Green bike lanes

Cnr King and Stewart Newcastle

Cnr King and Stewart Newcastle

This green bike lane does not work as well as it might do as it causes danger to cyclists when a car wants to turn left…

Car turning Cnr King and Stewart, Newcastle

Car turning Cnr King and Stewart, Newcastle

Green bike lanes are a great way to define the space designated for riders on the road. They give a sense of safety to cyclists riding in them. It’s partly due to knowing that this is a bike lane and also a feeling that cars can’t impinge upon that space. But is that sense of safety just an illusion? I have been stuck next to a turning truck in this lane and it can be dangerous if you assume you have right of way.

This two way lane in Kent Street Sydney works much better…

Green bike lane Kent St

Green bike lane Kent St

You can see that the concrete strip gives protection to cyclists from the white car door opening on the right. It also separates cyclists from the traffic. The curve allows the bike lane to flow around existing infrastructure such as telegraph poles.

Another section of the Kent St bike lane, Sydney

Another section of the Kent St bike lane, Sydney

Black roads add to the heat island effect of cities, while green, as it reflects more light, will partially reduce this effect, another good reason to keep the green lanes. But we have to remember that the green lane doesn’t make us invincible.

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4 Responses to Green bike lanes

  1. anniebikesa says:

    Hi Vicki. We have only one section of green lanes – one lane width like yours – that also gives the illusion of safety. I don’t buy single lane bike lanes, whether they’re colored or not, as good safe margin for riders., Two lanes with buffer, or segregated paths, seem to perform much better. It also keeps cyclists together and allows drivers to keep track of one and not two areas of cyclist interaction.

    • Vicki says:

      Interesting, Annie. I’ve heard criticism of two way bike lanes, that it makes turns difficult across traffic and that cyclists could hit each other when travelling in opposite directions, but they make sense to me. Sydney has made a lot of its bike lanes two directional and it seems to work there.

  2. Ruth Cotton says:

    Vicki. As a driver I was aware of this potential risk to cyclists.mi realize now I need to be even more alert.

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