The pandemic is changing how cities think about bicycles, and it’s about damn time

Originally published at: The pandemic is changing how cities think about bicycles, and it's about damn time | Boing Boing


My pre-pandemic commute path included Cambridge’s new protected bike lane. For the most part it is an improvement. THe only real drawback is that you’re on the other side of parked cars from the main travel lane, so the view is partially blocked at intersections for cars making turns. The big plus is that the city actually clears the lane in the winter, albeit with a lot of chain-rusting road salt.


There’s been a lot of new ‘temporary’ bike lanes popping up here in the UK. Some don’t fully work as is always going to be the case when they are imposed on roads never designed for this, but at least they are there.

Until they are not:

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I wish it didn’t take a pandemic to move more bikes off the pavements (those are for pedestrians) and make more room for them on the streets (where they’re definitely preferable to private cars), but I’ll take whatever positive side effects I can get.


Roger That!


Interesting. Same county here, but in crawley, where the same thing happened.

In our case though, it was so ineptly designed it annoyed absolutely everyone. (made the road dangerously thin, cycle tracks going haphazzardly around roundabout entrances, cycle track forcing you through a regular deep puddle and so on) Even as a cyclist who uses the section of road daily, i was glad to see it removed…

It was really annoying though, as the section of road does need a cycle lane, and there was room to build a proper segregated cycle path off of one side of the road if they’d spent just a bit more.


…and ‘not just bikes’ on youtube would give free coupondays… to head on over there…


The parked cars as a barrier against moving ones is my main test for whether a bike lane is useful or not. If a distracted driver can kill me mid-block without going through the parking lane or some substantially equivalent barrier, it’s not real bike infrastructure, it’s just paint to make city councillors feel good.

The sight line limitations are IMO a totally acceptable trade off for that protection.


Though getting hit at an intersection is more likely than getting sideswiped in the lane. Most accidents occur when one party doesn’t see the other crossing in front.

Though I’m generally in agreement with the principle of keeping low speed vehicles segregated from high speed vehicles, and all vehicles segregated from pedestrians, I am a little concerned that the proposed solution to copy from Boston is to circumvent any local objections to changes in the streetscape. Keeping people out of the loop on urban planning matters has a pretty lousy track record.

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