igstar wrote:I've been getting frustrated by the way the new lane has been working in the mornings. Today there were garbage bins in the lane, a group of pedestrians standing there waiting to cross the road, a taxi parked by the kerb completely blocking the exit. I had to stop and carry the bike over the barrier. The intersections have become dangerous to navigate now. Cars tend to line up in the left lane to either turn left or do a hook turn, blocking cyclists going straight. In the past I used to get on the right side of the left lane or in the right lane itself while going through intersections. Then there are cars pulling in and out of car park garages blocking the path - again the barrier prohibits me going around them.
I think I'll go back to the car lane - I feel safer there.
I think we all need some perspective. I don't design for experienced cyclist. Those that currently use La Trobe Street are experienced riders. We will never get new if we don't provide new cyclists the numbers will never improve. It is hard to provide a facility for an experienced cyclist and a newbie and they want different things from a road. Experienced cyclists can ride pretty much anywhere and dont mind mixing it with traffic, whereas newbies need their own space and preferrably physical separation.
Unless you have a authority that is very forward in providing bike facilities where is impacts on cars it needs to be justified by comparing the existing number of cyclists vs cars. Yarra is the only council that is providing the facilities without as much justification. Melbourne is a little behind and all other coucnils and VR arent even considering it! Traffic throughput is defined by the capacity of the intersections. So while Melb can remove a lazy traffic lane mid-block on La Trobe they cant do it at the intersections .....yet. They now have separated bike lane mid-block this will dramatically increase the number of cyclists using the road. This is turn makes the case for providing bike lanes at the intersections. To remove the extra lane at the intersection would be politically unpalatable atm.
I feel the need to point out the evolution of bicycle facilities.
1 - No bike facilities
2 - bike lanes where they fit, this typically means just putting the bike lanes in mid-block
3 - installing bike lanes through the intersection by either narrowing traffic lanes or a reconfiguration by removing a traffic lane (most likely) or widening the road (very expensive)
4 - Providing separation such as a buffer like Clarendon or physical separation like La Trobe Street
Melbourne have done it the 'wrong' way on Abert by jumping from 1 to 4 but as a trade off they had to skip 3. La Trobe Street they went from 2 to 4 but couldn't do 3 because of capacity constraints at the intersections. Over time with improved bike numbers the justification for putting in bike lanes through the intersections can be made.