Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bike Box from the Left

I am reviewing a few photos in preparation for my volunteer teaching assignment at the initiative for bicycle & pedestrian innovation at Portland State University. New York City staff rolled out the red carpet during my visit, getting me a bike to use and providing a nice amount of time to show me some of their newest facilities.

NYC uses green more than Portland does, in this case a significant length of the bike lane on the left hand side has green thermoplastic.

In most cases, they have an exclusive turn lane adjacent to the bike lane. Here they have a separate lane, one on of the design treatments NYC has implemented in the U.S. first is a mixing zone for the turn lane, which I will add to another post.

They added the bicycle signals on the poles and moved the left turn signals adjacent to that signal head on an extension arm. There has been some debate within my colleagues about whether it is desirable to have the vehicle see the bicycle indication. The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices has discussed whether Red, Yellow, and Green is appropriate for a bicycle indication. That seems like an odd question given the extensive application in Europe and the compliance they have had. Granted the U.S. is different, but we'll continue to debate that in the coming years.
One of the specific treatments that has received negative feedback is the green across multiple lanes as shown in the third photo. There's some concern about how the green will be interpreted by a cyclist making that transition and whether they may be caught making that movement when the signal turns green, thus creating a potential conflict. It seems that is already an issue with pedestrians, but research is necessary for that.

One last photo of the corridor and the range of signals and how that's a bit confusing to look to the next signal and see the indications for the downstream movements as well as the intersection with the closest vicinity.

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