Let's Take a Trip Down Townsend

Original post from Wheelright

I am really glad there's a new bike lane on Townsend, it's good for so many things.
Like unloading your car
It's a great place to take a break from driving your taxi to chat with a colleague
I mean it's really great for unloading your car
oh hai, don't worry if the lot is full you can park your Prius in the bike lane
FedEx loves this bike lane
where else to line up for a right hand turn or back into a parking space?
UPS also love this lane and it's a terrific spot to double park a Mercedes
doubles as a loading dock
buses in, buses out
no need to pull to the right to drop off your fare, that's what the bike lane is for
it's a good place for a stroll
good for pulling out
good for pulling in
and it's for bikes too! this scenario is much better than before the bike lane, I assure you.


kfg said...

I sense a hint of sarcasm here. just around the edges, however:

Using the bike lane to make a right turn is the correct way to do it. One of the criticisms of bike lanes is that they give both car drivers and bike riders the idea that they shouldn't. Unless there is some means of totally separating the traffic streams it's the way to avoid right hooks. Current practice is supposed to be to end the lane markings at least 50 feet before the corner, or use dotted lines.

You'll even see this being done in Danish and Dutch videos here and there, the difference perhaps being that the Danish and Dutch drivers do it with a certain courtesy.

As for backing into a parking space, well, they must.

The Mercedes driver is doing it wrong though. He seems to feel that being in front of the UPS truck would mean getting hit by the truck. This almost never actually happens and if he parked in front he could avoid having his bumper scratched by the nasty cyclist running up his backside. Maybe even flying off his bike, denting the trunk lid and breaking his rear window.

If a person is actually in the car and holding a hot latte when it happens it has even been known to result in car occupant injury, the one thing that must be avoided at all costs; like making sure the idiot cyclist was wearing a helmet (this reduces the chance of the rear window breaking).

cruge said...

P.S. As the taxi people are standing so as to block the left lane instead of the right as they should, I believe the law allows you to continue on a straight path.

Have you considered getting a trials bike?

I've often considered visiting your city (one of the two American cities it is considered obligatory to spend some time in to be considered civilized), but now I see your scenery looks exactly like mine, so it might be just a lot of trouble and expense for nothing.

kfg said...

P.P.S. Why do I keep entering the CAPTCHA as my name this week? This is the third time.

Ramona Wheelright said...

wow, kfg, do I sense some sarcasm? cruge, this is a good example of a severely abused bike lane, but it:s not all that bad. sf is definitely worth the visit and fun to ride. this post is pure documentation of one pass at westbound townsend, and very typical of the commute. It:s annoying but doesn:t necessarily feel dangerous as there isn:t fast traffic trying to pass you as you go around all the lane obstructions.

kfg said...

Ramona - "do I sense some sarcasm?"

Just a hint, around the edges. :)

"sf is definitely worth the visit"

I was born in the other city, but had the good fortune to get out before it made me hard. I'm afraid if I came to SF I wouldn't be able to make myself leave before it made me soft.

The only cure for that would be to spend some time in Chicago and the one good thing you can say about Chicago is, "Hey, at least it's not Detroit."

Unknown said...

Dear VeloVogue,

I love the work you do, and I share your views on cycling; especially your views on how bicycles are ideal for commuting and for reaffirming your individuality. Your work gives valuable insights on how cycling can (or: should) be approached, so thanks for that. A bit of background on myself: I am a Dutchman, I lived in Amsterdam, and I moved to Dublin, Ireland in January this year. My girlfiriend is setting up a small bike business, I write a blog on bikes.

I am now writing to ask if you would like to put a link to our blog Dutch in Dublin (www.dutchindublin.com) on your website. The blog is a personal account of our cycling lives in Dublin. Our goal is to show readers how romantic a simple thing as an everyday bike ride can be. For instance, we have a recurring item called 'A Classy Commute', in which I interview (colourful) Dubliners on their cycle to work (this item especially conforms with your views on cycling and commuting). The Classy Commute stories are meant to show cycling is not something sporty, and that every day normal people enjoy the smell, hearing, and colour of their route by bike. Recent interviews I did were with:

* Minister Eamon Ryan: http://dutchindublin.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/a-classy-commute-the-minster-for-communications-energy-and-natural-resources/
* Actress Kerrie O Sullivan: http://dutchindublin.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/a-classy-commute-the-actress/
* the Dutch Ambassador: http://dutchindublin.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/a-classy-commute-%E2%80%93-his-excellency-mr-robert-engels/
* Minister Ciaran Cuffe: http://dutchindublin.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/a-classy-commute-the-minster-of-transport/

Apart from the Classy Commute item, our posts focus on (for example) stylish cycling (see our post on sytlish traffic signs), new bike products (read about our test ride on the urban arrow), or the people of Dublin (see the portraits at the Bernard Shaw pub). I think our stories on Dublin might also be of interest to your readers.

Yours truly,


Ramona Wheelright said...

@kfg, you are quite edgy indeed. : )