To the Editor,
I am not sure whether to congratulate the city on its efforts to establish bicycle lanes on some of our roads or to sigh in frustration that such attempts are so completely useless.
Most (or should that be all) of our streets were not designed to allow the establishment of a special lane for cyclists and the effort to shoehorn them in where they should not be results in a completely unsatisfactory situation. I have yet to find a bicycle lane within city limits that does not peter out after a few hundred metres, which means that cyclists have to emerge into standard traffic where drivers may not be expecting them. Is this dangerous? I would certainly think so.
As an extreme example of useless design, consider the bicycle lane on Dover Road running partway between Dickenson and Uplands. Cyclists using this lane will find themselves squeezed between normal traffic on the outside and a bus lane on the inside leaving them in the middle of the road where most of the traffic is going to make a right turn. This is not just ludicrous design, it’s downright dangerous.
Sad to say, unless a road is designed from the start with a special lane for cyclists they can prove to be worse than useless. The only alternative is to educate drivers to consider bicycles and their riders in the same way and with the same consideration given to any other vehicle and that won’t be easy.