Eyes on the Street: A Special Lane for Parking Cars

bike_lane_blocked_1.jpg

This was the scene along the Edward L. Grant Highway in the Bronx on May 27, where the southbound buffered bike lane near Jerome Avenue was being blocked by SUVs from Florida and New Jersey and assorted other vehicles. The bike lane markings here are worn out by the constant wear and tear of automobile tires. A complete lack of enforcement makes this bike lane inadequate for cycling and a great benefit for auto mechanics and double-parkers.

  • jmc

    This is why bike lanes need to be painted a specialized color (blue, green, red, orange, mauve, etc.). This way, if the lines and bike symbols are degraded there’s still some indication that there’s a bike lane there.

  • They painted the bike lane over on Henry Street and Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn…Unfortunately, they painted it dark green which is barely distinguishable from the asphalt.

  • The city may have plans to stripe 200 new miles of bike lanes, but they also need to continue maintaining the existing bike lanes. I applaud their efforts to add new bike lanes, but wish they would do a better job keeping cars from parking in the existing bike lanes.

    NYC Bike Map

  • The bike lanes should be next to the curb, with the parking outside of them (next to the traffic). Even without an actual physical barrier (bollards or whatever), this would at least remove the risk of being doored.

  • David

    It would also create conflicts at bus stops. Bus passengers don’t (and shouldn’t have to) watch for cross traffic as they step off the bus.

  • The most effective color for a bike lane would be florescent yellow, one would think.

  • Steve

    One thing the DOT handled well under Weinshall were roadway condition complaints. Here’s an example:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/43954081@N00/365986663/

    This bike lane problem should be phoned in to 311.

  • Tim

    I live on Carlton Ave. in Ft. Greene where they just recently painted bike lanes. So, as in most alt-side street cleaning nabes, people move their cars to the other side of the street double-parking while the street gets cleaned. It’s one of those winked at parking violations since everyone does it. But now there’s a bike lane on one side and I was wondering how it would shake out.
    Well, today I looked out the window and saw TWO parking enforcement officers ticketing EVERY car that was double-parked in the bike lane. Have to say, I’m pretty surprised. Go cops!

  • momos

    David – you’re incorrect about Anne’s suggested bike lane reconfiguration creating conflict with bus stops.

    With her suggestion, bus bulbs would be built out from the sidewalk to the street edge where the bus would discharge passengers. Bus shelters would be located there, interrupting the line of parked cars.

    Meanwhile, the bike lane would hug the sidewalk. Bus riders would get off the bus at bus stops as usual and walk across the width of the lane for parked cars (demarcated by the bus bulb). Only then would they cross the bike lane.

    Simple design elements could give pedestrians the right of way, such as the placement of a bollard in the bike lane and the use of different pavement stones to mark the pedestrian path across the bike lane. Negotiating the pedestrian crossing is far easier than on a conventional street, since bike lanes are far narrower than car lanes and the speeds of cyclists and pedestrians are far less dangerous.

  • Steve

    Yes, momos. And the heightened collision risks at intersections created when bicyclists are obscured from the view of motorists by the parking lane between them can be reduced by bulbing out the sidewalk at every intersection, even when there is no bus stop.

  • Ricardo Montalbam

    momos – i’ve seen exactly this configuration in paris. bus stops are bulbed out into the parking lane and the separated bike path runs behind it. the way they deal with it there is to use pedestrian fencing to guide bus passengers back to where the bus bulb meets the preceding intersection to cross the bike path at the crosswalk with everyone else. now, if it were a midblock bus stop then you could do some kind of crossing treatment like you described.

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