Here in NYC, it's against the law to block bike lanes with your car. Then again it's also against the law to murder people, and we haven't quite got a hold on that one either. Ironically, the place I most often see the bike lane law skirted is down by the NYC Supreme Court Building, which has "The True Adminstration of Justice is the Firmest Pillar of Good Government" inscribed in its cornice; the opposite side of the street is a dangerous obstacle course of double-parked vehicles completely blocking the bike lane.
One solution for preventing cars from entering bike lanes is the Armadillo, a design put forth by bicycle infrastructure company Cyclehoop. Made from 100% recycled PVC and covered in reflective stripes, these cat-sized lumps are spaced such that cyclists can enter or exit lanes mid-stream as needed, and are large enough to serve as a deterrent to driving a car over (though emergency services vehicles can of course traverse them in a pinch).
The Armadillos were rolled out last year as a trial in London's Camden borough, and the response has been positive: "Royal College Street has seen a 40% to 50% increase in cycle traffic since it segregated its cycle route with Armadillos," reports Camden Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Transport Phil Jones. "Also, the traffic has slowed down on that street as well, the cars. Now the road is more narrow the traffic is slowing. So on those two key measures it's gone well."
Following its success, Camden Council has decided to expand Armadillo coverage. Armadillos have also reportedly been deployed in the U.S. and Spain, though I sure haven't seen anything like these around the city.
Editor's note: It looks like they could use a few of 'em in Farringdon too, at least based on the harrowing footage in this video that hit the web last week:
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The lifetime costs of crash-related deaths and injuries among drivers and passengers were $70 billion in 2005
Costly and idiotic indeed.
Experiments in Scandinavia have shown reductions in vehicle speed can actually increase throughput in urban areas. No matter how fast your vehicle is capable of traveling, negotiating intersections is about the same speed for all users...
Of course the actions of the cyclist do not justify the attack, but he could have seen that coming. You can see the dude actively chasing and then making wild gestures indicating that he probably is swearing or at least harassing the dude verbally (and not wearing a helmet is kind of dumb - as you can see the professionals in this video are much more smart by not saying anything and protecting themselves).
Bike messengers and other dudes on racing bikes in the city are kind of notorious of being a problem factor, and they are as often guilty to aggressive or dangerous behaviour as the people in cars.
And this comes from a dude on a racing bike in the city.
here it is the designers web. I follow him since a while. Spanish, from Catalonia, Curro Claret.
In Barcelona "armadillos" are working perfect. They are widely installed in most bike lanes and, as a biker, I have never had any problem but felt more "protected" against car violence.
The first days when they were installed many cars continued to invade the lane (with more difficulties) but now it is very rare to see one. I guess some kind of education/conscience has reached car users behavior.
(Please, excuse my english)
If after a rainfall, your front wheel accidentally make contact with it at any angle the bike will continue one way and you will go flying over the handlebars the other way, usually in the middle of the car lane.
We had many miles of those here in Athens Greece. They used to separate the bus lanes â€“that serve as bike lanes as well- but after many accidents and even deaths of bike users they are finally removed.
*adding* lanes for bikes, and segregating them with these is a great idea.