Monday, February 18, 2013

Signal IntersectionDesign: Bicycle Lane & Left Side Mixing Zone on 1st Ave

This person chose to weave through the left turning traffic to the left, so as
to avoid the conflict. The next vehicle is in queue, so this is a relatively
safe movement, as long as someone doesn't pull from the adjacent through
lane into the parking on the farside. In the next picture, you can see a
concrete barrier that protects against that.  
This person passes the vehicle on the right and then moves back into
the marked area. This picture also shows the bus on the right hand side
they have a bus priority lane in red on the right hand side of the street. 
   The mixing zone in NYC was something that I had wanted to spend some time looking at because when I first thought of the idea, I didn't know how well it would work. My past visit to NYC suggested that it was something so new that they weren't sure how it would work, but they did know that it eliminated the need for a bicycle signal movement that is separated in time from the left turning traffic, essentially providing a permissive left across the bicycle lane, which requires motorists to look back before making the left turn to see if a person on a bicycle is approaching.
Generally, it was a new concept to me and upon visiting this location, I was curious to see how folks were using the intersection.

The NY Times did a Q&A about the lanes and the engineer from NYC offered the following:  “this ‘complete street’ treatment has been shown to decrease injuries by up to 58 percent for everyone using these streets, whether on foot, on a bike or in a vehicle.”

The second question on the Q&A is about traffic signal timing, which is a bonus for those that clink on the link. 

A little more research shows that the NYCDOT did some initial work on this back in 2009 as covered by StreetFilms. NE Multnomah Boulevard is Portland's first foray into mixing zones and it includes buses and that should something that the City studies with one of its summer interns. 

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