Re: Digest for rhcoc@googlegroups.com - 4 Messages in 1 Topic

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tom mcmahon

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Oct 16, 2010, 11:05:52 PM10/16/10
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I was just in Sedona, Arizona which features many turning circles and brand new bike lanes. We took a guided bike tour to begin our little vacation there, and the guide explained how we needed to navigate the turning circles. The bike lanes end just before a turning circle, and start again just after. The cyclist should take the centre of the lane and go around the circle in the centre of their lane. If the cyclist tries to stay to the side, it can cause problems for everyone, with cars trying to squeeze past and then (perhaps) trying to make a turn that could T-bone a cyclist. So we followed the guide's instructions and always went to the middle of the lane entering and through the turning circles, and had no problems at all. The basic principle is that cyclists are entitled to the whole lane, not just cars. Perhaps some signage in Winnipeg for motorists might be needed or helpful; all the motorists in Sedona were perfectly accommodating and there was no special signage.

Tom

On 16-Oct-10, at 4:39 PM, rhcoc+...@googlegroups.com wrote:

Group: http://groups.google.com/group/rhcoc/topics

    Gord McGonigal <gord.mc...@gmail.com> Oct 15 02:09PM -0700 ^
     
    Add me to the list of people that currently don't understand the
    treatment on Grosvenor.
     
    West of Cambridge, at the traffic circles every couple of blocks, the
    bike lane ends and bikes must merge with cars before going through the
    circle. The geometry further implies that cyclists must yield to
    overtaking motorists (as it is clearly the bike lane that ends). I am
    not sure how this is an improvement for me. I suppose it is nice I may
    not have to stop at a 4-way stop, but the constant need to merge I
    found to be quite annoying (even in light traffic). And for
    inexperienced cyclists it seems downright dangerous if they have to
    merge with cars every several blocks!
     
    East of Grosvenor it is not as bad, but I think there are still
    problems. The sharrows are not placed far enough away from the parked
    cars. It makes no sense that the safest line for a bicycle should be
    along the edge of the sharrow and not the middle.
     
     
    Gord
     
    Gord McGonigal <gord.mc...@gmail.com> Oct 15 02:11PM -0700 ^
     
    Add me to the list of people that currently don't understand the
    treatment on Grosvenor.
     
    West of Cambridge, at the traffic circles every couple of blocks, the
    bike lane ends and bikes must merge with cars before going through the
    circle. The geometry further implies that cyclists must yield to
    overtaking motorists (as it is clearly the bike lane that ends). I am
    not sure how this is an improvement for me. I suppose it is nice I may
    not have to stop at a 4-way stop, but the constant need to merge I
    found to be quite annoying (even in light traffic). And for
    inexperienced cyclists it seems downright dangerous if they have to
    merge with cars every several blocks!
     
    East of Cambridge it is not as bad, but there is still a problem. The
    sharrows are not placed far enough away from the parked cars. It makes
    no sense that the safest line for a bicycle should be along the edge
    of the sharrow and not the middle.
     
     
    Gord
     
    David Wieser <david...@gmail.com> Oct 15 04:13PM -0500 ^
     
    I agree with everything Gord said. I do like that there are the traffic calming circles instead of stop signs. They could just be designed better for cyclists.
     
    David
     
    Sent from my iPhone
     
     
    Mark Cohoe <mco...@mts.net> Oct 15 04:33PM -0700 ^
     
    I agree with Gord on the issue of the placement of sharrows on
    Grovesenor, but disagree about the design of the traffic calming
    circles.
     
    I measured the location of the sharrows for west bound traffic last
    Sunday, and found that they were centered just 10ft (3m) from the
    curb. Given that a typical car door will open to 9 1/2 feet, a
    cyclist traveling in the center of the sharrow (which is the intuitive
    and intended positioning of cyclists) would be cycling within the door
    zone, which defeats the purpose of the sharrow. The lane widths along
    this section of road are 2.4m (8ft) for parking, plus 4.3m (14ft) for
    each of the travel lanes. So far, so good. The Transportation
    Association of Canada recommends a minimum distance of 3.4m from curb
    to the center of the sharrow marking when they are painted next to
    parked cars. Clearly, that is not the case here. I sent an email to
    Kevin Nixon and Ruth Marr pointing out this discrepency on Sunday. I
    have not yet heard back. Presumably this can be fixed.
     
    Regarding the traffic circles, Gord is right that the geometry will
    force cyclists to merge into the travel lane prior to the traffic
    circle, with bicycles and cars traveling single file through the
    traffic circle. In the CROW manual I have, the recommended best
    practice for bike lanes entering roundabouts (and presumably traffic
    circles) is to drop the bike lane and merge cyclists into the travel
    lane. Although this seems counter intuitive, it does make sense.
    Anyone approaching a traffic circle must scan for vehicles already in
    the traffic circle and give way to any vehicles that are present.
    That means drivers will be focused on traffic from their left as they
    enter the traffic circle. I think asking them to merge to the right
    as they come up to a traffic circle would have led to drivers cutting
    off cyclists. Similarly, I think that if the bike lane extended up to
    the traffic circle, cyclists would have been tempted to ignore the
    traffic circle and follow the straight line through without yielding
    to traffic already in the traffic circle. The one complaint I may
    have with the design is that the dashed line leading up to the traffic
    circles does not begin early enough (although I have not measured
    it). I would like to see the dashed line start 10m in front of the
    traffic circles to give a reasonable amount of space to complete this
    merge.
     
    This need to merge in and out of the traffic lane is a bit of a catch
    22. The traffic circles slow down traffic, which is good, and having
    cyclists merge in and out heightens awareness of our presence. The
    downside is that some cyclists might not be very comfortable doing
    that. One area where the city definitely failed was in public
    education over how to use the new traffic circles. We asked for and
    received assurances there would be an educational component to the new
    infrastructure, but obviously that never came through. I guess it
    will be up to us to provide that education.
     
    Mark
     
     
     

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Anders Swanson

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Oct 17, 2010, 1:03:42 AM10/17/10
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Tom, 

In the case of the traffic calming circle in Sedona, were there any other indications that it was a bike route, other than the physical infrastructure and the painted bike lane?     ......such as signs indicating "bike boulevard", etc... or "Bike Route X" . ..  ..I ask because a comprehensive route signage strategy is the next step here. It seems to me that, aside from providing benefits for wayfinding, the route signage might help inform motorists that a particular street has special significance (if the bike lanes weren't enough), perhaps prompting folks to give a little more leeway?

Also, I've attached a couple examples of the signs you are suggesting. . . . perhaps placed just before the bike lane becomes hatched?

Anders
R4-11-BMUFL.jpg
BikesMayUseFullLane.jpg
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