I frequently have issues with cars not yielding to me while I’m cycling in the bike lane at where it kinks just after the intersection at the Bigelow Blvd and Bayard St. Frequently they dangerously encroach on my space, and due to the angle It’s hard to know how drivers will act when I’m squarely in the center of the bike lane. I’ve had some very close calls here.
I wanted to quantify how bad this issue was. So, I took a 5 minute video of the kink in the bike lane at bigelow and bayard intersection during rush hour after work on November 14th, 2016.
Here’s the video and what I found.
Here’s my raw count data:
T=Vehicle Touched or Crossed the bike lane markings with tire – Unsafe Encroachment
X=Vehicle’s front and back tires completely over bike lane markings – Very Unsafe Encroachment
O=Vehicle completely avoided driving on bike lane markings – No Encroachment
First number is just a count for reference, time at end is when the last vehicle in the row of 5 passed the kink.
0 T X X T T 0:19
5 T Y T T X 1:13
10 T T X T X 1:26
15 T T T X X 2:21
20 X X X T O 2:35
25 T O O X T 2:57
30 X O T O O 3:38
35 T T X X X 4:06
40 X X O T T 4:48
45 T X X end
That gives us 47 vehicles total:
Touched – Unsafe (T)= 21 vehicles or 44.68%
Crossed – Very Unsafe (X)= 19 vehicles or 40.43%
Outside – Safe (O)= 7 vehicles or 14.89%
I was surprised at how few drivers managed to not touch the bike lane with their tires, it was under 15%!
If we add up the touched and crossed:
Touched or Crossed Bike lane (T+X)= 21+19 = 40 (of 47 total) or about 85%
I think this intersection needs some work. The yellow buffer area could be shrunk to give a wider lane and longer transition here to help guide vehicles from encroaching in the bike lane. Potentially, a buffer could be added around the bike lane if enough space could be taken from the yellow buffered area.
The metered parking area which the bike lane routes around only accommodates approximately 2 vehicles due to fire hydrant in center of parking area, if these parking spaces are not needed, the bike lane could be straightened for this block, but there would likely be resistance from nearby residents, or the first baptist church which borders the two metered parking spaces.
I agree. It was badly done. too many twists and turns in order to preserve parking. And as someone who also drives that section occasionally, the car lanes are so narrow that it is fairly impossible for the average driver not to encroach on the bike lane or the yellow line on the other side when driving the posted speeds. For that very reason, I ride as far to the right in the lane as possible, and when there aren’t cars parked there, ride in the car parking lanes.
Instead of sharp angles for the bike lines, they should have made them curve and curve over a longer distance. Not sure how much that would help, since they were really trying to add a bike lane and preserve as much parking as possible.
The positive thing is that when this stretch is busy (lots of Pitt pedestrians, bikes, rush hour traffic) the car speeds are slow.
One of my biggest fears is that this problem manifests itself in the same capacity at the east liberty two way conversion of penn circle, and other areas. It moving bike lanes around parking can be done, but it can be done better.