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Ideologue Idea Log: Super Bike Boxes

February 19, 2010

Before we get down to business, a bit of news. First, a couple of big shot feds graced LA with their presence today: our very own Sen. Barbara Boxer and the esteemed yet blunt Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. They were joined by mayor/adulterer Antonio Villaraigosa, who did his best to hold their feet to the fire on his 30-10 plan. The response? A resounding pledge that they would get around to it eventually. They may sounded enthusiastic at the time, but that’s because they’re politicians. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some 30-10, but I refuse to get enthusiastic about it until the feds cut us a check. In semi-related news, a Blue Line train struck and killed a woman in South LA this evening, providing ample material for Damien Goodmon and The Bus Bench.

But I digress. I’ve decided to create an occasional series here at the Loyalist, showcasing some of my more unorthodox yet potentially innovative ideas: the Ideologue Idea Log. Because we’re all ideologues after all.

Submitted for your approval, my first entry: the Super Bike Box. You may remember that I recently offered my version of a Long Beach addition to the Backbone Bikeway Network, a network of bike routes almost exclusively on large arterial streets. While these streets offer more direct routes for longer bike rides, they are generally not pleasant to ride a bike on. One of the most difficult aspects of navigating these streets by bike is making a left turn, which requires getting across three lanes of car traffic to the turn lane. Hard core spandex riders or intrepid fixie riders seem to have little reservation blasting across car-laden thoroughfares, but the rest of us could benefit from a bit of roadway restructuring to help us get to the turn lane. Bike Boxes have been around for awhile now, they are currently cropping up on the east side of Long Beach. But what if we were to extend the bike box across the roadway to the left turn lane? Voila! Left turns made easy.

The one problem with this design? It requires traffic to be stopped for it to work. But never fear, I have a solution for what to do while traffic is moving, on the next round of Ideologue Idea Log. Stay tuned!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Erik G. permalink
    February 26, 2010 12:50 am

    I have experienced riding in Holland and Denmark. There they go to the far side of the intersection, stop, turn their bikes 90 degrees the the right, and wait for the crossing street’s light to turn green.

    You can sort of see it in this video:

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