Great City hosted a so-called “brown bag” discussion (no one brings a brown bag lunch to these things…) about cycle tracks last week. In part three of our series on cycle tracks, inspired by the discussion, we take a look at the presentation slideshow.
Speakers Phil Miller of SvR Design Company and Seleta Reynolds of Fehr + Peers have gathered a lot of information here about cycle tracks in both Europe and North America. Clearly, as a slideshow, some of them don’t make sense without the explanation (watch video of the brown bag here). But you get to see a tour of different facilities, both good and bad.
The debate around cycle tracks really revolves around the ideas in this graphic, based on the ideas of Roger Geller from Portland. Vehicularists point to data suggesting facilities that separate bicycle traffic from vehicular traffic actually lead to more collisions. Basically, bikes should ride as though they were a car, with all the rights and responsibilities (of course, there is also data suggesting the opposite).
However, the number of people who feel comfortable doing this is fairly low (see “Fast & Furious” and perhaps part of the “Enthused & Confident” groups in the graphic). The masses lie in the “Interested but Concerned” group, who simply don’t feel comfortable riding in traffic. Cycle tracks (and more wide and buffered bike lanes) will appeal to many in this crowd and put more people on bicycles. This is a LARGE crowd, and once the city taps into their numbers, the face of biking in Seattle could change.
But how can we make sure it’s safe? I guess that’s what we need to figure out now. Broadway and Dexter are opportunities to increase biker ridership, but also opportunities to make big mistakes that leave us with unsafe bike facilities that result in injury or death.
Flip through the presentation and leave your thoughts in the comments.