Bike Lanes

I love bike lanes. I feel much more comfortable on streets that have them. But sometimes they are inexplicable and frustrating. No, make that always! For example, the way they often interact (if it can be called that,) with right turn lanes at intersections. At least in Campbell and San Jose, which is where I mostly ride.

Take an intersection with a traffic light and a right turn lane. Just before the right turn lane, the bike lane markings just disappear. The bicyclist going straight has to move to the left to get out of the right turn lane, which means taking the next lane to the left, which is now the right hand lane, or just kind of scrunching to the side by the traffic light. There is no real guidance for either bicycle or car. I'm constantly looking behind me at places like this to make sure I stay out of the cars' way, or at least don't change lanes right in front of someone. But the point is, I should not be changing lanes at all! The bike lane should be drawn so everyone knows how to position themselves, both cars and bicyclists.

One of the worst is the intersection of Willow and Bird, which I rode through often before the office move. The city repaved Willow last year, making it a much pleasanter ride. But at Bird, Willow widens a lot on the right, more than usual and for a greater distance. If you are going straight, you almost end up in the middle of the street. It's very awkward. The unfortunate thing is that this was all repainted after it was paved. For some silly reason, I just assumed that this would be fixed when it was repainted, but they kept the lines the same as before, which meant no bike lanes for a block where there is a lot of potential lane changing. Sure wish I had called the city about that. Really learned a lesson there!

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