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PS: Still a bike crackpot

Recording this email for posterity, since I firmly believe this kind of discussion should be in the public eye - so it's possible for others to see whether the input was acted on or just ignored (as is commonly the case).

Nadia,

This is expanded feedback from the forum - as you may know I was on the UTC for 5 years and used to be a serious bicycle commuter and still maintain a healthy interest, and I live about 500 feet from the intersection in question.

First issue is the fact that the bike lanes 'downstream' of the intersection were recently restriped all the way back to the intersection. This removes much of the supposed reason for bike boxes (in the old design where the bike lanes didn't start for 100 feet or so past the intersection, the bike boxes would have allowed cyclists to be at the front of through traffic so they could get 'up and over' rather than having to wait behind motorists - now there is literally no reason to even get in the bike box.

The second problem is one of signage and paint - without a "Stop HERE on Red" sign, motorists don't typically stop that far back from the intersection - even when white lines exist on the pavement. Coloring the bike box would help but would, I think, not be sufficient.

Please forward my email to the CTR people and invite them to contact me if they would like. I'd be very happy to share continued observations as I go through this intersection an average of 2 times per day, usually in the rush hours.

Regards, Mike Dahmus
mike@dahmus.org

This entry was posted in the following categories: Bicycle Commuting , Bicycling in Austin , PS: I am not a crackpot

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Comments

Maybe I'm just not following your argument because it's not completely in context here... but bike boxes are still helpful, even if the bike lane does not end before the intersection. It reserves a space for cyclists in front of the motorized traffic (not just at the front of the line, but to the right... actually *in front* of cars). This makes them more visible and less vulnerable to cars turning right from behind or cars turning left from ahead.

mlisle,

The primary way bike boxes help in other cities is that they give bicycles time to clear the intersection and get to where the bike lane starts (helps novice cyclists feel more comfortable and improves overall traffic flow). This is only relevant if the bike lane is not continuous - i.e. in the OLD design on Speedway, the bike lane started up again southbound a hundred or two feet south of the intersection once you were past the start of the left turn lane.

The right turn help would be a valid argument except cyclists have been going all the way to the intersection before and after the change (in fact, I have yet to see a cyclist move left into the actual bike box; they're still doing exactly what they did before - lining up on the far right as far forward as possible).

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