After five months of existence, there was still no indicator that the bike lane on Comm. Ave. was actually a bike lane up until last week, when the city finally started painting bike stencils in the bike lanes. Here’s a pic I snagged today of a fresh one just sprayed down by the city worker in the yellow jacket.
Granted, although it doesn’t help anyone from getting doored, it’s a good step in the right direction, and will hopefully keep cars out of the bike lane and you away from wrong direction riding crazies.
And to show the stark contrast between what Boston has now (just a single less-than-a-mile-long bike lane in the entire city) compared to what it could have, here’s a pic of the wonderful 9th ave. bike lane design I took while I was in New York last month, which was designed to offer solutions to problems such as dooring and cars in the bike lane:
This photo sums up the design pretty well. You can see the bike traffic light is red, while the cars have a left turn arrow. There are not one but two signs indicating the lane is for bikes only, and one even instructs cars to stay out. Parked cars are sandwiched in between moving traffic and the lane, and there is enough space for cars to open doors without hitting bikers, in addition to the thin permanent cones. Check out these excellent videos made by StreetFilms that covers the making and completion of the lane:
To skip to the part about the 9th ave. lane, hit play and jump to 7:44
Of course, even this seemingly perfect bike lane design isn’t perfect. While I rode in it I passed by several bikers riding in the wrong direction, and every biker I saw ignored the lights. But that still beats the biker riding down the wrong way on comm ave, dodging oncoming traffic, parked cars, pedestrians, bigfoot, and the T, all while talking on his/her cell phone (I wish I were making this up).