Category Archives: infrastructure

Toole Design explains why we don’t have bike lanes in the US

According to Toole, et al, were it not for Forester, we would now have bike lanes everywhere. And not just bike lanes, the entire US would look something like Utrecht, Copenhagen, or Amsterdam.

A Brief History of How American Transportation Engineers Resisted Bike Lanes

The “VC is only for old white males” is a trope. John Forester, author of Effective Cycling reiterates, e.g. in this August 2018 discussion thread (group membership required to see whole thread): Continue reading Toole Design explains why we don’t have bike lanes in the US

Phoenix’s Sawcut ordinance

Sawcut in asphalt creates maintenance problems; especially within a bike lane. In this example, the cut was created when City of Tempe upgraded curbs for ADA purposes (Spring 2018, Warner Road and Dorsey.

Cutting into a road surface creates maintenance problems. Since the city is ultimately responsible for it, there are a set of rules, permits, and fees imposed on whomever might be doing the digging, typically an adjoining property owner (for, for example a new driveway) or utility companies, or the city itself (see example photo at right).

The aftermath of any cutting or digging in a road is particularly problematical for bicyclists when it results in longitudinal gashes/gaps/cracks… and is particularly problematical when the crack is within a Bike Lane because it can reduce the usable width to the point where traveling within the BL becomes impossible to do safely; and furthermore these dangerous conditions are unlikely to be appreciated or even noticed by motorists. Continue reading Phoenix’s Sawcut ordinance

Mill Avenue — Broadway to Southern — resurface

Thanks to the City of Tempe Streets Dept for contacting me/us about this project. A one mile section of Mill Avenue, from Broadway Road to Southern Avenue, is set to be resurfaced (they call this a “Pavement Preservation”) soon, I think Summer/Fall 2017.

existing edge line in the project area along Mill Avenue

This section has edge lines enclosing a small shoulder. (“fake bike lane”). Edge lines generally should not be used on urban arterial roads in this configuration; and especially when they look like bike lanes, and thus are easily confused with bike lanes. The picture of the grate, in the shoulder should be self-explanatory.

Here’s what the City said: Continue reading Mill Avenue — Broadway to Southern — resurface

Warner Resurfacing

Warner Road; typical cross section ~ 68 feet curb-to-curb (google maps sat view before 2016 resurface)

Warner Road is a major east-west arterial that runs through much of the East Valley. It’s continuous from Phoenix (Ahwatukee area, where it forms a loop with Elliot Road, another major e-w arterial), thru Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert. In the city of Tempe it runs the entire width of the city, from wherever exactly it is that Tempe begins (just east of I-10 bridge) to just west of SR101 (google maps)

Warner in this area generally has two through lanes and a designated bike lane (BL) in each direction as well as a continuous center lane, some major intersections have right-turn-only lanes (RTOL), but others do not (more on that later). There are no BLs in the area immediately east of I-10, and there are numerous “dropped” BLs; where the BL is intentionally discontinued to make room for a RTOL. Continue reading Warner Resurfacing

Usable Width and Bike Lanes

[Jump directly below to Usable Width for roads without bike lanes]
[Jump directly below to Guadalupe Rd resurfacing example]
[Jump directly below to some engineering details of gutter pans]

Usable Width of a Bike Lane

These Bike Lanes meet both the minimum overall width and recommended usable width

The dimension below all refer to urban streets with curbs and no parking…  Most recommendations for Bike Lane dimensions refer to the AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities , the general rule is

the minimum bike lane width is 5 ft (1.5 m), measured from the face of a curb or vertical surface to the center of the bike lane line

However, that changes when a gutter pan is involved, more width is required to meet their recommendations —

Along sections of roadway with curb and gutter, a usable width of 4 ft (1.2 m) measured from the longitudinal joint to the center of the bike lane line is recommended

Continue reading Usable Width and Bike Lanes

City of Tempe tests ‘Bike Box’

The City of Tempe installed a bike box on the east side of 10th Street at Mill Ave.  Note that in that google street view, there is already a bike box on the west side of the same intersection, installed by ASU according to the news item (apparently ASU and not the City of Tempe has jurisdiction over that piece of 10th street?). Continue reading City of Tempe tests ‘Bike Box’

Chandler Boulevard Extension

ChandlerBlvdExt2When the final portion of the Loop 202 / South Mountain Freeway (SMF), the part that connects I-10 to Laveen, gets constructed it will replace Pecos Road. Pecos Road in Ahwatukee will be no more. This would otherwise leave everything west of 19th Avenue inaccessible from the rest of Ahwautkee, except for the freeway. The construction of SMF is supposed to begin summer 2016 and opens late 2019. Continue reading Chandler Boulevard Extension