Josh Cohen at Publicola took a look at the city’s Bicycle Master Plan and determined it is too vehicularist and is already sounds out-of-date, even though it is only a few years old:
This week, an astute PubliCola reader pointed out that language in the city’s Bicycle Master Plan seems to contradict some of the projects the Seattle Department of Transportation has proposed. The BMP states explicitly, “Bicycle lanes should not be placed between parked cars and the curb” and provides a list of reasons (focused mostly on the dangers posed by reduced sight lines and merging bicycle and car traffic) for their recommendation.
The language seems problematic in light of SDOT’s proposed parking-protected bike lanes on Dexter Ave and Admiral Way. However, SDOT communications director Rick Sheridan says it’s important to remember that the BMP is simply a guiding document, not a law.
My opinions of vehicular riding vs. separated bike services is still somewhat up in the air. For those unfamiliar with these terms, vehicular riding is a school of thought that says bikes are vehicles and should ride with all the same rules and privileges therein. Basically, ride your bike like it is a car, and cars should treat bikes as though they are cars. Vehicularists think separated facilities, like cycle tracks, are dangerous because cyclists are safest when they are integrated with traffic, where their behaviors and riding locations can be expected.
I guess I come down somewhere in the middle. Sometimes streets are too dangerous to ride comfortably as a vehicle, and riding in busy car traffic raises your blood pressure too much sometimes. It’s also scary and can turn off beginning riders. And what about children?
Good thing Great City is hosting a lunchtime brown bag today to discuss this. Also, if you have a strong opinion either way, leave them in the comments. I am very much open to persuasion on this.
Great City Brownbag: Cycletracks, Sidepaths, and the Bike Lane DebateWhen:Thu, Jul 22, 2010 12:00 PM – Thu, Jul 22, 2010 1:30 PMWhere:1301 1st Avenue, Seattle, WA (About 1/4th of the way down the Harbor Steps)
Presenters: Phil Miller of SvR Design and Seleta Reynolds of Fehr & Peers
Great City Brownbags are free and open to the public. They take place on the 2nd and 4th Thursday’s of every month at:
GGLO’s Space on the Steps
1301 1st Avenue, in Downtown Seattle
(About 1/4th of the way down the Harbor Steps)