[*BCM*] bike lanes, new bridge plans
charvak at alum.mit.edu
Fri Jan 30 17:21:11 EST 2009
I went to a DCR meeting on Tuesday night where they unveiled revised plans
for the BU bridge and Craigie Dam bridge. The presentation is available
found at http://www.mass.gov/dcr/projects/charlesriverbasin.htm I thought
BCMers might be interested in it.
I was happy to see the work of the new consultants the DCR brought in
to address bicycle and pedestrian issues. I agreed with most of the
improvements proposed, like traffic calming by making the BU bridge rotary
less wide (although I'll miss drifting around it in the rain in my car).
However, there was much criticism voiced by the audience about various
things. The consultant representative and DCR politely took the comments
and complaints and then clearly explained the reasoning
behind their designs. I was the only one who said anything positive about
their "share the road" signs and sharrows painted onto lanes vs. other types
of bike lanes.
I wanted to see if there are people on this list who share my view that the
only types of bike lanes practical on Boston bridges are either shared use
lanes or raised lanes like the one here
If so, it would be nice to let the designers know.
Another interesting moment at the meeting was when Secretary Fred Salvucci
pointed out that we could cheaply test the new traffic patterns on the
bridges using sandbags and paint before finalizing the designs. He
recounted a story of how the first bike lanes in Cambridge were painted by
some college student and they remained on the road. That story has inspired
me to consider painting red circles with lines over the bike pictures in the
Cambridge door zones, maybe along with graphics depicting a door opening
into a cyclist and a warning "door zone: do not ride".
The whole system seems poorly designed. Why is there a rule against
vehicles parking over 1 foot from the curb as opposed to a law about the
distance of the driver's side mirror from the curb? Shouldn't there simply
be a line marking where car parking ends, a red zone for opening doors, and
a bike lane outside of that? Drivers of narrow cars wouldn't have to weave
back and forth to squeeze up against the curb, it would be easy to ensure
you're parked within the parking zone, and cyclists would not drift too
close to doors.
I'm too lame to actually go out and try re-painting the streets to indicate
dangerous door zones, but if anyone wants funding for supplies, I'd be happy
to be the sponsor and risk being charged with being an accessory to this
http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/266-94.htm. I can deal with cars honking
at me for riding at a safe distance from parked cars or road hazards, but I
cringe when I see cyclists ride too far to the right. I should try talking
to Craig Kelley first to see his opinion on what is the proper process for
communicating safe practices to both drivers and cyclists. Or maybe it's
easier to wait until someone gets doored and encourage him or her to file a
lawsuit against the City of Cambridge. Has anyone been doored in Cambridge
recently? Did you have suffer pain or damage to your bicycle that was not
reimbursed by the driver?
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