Monday, August 27, 2012

Bike Lanes

    Our small city (100 000) has just set up a major system of bike lanes. So bike lanes are a system which puts in a special part of the road for bicycles. Various forms of bike lanes are set up in many cities.
Start of a bike lane

    The purpose of bike lanes is to allow people to ride downtown to their work. The idea is to get people to exercise more and to cut down on the number of cars polluting the atmosphere. They would also like to save some money on roads because with less cars there would be less upkeep for roads. With less vehicles there could be fewer big roads needed.
Typical bike lane

    There was some discussion about the bike lanes. Avid cyclists were involved in setting up the system. I paid some attention but not much because I don't intend to use bike lanes. I use bike trails which take you from one park location to another.

    When the city actually started painting the lines on the roads many people said, "Whoa! Wait a minute! What's going on here?" 

    Major traffic changes were taking place. Four lane roads were becoming two lane roads. Bike lanes started and ended no where. Some bike lanes were on the left of parked cars and squeezed in beside the traffic. Most of the bike lanes are one meter wide. Some bike lanes were put in rather puzzling places. My question is what happens in the winter when snow and ice cover most of the lane markers?  People do ride bikes in the winter with the new technology .

    So I wish I had paid more attention to the bike lane proposals. I want to see more safety and space for bikes. On the other hand vehicle traffic seems to be altered so that it may create traffic jams. 

    We will just have to wait and see how things turn out. There are many cities with a similar system that works well. I hope ours works well.