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I would be very much opposed to the Montreal-style bike lanes. In urban settings, the vast majority of collisions between cars and bicycles happen at intersections or driveways. It is a highly controversial question whether bike lanes improve safety, because they put cyclists out of the flow of traffic, so motorists are not looking for them at intersections or when pulling out of driveways. A bike lane going the reverse of traffic would compound the problem. It's well known that sidewalk cyclists have a higher accident rate than road cyclists; sidewalk cyclists going against traffic have the highest accident rate, about three times that of sidewalk cyclists going with traffic.

I don't understand the rush to paint bike lanes in DC. As it is, DC has roads that are very friendly for cycling. The downside of bike lanes is that the next step is restricting cyclists to only routes with bike lanes. For instance, I noticed today for the first time that Massachusetts Avenue at 14th street is now closed to cyclists. If you want to go straight up Massachusetts on a bike you are required to turn off the street, take the bike lane for half a block, and rejoin.

Incidentally, I believe these signs are illegal under DC law.

I left one thing out about the Montreal bike lanes. They have their own traffic lights (with little pictures of bikes on them). So the intersection is clear before bikes go across - I took a photo of this, but it was too dark. I know you're talking abtou wrong way cycling, but the Montreal bike lanes are significantly different from sidewalks since they don't include pedestrians, street furniture or curb cuts.

I'm not convinced that bike lanes are safer. Nor am I convinced they're more dangerous. I know I FEEL safer in them and I suspect that other people do too. I think it will all probably depend on the road once someone bothers to gather/study the data.

For Mass Ave, I think you're talking about biking under Thomas Circle. I saw those "no bikes" signs and thought they were bad too, but I never biked through the tunnel before (I'm convinced some idiot will run me down in there) so it didn't effect me.

We are in agreement that bike lanes become a negative if they restrict cyclists from using other parts of the road.

I know you can't bike under some of the circles, but you can bike through others. I like going through those--they are much faster than going above, so long as you aren't the sort who needs to get off your bike and walk up the ramp on the other side. My fear is always that there will be grates in the tunnel, however, and that I'll only find out about it too late.

Dedicated traffic signals don't solve the problem with wrong-way bike lanes. Imagine this scenario: you're riding against traffic, and you have the green light. As you enter an intersection, a car going the same direction as you -- but on the the opposite side of the road -- wants to make a left hand turn. He has a green light too, traffic is clear, he goes for it. What possible reason would he have to look over his left shoulder for someone going the same direction? The result? Splat! A similar situation exists with motorists turning right opposite the bike lane. Why would a driver think to look anywhere other than to their right when turning right? It goes against all your experience as a driver.

The only way a configuration like that would make sense is if the signals are timed so that there is an interval when only cyclists are allowed in the intersection. But then everyone -- motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians -- spends more time waiting around. It hardly seems worthwhile considering how small the cyclist population is.

All these gyrations, for what purpose? To keep cyclists out of traffic. Why, when for the most part DC has streets that already accomodate cyclists quite nicely?

I think there's an interval when only cyclists are allowed in the intersection.

It would make sense if there were enough cyclists using these lanes (of which there are only a few in Montreal).

Additionally, separating these lanes from the rest of traffic means that when it snows they can plow the bike lanes separately (instead of making cyclists ride where snow is piled up). Admitedly, this is a bigger deal in Montreal than DC.

Two bike lanes going different directions on one side of the street? Super bad idea. AASHTO Guide to Bikeways says don't do this. Communities that have done it are being urged to undo it.

The idea that two-way bike lanes on one side of the street is feasible proves that bike lane advocates really don't understand traffic.

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