Innovation and Bike Lanes

Usually when I think of bike lanes, I think a narrow strip painted right alongside the regular traffic lanes. Indeed, that’s what most bike lanes are, especially in Provo, and just getting more of them would be wonderful.

But as the video below demonstrates, that isn’t the only kind of bike lane.

As the video shows, authorities in Portland are experimenting with lanes that might be a lot safer because they would provide a buffer of parked cars between bikers and drivers.

In addition to protecting bikers, those kinds of lanes might also encourage more people to get on bikes in the first place. In Seattle, authorities are trying to bring out new cyclists by rolling out exactly the sort of thing Portland is trying.

There’s a new push to get “willing but wary” cyclists on their saddles with protected bike lanes buffered from traffic, designated bicycling boulevards where traffic is slowed and walkers and bikers have priority, and traffic calming features like speed bumps.

“We want to make sure we’re building infrastructure for people who are eight or 80,” and not just for the more experienced commuters, said Blake Trask, statewide policy director for the Washington Bicycle Alliance who formerly headed Seattle’s bike advisory board.

Provo is making great strides related to biking, which will mean a healthier, less congested, and greener city. But hopefully in the future Provo too will start to see a spike in the innovation and creativity of its bike infrastructure. And as I noted in May, among other times, that should have a real economic benefit on the community.

East Center Street in Provo demonstrates traditional bike lanes painted next to traffic. Portland and Seattle are experimenting with putting bike lanes to the right of parked cars.

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2 Comments

Filed under biking

2 responses to “Innovation and Bike Lanes

  1. We almost got buffered bike lanes on University Ave. actually. But, it looks like there is some major opposition to that from the state. I think they’re still discussing whether or not they’re willing to put it in the plan that’s being developed.

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