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#1 2020-06-27 07:35:00

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,255
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Temporary protected bike lanes on Congress

From the 6/26/20 Austin Chronicle:

"The Austin Transportation Dept. has installed temporary protected bicycle lanes on Congress Ave. from Riverside Dr. to 11th St., 'to ensure enough physical distance for all people using the Avenue and the Ann Richards Bridge,' and to complement the Shop the Block initiative, which repurposes public space for outdoor seating, queueing, and retail.  Though the lanes are considered temporary, a city release notes that 'transition to a more permanent installation is envisioned as part of the Congress Avenue Urban Design Initiative."  See more at https://austintexas.gov/congressave

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#2 2020-07-24 12:36:26

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 291

Re: Temporary protected bike lanes on Congress

Well, having ridden the temporary installation a few times now I can report (1) seems really useful for parking and waiting in the car (ride share drivers?), though that pretty much blocks the lane, so a cyclist has to carefully thread through pylons to get back out into the traffic lanes to continue forward (today, I had to go around 3 parked drivers between C. Chavez and 5th); (2) the pylons seem to confuse drivers turning right.

I'm all for efforts to create space for people walking farther apart on the sidewalks, though.  I hope it is effective for that (its true?) purpose.

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#3 2020-09-15 10:42:49

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 291

Re: Temporary protected bike lanes on Congress

And soon to be permanent instead.  See https://www.statesman.com/news/20200914 … -permanent

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#4 2020-10-09 12:47:31

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 291

Re: Temporary protected bike lanes on Congress

Installation has begun.  I noted this morning that the pylons set up northbound Congress from Cesar Chavez make a "protected" lane of substandard width.

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#5 2020-10-15 15:37:10

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 291

Re: Temporary protected bike lanes on Congress

I got more curious so stopped to take a better look.  "Standard" varies by what your source is.  Some like 8 feet, some 6, some 5.  Four feet is the narrowest I see as standard.  In the 1970s we were often glad to get a stripe at four feet, but didn't have to deal with pylons.  South Congress' "protected" lane seems to be 6 feet roughly. 

Measuring crudely, stepping heel to toe from pylon to gutter pan, we have about a meter there at Cesar C. and Congress, northbound.  The pylon is tall enough to strike a handlebar (crash, fall toward the curb), so you want to stay away from those by a foot or more.  If you want to stay a foot away from the gutter pan too, as a smart rider would, there's not much useful space left.  No passing by scooters, and no slow rider ahead, one hopes.

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#6 2020-10-23 12:45:21

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 291

Re: Temporary protected bike lanes on Congress

I'd been approaching that corner via Cesar Chavez until today.  Today I approached via the bridge.  The bridge's "protected" lane northbound leads to the intersection with Cesar Chavez and, for some reason, guides the forward-moving cyclists to the right of the right-turn-only lane.  That kind of arrangement is now known as "a coffin corner" because of the increased dangers of right hooks.  The city should know better.
 
The safe way to do that intersection is to move to the left of the RTO lane to go forward across Cesar Chavez.  But the "protected" lane is channeling cyclists and scooter riders into the coffin corner with a combination of pylons with low-lying obstacles between them (high enough to knock down a person riding a bike, but not high enough to impede a motor vehicle).  That makes it difficult to maneuver to do the safe thing. The city has done it better elsewhere, so why not here?

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#7 2020-10-23 12:59:28

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,255
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Re: Temporary protected bike lanes on Congress

Are you gonna ask them?

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