Sunday, July 4, 2010

Separated kerbside lane

In the beginning of June Melbourne opened a separated kerbside lane for cyclists along Albert Street. Bicycle Victoria gives a comprehensive history of the need and development of the lane. It also has this short video showing how it works in peak hour.

Interesting thing is that the video shows a motorist using the bike lane to jump the queue - a major problem for wide bike lanes. It will be good to follow how the lane performs outside of the peak when parking is allowed in the adjacent lane. How long it will take for drivers and passengers to be aware of cyclists on the left could be an area BV may look into.

An article in The Age didn't think much of the project (and got the name wrong) and most comments are very negative. I think it is great to test this type of lane although the space between bike and parked cars does seem a tad tight. It does not leave much space for escaping an opening door.
I like the use of a profiled edge line. I wonder whether installing intermittent flexible reflector poles in the separation area could reduce the number of cars using the bike lane during peak hours.

The examples I saw of this in New York ranged from narrow to very wide with permanent physical barriers. The corridor width constraints probably dictated the tight squeeze in this case.

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