Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Car Doors and Striping

As I pedaled down a striped bike lane in Hartford recently, I was recalling some recent comments basically saying, for one reason or another, that striping isn't all that effective at making streets safer and friendlier for bicycles.

I was naturally moving out of the bike lane and into the auto lane if there was no traffic behind me, because the bike lane seemed to be exactly as wide as the length of a driver's side door.

Perhaps an overlooked benefit of striping bike lanes onto roads is that drivers who just parked will think twice before throwing their door open. It may remind them that there is traffic right up to edge of their vehicle.

4 comments:

Brendan said...

A couple of times recently in that, I've seen drivers check to see if someone was coming, seen me, and not open their doors. I've only seen one person throw their door open and not look. People coming out of cars want to not get hit by cars and bicycle just as much as we do.

Karma said...

Id have to say that my experience generally aligns with Brendan's. The only exception I note is riding down Capitol between Prospect and Sisson (my through-way into the Beat). When I ride this road regardless of time of day I pretty much ride down the center line as no one really seems to care about what traffic is coming their way.

chillwill said...

what bike lane joel? the Whitney Bike Lane of Death!?!? i think a car door can actually span that lane and block the car lane!

Rich said...

Last night I definitely took notice on how close the Franklin St. bike lane was the row of parking spots next to it. I pretty much ride on the left-most line or just outside of it without thinking about it anyway, but I'm sure that's why.