Friday, March 18, 2016

just say no to door zone bike lanes on Pacific Avenue

northbound Pacific Avenue at Cathcart Street with dooring bonus
northbound Pacific Avenue at Cathcart Street with dooring bonus

Bike Santa Cruz County, a local bicycle advocacy organization, has endorsed a plan to put a door-zone contraflow bike lane on the street.  See www.bikesantacruzcounty.org/action-alerts/2016/3/15/i7uxi....

I wrote a letter that is a little different than the one they suggested.





Dear Transportation and Public Works Commissioners, 


Item 3 on your 3/21/2016 meeting agenda describes a pilot project for southbound one-way traffic on Pacific Avenue (between Church St and Cathcart St) with the addition of a contraflow bike lane next to a line of parked cars.  Pacific Avenue is a retail area with a high degree of parking turn over. 


Please oppose placing a contraflow bike lane next to parked cars.  


The parked cars pose hazards to cyclists using the contraflow bike lane.  Car passengers leaving their vehicles will open car doors into the contraflow bike lane knocking cyclists into the opposing traffic lane.  Motorists will pull into the bike lane to enter and leave parking spaces against the flow of traffic in the bike lane.  When leaving a parking space, motorists will not be able to see around the parked cars ahead of them to see approaching cyclists in the bike lane. This increases the likelihood of head-on collisions between cars and bikes in the contraflow lane.    

Allowing two-way bike traffic on Pacific Avenue could eliminate a safety issue caused by wrong-way riding, if there is no parking next to the contraflow bike lane.  The proposed bike lane next to parked cars will have limited success. Cyclists will move out of the contraflow bike lane and ride against traffic to avoid the hazards of the parked and parking cars.



northbound firetruck on Pacific Avenue at Soquel
northbound firetruck on Pacific Avenue at Soquel

northbound Pacific Avenue at Cathcart St.