Saturday, 27 July 2013

Kanata's Secret Segregated Bike Lane

Yes, Kanata has a secret, or at least unpublicized, segregated bike lane on Huntmar Drive from Maple Grove Road to the Canadian Tire Centre parking lot, even if, for some strange reason, it is only on one side of the road.

This is not like the high profile (and more costly) Laurier Street Segregated Bike Lane (SBL). It is done on the cheap, with only the use of concrete curbs to separate the bike lane from traffic, but it is effective. It achieves the most important goal, which is to prevent cars from parking in the bike lane, as cars parked in bike lanes not only render them ineffective but make them dangerous as jutting in and out of traffic from behind parked cars is not a safe practice.

All that separates most sidewalks from roadways are concrete curbs and they are the safety standard for pedestrians so they can make a safe and cost-effective separator for bike lanes. This should be standard practice for most bike lanes. There may be special cases, such as in the busy downtown core, where more separation may be needed. However, white lines on the road should not be the standard when the use of concrete curbs only requires a small one time expense, probably less than the ongoing cost of repainting white lines.

As to the argument that it will make snow clearance and street cleaning more difficult than the current practice, which seems to be to just plough all the crap into the bike lanes, well we need to change that policy anyway.

We can only hope that this is a quiet pilot project and that we will see more of these (starting with the other side of this section of Huntmar Drive) and that it will indeed become the minimum standard for Ottawa bike lanes. Just don't tell Allan “Roads are for Cars” Hubley about this.

What Are These White Lines All About

While we are talking about bike lanes, what about pseudo bike lanes. These are on what I would call collector streets in our neighbourhood. And yes, they look like bike lines. However they have no signage and are not marked on the cycling map as bike lanes. And the fact that cars are allowed to park on them makes them ineffective and possibly even dangerous if used as bike lanes. Indeed, on these streets I follow the general rule of keeping to the right of the roadway but if a series of cars are parked in these lanes I keep to the middle to avoid jutting in and out from behind parked cars.

Perhaps they are parking lanes, but as you can see they are not wide enough for parking within the lines. If they were in the country it would be obvious, they would be paved shoulders, but in a suburb.

I think they are just “make the cyclists feel good” lanes.


After posting this I received this via Twitter:

Charles A-M ‏@Centretowner
@the5thColumnist @auxonic technically it's not a bike lane but an at-grade asphalt sidewalk. I tweeted pic of this 2y ago.
27 July 2013 20:49

1 comment:

Greg Sidebottom said...

The shoulders on Huntmar are not bike lanes at all, they are just part of the road. The curbs northbound are only to stop cars from parking on the shoulder. And in my opinion it makes a pretty lousy bike line, it never gets swept due to the curbs and is always covered in gravel and glass. And it is impossible to pass another cyclist. There is a sign on the road reminding drivers to share the road with cyclists in the northbound direction, a further indication that the curbed off shoulder is not intended for any traffic. But with the curb cyclists have to take the lane and cars have to cross the center line to pass. The curb on Huntmar is a bad thing for cyclists.