Vaughan Rd. Bike Lanes: Why?
I rode by there after work on Tuesday evening to check on the progress. They have already painted the initial markings on the road, which will eventually be painted over.
However, the cynic in me is asking, "Why are they doing this?"
Seriously, riding this road wasn't bad at all. The traffic is minimal, the lanes are wide and easy to share, and the limited on-street parking doesn't make for many dooring situations. Maybe this is a simple 1.7km to add to the bike plan, without upsetting anyone. But does it benefit anyone either? Let's have a look.
In this first photo, we're looking south-east, with the north-west traffic coming towards us. The centre yellow line will be shifted farther to the right, giving more room to the left side of the road and making room for the bike lane. I guess overall, that's a win for cyclists as there is more room to go around, but then there's also a new set of bike lane stripes right in the door-zone of the parked cars. Now I suppose cyclists will be expected to ride in the door-zone because of the new lines on the road.
In the second image, you can see how the yellow line will be moved to the right, making the right half of the road narrower. This is a loss of space for everyone, including cyclists. Now motorists will have to pass closer to cyclists, unless they cross the solid yellow line. The bike lane markings aren't stenciled in yet for this direction, but it looks like it will be tight. Overall, it looks like a loss of space for cyclists, which I'm sure will totally disappear when there's a bit of snow
In this last photo, you can see how narrow the new lane is. I really don't think they can fit a safe bike lane in there, especially next to the parked cars.
To me, it just seems like this was an easy bit of cycling infrastructure to paint on the road, without actually seeing if there will be a positive benefit for cyclists. I'm sure some cyclists will feel safer with a little white line protecting them from cars, but I don't think this will actually help. Having less space to ride, especially around parked cars, will make things more dangerous.
I guess we'll have to see what the final outcome is once the painting is complete. Do any of you I Bike TO readers cycle along here regularly? What are your opinions on this?