I generally ride somewhat further into the travel lane than some folks would prefer, but I have good reason for that. Here’s how bicycling along Raymond Avenue at 14 mph = 20 ft/s on a pleasant summer morning works out…
T = 0.000 — Notice anything out of the ordinary?
T = 1.000 — Me, neither:
T = 1.500 — Ah!
T = 2.000 — I’m flinching into the right turn required for a sharp left turn:
Less than half a second reaction time: pretty good, sez me.
T = 2.833 — End of the flinch:
T = 3.000 — Now I can lean and turn left:
T = 3.267 — This better be far enough left:
T = 3.333 — The door isn’t moving:
T = 3.567 — So I’ll live to ride another day:
I carry a spectacular scar from slashing my arm on a frameless car window, back in my college days: the driver flipped the door open as I passed his gas cap at a good clip. The collision wrecked the window, the door, and my bike, but didn’t break my arm, sever any nerves, or cut any arteries. I did discover human fatty tissue, neatly scooped from under my arm onto the window, is yellowish, which wasn’t something I needed to know.
Searching for Raymond Avenue will bring up other examples of bicycle-hostile features along this stretch of NYSDOT’s trendy, traffic-calmed design…
11 thoughts on “Bicycle-Hostile Design: Raymond Avenue”
I actually watched a car in the lane to my right drive into and destroy a just-opened driver door while navigating the streets of downtown Hartford. Why don’t these idiots glance in the mirror to make sure it’s clear before opening their door? I guess the world would be a much duller world without them…
Everybody gets to make a mistake once in a while; it’s only luck that theirs and mine don’t match up!
Cue characterization of BMW drivers…
Oh, we haven’t even started yet…
Without that median strip, there would almost be enough room to ride safely out of door space. Why do I get the idea that making a narrow lane was somebody’s “great idea”?
We’re lucky; very few German vehicles in our county, so BMWs aren’t quite the menace. (‘Sides, when the CCW take rate is high, you see a strong disincentive for road rage and misbehavior.) Most local crazies drive 4 x 4s, though since this is the season for Burning Man, we get some odd vehicles coming through. The Kroger-owned Fred Meyer grocery/department store gets a lot of the Burners, and they’re, er, interesting. I didn’t know that Pabst Blue Ribbon was a favorite, but the PBR stock is as big as the water stash right now.
NYSDOT replaced four narrow-ish lanes with two narrow-ish lanes, added the median, and used small traffic circles instead of signals. Back in the day, cyclists could take the entire right-hand lane, well away from the doors, and traffic could pass unobstructed in the left lane; the NYSDOT engineer admits the current design isn’t suited for more than one bike at a time. Delivery trucks could double-park in the right lane and not stop traffic; now semis sprawl atop the median and don’t quite block traffic in both directions.
Watching fire engines and semitrailers maneuver through those traffic circles is painful.
When I get to be God Emperor, I plan to reduce NYSDOT’s parking lot area by 10% each year…
Tip: take the entire lane.
We generally ride far enough from the door strike zone to push cars & trucks up on the median to pass us: https://softsolder.com/2015/08/04/sharing-the-road-on-raymond-avenue-part-3/. Some drivers don’t like that, particularly when we’re hauling groceries at less than a flat-out sprint.
Nearly all other cyclists ride the sidewalks and pretend to be pedestrians at crosswalks…
I can’t stand sidewalk riders – not even for the pedestrian bother but because the street pavement is just such a smoother ride.
All good blogs – keep up the great work!
The sidewalks on Raymond were shoehorned into the space remaining, with jogs around catch basins, trees, and other impedimenta; they’re barely suited for walking, let alone bike riding. Even NYSDOT says it’s a bad idea, although that doesn’t seem to affect their roadway designs in the least.
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