I am bewildered by the new bicycle lanes being placed in Salt Lake City. The lanes have curb and sidewalk on one side and parked cars on the other side. I suppose they think they are protecting bicyclists from moving traffic. Well, I have news for you: The most dangerous traffic for bicycles is cross traffic — specifically cars pulling onto the street or, like the car that hit me two weeks ago, cars pulling off the street.
Let’s look at those two scenarios. Cars pulling out onto the street now need to watch out for pedestrians, then bikes, then look over the top of parked cars that are the same height or taller than them, to determine if they can safely enter the street. Those are too many distractions. Cars trying to pull off the road have to look out for bicycles and pedestrians that are now hidden by parked cars, while still maintaining their speed.
Every time I ride one of these lanes, I fear that any one of the multiple “breaks” in the bike lane is going to have a car pulling off the street. Seriously, who came up with this idea?