Monday, July 19, 2010

Bike Lanes To Where?

The county has been repaving streets in our Oakland Mills neighborhood, and we were pleasantly surprised to see some new bike lanes appear....

...only to see them disappear just as quickly. Now, granted, the road narrows in certain places, but you wonder if these lanes lead to a false sense of security. One moment after we took this photo a school bus roared by, and believe us, there wouldn't be room for the two.

Wouldn't it make more sense for the lanes to steer a rider to the sidewalk in such tight quarters?

As we pondered that question we wondered who designed these lanes... a highway person or a bike person? Then we saw this story.

In some places, the bike lanes disappear because there isn't enough room to create turning lanes for cars. Stevens Forest Road is not exactly a highway. Do we really need turn lanes? What would happen if cars had to slow down a little?

We commute daily to DC, and we can testify to the fact that there is nothing that makes us want to hop on a bike faster than to see two-wheelers coast on past us as we crawl in city traffic.

The Stevens Forest lanes also take a rider to Broken Land, except only the bravest riders would venture there.

So we assume these lanes are part of a work in progress, a step -- or turn of the pedal -- in the right direction. But only a step.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stephen's Forest and the other areas of Columbia Proper do not need more bike provisions - it would be much better to see the rest of Columbia and the rest of the county in general become half as bicycle friendly as Stephen's Forest already is.