Why does a bicycle-friendly community need door zone bike lanes?

We recently took our tandem to Durango, CO to escape the thick smoke of the Wallow, AZ wildfire. I like the Durango area and have tossed a bike in the car on our trips there.

Durango is a Silver-level bicycle friendly community. Lots of people are biking there. It did seem quite accomodating. Our hotel, the lovely Rochester, even had a fleet of cruisers that could be signed out.

But why, I kept asking, are some of its quiet, wide city streets striped with door zone bike lanes? There is often plenty of room to “share the road”. Why consign cyclists to the door zone in a bicycle-friendly community? Some of those bike lanes were absolutely unnecessary and if anything, took away from Durango’s bicyclist-friendliness.

More here, on my own site.

About Khal

I am a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), where I have worked for nine years after having spent 10 years on the graduate faculty of the University of Hawaii School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology and four previous years on its technical staff. I started to “ride lots” (to quote Eddy Merckx) at SUNY, Stony Brook, Long Island. I’ve been actively engaged in bicycling and bicycling advocacy, and in transportation planning as a citizen volunteer for most of twenty years. For the past five years, I have been the chair or vice-chair of the Los Alamos County Transportation Board, which advises county government on surface and air transportation policy. During that period, I have also served as the chair of the LANL Traffic Safety Committee, which works with the institution under 10CFR851 to improve the safety of the Laboratory’s traffic systems. I served several years on the Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico Board of Directors. I am an LCI. Prior to moving to New Mexico, I was active as a Board member, vice President, and President of the Hawaii Bicycling League, sat on the Honolulu Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Bicycling, and on the U of Hawaii at Manoa Bicycle Planning Committee. I was a contributor to the 1999 Honolulu Bicycle Master Plan (as VP of the Hawaii Bicycling League, which coordinated cyclist input) and a co-author, with our county traffic manager, of the 2005 Los Alamos County Bike Plan. Back when I dreamed I was fast, I raced USCF. It was only a dream. I remain committed to a strong and effective League of American Bicyclists, but demand that membership be given a much more meaningful role in League governance. That, after all, is the only way to ensure that members have meaningful control over the direction of their League. All comments I make here or on my own blog are my personal opinions alone. Others are welcome to agree or laugh. Aloha, Khal Spencer
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One Response to Why does a bicycle-friendly community need door zone bike lanes?

  1. Fred Oswald says:

    BFC is “ends justify the means” advocacy where cyclists are pawns to be sacrificed for the goal of getting people out of cars. I have no quarrel with the goal — one of my motivations in riding to work is to keep the car in the garage. But harming cyclists is irresponsible and in the long run, it harms the cause.

    For more BFC outrages, including giving awards to cities that ban bicycles from important roads, that prosecute cyclists for riding on the road and for distorting the size of cars shown in scale drawings of bike lanes, see Bicycle Fiendish Communities.

    — Fred

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