At some point we here at CTC are going to have to stop complaining about the bike lanes in winter time and start to offer some alternatives (don’t worry that post is coming). But even if we magically solve the wintertime issue, there are still things to look our for in all four seasons, something pointed out by reader Paul Smith of Minneapolis. He sent along the pictures in the post, and reminded us that it isn’t just wintertime and parked cars that we need to worry about, it’s also things like, poorly placed signs and barriers.
In the first photo below check out the legs of the sign sticking out into the bike lane, last summer. Can you imagine if you went past that at night, do you think that you would be able to see them? Then take a look at the barrier hanging over from the sidewalk and into the bike lane. This would force you to move out into the traffic lane to avoid it, endangering yourself and no doubt leaving some angry motorist to think “that crazy biker just swerved out of nowhere”.
Paul assured us that he moved both of the obstructions after snapping pictures of them, but the city needs to take a more active role during all four seasons, of keeping the bike lanes clear from obstructions. Can you imagine if a barrier was causally hanging out into a traffic lane in downtown?
On the issue of snow in the bike lanes, we know that the city is capable of clearing sidewalks all the way to the curb (check out the picture of Nicollet Ave taken yesterday) so why can’t they do this for the bike lanes?
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.