Have you ever come across a bike lane and said why? Who in the world would put it there? Well just today I said the same thing while out pedaling.
First a little background on the area. I live towards the edge of a town in San Diego, California. In the 1990’s large house suburbia was all the rage here. Homes were being built everywhere, with no real way to get there, but through the older neighborhoods. Everything east and south of me is relatively new or old ranch sites. With that being said here goes. Pictures say a thousand words. Just shake your head and say why?
This is State Route 54 in San Diego County and at this point it’s 3 lanes in each direction. During the morning and evening commutes all these lanes are definately needed and there is a middle school and a high school very near by.
What seems odd to me, is that the bike lane is in the street. There is a sidewalk, a green belt and even funnier an equestrian trail. In the last 20 years I’ve never, ever, seen the equestrian trail used. It must have been a code requirement for the home developers to keep the rural feel of the area.
More equestrian trails. Here you say just ride the bike on the horse trail. Well, that’s not so easy. You see there’s no way to enter the trail along the road. Even then some entrances have huge boulders and corrals at the end, making it hard to negotiate on a bike or worse on a recumbent. While a horse can step over it, a cyclist must pick up the bike and lift it over the barriers. Hard enough on a bike now lift a trike or recumbent. This awesome and scenic trail even has shade structures for the horse and rider. Let’s just tie the horse up in the shade while shopping or going to the movies. This is Southern California your horse would be stolen by the time you get back and worse yet there’s no water for the horse. Who’s idea was this? Obviously the designers were city folks.
A little off topic but funny, the buttons to push for the crosswalks were at the horse and rider height until recently. Why? Who is going to ride a horse to Panda Express via a busy State Hwy? Not to mention, where are all these people going to keep these horses, all the homes have little yards and CC&R’s. In other words lots of housing regulations.
I would laugh at this one, but it’s not even funny. Share the road? You have got to be kidding. What road the cars were doing 50-60mph. It was 2 miles of this. I was in the car for this one. No way would I even think about pedaling this area.
Now my favorite. Only because I use it everyday. I’ll give the city a little bit of a break on this one. It’s actually in the “older” part of town where I live. Traffic here, has increased tenfold over the last 15 years.
Now this is a majorly busy street, along with it being a freeway entrance and exit for all those newer homes in suburbia. From west to east it has a very narrow half in the gutter, potholed bike lane for the first mile. But then the sign changes to bike route. Now there’s no bike lane for the next 2 miles. But there is a curb, a non taken care of dirt/green belt and a sidewalk.
What you don’t see is a bike lane. UGH! Did I say I pedal this everyday! It’s bumper to bumper doing 40 at 5pm. I try to avoid the street between 4 and 6 but it’s not always possible. It’s the only way home. My recumbent ELF trike “Shelby” and I just take a lane and make them go around. Too many times have I seen cars force a cyclist over into the curb to pass. I figure if they come close to me they are aiming at me. I pedal a giant orange shelled recumbent bike and I’m doing 18-20mph.
Pedaling here in San Diego certainly makes you forget your troubles. You need all your senses to be able to negotiate through the traffic and the silly ideas of all those bad city planners.
What are your bike lanes like? I’ve heard some cities are magnificent. Tell me and I’ll visit just to ride your bike paths.