Sunday, July 26

Boulevard Riding

In developments around North Tarrant County, there are a lot of roads somewhat like Bray Birch, shown above. Theoretically, I think they permit parking, but the subdivision walls mean nobody would ever want to park on such a collector road. This makes them wonderful cycling routes. Ironically, most people I see riding bikes on such roads still hug the curb. If local governments ever get serious about bike lanes, stripes would start appearing on roads such as this, which would be sad (and silly) in my book.

I ride as shown in the photo, though I'd be hard pressed to claim I was as "far right as practicable" if questioned. It gives me lots of room to swerve right if it became necessary, makes it easy to move left into the main traffic lane when I'll eventually want to turn left, most motorists don't find it necessary to move even further left when they pass(though some do, for reasons known only to themselves), and it makes me very visible to motorists wanting to turn right at upcoming intersections, or wanting to enter my road from those intersections. Basically, this is a really low stress road that would be improved mainly if those trees were just a lot bigger.

I'm sure it's entirely by coincidence, but police passing me in such situations don't cast a second glance my way, and the position tracks with what John Forester recommends in Effective Cycling for riding on boulevards. Technically, however, it's probably illegal, which supports my contention that there are much worse things than benign neglect...

9 comments:

Doohickie said...

Columbus Trail has one of Fort Worth's oldest bike lanes. Locally we call it the road to nowhere, because no other bike lanes or trails intersect the street. It is a similar feeder boulevard for neighborhoods north and south of the street.

Because of the bike lane markings, cars never drive near the shoulder and as a result there is a lot of debris that falls off cars and ends up in the bike lane. If there were no bike lane markings, some cars would drive in the area toward the right and push the debris further right, leaving a clear lane where you indicate you ride.

I kind of think that any city that sets up bike lanes has an obligation to sweep them regularly enough to keep them, well, bike friendly.

Doohickie said...

Oh, and..... you just made the cut. DFW Point-to-Point is now one of the 5 Favorite Bike Blogs on Beginning Bicycle Commuting.




(in spite of, not because of, your arrows!)

Steve A said...

I'm honored, but after ChipSeal's most recent comments, you should note that I reverted to "basic black" arrows. I'll have to review who got bumped to encourage them to increase the overall Doohickie "standard of excellence."

I'm going to mow the lawn. My automatic lawn mowers have all flown the coop and my LBS isn't open yet to sell me the four spokes I need to complete the upcoming post about "building a wheel - WITH a hook bead rim."

Steve A said...

The MOST irritating thing about this street (and it's really a very minor irritation) is when I eventually make my left turn, oncoming motorists occasionally stop, and try to entice me to make my turn OUT of turn. Unclipping from the pedals and putting my foot down is part of the dance in such events. I'll wait as long as it takes before they realize I'm just waiting for MY fair turn. I'm REAL patient when I have to be...

ChipSeal said...

I am of the opinion, that if a cyclist is obeying the SMV law, (and is thus free to ride as much as seven feet from the curb) he has fufilled his duty to comply with the law. I did a lengthy discussion on this here:

http://chipsea.blogspot.com/2009/04/far-to-right-rule-and-bicycle.html

"Since the language for motor vehicle operators is exactly the same for cyclists, I should be able to claim the same space on the public way that a motorist would naturally use in the same situation. The law grants at least the width of a standard automobile from the edge of the roadway to where the left tire would run. A cyclist has a right to that space on a narrow road with no lane markings, even in the presence of traffic from either direction. A cyclist claiming that space would not be "impeding traffic".

How would the far-to-right rule be applied to a bicycle driver on a laned road? If cyclists have all the rights and duties of motor vehicle operators, then we have legal access to the same portions of the public way as they do unless otherwise restricted by Sec 551.004.
"

In practice, I do not like roads like that, precisely because of the ambiguity in the law.

The line you indicate (But would be nicer if it were shown with a blue arrow.) would be best positioning if alleyways, driveways or other junctions were present.

Like you, I would treat the right side of the lane as marked by the concrete joint as a un-painted right lane, and ride in my "default" position of the left one third of the lane.

Steve A said...

BLUE ARROWS!

I think we're all in VIOLENT agreement, other than arrow color! Kumbaya! I'm going out to sweep the sidewalk and then to finish the wheel...

Doohickie said...

Blue?!?

Steve A said...

Fell asleep. Clean missed the opening AND closing of the Sunday LBS. With Doohickie, I don't know where this BLUE color snuck in. ChipSeal will have to advise on whether it's a light blue or a dark blue.

Y'all will have to wait until Monday to find out about whether I managed to build that wheel since there are 4 spokes to go out of 36, but the lawn looks much better...

Chandra said...

Steve,
Glad you got your lawn work done :)
That's not my forte!

I am looking forward to your article on building a wheel. I have never done it.

Peace :)

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