Doesn't this narrow sliver of a bike lane look safe?

Originally published at: Doesn't this narrow sliver of a bike lane look safe? | Boing Boing

That’s exactly the kind of “bike lane” I’d expect to see in the capital of American car culture.


Aaaaaand people wonder why we still ride on the sidewalks or take the lane.

Worth noting that it’s actually worse than it looks because they’re using the gutter pan, made of a different road material, to count for the width. Because the road is asphalt and the gutter pan is concrete there’s always going to be a vertical difference between the asphalt and the gutter pan: 1/16-1/4" is normal, but I’ve seen it as bad as an inch. And since that seam is right in the middle, the tires are going to be rolling right on this continuous bump in the ground. This is enough to cause serious issues with skinny road bike tires.

Even worse still, puncturevine can adapt well to growing in the space between the concrete gutter pan and the road asphalt.

Nimesh in Los Angeles is a good urbanist YouTube channel about LA city design. He doesn’t have much content up so far but all of it is quality. Here’s his video on LA’s dangerous bicycle “infrastructure”:


With a tire-grabbing gap running down the middle where the concrete storm gutter meets the asphalt road. The rider has to be in the gutter, with all the debris, have their arm in the traffic lane, or have their tires snag in the crack. But yeah, it’s a bike lane.


Lucky to even have a bike lane in some places, like Texas.


“Wonder” why people ride on the sidewalk? No. But as one of life’s pedestrians, I sure don’t like it when they do. Especially the ones that go bombing along full-speed.

And yes, there should be more and better bike lanes.



Isn’t using obstacles to channel the enemy into well-defined and vulnerable locations so that they can be killed more efficiently a pretty orthodox strategy?


instead of some rule buried somewhere in the traffic code, I wish “you are not allowed to threaten the safety of anyone with your vehicle, you have to slow down and wait for an opening when you ride your bike (car, skateboard, etc) around pedestrians; and cars aren’t allowed to threaten you on your bike or on foot” would be taught along with the ABCs. then the kids grow up and all know the rule, which would be reinforced in mandatory driver’s ed and on the license exam. the way we do it now, assholes can just assume “they don’t belong on the road” or “yee haw I’m gonna bomb down this sidewalk.” we need to make it explicit, and everyone has to know so there’s potential for social enforcement.

@Bunbain I’m not sweating the bus, really (although it is also a ridiculous situation.) what scares me is the endless line of parked cars who can randomly open their doors, making you choose between crashing into a door or veering left (in the USA, for this picture) and catching a vehicular homicide.


Absolutely. In the following meme, I’d much rather ride in the 1st panel than the 2nd,

I think I’d take #7 over #8, too.


I really wish boingboing wouldn’t channel people to twitter when nitter links exist. We should be moving people away from twitter to the fediverse or just boycotting it entirely.


I’m in PA, where new bike lanes and pedestrian crossings have been added to high traffic roads. The press and PSAs on the right of way and reminders about traffic laws increased, too. The problem is that there are no sidewalks where a lot of these lanes were added.

Most of these county roads are two lanes with no shoulder. If a car breaks down, there’s no getting around it without crossing the median. The laws about distance when passing a bicyclist means crossing into the other lane of oncoming traffic. In a zone where passing a car isn’t permitted, that means to follow the law cars must follow bicycles. You can imagine what that would do in 35 or 40MPH zones. So, TPTB set up something that was doomed to fail from the beginning. I see people risking their lives on these roads on the weekends, but most carry their bikes to the parks and trails where they can ride safely in a car-free environment.


Unfortunately it still happens even in towns with decent systems of bike lanes. There have been several times walking down the sidewalk where if I had happened to drift to one side a few inches I would have ended up in the hospital as I was struck by a recklessly speeding bike. A town with terrible bike lanes like the one shown is practically trying to kill anyone not driving a car.


that’s a pretty good point. though i honestly fear buses less than most vehicles because the drivers are (on average) pretty aware

still, none of that la biking like re: @Narwalt 's vid looks fun (or safe) at all.

4+ lanes of traffic in pedestrian areas, high speeds, large vehicles ( like semis! ), no buffer zone, people jumping across multiple lanes of traffic to take turns, dear god. it looks like a death race


The evidence strongly suggests painted bike lanes increase danger to people on bikes.

The problem isn’t just idiotically narrow lanes like the one in the video. Paint does nothing to prevent drivers from hitting people on bikes, but it also gives them the false impression that they’re driving safely as long as they’re outside the lane, however close they actually end up to bike riders. It doesn’t take much of a deviation for someone to end up under the wheels of a truck.


I’m not a cyclist so this isn’t my hill to die on but, yup, I got rear ended on a painted cycle lane (with added plastic wands even) two weeks under a year ago today.

And I am a never cyclist because of that and my loved ones I need to care for.

As an aside to some of the points about narrow driving lanes with cycle lanes (kerbs or wands) I’ve seen recently: the council is explicit in the consultation process that curbing speeding is an explicit goal of introducing usable cycle lanes. Like first that, then cyclists, maybe. But stop the excessive, dangerous, unhealthy speeding first. Then we might have a multi use area available.


This bike lane is a bit skinny, but the problem is not the size or type of infrastructure available, it’s the character of car culture in the USA. Cars are a problem almost everywhere they are introduced, but there are many countries where cars and bikes get along way better that in the US just because of the general aggressive clawing for entitlement and presumption of primacy of car users.


Absolutely. A traffic infrastructure where you are inconvenienced and endangered when you do not use a car will directly benefit the auto industry. And why would they care about the downside? That’s your problem, and it’s not like they’re in any way responsible for any accident.


I am pretty sure that is a ghost bike in the video.

Ghost bikes are set out by the cycling community at locations where a cyclist was killed.


I have been very nearly killed by a bus more than once. I once had on pass me so close it brushed my handlebars. I got video of it, the number of the bus, and the place and time of the incident. I reached out to Austin’s Cap Metro, and their response was “it is the policy of Cap Metro to maintain a 6 foot distance when passing bicycles”

OK, great. Well, that didn’t happen, now what?

(frankly I don’t think it’s ever happened, at best they just don’t stray into the bike lane)

I commuted and raced for about a decade. I quit one and then the other in a short period of time. There was a year with a statistically high number of accidents among my friends, with several deaths and several severe injuries and I had a hard time thinking of it as fun any more.

I still ride but 100% of MTB trails, paved trails, and short sections of suburban road.