Eyes on the Street: Mixing Zone, D.C.-Style

Reader Mike Epstein sends in this photo of a “mixing zone” on L Street in downtown Washington, D.C., that looks a lot different than the ones here in NYC. Mixing zones are the areas where bike traffic merges with turning car traffic at the approach to intersections along protected bike lanes. New York’s mixing zones don’t have flexible posts, and the markings are supposed to emphasize that drivers should yield to passing cyclists, instead of directing cyclists to merge to the right of turning cars, as seems to be the intent in D.C.

Here’s a look at a couple of NYC mixing zones for comparison. This one, courtesy of John del Signore at Gothamist, is on Second Avenue:

And here’s a look at a mixing zone on Grand Street:

Personally, I like the D.C.-style markings, which describe the movement I tend to make at NYC intersections to avoid getting hooked by turning drivers. The posts would be nice to have, but I expect they would get flattened by New York’s careless motorists. Some sturdy steel bollards would do the trick though.

In the absence of hard numbers about the safety records for each type, which one looks better to you?

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