Another Bike Lane From Hell!

Another example of a stupid bike lane in Prague. Why even bother?

I guess you have to give the city some credit for even trying, but c'mon, people! Jeesh. You can do better than this!

This photo was taken by my cycling buddy Rob in the front of the Billa grocery store on Jugoslávských partyzánů, across the street from Pizzeria Grosseto.

"It caught my eye because the bike lane is new and it is stuck right between the parking strip (people jumping in and out of their cars to go to the cigarette stand in front of Billa) and the single narrow lane of traffic there," Rob says. "Of course, the unplowed snow just makes it all the more exciting!"

This bike lane extends much of the length of Jugoslávských partyzánů, and follows the line of parked cars on the right.

It would be impossible to ride this lane without a constant fear of getting doored every 10 meters or so.

I'd rather take my chances in the road itself, thank you very much, or ride on the sidewalk.

Reminds me of the other ridiculous bike lane in Prague, which I filmed for a YouTube video awhile back.


Anyone riding that street has the perfect bike lane...the tram-lines! They run all the way down that road, you can ride without trouble and with no cars anywhere near you. You're not meant to of course but it's prefect on a nice day. If you follow the rules you are more likely to have an accident. But follow the tram line and it leads to wide pavements that take you out of Prague.
Grant Podelco said…
Right you are, my friend. Better to break the law and stay alive ...
In most Massachusetts cities and towns, any new road has to wide enough to accommodate bikes safely. We are one of the lucky ones I suppose.
The act of establishing the lane increases awareness on the part of drivers. They see the lines and might think twice to look for cyclists. Yes, some of the new lanes are ill-placed. But before this was painted there, this was most often already the place where the majority of cyclists were riding.

Even though sometimes riding along the tram line is OK/a better idea, in nasty, slippery, wintery weather, it is almost always safer to stay with traffic, away from those dreaded tracks.

I say the more painted lanes the better. I'm all for more visibility of the presence of cyclists on teh road in Prague.
Anonymous said…
Oh well, even in the Netherlands, which is packed with bikeroads, most of them are in between the lane and parked cars. There simply is no other space for a bike road. Luckily here everyone checks before getting out of the car. Anyways, we had a lot (for dutch principles) of snow in the last weeks. Roads were clean, bike roads were a big icy mirror. Terrible. Only option for a safe biking environment is a city center without cars.
Gio said…
As much as we would all like to see better bike access in cities around the world it is unrealistic to expect a 50/50 share of the road. If it wasn't set up that way in the begining it is very difficult for city planners to make it happen. Even if they have the funds.

I really feel that cities need more restriction on automobile traffic in down town areas. This should be much eisier in cities like Prague and Boston as the Public transport is outstanding.

As for us lowly bikers I think we just have to grin and bear it. As a biker you need real off road skills to navigate city streets and should at a minimum know how to bunny hop onto a sidewalk in a moment if necessary. track stands are also a big plus. Good luck all. Its a jungle out there.
Grant makes a great point. However, most of the rest of you are clearly out-to-lunch on inclusive (including e.g. new cyclists, perhaps some women) cycling policy:

@Booda: Yes, I lived in Prague for years and did this, too, sometimes. But before I lived there I had cycled in several big cities for years and years. I am an experienced urban cyclist. It is, quite simply, not an option, in particular when tram drivers are not prepared for it. Some cities do allow this, but it will be a lot of work to change Czech law to make this possible.

@Cory: As you can see we agree on one point but all the rest of your blah-blah is okay but just encourages low-investment. And more specifically does LEED certification for buildings still not take into account what it takes to get people and stuff to and from the building? I know that many "green" commercial buildings in the USA are sited on top of or near transit hubs, but all those suburban eco-houses with garage doors powered off of residual heat from the plasma TV bothers me.

@Anonymous (in NL): Are you speaking for the whole country? I think not...

@Gio: Why are you so pessimistic about increased bike share (perhaps 10% would be a miracle for Prague) when you recognize good transit? Why this nonsense about offroad skills and bunnyhopping and trackstands? If your girlfriend/female friend can't do these things, do you think she is lame and stupid, and will she write to you from the better cycling town she moves to (also to get away from ignorant macho types)?

OK, I live in Berlin now and can verify that the conditions are the same or worse on major 50km/h streets, where the cycle path is up the curb from the "car" part of the street, because environmental policy allows no salting in these areas.

If you are pro-urban-cycling you need to be anti-private urban car.
Grant Podelco said…
I think Cory makes a good point. The bike lane in the picture does increase driver awareness of the presence of cyclists, but on this particular stretch of road, I think I'd choose to ride in the road itself, so as not to be doored. After all, we're allowed to be there just as much as the cars are.
Grant, are you sure about that? In some places, if there is a marked bike lane a cyclist is not permitted to ride in the other part of the road.

Also, some typical selfish, narrowly-focused etc drivers will take offense if a cyclist is not in the "cyclist space".

A painted lane is much better than nothing, but if is not maintained nor properly separated from door zone it risks being counterproductive.
Bananonvnik said…
Guys who are taking off the snow, they are always exited that the snow has come so early (late december, like every year) :-)

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