One of the issues being looked at for the update to Portland’s Bicycle Master Plan is the issue of ‘cycle tracks’, bike lanes that enjoy some physical separation from auto traffic.
Streetsblog has a post on just such a proposal for a corridor in New York. Could it work here? If so, where?
8 responses to “Cycle Tracks in NYC”
I had no idea this sort of design was called a “cycle track” until now, but I’d like to see a grid of them downtown: perhaps one on Third Avenue, one on Twelfth, and a few E/W streets.
Part of the City’s new bicycle master plan is to recognize that the vast majority of potential bike commuters don’t use bicycles for safety reaons, and would be more likely to commute if they had access to separated bicycle paths and bike boulevards. That’s fine to get them as far as downtown. But what happens when they actually reach downtown? For a timid cyclist, the traffic volume is scary. Those last few blocks could deter some cyclists from attempting the trp.
Cycle tracks could get people into downtown with a greater sense of safety, and help them ride to work just a couple of minutes
Correcting the final paragraph of my previous post (which I typed around 2 a.m., when I was barely able to stay awake). What I was trying to express was closer to this:
“Cycle tracks could help bicyclists get into downtown itself with a greater sense of safety. They could use the cycle tracks to get within a few blocks of their destination before they had to contend with shared traffic lanes.”
At that point, anyone who’s still afraid of traffic could get off and walk the last couple of blocks.
Almost everywhere, every road and every street, in Holland I visited has these. Portland biking, being a car-free biker myself, is in its absolute infancy. In fact, it is absolutely, ridiculously shameful that Portland is the ‘best in the nation.’
I don’t think they are needed downtown in most places. In most of downtown, bicyclists are able to keep up with traffic. They can, and should, take the lane. One of my pet peeves is that the police on bikes ride on the sidewalks most of the time. I think if they were out in traffic more it would help educate both drivers and bicyclists that this is expected behavior.
One place where this would make sense is the new Burnside couplet connecting all the way up to Hollywood on Sandy. Likewise Broadway/Weidler and Multnomah through Lloyd Center.
And there are a number of roads on the east side of Portland. 82nd, Division beyond 82nd, 120th, Stark, Foster and Powell where “cycle tracks” would be useful. Those are all higher speed arterials where creating a separation between the bike lane and traffic would make it safer for bicyclists.
I suspect the same is true for major arterials in Washington County like Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, Canyon Road and Scholls-Ferry. Of course the big issue is whether there is ROW that can be used.
“I don’t think they are needed downtown in most places. In most of downtown, bicyclists are able to keep up with traffic. They can, and should, take the lane.”
That works fine for people like me. In fact, I prefer, (as do a lot of other regular bikers,) using a traffic lane to using the downtown broadway bike lane. However, when was the last person you saw someone (okay, besides Scott Mizée) with a child trailer (with a child in it) downtown on any street? It doesn’t happen, a lot of people don’t feel safe sharing a busy lane with cars. People will ride on Clinton with children, but it is specifically because there isn’t a lot of cars on it…
“One of my pet peeves is that the police on bikes ride on the sidewalks most of the time. I think if they were out in traffic more it would help educate both drivers and bicyclists that this is expected behavior.”
That is what they should do. And when they do ride on the streets, they should ride the right direction on them, and stop (or at least slow down,) at stop signs too. I told one of the blackwater, (okay, the aren’t really that bad: the clean&safe idiots,) one day about how dangerous it was to ride the wrong way on a one way street, and he started yelling at me about how it wasn’t my problem and he could do whatever he wanted, and I listened to him yell for a few minutes and then rode away. I regularly tell drunk/high/whatever people to not ride the wrong way on the streets and they mostly seem to be somewhat polite about me worrying about them, but the rent a cop guys are just plain crazy.
However, when was the last person you saw someone (okay, besides Scott Mizée) with a child trailer (with a child in it) downtown on any street?
I have seen it, but we should see more of it. I am not sure adding “cycle tracks” downtown will change the perception it isn’t safe for kids.
I’ll tell you were this would work wonderfully, WILLIAMS AVENUE!
Have you ever driven down Williams ave heading to Portland Blvd around 4pm? You have whole herds of bikers! And they represent the entire strata of bicyclists!
The slick ones in their fancy outfits that peddle as fast as possible when the light turns green.(and they go faster than the cars)
The “weirdo’s” who use those crazy looking bikes that you peddle with your hands and stretch way out. Some of them have “tents” surrounding them!
Old hippy mom’s towing their kids behind them.
Bums on junkers swerving all over the road.
THEY NEED THEIR OWN ROAD!
the cost to implement such measures of basic safety for bikes are a mere fraction compared to the long term effects and expense of car dependence. Why are we even having this discussion? Do it, City of Portland, prove that you have some balls and make bike riding a fun & safe way of life for everyone, not just “wierdos in tents/lycra”.