A day in the life of a bike commuter, looking at cars that take over the bike/bus only lanes. I'm an advocate of the "Share the Road" program and would like to see police enforcement of the cars illegally driving in the bike/bus lanes.

Monday, January 08, 2007

December videos


Blogger lee.watkins said...

Bike & Bus only does not mean that car's can't drive there... it's only meant to suggest that slow traffic stay as far to the right as possible. Functionally, it's also a taxi/ups/vallet drop-off area. They really should just call it the slow/standing/dropoff lane.

Actually, for cyclists this is the most dangerous place to be, because you have all the buses, utility, and commercial vehicles weaving in and out of this space in exactly the manner that results in Cyclist fatalities. You ride in this area for the convenience of motorists, not for your own safety.

Ditto for the narrow bike lanes, which encourage you to occupy the meatgrinder space between actual travel lanes. Car will pass you very closely! You're more likely to be killed, but hey, at least no speeding motorists will be inconvenienced!

By the way, buses and commercial trucks kill vastly more cyclists than cars, even though there are way more cars than trucks on the road. So obviously, it's way safter to drive with the cars than with the buses, if they are separated you do have that choice.

Personally, I could care less if motorists are inconvenienced, my priority is my personal safety. If you want to be safe you need to occupy enough space to put a buffer between you and the cars. That means you need to occupy a normal driving lane just like the cars do, drive right down the middle of the lane and defend that space. Do this, and car will pass you with a wide berth, they will move completely into another driveing lane, like they are passing a car. On a single lane 2-way, the cars will pass me going the wrong way on the opposite side, putting their own safety at risk rather than mine (hey, fine by me, it's their risk, not mine!)

Just make sure, for god sake, you have good lights on your bike, all over! You wouldn't drive a car with no lights on it would you? That would be crazy!

Friday, 20 April, 2007

Blogger Lindsay said...

Actually according to District Department of Transportation's

2217.5 No vehicle except buses proceeding on a designated bus route, bicycles and authorized emergency vehicles shall travel on those streets or portions of streets designated as bus streets or bus lanes except as provided in ยงยง2217.6, 2217.7 and 4005 and 4006.

Those exceptions are for entering a parking spot, delivering goods where there are no alleys allowing access, and I have no idea what 4005 and 4006 are. But I called the DDOT legislative analyst and left a message.

Friday, 20 April, 2007

Blogger Lindsay said...

Ok, I got some clarifications.

Both 4005 and 4006 come from

and talk about the what it means when there is a sign for Restricted Lanes and for Bus Lanes.

But it still does not say that cars can drive in them. Also, some cities that are actually enforcing the law have taken the matter to a new level--with bus-mounted cameras that take pictures of cars driving in the bus lane and send them $100 tickets.

Friday, 20 April, 2007

Blogger lee.watkins said...

Want to see how the Dutch enforce thier bike & bus lanes? Check out this movie! They use retractable bollards or federal gov't uses for other security purposes. They also paint the lanes red color to make the difference obvious. This is what we need in DC, because the police here are obviously not going to enforce the laws....


I read in the paper the police say that technically the bike and bus lanes are part of the median, rather than the road by legal precedent, and that in the DC region and surrounding couties there is an agreement in effect that it is okay for buses to drive on the medians any time, and it is okay for Cars to drive on the medians during rush-hour times in DC and most surrounding counties. On the highways this is only encouraged when there is no room left on the actual roadway, but it appears that in the city they are more lenient since it's always congested in the city. Bikes, obviously, are encouraged to ride on the median anyway, but they do have the right to ride anywhere they want to. In effect, the Bike & bus lanes are very well-marked parts of the median... it's kind of a loophole that cars are driving through here.

I didn't know what the laws were, but I do know that bike & bus lanes were invented by the Nazi party as a project to clear other traffic out of the way for the convenience of motorists when they designed their highway system. It is not a safety strategy, but rather it is a strategy to increase the roadway capacity for high-speed motorized traffic, in other words, a strategy for an Urban Freeway, rather than an Urban Bvd. That precedent treats the buses and bikes as the source of the problem, not the cars.

Automated ticket stems, by the way, aren't a safety strategy either, they are a strategy to generate tax dollars. The sell us safety as the cover story for automated ticketing, but politicians fold pretty quickly when pressed on their real priorities there. If they were really serious, they would replicate the baricade and color systems used in other countries.

Friday, 20 April, 2007


Post a Comment

<< Home