Low-cost bicycle infrastructure: paint

monroeImproving the facilities for bicycles in town need not cost a lot.  One of the actions in the current draft of the  Transportation & Land-Use Section of the Corvallis Climate Action Plan is:

  • Add barriers between bike and vehicle lanes.

I have been asked what I mean by barriers.  I don’t necessarily mean concrete barriers or even poles (as left, from Chicago) though such a treatment would be nice on 9th.  Bike buffers — a painted ‘dead’ space beside a bicycle lane that prevents dooring or simply increases the distance between you and speeding motor vehicles — are very nice to have.  Or you could move the lane of parked cars to be between you and the moving traffic. Or you could do both, as pictured above — a not-very-radical re-imagining of Monroe Ave (near 7th).  And this just requires paint.  In my visits to Portland, I have been enjoying the new bike lane on N Williams Ave, which makes me feel like a queen.  Making Williams so much safer for cyclists is being done mostly through paint.  (Curb bulb-outs & bio-swales are also being built.) Importantly, making the lives of cyclists better (and safer) need not be overwhelming.  It could come down to paint.  And for the record, this is what Monroe Ave currently looks like:monroe-beforeAnd here is what the first re-imagining would look like without the parked cars:monroe-without-carsI want to point out how not-radical this is.  Still, a huge proportion of space is dedicated to the movement and storage of motor vehicles.  But, as we transition to a society that is hopefully less dependent on motor vehicles, we could make some easy, inexpensive changes in the meantime.