Andrew Cline has written an excellent Survey of Springfield Missouri Bicycle Lanes on his Carbon Trace blog. It appears that Springfield has a fairly extensive network of bicycle routes, though only a few miles of actual bike lanes.
Andrew set out to “ride and survey nearly every inch of the painted bicycle lanes” and he provides a written report and photographs of what he found:
For the most part, Springfield’s bicycle lanes offer a smooth, safe ride along busy streets. But there are some trouble spots. These areas create problems, and, frankly, it’s difficult to understand how anyone could have approved some of these lanes.
The problems Andrew notes include:
- Bike lanes that end too close to intersections, making it difficult to make a left turn in heavy traffic
- Debris in the bike lanes
- Bike lanes routes too close to parked cars, putting cyclists in danger of a dooring: “If you want to die on a bicycle in Springfield, here’s a good spot to accomplish it.”
- Vehicles parking in bike lanes
- Roadside vegetation spreading into the bike lane, forcing cyclists out of the lane and into motor vehicle traffic
Before I would spend another dime on painting bicycle lanes, I would correct the problems with the current system. Two things need to happen before someone gets killed: 1) add sharrows to the intersections, and 2) eliminate the lanes along parking spots and replace with sharrows. Then we can talk about more paint. And I’d much prefer sharrows over more bicycle lanes.
Thanks for the report, Andrew!
Photo courtesy Andrew R. Cline, Ph.D.
Post tags: Bike Lanes