Comment 32802

By arienc (registered) | Posted August 14, 2009 at 09:59:17

I fall somewhere in between Brandon and Jason's position.

When riding alone, commutning to work, I am confident enough now that I'll be OK on the roadway. It did take a conscious decision not to be intimidated by speeding traffic to get to that point.

Cycling at normal speed (20-30 kph) is too dangerous on sidewalks or even on bike paths where there are intersections with traffic.

While riding with my child (in a bike trailer), my primary concern is his safety. I would NEVER ride with him on anything busier than a collector road, and only then where a bike lane is provided. All other times I use the sidewalk or multi-use path. Luckily pulling a trailer keeps speeds down so I don't have to worry so much about cars entering the intersections.

Ultimately we need infrastructure, but even a European style cysle track doesn't work in busy urban or suburban high volume roadways, unless drivers entering or exiting the road give right of way 100% of the time to cyclists using the bike path. In my estimation, that requires a few key safety features:

  • a seperate signalling system for bikes co-ordinated with other traffic signals,
  • warning marks (ie. coloured paint on road) that signal to motorists VERY clearly the presence of a bike facility
  • one-way cycling on both sides of the street,
  • the total elimination of right turns on red for motorists.
  • the absence of curb cutouts for entry to businesses (a full right turn lane signalized where it crosses the bike path)

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