extra extra part two…

We were interviewed for a Daily Iowan article on the new bike boxes in Iowa City. Below we share our extended answers in the second of 8 posts.

Do you think the bike lanes and the bike boxes will make it safer for bikers, why or why not?

Asa:  I don’t think the bike lanes or boxes alone will necessarily make it safer for cyclists because they add more to “perceived safety” while actually giving cyclists less room for error.  They also add to motorists’ expectation for cyclists only be in the bike lane, even when they can ride at speed with traffic.

Michael: Bike lanes are love-hate items for me. Bike lanes certainly encourage novice cyclists to start riding who otherwise wouldn’t, which hopefully will allow them to get to a point where they understand the short-comings of bike lanes & have the confidence to then ride on streets where there are no bike lanes & in lane positions that maximizes their safety. The bike lane coming down Dodge Street is a prime example of an unsafe bike lane. Dodge Street is two lanes going one way downhill. Bicyclists can easily maintain the speed limit of 25mph. Yet, the City put in a bike lane that gives cyclists less room that is being traveled at higher speed that curves twice & is commonly obscured with debris since the bike lanes are poorly kept clear.

Pete: In the long run, yes. Anything that gets more cyclists on the road helps improve cycling for all. Could they all be better? Yes. Is all the relevant information out there done by cities with high rankings of bicycle friendly streets? Yes. Did Iowa City use that information to faithfully implement the best systems that they could? That answer better not be yes. If this is the best that Iowa City has to offer to cyclists, we are in trouble.

1/14/21 Update from Michael: I have seen more cars stopping on top of the bike boxes than not.

Thank you to Clinton Garlock for originally posing this question. Extra thanks to Pete for taking the time to share his thoughts while taking a break from the shop. Comment your own answers below, we’d love to hear your experiences and insights!

~ by michael on February 5, 2021.

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