Last week, when I went for a ride against my better judgment and wound up aggravating my bronchitis, I was cruising through a new housing development that still has some construction going on. I saw one of the workers shoulder some tools and head toward the street, so I swerved a bit to my right to avoid him. Just then, the door of a pickup truck on my right opened. I had just a second to swerve back and thread the needle between the tool guy and the door.
I got through that all right, but lots of cyclists get nailed by the opening door. So I was glad to see some new striping go down on streets in my area, with a feature I hadn’t seen before.
I’ve already written about the new double lanes they’re putting in. The right lane next to the curb is for parked cars. Then there’s a bike lane to the left of the parking lane, then the lane for cars. It recognizes that people have been parking their cars in the bike lanes, and tries to make room for both.
The additional feature is a diagonal line that cuts into the bike lane every ten yards or so. It appears to designate the door zone — that area that a car door will cover when it’s opened.
I don’t know how accurate it is, but it’s a nice reference point. And the new bike lanes are wide enough that there’s plenty of room for a bike to stay outside the door zone while staying inside the bike lane. I hope the city continues to add these kinds of features as other streets are re-striped.
Grant Shawcroft says
Out here in western Colorado we have a lot of good roads to ride, but most don’t have much of a shoulder, and the ones that do are usually dirty. It’s a good thing that most drivers are courteous. I think it’s because most people have bicycles. Still, I was glad when the last section of the bike trail was completed last year, giving about a 30 mile round trip without cars, except where the trail crosses an intersection. It’s a great ride, but no hills to train on. To do that you have to get back on the roads.
I know what you are going through with that cough. I’m in the same boat.
It’s hard to have faith in a trip of paint to protect you from a couple of tons of steel. But I suppose it’s better than no lane at all.