New Bike Lanes Might Be More Confusing Than Roundabouts
This week, new bike lanes are being added to Park Avenue in downtown Waterloo. I think I understand the theory, but I'm confused with the logic. Oh yeah, and I really park there now.
I love the Cedar Valley communities giving the love to bicycle enthusiasts. There is a bike path that can take you to just about every major location you want to go. I especially love the soft trails, so I get some dirt in my tires. But I'm a little confused with the logic behind the new bike lanes being added to Park Avenue.
In the picture above, do you know where the bike lane is and where you are supposed to park now? Cars will no longer park against the curb. That's the new bike lane.
Okay, that makes a ton of sense to me. This keeps the bikers away from moving traffic. That's great for safety. I'm on board with this, but rotate the camera 180-degrees, and you will see where I think the logic falls off the track.
Wait? What? Am I seeing that right? After hiding the bike riders from traffic, now we make them cross traffic, not once, but twice.
In the picture above, a rider first has to cross traffic going into the right-turn lane. The bicyclist then must sit between two lanes of traffic at the stop light, and then cross Jefferson Street to get to the other side. From there, I assume they will have to get back along curb. I say 'assume', because the lanes have yet to be painted by the Five Sullivan Convention Center (which has been sold by the way, read more).
When I first read the story that Elwin posted last week about the new bike lanes being added to Waterloo's Park Avenue, I thought I understood the idea of moving the parking spots out toward the center of the roadway. After seeing the painted lines, that was confirmed. It's the criss-cross move that has left me perplexed.
Maybe there is some statistical data that explains the thought process behind the zig-zag path for cyclists to ride and play a life-sized version of Frogger while cruising through downtown Waterloo. Until I see that data, I'm left scratching my head on this one.