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Sun, Jul 8, 2012

Community, Health, Lifestyle

New Bike Lane on Washington

BY SamKa

New Bike Lane on Washington

A few weeks ago, during my normal commute down Washington Street, I noticed an extra designated lane on the left hand side of the multi-laned road. Could it be a bike lane? There were no indicative markers such as a little man on a bicycle or arrows showing the flow of traffic.



 

Friday I noticed someone had begun to stencil them in!

 

 

It looks like the new bike lane on Washington Street starts at Raymond Boulevard and ends at Broad Street (near Washington Park). A definite step forward for the city, I hope that residents take advantage of this new lane instead of riding on the sidewalk or against traffic flow. Right now Newark is a far cry from bike-friendly cities like Philadelphia and New York City but, with more bike awareness I think eventually we’ll get there!

 


 

Readers: Please post info on the bike lanes in Newark that you know!

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12 Responses to “New Bike Lane on Washington”

  1. K on Quest Says:

    I saw this was being installed! Now to see it grow further than broad street…. and to get a bike!

    Reply

  2. Rob Says:

    There’s a bike lane on Clifton Ave. near 280 and the Colonnade apartments. It’s pretty narrow (not much wider than the sewer grates which dot it) and short. It starts and stops rather abruptly. It’s frequently parked on. But it exists. I can’t tell you exactly where it starts and ends off the top of my head. Roughly from 6th Ave. to Orange St. (or about two blocks). It’s possible it has been extended a bit further since it first showed up.

    I’m happy to see the Washington Street lane. It’s especially nice that it’s buffered. But I would have rather seen other improvements made, like making the street two-way. And I would have preferred the lane be on the right side. I know putting it on the left reduces the odds of a cyclist getting “doored”, but it’s not very intuitive when you turn onto a street and have to figure out which side of the street you should be riding on. Keeping them all on the right takes away the surprise and the guesses and makes it easier for a novice to know what to do (both a novice cyclist and a novice user of the given road). It also keeps consistent with the “slower traffic stays right” rule all us motorists (should have) learned in drivers ed.

    IMO, left-sided cycling lanes on a one-way street should be reserved for contraflow bike lanes, which is something you see a lot in Europe which I would like to see implemented in the US. One way to deal with “salmoning” (cyclists riding against traffic) would be to just make it safer by designating space where it’s appropriate. On one-way streets where going two-way is not an option (generally due to narrowness), I think implementing contraflow lanes should be given priority over regular flow lanes. There are other traffic calming techniques to make riding with traffic hospitable for cyclists, but having to ride your bike a whole nother block (much worse for a cyclist than a motorist) vs. riding illegally against traffic or on the sidewalk is a conflict which can best be solved with contraflow lanes.

    Reply

  3. Rob Says:

    I should note, I am being a bit charitable when I call the Washington Street lane “buffered”.

    Reply

  4. SamKa Says:

    The bike lane being on the left makes sense since the Bus No. 28, 29, and 11 all run down Washington St.

    Reply

  5. slutcakes Says:

    Basically this street was safer to bike when there wasn’t a lane because now you get doored or get honked at when you swerve out of “your lane” into traffic to avoid getting doored… What happens at the end of Washington??? Are we supposed to dismount? Is there a plan for extensions?

    Reply

  6. jerry gant Says:

    This is a major pedal in a upward direction for the city!…the lane is short but present!!!!!!! horrraaayyyyy.

    Reply

  7. Andy B from Jersey Says:

    Rob,

    I’m a professional in bicycle and pedestrian planing and design and your critique is spot on!

    There is no empirical proof that left side bike lanes are safer and my personal and professional experience is that they might be more dangerous. In NYC drivers will come within two feet of my right shoulder when I’m riding in those left side lanes, while giving the parked cars on their right 7 feet of clearance. They also encourage retrograde cycling also known as “salmoning”. They also violate the basic rules of keeping slower traffic to the right. I could go on and on.

    When I rode on Washington several weeks ago, it took me two blocks to realize that there was a bikelane (only without the symbols) on the left side of the road. I went back and rode on the right after stopping to take a look.

    I’ve been making a very strong case against these left side bike lanes for years and all I get are boiler plate answers from those who design them with absolutely no scientific proof that they are actually safer.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who see this.

    Reply

  8. Andy B from Jersey Says:

    BTW, I’d rather deal with the occasional bus on Washington with a right side bike lane than deal with the confusion left side lanes cause.

    Reply

  9. kimi wei Says:

    A bike lane needs to sit between the curb and parked cars in order to create a barrier that protects cyclists.

    Reply

  10. Linda Says:

    saw these today. so fresh

    Reply


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