Building a city is fraught with competing interests and resultant compromises. Complete streets is no exception.
This short post will have to tide readers over for a day or so, pending time to write a longer series on a very relevant planning exercise. But trust me, this shortie is relevant to what’s coming over the next few days.
The short story: I was pedalling over the Champlain Bridge, going north to Gatineau. It was mid afternoon, and the traffic was busier than I expected. Recall that Champlain Bridge has two painted stripes marking out bike lanes [we all know, of course, that these are really car lanes required to make the bridge four lanes wide, but being held in temporary suspension until politically feasible to implement].
Starting around Bate Island, mid-bridge, I sensed cars were crowding the separating line between the bike lane and the car lane. By time I passed Bate, and hit the long span that crosses the
international border, more than their side mirrors were in my lane. Car traffic suddenly sped up a bit, and cars began pulling right into the bike lane and accelerating wildly in their eagerness to get to French Soil.
I was a bit slow in getting the camera out, but I wonder if others find the same thing. Not just here, but elsewhere too. I know on Laurier’s separated bike lane, any flat place is seen by FedEx, taxis, and others as a stopping zone, and a big FU to the citizen cyclist.
So, are painted line bike lanes respected or disrespected to the point of being of impaired utility or even dangerous? Should we putting more painted line bike lanes in our complete street plans or no?