For well over a year, a cycle lane in Ampere Way, Croydon was full with plastic jersey barriers. Preventing use of the cycle lane. A few weeks ago there was an update to the cycle lane along Ampere Way.
It used to be like this.
It is now like this.
At least the cycle lane is now usable but the additional bollards now mean that the width of the cycle lane has decreased, road sweepers can not clean them and moving in and out of the cycle lane is difficult.
The bollards have been placed on the left side of the painted lane boundary line, reducing the width that was once there. As we can see from the image below, the road is plenty wide enough for the cycle lane to have been increased in width considerably and still allow for motorised forms of transport to pass smoothly.
It has been said countless times that painted cycle lanes on the side of the roads don’t keep us safe. Despite this, our cycling facilities seem to be made up of mostly this, painted cycle lanes on the side of the road.
The magic paint lines obviously don’t keep other, much harder and faster vehicles from straying into them, and the consequences of them doing so can be huge. As the cyclist in the above video found out, being in the position designated to us on the road doesn’t equal safety and being hit by a bus that was driving in it was not a pleasurable experience!
It is (funny) how drivers will calmly go around a car that is parked in the road making sure to avoid conflicts with on coming traffic but when asked to do the same thing for a real live person on a bike they get all worked up and mad at the cyclist. I believe there is a deeply rooted fear of the cyclist and the liability involved. After all the cyclist is a moving object and can change direction. The parked car is not going to jump in front
The San Francisco Streetsblog recently posted about a new ‘system’ to keep cyclists out of the door zone which has been introduced by the
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on a trial basis. The idea is to add a T next to parking spaces. This is meant to show the area of the door zone but to me it is rather confusing.
Is this really a good way to avoid the door zone? From what I have seen the vertical line of the T is painted out from the boundary line of the parking spaces, so if you cycle outside of the T then you should be just outside of the door zone.
American states have tried several different ways to get work around the door zone. Most of them involving a form of sharrows but many of them don’t have borders so cyclists don’t stay out of the door zone.
Cyclists, like many road users, will stay in the lane markings provided, even if that means putting them in danger. If the lane markings provided adequate space next to parked cars then KSI’s from doorings should be decreased. For example, the image below shows how there is a buffer between the cycle lane and parked cars and there is a boundary line on both sides of the cycle lane. This should keep most cyclists safe from the door zone as they follow the cycle lane away from the danger.
The T to me is another road marking which is confusing and is not self explanatory. The door zone is not known by many cyclists and if the road marking that is meant to save lives is not self explanatory as to what the danger is, then it doesn’t work.