Home › Forums › Module 2 – Linear Infrastructure: Lanes, Paths, and Streets › Let’s explore and discuss local examples of cycling infrastructure › Reply To: Let’s explore and discuss local examples of cycling infrastructure
In reply to #26045 from Kate Seal:
Hello Kate. Thanks for sharing this picture of a bike lane on Woodstock Road (Oxford).
I believe that this is a good example of how not to design a bike lane. Indeed, even if it’s protected from car traffic, its location on the sidewalk makes this bike lane very uncomfortable for cyclists and for pedestrians alike. The separation between the sidewalk and the bike lane is defined by a painted line only. There’s no level difference or buffer zone, as recommended by design guides. As a result, pedestrians probably walk on the bike lane, which reduces its efficiency for cyclists. In addition, there are several obstacles to cyclists, such as trees or bus stops, as you mentioned. Most probably, a large part of cyclists prefers to ride on the road than on the bike lane, even though this could create dangerous conditions for these users. In summary, this bike lane is not attractive enough to encourage people to cycle in Oxford.
In order to respond to this problem, I would recommend removing this bike lane and giving the sidewalk back to pedestrians. A new bike lane could be implemented between the sidewalk and the road, on both sides of the road. This would involve the removal of one car lane or the bus lane. In the first case, the street would become a one-way street for cars (the other direction could be accommodated on a parallel road). The second case would mean accommodating buses on the general travel lane or making changes to bus routes. Either way, it would be very important to study this project as part of a larger bike plan, which would define the role of each street in the bike network. The design of this road should be consistent with its role in the network.
If neither of these options is possible due to space constraints, I would suggest identifying a parallel road to implement this bike route.
The main political issue of removing a car lane could be the opposition from inhabitants or car drivers. In order to prevent this problem, it could be very useful to conduct a traffic study, allowing to measure traffic flows in the area. Eventually, this study could show that car traffic from the removed car lane could actually be accommodated on other streets. I also recommend involving the users in the redesign of this street, allowing to reduce their opposition and to integrate their needs and ideas into the project. In the case of bus lane removal, the strongest opposition would probably come from the bus service provider. In order to prevent this, I would recommend establishing a new bus plan in the area, without worsening the overall bus service, while involving the bus operator in the project.