The Prospect Park Road Diet: A Big Improvement That Only Goes Halfway

Currently, most of the pavement in Brooklyn's flagship park is marked for use by motor traffic. A proposal from the Prospect Park Road Sharing Task Force would reallocate some space to pedestrians and cyclists.

At a public meeting tonight, the Prospect Park Road Sharing Task Force will present a plan to double the amount of space for pedestrians on the Prospect Park loop and reduce confusion between pedestrians and cyclists during the vast majority of time that the park is car-free.

The Prospect Park Alliance established the task force last July in the wake of a collision where a cyclist traveling on a downhill seriously injured a pedestrian. Prospect Park Administrator Emily Lloyd told the Times that the task force, which includes a broad array of park users, city agencies, elected officials, and advocates, has reached an “enthusiastic consensus” for reconfiguring the loop drive with one fewer lane for cars and more space for walking and biking.

Currently the loop drive is open to motor traffic from 7-9 a.m. on the east side of the park and from 5-7 p.m. on the west side. During those hours, when people take advantage of the park before and after the work day, thousands of pedestrians and cyclists cram into the narrow confines of the marked walking and biking lanes, while most of the loop is given over to car commuters. The motorists have more space than they know what to do with: A speed gun survey conducted by the Prospect Park Youth Advocates in 2008 found that 90 percent of drivers on the loop exceed the 25 mph speed limit.

Meanwhile, during the entire weekend and the 22 hours each weekday when any given segment of the loop is car-free, the markings make little sense. Scattered signs explain that cyclists should use the “traffic lanes” while pedestrians have the run of the “bike lane,” but the street markings are omnipresent. The confusion about who belongs where is often cited as a factor contributing to bike-ped collisions on the loop.

The task force proposal will give some breathing room to pedestrians and cyclists during the a.m. and p.m. crunch, and it should get more drivers to adhere to the speed limit. It’s a big improvement. But a comprehensive fix would go farther, making Prospect Park car-free 24 hours a day. As long as there’s a motor vehicle lane in Brooklyn’s flagship park, people on the loop will still be exposed to fast-moving cars, and street markings won’t match the actual rules most of the time.

The campaign for a car-free Prospect Park has a long and effective history, gradually reclaiming the park drive after Robert Moses turned it into a 24/7 motorway in the 1930s. The first mayor to start undoing the Moses legacy was John Lindsay, who introduced car-free weekends in 1966. In recent years, as traffic in the park has dwindled to about 700 cars per hour during rush hours, City Council members representing districts that abut the park have signed on to support a three-month car-free trial in the summers. In 2002 and again in 2005, every council member from a neighboring district supported the trial concept, which the city has yet to try.

The idea of reaching a road diet compromise, with one traffic lane instead of two, picked up steam back in 2008, after the Prospect Park Youth Advocates and Transportation Alternatives delivered 10,000 signatures to Mayor Bloomberg calling for a car-free park. Then as now, opponents of a car-free park sought expanded auto access as part of the deal. Back then, CB 7 chair Randy Peers wanted to increase the loop drive speed limit. Today, Borough President Marty Markowitz wants 30 more minutes of traffic inside the park, even though the road diet is projected to cost motorists all of six or seven seconds, while the two-lane configuration encourages drivers to speed.

The movement for a car-free Prospect Park is going strong. A new Facebook group has picked up hundreds of members this week, and they’ll be speaking up at tonight’s meeting. If you want to weigh in on the future of Prospect Park, the task force meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Prospect Park Picnic House.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand why there are 2 pedestrian lanes on one side.  This seems to me to be a grave oversight if the idea is to keep people out of harm’s way. Pedestrians need to be able to walk along the road without walking in the middle of it. It should be flanked by walkways and separated by buffers.

  • petemarsh

    I don’t see how this design would have prevented the bike-ped collision that started this task force, which was during car-free hours and involved a cyclist colliding with a pedestrian crossing the street at the steep downhill near Vanderbilt playground . Is there more to the proposal, such as clarification on who has right of way, whether traffic lights are to be adhered to, whether speed cycling gets restricted in any way, etc?

  • J

    This is an ingenious compromise. While the goal is still a car-free park, this gets us 95% of the way, and it is really really hard to argue against. Reducing the roadway to one lane will have almost no impact on congestion in the park. For drivers driving the speed limit, it will basically keep there travel times exactly the same. For drivers speeding through the park, however, it will significantly slow them down, making the Park a less attractive option, but making it much much safer for everyone else. This, in turn, will further reduce the number of cars using the park, making a car-free option even more of a no-brainer.

    Basically, the only way to argue against this is to defend of the right of drivers to speed through the park. Marty knows he doesn’t have a case on this one, so he is pleading for a throwaway 30 minute bonus for drivers, which he knows isn’t going to happen. After a year or two, there will be so few cars using the park, that there will be almost no constituency arguing to keep it open to cars at all. Exciting stuff!

  • petermarsh

    to further my comment, the Proposed design is no different than the Existing design for 22 hours per day. Not that I disagree with shrinking autos to one lane (and hopefully one day to zero lanes) but what will this accomplish in dealing with bike-ped conflicts?

  • Anonymous

    I certainly like the idea of less car traffic in the park, but isn’t this particular design a bit confusing?  Two separately marked pedestrian lanes, one of which also includes some cyclists?  A slow cyclist lane that’s separately marked from a fast cyclist lane?  I’m concerned that people will be spending more time figuring out the signage than they will be looking at what’s ahead of them.

  • dporpentine

    The signage can’t possibly be more confusing than it is right now. But I have to say, I don’t get the affection for this design. I think it might help pedestrians and joggers–and that’s great–but the rest of us  . . . 

  • M5m008

    That’s called a sidewalk. There’s one that’s more or less parallel to the road running the entire circumference of the park.

  • M5m008

    “Pedestrians need to be able to walk along the road without walking in the middle of it. It should be flanked by walkways and separated by buffers.”
    That’s called a sidewalk. There’s one that more or less parallels the drive around the entire circumference of the park.

  • M5m008

    To clarify, I’m talking about the pedestrian walk *inside* the park.

  • Streetsman

    I like your angle in this story. Why is the park drive designed for the 20 hours a week that cars drive in it instead of the 128+ when it’s only bikes and pedestrians? Even if it simply MUST be open to vehicles some times, the whole thing should be designed like a bicycle and pedestrian greenway trail that just shoehorns vehicles in twice a day in some safe but improvised manner more reflective of their temporary status.

  • petemarsh

    how does this prevent bike-ped collisions near Vanderbilt playground on a Saturday afternoon?

  • J

    @JoshNY:disqus I’m pretty sure there’s no line delineating 2 ped lanes, and I don’t think there will be any bike symbols in the ped lane either. Basically, it looks like it will be ped lane, bike lane, car lane. Simple as that.

    @e4b1d9379c71b6f031ba7d01f0ba44d2:disqus This addresses existing confusion about who is supposed to be where, which sometimes leads to conflicts. As for speeding cyclists, I think that better enforcement is going to be the best way to tackle that problem, and you are correct that this plan doesn’t really address that issue.

    My last thought is that the bike lane might look rather tempting to an impatient driver who wants to pass another car that is going 25mph. I’m not sure how this can be addressed without spending a lot of money on bollards or curbs, which would be unnecessary impediments 22 hours out of the day at present and simply impediments if the park went car-free in the future.

  • m to the i

    Why does the solution have to be overly academic and confusing. Where do the skateboarders, rollerbladers and scooters belong?! What a great place to try a motherf’ing woonerf out.

  • petemarsh

    maybe the proposal is for the right lane to not be used by cyclists even during off-hours? 

    If that’s the case i can see that helping things a bit (in terms of preventing bike-ped collisions, since it will yield better visibility for both), but in reality will that really be enforced?

  • M5m008

    The glass-half-full angle to the is story is really kind of a downer. If you like the idea of a car-free park, why not view this as a step in the right direction instead of looking for flaws?  I think the Alliance has shown some real leadership on this issue, and should be supported.

    As a heavy user of the park, I think this is a huge step forward and addresses a lot of the flaws with the current schema – signage that tells you to do the opposite of what the rules require for most of the day, not enough space for peds & bikes, no distinction between the different flavors of bike usage (road biking, kids learning to ride), etc.

    I’m not sure why the focus is on that one accident/lawsuit.  I think that was just a catalyst for the Alliance revisiting Park rules to bring them into line with how people are using the park and and to avoid all the accidents/near-misses you don’t hear about or have yet to happen. It’s years overdue, IMHO.Plus, we haven’t even heard what the PPA is going to say tonite. I’m sure there’s more to the proposal than what’s in the post.

  • Anonymous

    I thought the Park Slope Strollers thing was just a meme.  Apparently they’ll get their own lane too! 

  • What a pro-health project! I really love this proposal. Aside from being pro-health, this will also be pro-Mother Earth. I salute the people behind this project. I can’t wait to walk or bike at a larger road more safely.

  • anon

    Children and wobbly Freds must get their own barricaded lane!  They will cause untold harm to the many pedestrians in the left lane.  Where do the dogs go?  They need 15 inches of their own lane as well.  And I think someone mentioned ‘bladers and ‘boarders.  What about them?  Fast cycles go in one lane, but what if I’m having an off day and I’m only average, then what?  Overall, I like the idea of restricting cars to one lane.  The rest should be left to sort itself out and if this goes through, I can see that peds will get 1/2 of the space and cyclists, regardless of class, the other half.  Then we can just bitch at each other.

  • cmu

    As usual, overkill. They should just take out all signage and let the road be multi-use instead of all those narrow designations. The only danger is from the spandex speedsters, and if we control them all will be well. Have a designated speed limit of 10-12mph for cycles except maybe 6-8am and 8-10pm when those idiots can race around by themselves. The rest of us, peds, old ladies, dogs and normal cyclists can negotiate fine. This by the way, is Gehl’s philosophy of not having traffic controls, lane markings and lights, which leads to more civilized behavior.

  • Anonymous

    @0b0823518bc1aa61f8968d1058cabd20:disqus 
    “Have a designated speed limit of 10-12mph for cycles except maybe 6-8am and 8-10pm when those idiots can race around by themselves.”

    Right. And then we can pull cops off the street to set up a permanent speed trap at the bottom of the hill at Vanderbilt playground to give every cyclist going 13 mph a $280 ticket. We’ll make so many “idiots” out of “normal cyclists” that the city should be able to balance the budget for the next few years. 

  • Anonymous

    @5675adb2a75810c2f88aa0ec13ff0022:disqus 

    I’m not sure what you are getting at. In the proposed configuration that’s not a sidewalk on the exterior side of the roadway, it’s a shoulder. And in the existing layout there is nothing. There needs to be a well designated lane ( …or sidewalk) for people to walk in on the outside so that they can get to a safe place to cross. As it is this is an invitation to cross anywhere because that is where the walking lane is.

    Of course the idea of walking lanes on opposite sides only makes sense if the presumed purpose is in getting people to cross the road safely and not in creating opportunities to scapegoat cyclists when they accidentally collide with hapless pedestrians.

  • Joe R.

    A 10-12 mph speed limit for bikes is ludicrous. Even at 25 mph I have no problem avoiding potential obstacles.  Besides, how exactly does one go that slow on a bike (except uphills) unless you’re riding a real POS? I’d have to ride the brake constantly even on level roads to maintain 10 mph.

    The existing 25 mph limit is just fine if people exercise a little common sense and slow down wherever there are large concentrations of people.

  • MC

    “This is an ingenious compromise” – well not really J

    On a daily basis I run, bike (commute & pleasure ride) AND drive through the park when I need to use my car for work.  On average, without exceeding the speed limit, driving through the park saves me 7-10 minutes per commute.  I will always choose the park over PPW and the chance of getting stuck behind a series of double-parked cars, UPS, FedEx & Fresh Direct trucks.  Then of course there is the back-up on PPSW by the Coney Island Avenue circle.  If I am able to get my car off the road for 20 minutes a day by using the park – well I think that is a good thing. 

    It is just too bad the majority of cyclists are uncompromising. 

  • cmu

    bs to joeR. As a regular cylist myself, if you’re going 25mph where there are peds, you’re a severe danger to them. Not that I doubt you can control your bike and, mostly, avoid obstacles, but at that speed a bike is marginally controllable (a car can stop in what, 15 ft at 25mph, can you? without dropping?) … so you’re either a danger to yourself or to others. Biking in the park should be a pleasure, not a way to extreme exercise.

    wkgreen: was not suggesting that the police sit there enforcing it (though apparently they are, every now & then.) The idea is that the roadway is *shared* and it’s your (as a cyclist) responsibility to ride responsibly. 15mph is plenty fast for ‘nornal’ people. If you are a putative racer, go somewhere else or at least sometime else. Not when the place is filled with kids.

  • Joe R.

    @0b0823518bc1aa61f8968d1058cabd20:disqus I don’t live near Prospect Park, never went there, never intend to. In fact, I don’t ride in parks at all. To me personally it’s just lame. Give me a nice wide arterial with as few traffic lights as possible instead, preferably after 10 PM when it’s mostly empty. I don’t even care if it has a bike lane.
    As for stopping distance, no street car can stop from 25 mph in 15 feet.  That’s a deceleration rate of 1.4g. 25 to 30 feet is more typical of the stopping distance of a car from 25 mph, and I can manage that on a bike just fine. That being said, stopping distance is a red herring for the purposes of this discussion. If a pedestrian darts out in front of a car, then the car may well need to stop.  A bike on the other hand might well have enough room to maneuver around the pedestrian. That road is what, close to 40′ wide? With that much room to work with, I’d have a hard time believing a cyclist couldn’t avoid hitting a single pedestrian crossing at 25 mph. Even with just the single 10′ wide bike lane to work with, it wouldn’t be too difficult to avoid a pedestrian.Oh, and 25 mph is extreme exercise? I’m 49 years old, not a member of the spandex set, and generally get hit 30 mph or better at some point in every single ride. On my better days with nice tailwinds I’ve gotten past 50 mph on some downgrades (yes, generally on roads and at times when pedestrians aren’t present). If you have any spandexed pros or semipros, then maybe extreme exercise for them is closer to 35 mph or 40 mph if they’re riding as a group. And for some people, riding like that IS pleasure, while riding at 10 or even 15 mph is more like watching paint dry.If you want to advocate for cycling, then remember that it includes all groups, both fast and slow.  The plan as laid out seems to account for that fact nicely, while yours marginalizes anyone who rides faster than a slow to slow-medium pace, even to the point that you call them “idiots”. Besides, practically speaking, since bicycles aren’t by law required to have speedometers (and if they do, what agency is in charge of verifying their accuracy?), how on Earth would you enforce a speed limit? Like I said, 25 mph seems fine to me. This is a speed that most people, including myself, rarely exceed, and if they do, it’s only for a few seconds on downgrades, and then usually not by much.

  • Anonymous

    It’s nice of you to raise the speed limit to 15, but I would bet that many if not most cyclists would be doing more than that going down the hill, and if it’s not enforced then what’s the point? I’m no racer and I can’t speak for Joe R, but I do on occasion approach the legal speed limit of 25 MPH. The effective stopping distance of a car at that speed is 85 ft. (NOT 15 ft.) I’d say that I do at least that well on my bike. I’m also much thinner and can avoid obstacles with substantially more finesse. If you are talking about vehicle control at that speed, in competition with any driver of a motor vehicle, the cyclist will always win hands down.  The problem is awareness.
     
    You may want me to go somewhere else, but there really is no place else. There are, on the other hand, plenty of other places for kids – like the whole inside of the park. They really should not be playing in the middle of the road.
     
    http://www.csgnetwork.com/stopdistinfo.html

  • Joe R.

    @wkgreen:disqus It sounds like you probably are riding in the same speed range I would, where I’ll occasionally approach or exceed 25 mph, particularly on downgrades. Here for example is a speed-distance plot from a ride a few Sundays ago about 4 miles past city limits and back again.  This was with fairly heavy traffic, quite a number of slowdowns or even stops at traffic lights, etc. The second half of the ride I was fighting a 15 mph headwind coming back into the city or the speeds would have been higher.  In other words, this ride if anything was slower than what I might be doing on a closed course, and yet the bulk of it was well past 10 or 12 mph.  Note that I’m hardly a great example of physical fitness compared to some others out there, which just underscores the point of how overly restrictive cmu’s proposed speed limits are.

  • Ughh!!!

    Again NYC upends conventional traffic norms by putting the slower traffic on the left and passing traffic on the right.  I understand why they designed it that way but its awfully awkward.  And since all these markings won’t be used on weekends it will be all that more confusing.

    There is truly only one solution to this problem.  Get rid of the cars! 

  • Andy B.

    These marking will be used n weekends.  The single lane designed for cars will be a lane for cars.  But only police and service vehicular traffic.   (that is the plan anyway,)

  • This design seems to be an overreaction to a specific incident. So instead of a buffer between the bike lane and auto lane, there’s now a buffer between the walking path and bike lane. Trading one problem for another.  Just eliminate the auto lane all together.

  • cmu

    I’m so glad you’re not riding in the park, Joe. The point is, a multi-use space like the park is not suitable for anyone speeding, cars or cyclists. OK maybe at designated low-use hours, not otherwise.

    The problem that you & your ilk pose for cycling is that you make it seem it’s for exercise and speeding (sorry, 25mph is ‘speeding’ by any cycling standard), not suitable for the many who’d otherwise use a cycle for normal everyday activity.. doing errands, going places, enjoying the sun. I love driving fast (have spent time on tracks) but it does not mean I’d advocate a 50mph limit on boulevards in the city, though I can make the exact same argument you do, including how ‘safe’ I am since I’ve trained to drive fast. 

    Note that in places with real numbers of cyclists (Amsterdam for example,) the average speed even for commuting is low, nobody wears spandex or helmets and thereby it’s seen as a normative activity, not something for the ‘others’.

  • cmu

    “driving fast”… cars, that is.

  • moocow

    Come on cmu, where are you going with your reasoning? To quote nearly all the Post’s reader comments when it comes to bikes in NYC, “This isn’t Amsterdam!”
    You really shouldn’t claim surprise that City bike riders don’t act like those cycling in a bike utopia like that.

  • Joe R.

    @0b0823518bc1aa61f8968d1058cabd20:disqus How exactly does anything I said exclude the type of cycling you mention? For example, errand cycling and fast cycling/exercise aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Not everyone running errands or commuting to work is only going a mile or two. I’ve done “errand cycling” with my brother involving 40 mile round trips. I was doing this over 30 years ago, long before the idea was in vogue, long before a lot of regulars on this site were born. When you’re covering that kind of distance, or even half that distance, 10 mph just isn’t practical. Sorry, but it just isn’t. You’re adding literally hours to the trip. The average speed for commuting in Amsterdam is only low because the distances covered are very short. If/when you ever start seeing significant numbers commuting in NYC outside of Manhattan, 20-25 mph is going to be the norm. Keep seeing Amsterdam as the model, and you’re guaranteed to keep NYC utility cycling percentages in the single digits. What works in Amsterdam might work in the Manhattan CBD. It sure as heck won’t in most of the rest of the city. Distances are just too long. NYC is what, roughly 20 miles by 20 miles?

    You want to make cycling more practical? Guess what, so do I. That includes practical even for trips we currently think of as only suited for motor vehicles. That in turn means bike “highways”, velomobiles which go well above your “speeding” 25 mph bicycles while using less energy than a regular bike going 15 mph, etc. Hopefully you can agree that even though this might not fit your definition of what “everyday” cycling should be, 30 mph velomobiles will be infinitely safer and better than the 45 mph cars we now have making these same types of trips. And BTW, thanks to lack of enforcement by the NYPD, the boulevards in NYC already have a defacto 50 mph speed limit (I’m not saying it’s safe, only that it’s the reality of the situation).

    As for Prospect Park, apparently traffic engineering professionals have determined that 25 mph is a safe speed in the park for cars (the fact that cars widely disobey the limit is another problem entirely). If it’s safe for cars, then it’s certainly safe for bikes. I might understand a 10 or 12 mph limit if you’re talking about a true multiuse path where peds and cyclists are all mixed together. That’s not the case here. Everyone has their designated lane. Crossings are no operationally no different that the crossings at many city streets which NYC DOT has deemed to be safe with 30 mph speed limits. The blind spot on the downhill is just bad engineering. Either fence it off, grade separate the pedestrian crossings there, or straighten out the curve to increase the line of sight. Problem solved on that section. A little courtesy on both sides will fix any other problems without draconian measures. Sure, fast cyclists absolutely should slow down to let people cross, even if it hurts their loop time. No argument there. I do that even on regular city streets. But don’t limit them on the parts of the loop where nobody is crossing. You might do well to remember that a lot of cycling advocacy is done by your so-called spandex speedsters. Fail to accommodate them, you risk losing a valuable ally in your fight to make cycling an everyday activity.

  • Streetmsan

    By contrast, Summer Streets – a mere three-day temporary event on a route twice as long as the PP loop – is a far better managed situation. Better separation, better signage, better crosswalk management: http://www.thedailygreen.com/cm/thedailygreen/images/xm/summer-streets-wideshot-lg.jpg
    IMO the Prospect Park Alliance, with a $12 million/year budget, needs to get out there and buy a few thousand traffic cones, some barricades, some clear signage and stake a few volunteers with hand-help stop signs in the crosswalks at peak times. I mean, the Alliance does some great work, but is this not the most pressing issue facing the public enjoyment of the park today? Stop waiting around for DOT or the Parks Department or the Community Board to come up with some over-engineered compromise and just take ownership of the use of the drive and manage the hell out it.

  • cmu

    Good point about distances. And about courtesy on both sides (amen!) 

    But I doubt there’ll ever be large numbers of cyclists riding from the  outer boros to work or whatever. It would be far better to enourage short trips and for those, low speeds are fine. We won’t agree on whether 25+mph is an unsafe speed for a bike…but I will say that many people I know, occasional cyclists, woud agree with me. Maybe if on a “bike highway,” but that seems even more of a pipe dream.I bring up Amsterdam because it shows cyclists as the norm. Street clothes. Women in heels. Bags (and kids) draped everywhere. Cargo bikes. That’s what we should aspire towards, not just avid cyclists on fixies. Afa the park is concerned, if cyclists had to stop at the lights, it would be safer, but what’s the likelihood of that? How many of your cycling advocates would actually stop ever few hundred yards from that 30mph they’re travelling?

  • Joe R.

    @0b0823518bc1aa61f8968d1058cabd20:disqus Obviously short trips are the low-hanging fruit, but I can only wish in the long run NYC will get ambitious about enabling longer trips. Bike highways already exist in the Netherlands, so I won’t say it’s a pipe dream, but rather something which we might not see stateside for a decade or more. Certainly as gas prices rise, people will be looking for alternatives.

    Street clothes and no helmet is how I ride, so I am what you aspire towards, just maybe a bit faster because I’ve been riding so long. 😉 I’ll agree with you that in places and times when the mixed use path sees very heavy use, 25+ mph is definitely not a safe or sane speed. The rest of time, best answer is “it depends”. It depends first on the skill level of the rider (yes, I see far too many a-holes on fixes going faster than their skill level can handle).  Next, it depends upon the bike. No way would I take a clunky utility bike with heavy, poorly balanced wheels to 40 mph on a descent (even 25 mph is pushing it on a bike like that), but my Airborne feels perfectly smooth, safe, and controllable at that speed (actually, I’ve only had it up to 36 mph so far in the 6 months I’ve had it).

    Red lights?  Well, speed and red lights are pretty incompatible, but at the same time if cars were banned from the park, the lights could go. Cyclists and pedestrians would have to do their part, however, to make this work.  If a crossing pedestrian sees a cyclist a few seconds away, let them pass. Further than that, the cyclist should slow down or even stop to let the pedestrian(s) cross. The only caveat is you’ll need good lines of sight at all crossings.  For those where this isn’t possible, traffic lights and a push-to-cross button will do. I’d say nearly 100% of cyclists will obey red lights if they’re certain something is crossing. If nothing else, it’s in their self-interest.

  • Anonymous

    The discussion about whether 25 mph is safe or not for a bike is academic. Under typical riding conditions, without extremes in terrain, hardly any lone rider is ever even able to sustain that kind of speed for any distance, especially in a NYC park.  In PP the Vanderbilt playground area for a few hundred ft. is really the only spot. When a car is driven at unsafe speeds it not only goes much faster, but it does so consistently for as far as the driver wants to go. If cycling speed is really the issue then keep people from wandering onto the road at that one location and the problem is solved.

    Amsterdam has nothing to do with this. Cycling in the park is not about transportation, it’s recreation and exercise, pure and simple, and the rules and attitudes there should be different than they are on the street. As for courtesy it should be extended to individuals involved in cycling as a common recreational activity as it is with any other such activity. People who would not think about walking through a tennis game or blocking a runner never consider that a cyclist may be similarly engaged. It would never occur to them that it might be easier to wait and let 1 or 2 bikes go past than for the cyclists to stop and start up again. If they did they would likely discover that there really aren’t that many bicycles on the road at one place at one time that should make crossing all that difficult. Yes. I’m a pedestrian too sometimes and (it may have happened at some point, but…) I don’t remember ever waiting more than about 30 seconds even at times when the park was jumping.

    There is an overall etiquette that is missing. The proposed re-design is a step in the right direction in recognizing cycling as a focused activity in itself, but the plan falls short in a number of key areas. And the continued over emphasis on trying to correct cyclist behavior drives me nuts. That’s only part of the problem. As a cyclist I’ll slow down, go around, or stop if necessary to avoid
    hitting or scaring anyone, but I really would like some consideration that I’m involved in something. If you CAN give me space, then PLEASE, give me that space!

  • Anonymous

    I agree that 25 mph is sometimes an unsafe speed, but from there to cmu’s proposed 10-12 mph limit there is a world of difference. 10 mph is ridiculously slow. I’m about as far from the “spandex speedster” as you can get, riding an old clunky bike with mudguards and baskets, and I’d still have to actively concentrate to be able to go that slow. I go about 10 mph up some moderate hills, but on flat terrain I’d consider 15 mph a minimum reasonable speed. My average commuting speed (which includes stopping at some red lights) is 12 mph.

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