Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Good Road Design

There is, and always will be, an ongoing debate about how urban bike-transportation infrastructure should be designed.

The separate path has advantages and disadvantages. So does the delineated "bike lane," running along the edge of the "car lane."

I put "car lane" in quotes, because it illustrates the main drawback of the "bike lane" - people who don't get educated may think bikes only belong in "bike lanes." When in reality, by statute at least in Idaho, bikes can legally operate on any public road (including Interstates). (Now, don't think that legal law and common-sense law always go hand in hand. Good judgment should always be exercised.)

I really like this roadway design. It's Adams Street in Garden City, and in my opinion, it's "how to do it."

No delineated bike lane, but plenty of width, including a striped center turning/passing lane. Bikes and motor vehicles share the space, but there's plenty of safe width (and visibility, thanks to the nice sidewalk treatment) for faster traffic to pass slower traffic.

I'd like to see more of this.


Anonymous said...

I agree, this is a very transportation-friendly stretch of road. I only recently gave it a shot to get out to SW Boise, and it was wonderful!

Alfred Sawatzky said...

Hi Bikeboy,

I guess now is as good a time as any to introduce myself. I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now and enjoy it very much. I started bicycle-commuting more-or-less fulltime back in March when I moved to Boulder, Colorado. I enjoy reading your posts. This last week we got up to 100° here in the Front Range and your post on Hydration (see my comments) was very helpful to get me thinking about staying hydrated even before I get on my bike.

And now this post about Good Road Design reminded me about a Google Tech Talks video I recently saw featuring John Forester. He speaks exactly about this issue of good road design (see my short commentary on his talk).

Anyways, I look forward to reading many more insightful posts from you.



Anonymous said...

This stretch looks nice and pedaler friendly. The only time I really like bike lanes is when they stick you between a turn lane and a through traffic lane. 16th Street does this , but that bike lane sticks you on the left hand side of the road which isn't to great.

Apertome said...

That looks nice indeed, but it also looks like pretty ideal conditions:

- Straight
- Flat
- No street parking
- Lots of available width

In a lot of situations, some or all of those things are impossible. In other words, it's easy to build an ideal road when you have ideal road-building conditions.

Granted, these assumptions are based on one fairly low-resolution image, so I could be off base.