Remember back in April when signs were posted that bike lanes were coming to Broadway? Remember back in 2008 when it was first announced that they were coming? Don’t worry, no one does.
They are here now”¦ almost. Just in time for a snow storm, we have the guides laid down on Broadway’s fresh pavement for bike lanes:
Of course, as Car-Free in PVD points out, the bike lanes are in the dreaded door zone. If you ride to the right of the lane, which as Car Free points out, Rhode Island Law instructs cyclists to do, then you are gonna get doored. There is room to stay the the left side of the lane and avoid the door.
Ideally, we would have protected bike lanes, but these lanes were put in on the cheap. As part of the repaving project, basically just some paint was all that was needed to make these lanes on Broadway appear. In our cash strapped city-state”¦ I don’t want us to have to settle for less all the time, but this is a good get.
In New York, they’ve been all about bike lanes for a while now, and they’ve got some good infrastructure going, I took some photos when I was in the City earlier this month .
Here we see the bike lane on 9th Avenue. The lane runs between the sidewalk and parked cars, with a buffer between the parked cars and the bike lane, eliminating the door zone problem. The lane helps pedestrians too as a travel lane was removed for the bike lane and a pedestrian refuge was built in the parking lane at the intersections. This makes 9th Avenue two lanes narrower than it was before shortening the distance pedestrians have to traverse on the light.
Unfortunately, if you look very closely, you can see a white van parked in the bike lane, sigh.
Further up 9th Avenue we see a left turn bay. Auto traffic leaving 9th Ave. to turn onto 30th moves into the bike lane and shares the lane with the bikes (you can see a Sharrow on the pavement).
The next photo is looking in the opposite direction at the same intersection as the previous one. Again you can see the pedestrian refuge and the parking between the bike lane and travel lanes. Stanchions in the roadway separate the parking lane from the bike lane.
The next photo is 8th Avenue at Penn Station.
Here the lane is painted, there is a parking lane and buffer between the parking and bike lanes, but no stanchions. I’m standing on the pedestrian refuge and you can see that the refuge a tree planted in it.
Next photo is the same intersection looking the other way.
These are just some of the configurations that New York and other cities are implementing. For Providence it is baby steps. But really, having bike lanes on Broadway, even if they are minimal paint on the road and have door zone issues, is a big step. That is a lot of real estate that is covered and sends a big message that the city is starting to take multi-modalism seriously, let’s continue to encourage it.