Urban Velo

The Case Against Bike Lanes

The Case Against Bike LanesSince people seemed to respond to our post about Enci Box’s article earlier in the week, we thought it would be good to post another one of her articles. This one is about bike lanes in Los Angeles:

Bike Lanes are a deterrent for me to ride in and I oftentimes cringe when I hear people blindly supporting them without asking for enhanced safety standards and regulations.

So when the LA Draft Bike Plan proposes Bike Lanes and Paths all over the city without taking into consideration what the people want, it upsets me for many reasons, not withstanding the fact that all of our bike lanes in Los Angeles place the cyclists into the door zone with the exception of the short stretch on McClintock Ave by USC. That is the only bike lane in the city that I know of that has the bike lane outside of the door zone.

Click here to read the entire article.

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10 Comments

  1. sabJanuary 17, 2010 at 1:19 am

    oh my god do I HATE bike lanes, I’m in NYC, and yeah right in the door zone. So I ride on the outer white line, which is where I’d ride if the lane wasn’t there. Frankly the safest place is right in the middle of the lane, cars should only pass just like they pass other cars, in the in coming traffic lane. The only problem is I get into huge fights with people even if I’m feet away from the car ahead of me, they just can’t stand when a bike is in the middle, even though it’s not effecting them. Summertime I often get passed, then they slam on their breaks to try and get me to hit them, then rev up behind me, the harassment is really starting to get to me. The worst fights, I’m usually on the shoulder, they just don’t like that bikes exist.

  2. BarryJanuary 17, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    So, this is really mis-titled as “the case against bike lanes.” I was another vehicular cycling vs. segregated bike facilities screed. Instead, its the an article against poorly designed bike lanes. Everyone hates those. The one on my main route to work, for instance goes from the gutter to the sidewalk to disappearing completely to back to the street and never leaves parking zone let alone the door zone. Still when it’s not there, drivers seem to feel free to buzz by as close as possible.

    I think even bad infrastructure is better than none at all.

  3. KandiJanuary 17, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    The bike lanes in my city are littered with tree debrie. I guess that’s what you get when you live in Riverside, California – a tree city. So, the tree fall-off gets the bike lane and I take the road and wear my yellow jacket so I will be seen. And here I thought we had street sweepers.

  4. ChelseaJanuary 18, 2010 at 5:09 am

    here in Austin a pothole will appear in the bike lanes and nobody will repair them in a timely manner. So I have to take a full unrestricted lane because the holes and debris in the bike lane will destroy the tires on my fixie. I dont like riding on poorly maintained bike lanes when I ride fixed since the feedback from my rear wheel becomes annoyingly uncomfortable.

    If you want to see stupid bike lane width in Austin go to South Congress Ave. slightly north of the Ebhart intersection the width drops down to 3 inches before promptly slamming you into a non reflective guardrail that is flush with the solid white line. If it wasn’t for the fact I run 2 high-powered headlights at night I wouldn’t have dodged the guardrail that came out of nowhere and I would have slammed into the rail at 42 mph on a beach cruiser since a steep downhill going southbound leads right into the rail.

    What makes it worse is I will get harassed buy cagers when I don’t use a bike lane simply because I refuse to use bike lanes that are in the door zone, full of debris, full of cracks, holes and bumps. Or the pavement will be so uneven and flirting with gutters that it would be suicidal to use that bike lane at my cruising speed of 22 mph.

  5. RickJanuary 18, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I would love to have more bike lanes here in Cleveland. I understand thry’re not a cure all, but they make motorists aware of us out there.

  6. terryJanuary 20, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    here in Boulder the bike lanes are abused by the riders, or just end abruptly, and if there ISN’T a lane, motorists tend to feel you should not be riding there. I am against lanes / “paths”, and feel awareness and proper etiquette by motorists and cyclist alike is the key, not a lane that allows cyclist to ride 2-abreast, thereby disrupting traffic flow even more, and generally fueling the fires of hatred toward riders everywhere

  7. ZekeJanuary 22, 2010 at 11:38 am

    In my city we dont have much on street parking and IMO I prefer a bike lane wherever I can get one. They really help my gf feel comfortable too. I feel that the white line moves drivers over naturally, reducing the “didnt see you” rearend accidents as well as making me less in the way of speeding cagers. I personally feel comfortable in a traffic lane and dont NEED a bike lane but still prefer to have more. Obviously properly designed lanes with consistent/adequate width need to be required by design standards.

  8. muhua33January 23, 2010 at 2:41 am

    I agree with terry. Bike lanes take you out of the road and out the consciousness of drivers. I ride everyday commuting and training and I have changed my regular route because of the addition of a bike lane. My bike is a vehicle and I have the right to use the road. I think drivers need to be educated of that fact and cyclists need to educated on proper riding skills. There are just too many studies that segregating the road is bad for cyclists. I am all for more people riding but there are skills you need to have before head out a traffic filled road.

  9. The Great Debate: Vehicular vs. Segregated Cycling | Commute by BikeAugust 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    [...] of a city that has invested a significant amount of resources in developing bicycle infrastructure (and maintaining it), and it now estimates that around half of the daily commuting in the city is done by bike. Other [...]

  10. The Great Debate: Vehicular vs. Segregated Cycling : Beezodog's PlaceSeptember 7, 2012 at 7:36 am

    [...] of a city that has invested a significant amount of resources in developing bicycle infrastructure (and maintaining it), and it now estimates that around half of the daily commuting in the city is done by bike. Other [...]

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