Saturday, March 5, 2011
improvising protected bike lanes
There’s been a ton of construction going on along Fair Oaks Ave lately – they’re resurfacing the road. I usually avoid this street as it’s a fairly major thoroughfare – two lanes each way, crosses a freeway, stoplights, business parks, etc. Since the construction, though, I’ve been riding this street a lot. It seems strange I know because it’s become doubly congested now. The new advantage though is that for about a mile in each direction the right lane is closed off to cars. There’s a line of those tall skinny orange traffic cones running along what was previously the line between the two lanes – a cone about every 20 or 30 feet. To the right of that line of cones is a gap of about 4 or 5 feet before another line of cones that block off the actual construction zone – creating a long empty corridor. I think you know where I’m going with this: free bike lane! It’s dope. The street goes up and down a moderate hill so on the way down you can zip by like 100 cars. And even on the way up the hill, maybe only pulling 9 mph, but there’s so many cars stuck in there you can ride past a good 30. It’s been nice, like living in Copenhagen. It would be (will be) amazing to see that (someday) permanently converted to a forward-thinking-multi-modal-pedestrian-community-safe-friendly-calm-happy street – with big old oak trees wending along the way for killer shade.