting fact I gleaned from the Streetfilms blog is that the number of cycle commuters in Portland has increased 600% in the last 15 years. If you build it, they will come (as said in the video)

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