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Agreed. It depends on context. Place sharrows on a low volume neighborhood street, that already has narrow lanes, and not much speeding, and they can be part of a "bike boulevard". Place them on a 35MPH arterial, not so much - or use them for a gap in the PBL network, where its dangerous to swerve into them, not so much. Buffered lanes where driveways make physical protection impossible, okay - where physical protection should be doable not so much. Flexposts where the problem is parking in the bike lane, okay - where its protection from fast traffic, not so much.

When getting interested in these issues I remember reading about how road engineers over-engineered for safety which made roads all the more dangerous (wider curves, moving back trees, etc).

Sometimes when people criticize a bike design as being inherently unsafe despite it being an improvement over what was there before I wonder if its the same mentality creeping through.

You see it with the 15th street cycle track with all its supposed flaws still is a far more popular route for its existence and while I don't have the numbers in front of me I don't think there's been any sort of increase in collisions on that street. Maybe I'm wrong but its hard for me to square my observed experience with the engineering heavy critiques of something like that.

For Sharrows I think they have their place but its needs to be an option after you've eliminated the others rather than a starting point.

I think Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray is a good example of sharrows Best Practice.

There's only one travel lane each way and the corners all have bulb outs so you can't quite just ban parking and stencil in bike lane signs there.

But I'd be disappointed if they decided sharrows were the thing to get people biking on King or Duke Streets.

To the author: Would you consider lanes with flexposts "protected"?

I noticed that, in its 20x20 map, WABA lists lanes with Flexposts as "protected" bike lanes. In my personal lexicon, "protected" is a word I reserve for lanes with barriers that, well, protect me from a car even when the driver effs up (distracted, speeding, clueless, whatever). Flexpost lanes don't achieve that standard.

Please don't misunderstand me: "Flexposts + Green paint" are waaaay better than nothing.

But I think it's useful to put Flexposts and hard barriers in different categories, so that advocates and policy makers have a clear vision of what "job done" means.
Flexposts = job not yet done.
Hard barriers = job done.

I do not refer to lanes with just flexposts as "protected" but I'm aware others do. I use the term "delineated". So there are bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, delineated bike lanes, buffered and delineated bike lanes and protected bike lanes. And possibly other flavors.

I don't see any lanes on WABA's map "mislabled". Which were you referring to? I'd be surprised if their position was that flexposts constitute protection.

Flexposts won't protect against a malicious driver attempting to kill, a driver who has a heart attack, or one who completely loses control of their car. It likely will have an impact on an inattentive or distracted driver (because they make noise when struck) one who simply drifts into the bike lane etc. As for adding another category in between buffered and protected, I think the proliferation of terms may add to confusion.

Note flexposts are used in many instances other than bike lanes to control driver movement - for example to change turning angles at intersection.

What confusion?

A graphic device should, to the greatest extent possible, be attention grabbing and totally self explanatory. I'm not sure sharrows are very effective on that score. That being said, I'm not sure there are better alternatives that I've seen.

Quoting a comment: "I think Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray is a good example of sharrows Best Practice."

The other day I was run off the road by an aggressive driver on Mt Vernon. I didn't feel like I was experiencing "best practices."

"There's only one travel lane each way and the corners all have bulb outs so you can't quite just ban parking and stencil in bike lane signs there."

They could strip parking from one side of the street and put in a 2-way cycletrack.

"But I'd be disappointed if they decided sharrows were the thing to get people biking on King or Duke Streets."

I agree. They did exactly that on Braddock Road and the result is crazy unsafe. IMO.

I think sharrows belong in only two places:
1. bike boulevards
2. the nearest dumpster

'What confusion?'

In my experience, people other than complete streets professionals, and our hardy little band of bike advocates, already get a bit confused about the nomenclature - and adding a term in between buffered and protected for "defended by flexposts" adds to that - maybe a small cost, but I don't see the benefit.

See

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumpers_and_splitters

I think for larger public "bike Lane" and "protected bike lane" are fine. Delineated is more jargony, a term of art for nerds like us.

I'd rather have justice. Death and injurious can be reduced but are inevitable. Justice has lower capital cost than infrastructure. Start putting people away in prison for years and society will get the message. Just like with MADD and drunk driving; not taken seriously until drivers who killed did time.

"Start putting people away in prison for years and society will get the message."

This is what we did in the drug war of the '80s and '90s and now no one does drugs.

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