This review is for the north seciton of the 10 St bike lanes, north of 23 Ave NW. For comments and concerns with the south portion, see http://bikecalgary.org/node/3423
Do you use these 10 St lanes? Do you agree with the assesment below? Are there other good or bad aspects about the lanes? Have you had a good experience? A bad experience? How could things be improved?
1. Area under review
The roadway is two lanes with a speed limit of 50 kph. On street parking is permitted from Rosedale Dr NW to Northmount Dr.
There are painted bike lanes on both sides of the road.
Calgary Transit routes 4 (northbound) and 5 (southbound) have frequent runs along the route.
This is part of the North Hill Bicycle Improvements project. http://www.calgary.ca/Transportation/TP/Pages/Cycling/Cycling-Route-Improvements/North-Hill-Bicycle-Improvements.aspx
The route provides direct connections to the neighbourhoods of Mt. Pleasant, Cambrian Heights, Capital Hill, and Rosemont. Onward connection to Collingwood, Charleswood and Brentwood. There is the potential to connect to Dalhousie and points northwest via future bike route on Northmount to planned bike lanes on Northland Drive.
All are Ward 07 communities and have the highest (by Ward) bicycle transportation mode share in the City (2.6-3.0%) as per the 2011 City Civic Census.
This section of the route provides a vital connection to the 10 St NW lanes south of 23 Ave NW.
4. Safety Concerns
4.1 Southbound Lane Initiation
Initiates abruptly at Northmount Dr NW. There is reasonably easy access from Northmount drive northwest of 14th Street NW.
Preference would be to have a clearly marked and painted bike lane initiate prior to 14th Street NW (perhaps near Carol Drive NW) to allow safe southbound travel through the 14th Street NW and Northmount Drive NW
intersections. This would extend the utility of the lanes to cyclists coming from and going to the west side of 14 ST NW.
4.2 Northbound Lane Termination
The lane terminates abruptly at Northmount Drive. This is probably the most hazardous part of the entire route as the termination of the lane forces northgoing bicyclists to try and squeeze along the curb in the midst of two major intersections, one with high volumes of traffic attempting to cross the bicyclists path (i.e. NB Northmount Drive to NB 14th Street NW).
Solutions could include:
an advanced green for bicyclists to allow them to cross past the merge lane prior to motor vehicle traffic (would benefit bicyclists starting from a red but offer little benefit if northgoing traffic already has a green);
a bike box in the right lane that allows bicyclists to move to the front of motor vehicles (same benefit and constraint as previous) or;
a through bicycle lane to convey bicyclists through the Northmount Drive/10th Street NW and Northmount Drive/14th Street NW intersections (would require application of high-visibility paint and signage indicating right-turning vehicles must yield to bicycles/watch for bicycles). This option would seem to offer the safest and most efficient means for throughgoing bicyclists.
The proposed extension of the bike lane onto the traffic island and then to a pathway along the north side of Northmount Drive (between Northmount Drive and 14th Street) is not recommended as a solution (
http://www.calgary.ca/Transportation/TP/Documents/cycling/Cycling-Route-Improvements/10-St-key-plan-and-sections.pdf plan Location A). This would significantly inconvenience throughgoing bicyclists by forcing them to cross as pedestrians at 14th Street NW and then forcing them to somehow rejoin Northmount Drive beyond the 14th Street NW intersection.
4.3 The "Door Zone"
Where on-street parking is permitted, concerns have been expressed that insufficient space is provided between the bicycle lanes and parking lanes to protect bicyclists from the door zone.
Recognizing that there is limited roadway space on this section it is recommended that one parking lane be removed. Observation would suggest limited use of the northbound parking lane relative to the southbound parking lane. Removal of this parking lane would allow for additional space to provide a buffer between the southbound bicycle lanes and the parked vehicles.
An alternative suggestion would be to attain more road space by setting back the curbs however reallocation of parking space would seem to be the cheaper alternative.
4.4 Bus Stops and Other Areas Shared with Motorists
Additional lane demarcation - It has been suggested that additional signage, markings and solid paint be included where the bike lane is displaced from the curb lane, particularly near bus stops. This would remind both cyclists and motorists that the space is shared and extra caution is warranted.
5. Security Concerns
There have been only a few reports of motorists parking in the bike lanes. But where parking is permitted and the bike lane is immediately adjacent to the parking area there are problems. Motorists do not always pull next to the curb or wider vehicles park there putting the door or parts of the vehicle into the bike lane. This problem gets worse in the winter when snow and ice piles up next to the curb. Perhaps some kind of pavement marking would help here.