Friday, June 15, 2007

New bike lane is more like a logo -- where is the lane?

It was great to hear about the new bike lane that is starting to show up on city streets. Then I saw one last night. That is not a lane. It is only a logo.

There are real bike lanes throughout Christchurch, NZ. We rode on those lanes throughout the month of May. They are in the same general area as our lanes -- but -- our lanes are without lines. Our lanes are but hints of a bike lane.

Do all the bike lines in Pittsburgh NOT have a line? I'm looking for a painted line that goes along the side of the street for the length of the street. Generally there are two -- one for each side of the road. Pittsburgh has none.

Sure, it is more paint. Sure, it is more time. Sure, the Pittsburgh roads generally are not with the freshest coat of paint, even for yellow lines and cross-walks. But I'm wanting real lines for the bike lanes.

Furthermore, the bike lanes in New Zealand have a background color at major intersections. They are not put through the intersections, but rather only at the end of the road at the edge of the intersection -- for about 10-15 meters (yards).

That extra paint is very nice -- but that might be too much for our broke city to cover.

The bike lanes in Christchurch were with red paint. The ones in Auckland had green paint. Pittsburgh has a little logo with some arrows. That's not enough.

In other cities in other nations they often have the bike lane next to the sidewalk, then the parked car, then the traffic in the street. That would be interesting to try on a city street or two.

The bike lanes in China often have a physical fence to keep the cars and bikes with a divide. That is great. It would be nice to set up a road or two in Pittsburgh with those added guard rails -- as a test.

Luke is going to do a bike ride on Monday at 11 am. Big deal. Ask for lines on the road for the duration of the bike lane. Autos won't follow them all the time, but they will provide extra reminders to both bikers and drivers.

Finally -- I want to see those share the road signs with additional statements -- no bikes on the sidewalks. I saw a guy in Oakland zipping along last night. He was way, way, way too fast to be on the sidewalk. If I had seen him sooner, I would have done more than beep my horn.

Bikes on the sidewalk need to be with those under the age of 7 or at slower than walking speed. Walk the bikes on side WALKS.

Bikers who are on the sidewalks with speed should have be fined $50 or more -- and have their bike taken away for a week. We're talking bike jail, bike court, bike ER and bike row office next. (That's a joke.) And, citizens should be able to file the complaint against bikers who are on the sidewalks. (That's not a joke.)

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