Friday, December 28, 2012

Before and After Cycle Tracks

As the nation's most dangerous metro area for bicyclists and pedestrians, Central Florida's local governments--and the FDOT--should fully explore and implement, where appropriate, innovative infrastructure improvements.  Grid Chicago posted the following video featuring the City's new Dearborn Avenue Cycle Track, showing "before and after" conditions.  The difference--in the heart of Chicago's loop--speaks for itself....

Absent dedicated traffic signals for bicyclists, cycle tracks can exacerbate unsafe conditions in dense urban areas.  Municipalities have learned from these types of mistakes and are installing separate signals for bicyclists and motor vehicles.  In addition, green paint, where the cycle track crosses an intersection, is intended to make motorists more aware of bicyclists and to reduce motorist encroachment.  In any event, even cyclists who prefer to ride in motorist traffic concede that cycle tracks are generally safe when conflicting motorist movements are absent.

The second video posted by Grid Chicago, aside from extolling the economic benefits of cycling infrastructure, shows the City's dedicated bicycle signals:

I'll look forward to visiting Chicago and trying it out.

UPDATE Jan. 7 -- A consortium of more than a dozen state departments of transportation posted a blog entry about cycling traffic signals at THIS LINK.  

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has released guidelines for cycle track traffic signals:

(Click to enlarge)