Monday, August 17, 2009

One BAD Bike Lane

My kids recently attended a week long summer camp at the University of Western Ontario. I think, but am not entirely sure, that UWO has almost complete control of its roads and the markings on them. If I am wrong, please comment and correct me. Bike lanes appeared at UWO before they did anywhere else in London. They are sometimes sensible, sometimes not. But when I was driving my kids back and forth from this Sport Western camp (which was excellent, by the way), I saw and took some video of some truly ridiculous bike lane paint.

Just imagine what happens when to medium/big vehicles are in the car lanes. Can you say squish? I have to believe that cyclists faced with such a situation would just line up in the car lane the way they should, but paint can be a powerful influence, in this case one that will definitely create conflict, and quite likely create injury or worse. I got my degree from UWO, and think it's a great school. I also think this may be the worst bike paint I've ever seen!

My online friend and frequent commenter Keri from Orlando, who is a very knowledgeable vehicular cyclist, called parts of the Queens bike lanes "heinous". I wonder what she would call this?

Implicit trust of bike paint is hazardous! Keep using your good sense,



Unknown said...

I do like how they have the bridge set up near Talbot College/Delaware Hall, if only motorists would read and follow the signs. I've taken my lane going across it and have been passed by folks in SUVs, though it's clearly marked.

If you want to see a useless bike lane in London, I also suggest the bike lane on Wonderland north of Fanshawe Park road. It literally pops up for ten yards, and places you in the right hand turn lane for the grocery store.

It's pretty safe to say that for my own safety, when I ride north of town, I cannot picture myself ever using that lane.

Steve A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve A said...

Your bike lanes make me feel MUCH better about the worthless Texas Tech bike lanes. Things truly ARE bigger (or at least wider) in Texas.

True wisdom is in the last five words of your post. It almost rises to the level of the classic "we want smooth roads" mantra.

RANTWICK said...

Kevin - You are dead right about the bridge - it is quite properly done, but I suspect only because it is way too tight to paint anything else.

RANTWICK said...

Steve A - thanks man. Maybe in some future I cannot comprehend in which I have some time and some money, I will ride the bike lanes (or just big roads) of Texas!

Keri said...

I'm searching for the right word.

It has the heinous aspect of the stencil not fitting on the pavement, but that's over-ridden by reckless-endangerment aspect of the lane to the right of an RTOL - even at a T-intersection, cyclists should never be led to the right of right-turning traffic... but that's not enough, then you have the dirty-trick pinch point at the corner! It's like a big FU to cyclists.

Words fail me, perhaps you should have a contest ;-)

RANTWICK said...

No contest needed Keri, you just won.

Steve A said...

Keri, don't sugar coat it, why don't you tell us what you REALLY think?

GreenComotion said...

That's a nice size lane, granted I have not seen many in person. How do you add text and stuff to your videos? Do you have to use special software? What camera did you use to make the video?

Thanks and nice, clear video, BTW!!

Peace :)

PS. I graduated from McMaster!

RANTWICK said...

Chandra - I use a cheap older digital camera (Sony cycbershot) that takes decent video, mounted to my bars usually, but in this case just held in my hand. I often use a free program called VirtualDub and a plugin for it called deshaker to remove vibration from bike video.

I use the "Windows Moviemaker" that comes with windows xp and others to do captions and stuff.

Hamilton! Very near me here in London. That's groovy Chandra. I'm often surprised by how many of you Texans and others have had business or school here in Canada. I like it.

GreenComotion said...

I came to UWO once for a seminar. I had a friend who graduated from there. I used to know some faculty there back then.

BTW, I am NOT a native Texan like some others. My job brought me to Texas :) I like it though!

I left Hamilton in 1993. I miss Hamilton.

Peace :)

RANTWICK said...

Chandra - Are you an American or a Canadian? Either way, I'm pleased to have made the acqaintance of anybody who signs off with "Peace :)" It gives me a lift and a little hope every time I see it.

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