Wednesday, September 26, 2012

10 Steps to Creating a Bike Lane

Ever wonder what goes into transforming a roadway into a bikeway? What a road looks like before and after a bike lane is installed? There are many steps that go into that process. Here's an overview.

Step 1
Step 1:  Start with a road. This one has a lane in each direction and parallel parking.

Step 2:  Measure, plan and discuss what can be done within the existing budget, right of way and curbs to accommodate bikes. Consider the role and place for pedestrians, bikes, cars, buses and emergency vehicles along the corridor. (It's about choices, people!)

Step 3:  Make a decision to install a bike lane.
(Step 3A:  Celebrate the decision to install a bike lane with maybe a press release, by telling local advocates)

Step 4
Step 4:  Get some experienced professionals to remove existing striping OR resurface the road. Chose paint or thermoplastic to mark the bike lane. In this instance, paint was chosen. So, on we go!

Step 5:   After the bike lane is marked, determine the locations of the bike lane pavement markings (aka guy on a bike) within the bike lane using recommendations from design guidelines, DOT recommendations, AASHTO and NACTO references. Mark these locations out in the field.  

Step 6
Step 6:  After predetermining the locations, lay down the stencils.

Step 7
Step 7:  Get your paint and reflective beads ready.

Step 8a
Step 8b
Step 8:  Paint the bike guy and then the arrow.

Step 9
Step 9 continued

Step 9:  Remove stencils carefully. (The paint will still be wet and there's no giant eraser that works on asphalt!)

Step 10:  Mark with cone. Let dry.

And....Voila! A completed bike lane. 

Okay, so obviously there's a lot more to it then that. The planning and approval process can take months. (If you noticed, there were quite a few parking spaces that were sacrificed in the name of this bike lane. However, that isn't always the case.)  It takes time, patience, collaboration and compromise. But it's not rocket science. And the affects are transformational.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

GA/SC Bike Summit

Every so often, it's a good idea to get together to discuss what's going on in the world as it relates to biking. Advocates, engineers, public health officials, planners, media, professional riders, community members, politicians - everyone. It's important to talk about, listen to and share experiences to build a better place to bike.

Last week, the national  Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference was held in Long Beach, CA. There are a ton of interesting topics, programs and ideas that are coming out of the conference. A few of them include: 
All of these are interesting ideas to consider and have a place within the biking world of the Upstate. It will be interesting to see how these things are implemented here.

In the Upstate, we have an opportunity to have our own discussion. The Georgia-lina Bike Summit will be taking place in Augusta, Georgia from October 19-21. Sponsored by the Georgia Bikes! and Palmetto Cycling Coalition state advocacy groups, the two-state summit aims to draw folks together from the southeast to talk about the biking issues here. Recognizing the unique state of our states' biking culture and infrastructure will allow us to address our needs. Consider attending the Georgia-lina Bike Summit to participate in the discussion on recreation, transportation, opportunities, challenges, issues, progress related to biking in the Upstate.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bicycle Safety 101: Using Turn Signals on a Bike

Did your bike come with turning signals? No? They rarely do. However, there are a few simple things to help others figure out where you might be headed when riding your bike.

Some may remember being taught different ways to bend your arm to indicate a change in direction or stopping to traffic. I think that was envogue in the late 1980's and early 1990's. That's changed for today's cyclists. Just remember these 3 simple tips:

1Point to turn. To make a left turn, point to the left with a finger or hand. To make a right turn, point to the right with a finger or hand.

2.  Count to 5. Stick your hand or finger out in the intended direction of travel, and count out 5 seconds. This gives others around you time to see that you're going to do something.

3. Turn left or right. Preferably not into on-coming traffic or into pedestrians.

It's that simple!  Balancing on your bike with one hand while signalling may take a little bit of practice. These small steps will go a long way in communicating to others that a change is about to happen. It's like using a turn signal in a car.

There arm signal for stopping isn't used anymore (like it was a few decades ago). To help others around you react to the change in speed, consider slowly coming to gradual stop. It's better for them and for your bike's brakes.

When you're on your next ride, whether it's on the road or on a path, remember these three simple tips:  point, count and turn.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

When the Streets were for People

"Prior to the advent of the car, streets were primarily pedestrian areas...Once upon a time there were no crosswalks and no jaywalkers because the streets were considered to be for pedestrians with cars being the intruders."

A nod to the Fearful Symmetries blog. A talk from the Congress for the New Urbanism conference in May 2012. Thanks for this!