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#1 2019-01-15 13:44:56

owlman
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Registered: 2011-12-16
Posts: 142

W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

The new lane on 5th Street west of MoPac is similar to the bus-priority lanes on Guadalupe and Lavaca Streets. Working with Cap Metro, the Austin Transportation Department is converting a bike lane that ran all the way to Lamar Blvd into a dedicated bus & bike lane for a half-mile section between West Lynn and Baylor Streets.

https://capmetroblog.com/2019/01/09/cap … bike-lane/

https://www.facebook.com/ATXTransportat … 6664937954

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#2 2019-01-15 17:17:25

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 330

Re: W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

owlman wrote:

The new lane on 5th Street west of MoPac is similar to the bus-priority lanes on Guadalupe and Lavaca Streets. Working with Cap Metro, the Austin Transportation Department is converting a bike lane that ran all the way to Lamar Blvd into a dedicated bus & bike lane for a half-mile section between West Lynn and Baylor Streets.

That seems pretty nice.  Bus/Bike/RTO lanes work well and are pretty comfortable to ride in.  Few bicycling "facilities" change my usual ways to get to and fro, but I started riding Guadalupe instead of Congress to go south from downtown and have been glad for the way that is laid out mostly. 

I noted this bonus from one of the links you provided -- "while all other traffic is stopped at a red light, buses and bicycles will be allowed through the intersection" because of special signals.  Nice.

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#3 2019-01-15 19:22:48

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 595

Re: W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

Basically, they're replacing an existing bike lane with a bus lane that bikes can use too.

Now, you might quibble about that last part, but this sign on Guadalupe --
this sign
... makes sure that we know who's the boss here.

I'm not really sure what this sign is supposed to mean or what its purpose is (or, to be more precise: in exactly which scenarios is a bicycle expected to yield to a bus when it wouldn't without this sign?  The city ordinances certainly provide no insight.) but if there's ever a collision between a bus and a bicycle, I can guarantee that this sign will be pointed at as the pointer uses it as evidence that the cyclist was at fault, no matter what the circumstances were.

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#4 2019-01-15 20:40:22

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,339
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Re: W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

dougmc wrote:

...if there's ever a collision between a bus and a bicycle, I can guarantee that this sign will be pointed at as the pointer uses it as evidence that the cyclist was at fault, no matter what the circumstances were.

You got that right.

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#5 2019-01-15 21:01:25

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 330

Re: W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

MichaelBluejay wrote:
dougmc wrote:

...if there's ever a collision between a bus and a bicycle, I can guarantee that this sign will be pointed at as the pointer uses it as evidence that the cyclist was at fault, no matter what the circumstances were.

You got that right.

No quibble from me.  That sign seems to be saying "yield to the bus even if you'd normally have the right of way."  Exceptions to the usual rules of the road lead to confusion mostly.  Confusion leads to dangerous actions.  Instead, bus drivers should be trained to be wary of cyclists in a bike lane and to be sure they mind who has the right of way when.   

But the bus lanes that bikes can use too (along with drivers turning right) (and which are a different sort of arrangement than that segment of Guadalupe pictured) work well and don't lead to much confusion.

As I've noted before, part of the Guadalupe transit priority lanes scheme puts bike lanes to the right of the bus lanes which makes things problematic for cyclists when the street later chokes the bike lane off and one has to maneuver into the bus lane and when the bike lane puts riders to the right of right-turning traffic.  In other places on Guad, the transit priority lane shared with bikes works great.  Overall, that makes riding south from MLK to the river pretty attractive despite the flaws. 

If the plan for 5th is like the good portions of Guad, shared with buses and right turning traffic, I'm all for it.  If it's like the other places, with a bike lane to the right of the bus until the bike lane gets choked off, I'm not.

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#6 2019-01-16 18:51:45

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 231

Re: W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

Yes, there are worse things in the world than sharing a lane with buses. And my experience is that bus drivers are the best kind of people to have to share a lane with.  But that's not the point.

The bigger picture is that this is happening because the buses were taking too long to travel along West 5th having come all of the way from the suburban wasteland in Leander. I was at a recent BAC meeting in which this was explicitly stated by one of the Cap Metro people. 

So, at the heart of it, this is happening to enable urban sprawl (supercharged car dependency on speed).  I'm not hating on the people who live in Leander because that's where they can afford to live - and then take the bus to get to work.  Good for those individuals!  We could use more people willing to use public transportation.

One day we had a bike lane.  And then the next day we have to share that lane with buses.  And there is no universe in which it is safer to share a lane with a 25,000 pound vehicle than not. 

No one has dared to suggest the obvious.  We could keep the bike lane AND add a bus lane by cutting out a car lane.

The fact that this is not the discussion IS the problem.

Last edited by RedFalcon (2019-01-16 19:34:30)

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#7 2019-01-16 19:53:28

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,339
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Re: W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

RedFalcon wrote:

No one has dared to suggest the obvious.  We could keep the bike lane AND add a bus lane by cutting out a car lane.

The fact that this is not the discussion IS the problem.

Bingo!

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#8 2019-01-16 21:33:27

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 330

Re: W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

"One day we had a bike lane.  And then the next day we have to share that lane with buses.  And there is no universe in which it is safer to share a lane with a 25,000 pound vehicle than not."  I believe a cyclist is safer on Guadalupe in the shared bus/bike/RTO lane than a cyclist is on Guadalupe in the bike lane next to the non-shared bus lane.  A cyclist will find that out when someone turns right across her path or when the bike lane is pinched off for a bus stop or other reason.  This is not one for which I have stats (I doubt we have enough of these shared bus lanes to have a good sample), but it follows from the traffic dyanmics of the arrangement--note how vulnerable the bike lanes' road position is when turning traffic is overtaking or when a cyclist ill-advisedly passes on the right slow moving buses or cars that may be turning right. 

I do take your point that it seems like a loss of a bike lane with no benefit to the cyclists.  I think that I'd rather ride a 5th St. bus/bike/RTO lane than the bike lane we have, and it is my safety and comfort I have in mind; I think it would be a net gain.  Your assessment may vary.  So might mine when I see what actually gets put in place.

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#9 2019-01-25 23:17:03

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 231

Re: W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

Thank you for proving my point.

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#10 2022-05-02 08:39:09

sevenspurs
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Registered: 2022-05-02
Posts: 3

Re: W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

Question for the group.  Would a one way street that has a bike lane be used as a two way bike lane?

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#11 2022-05-02 10:44:28

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 595

Re: W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

sevenspurs wrote:

Question for the group.  Would a one way street that has a bike lane be used as a two way bike lane?

Are you referring to this specific road, or in general?

If it's in general, it probably deserves its own thread.

That said, to attempt to answer the question in general, yes, the city does sometimes add two way bike lanes to one way roads -- such as they've done on Rio Grande.  There are pros and cons to this, though in general I'm not a big fan.  And then there's other roads where they add a two-way bike lane to one side of a two-way road, like Great Northern Blvd and Pedernales Street -- I'm even less a fan of this, though it works better when the bike lanes are physically protected and sufficiently wide.  (Note that Rio Grande and Pedernales have protected bike lanes that are (barely) sufficiently wide, but Great Northern has neither.)

And if you're asking if a cyclist would ever ride the wrong way on a bike lane -- it does happen.  In general, they shouldn't do that, but it does happen sometimes.

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#12 2022-05-02 11:24:10

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,339
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Re: W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

sevenspurs smells like a bot or spammer to me, with the nonsensical question, as the very first post, with no introduction about the poster, and which hijacks an existing thread, and an IP address from Dallas.

So let's try a Turing test:  sevenspurs, how come time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana?  That might ferret out a bot, though not a human spammer, though hopefully no human spammer would come back to the forum to spam after reading that the admin is actually monitoring posts on this forum.

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#13 2022-05-02 12:17:02

sevenspurs
Member
Registered: 2022-05-02
Posts: 3

Re: W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

i was more referring to the bike/bus land on 5th, which is a one way street with no protection of said bike lane for two way traffic.  And if my first post was nonsensical, that is with the reader of the post.

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#14 2022-05-02 12:37:29

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,339
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Re: W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

sevenspurs wrote:

And if my first post was nonsensical, that is with the reader of the post.

Well, sevenspurs, given that I got the highest possible score on the SAT Test of Standard Written English, I beg to differ.  And somehow you failed to notice that the first person who replied to your post likewise couldn't conclude exactly what you were asking.

Possibly what you meant to ask was, "Can a single-lane bike lane be used in both directions?"  It certainly wasn't clear.  It's still not.

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#15 2022-05-02 13:35:22

sevenspurs
Member
Registered: 2022-05-02
Posts: 3

Re: W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

nice humble brag, i don't recall asking you for your SAT scores.  And yes, I was asking if the bike/bus lane on 5th could be used for both directions.

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#16 2022-05-02 16:40:15

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,339
Website

Re: W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/

sevenspurs wrote:

nice humble brag, i don't recall asking you for your SAT scores.

It was because until today, nobody has ever questioned my reading comprehension.

In any event, I'm not sure about the answer to your question.  Certainly a normal-width bike lane will always be one-way, but you're asking about a lane that's large enough to accommodate a bus.  I'm guessing that even though it's wide enough for two-way bike traffic, it's still not allowed, but that's just an educated guess.

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