Picture
 
Almost every community planning document stresses the need to achieve a mode-shift away from the private automobile towards a more sustainable and equitable transportation network. That's easy if you're starting from scratch, but in established locations less so. With endless money and no regard for neighboring residents, it's also easy, but how do you go about de-prioritizing the car without changing the road footprint. Here are two concepts close to my home along with some notes... 
 

The Existing Condition

  • Auto-orientated, good throughout
  • Wide straight road encourages higher speeds
  • Minimal disruption to through traffic from left turns
  • Southbound curb used for parking
  • No cycling provision, must share the road
  • Cyclists must move around parked vehicles
  • Limited street lighting
  • Sidewalk on both sides of Mtn Hwy
  • Sidewalk on one side of Kirkstone and 20th
  • Transit vehicles stop at curb
Picture
 

Partially Protected Bike Solution

  • Provision for all modes
  • Narrower space for car lanes will lower auto speeds
  • Deflection for left turn lanes will lower auto speeds
  • Minimal disruption to through traffic from left turns
  • Residents may be concerned at loss of parking on street
  • Cyclists now have full lane protected in parts
  • Bike lane unprotected at intersections to make space for left turn lanes
  • Cyclist left turn difficult (Not AAA compliant)
  • Limited street lighting
  • Sidewalk on both sides of Mtn Hwy
  • Sidewalk on one side of Kirkstone and 20th
  • Transit vehicles still need access to the curb
  • No change to road footprint
Picture
 

Fully Protected Bike Solution

  • Provision for all modes
  • Straight road may encourage higher speeds
  • Left turns may disrupt traffic
  • Left turns could be restricted at peak times
  • Residents may be concerned at loss of parking on street
  • Cyclists have fully protected lanes and intersection
  • Design provides maximum safety for cyclists (AAA compliant)
  • Limited street lighting
  • Sidewalk on both sides of Mtn Hwy
  • Sidewalk on one side of Kirkstone and 20th
  • Transit vehicles still need access to the curb
  • No change to road footprint
Picture
 

Which Would you Choose?

It will take a lot of courage to implement the fully protected option and restrict existing vehicle movements much more than at present, but this is what it will take across a wide network to make cycling truly safe enough for all ages and abilities.

In this case, I think the partially protected solution would be easier to "sell", but it still present concerns for inexperienced cyclists. It's a huge improvement on the existing condition but may not attract the ridership of the truly protected solution. Cyclists could still make the two-stage left turns by illegally using the pedestrian crosswalks and sidewalk corners for safe refuge.