New Shoal Creek Report #1
I'm going to try to bike home on Shoal Creek (at least from Anderson to 41st) once a month or so to track the results of the debacle. I plan on executing a polite but firm passing manuever out of the "shared lane" whenever passing a parked car, since there is insufficient space to safely pass a parked car in the space provided (even if you know ahead of time that the vehicle is empty). This passing manuever is likely to generate conflict with through motorists ("conflict" in this sense not meaning emotional or physical but simply that the through motorist behind me will have to slow down and wait for me to pass - although on many occasions on the pre-striped street, the motorist did in fact get angry enough to honk or swerve).
I made my first trip (post-stripe) yesterday (Monday).
The striping is done, but the islands are just getting started - post holes have been cut, and some markings made, but that's it.
- When no cars are parked, this lane is really wide. Wider than the usable shoulder on Loop 360.
- Cars are going to try to use this as a lane, at least the way it's striped now. When you're turning onto Shoal Creek, it's not altogether clear where you should go.
- Few parking conflicts so far; most of the vehicles that were parked Monday night were parked on the northbound side. I passed four or five parked vehicles on my stretch, and only once did my passing manuever cause a conflict with a through motorist (and this one was polite).
- When a small car is parked near the curb, there is enough room to pass in the lane, if I could be 100% positive that the car was unoccupied. However, with larger vehicles (SUVs/trucks) this is not true. Also, one of the two cars was parked far enough away from the curb (you get up to 18 inches legally) that it might as well have been a fire engine.
Verdict so far: Not enough data. Far more vehicles were parked northbound; I don't know why southbound was so comparatively empty yesterday. (Perhaps this side was striped last?).