Saturday, 17 July 2010

Another view of the "roundabout of death"

Some idiot road engineering people have gotten this stupid idea in their heads that they can improve bike safety at roundabouts by painting a bike lane through the roundabout (or around the edge of the roundabout). The idea is that cars and bikes can go through the roundabout together, safely separated by a two inch thick strip of paint.

Conceptually, it sounds good. I am sure it sounded good when presented to a conference of road safety experts and traffic engineers.

However, in reality, it's about the stupidest fucking idea I have ever seen. It is a well engineered death trap.

Why?

Because most drivers simply drive right over the two inch thick strip of white paint, regardless of whether there is a bike in the bike lane or not. Most of the bike lanes have been retrofitted to existing roundabouts, and when those roundabouts were originally designed, they were dimensioned with only cars in mind. They are perfectly good in their original form for just cars, or trucks, or buses.

But they were never designed to be a multi-lane roundabout. Instead of just painting a line, what the engineers should have done is ripped up the ground next to the roundabout and installed a new, wide bike lane - and a big concrete divider. Preferably a concrete divider about three feet high.

video

Until we get them, I am always going to go through roundabouts with the cars. That annoys some drivers, but fuck 'em. It's just too easy to get run down by some moron who isn't paying attention.

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