Wednesday 9 July 2008

Oxford 2: bike lane

Here's an interesting bike lane in Oxford, a city famed for its cycling. It directs cyclists off the pavement to somewhere where they can be run over by cars.

The path begins by curving you off the pavement. Note the ambulance in the distance -that will be visited later.

After it skirts round some parked cars, the path runs you alongside traffic, with a double yellow line to discourage parking. There's also a "no bikes" sign on the pavement, to discourage any cyclists who were a bit scared of what is to come from trying to avoid it by going on the pavement.

And what is to come?Well, the bike lane is simply too narrow and covered in three strips of paint to make it extra slippery in the wet. Here we see someone with a trailer just skirting past this transit van, a van which doesn't have any option but to drive down the lane.

To survive, the cyclist has to get past the van and then pull out into traffic, which they manage to do safely.

This is a classic example of a bike lane that provides no benefit to anyone, except to add to the statable quota of number of bike lanes in a town or city.

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