Monday, February 15, 2010

Do you think this would help?

Warnings are good.

In Seattle, they are trying something I have never seen before that goes beyond the usual warning signage: the DOT is using "sharrows" and markings to visually guide cyclists in the art of making some of these crossings. Anecdotally, it seems to work well. I found it reassuring that my path was predetermined as I approached instead of having to guesstimate. Stay within the lines - and all will be good.

But as John Mauro from the Cascade Bicycle Club points out, this is only an interim solution. This is the missing link in the famous Burke-Gilman greenway, and families out cycling for the day shouldn't have to contend with dangerous sets of tracks in the first place. Still, it is nice to see DOT's all across the country are getting creative and using cost effective solutions (just a few marks with paint) to keep us a little safer. (Streetfilms via Sockpuppet)

I wonder if Toronto has any stats on bike injuries caused by cyclists slipping on/because of streetcar tracks. They certainly do acknowledge them; Streetcar and railway tracks can be dangerous.

Anecdotally, while I was in high school a teacher ended up getting reconstructive jaw surgery because she got her bike tire stuck in a track along St. Clair. I know of two or three friends that have wiped out as well because of them, and it has deterred them from ever riding again. I have too, in the middle of the King and Differin intersection; luckily picking myself up with only a few scratches. I wiped out on manhole covers as well... it was an older slick, non-bezelled one.

Btw, speaking of manhole covers, Copenhagenize found a nice, understated one at the local University acting as a ramp from street to cobblestone. Nice master planning!

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