Dangerous new barrier-protected bikeway in Encinitas, giving street space to people, and gravel riding in our own backyard

Not all bicycling improvements really are.

San Diego’s Phillip Young has been kind enough to include me in a series of emails with Encinitas city leaders about the dangers of a new and apparently not-so-much improved protected bike lane along the coast highway through the city.

I asked him to explain just what the problem is, and what could be done to fix it.

The City of Encinitas has created a narrow Class 4 protected bikeway/cycletrack with too much going on in a confined space with no escape routes. This stretch of Coast Hyw 101 has recorded no bicycle accidents from 2016 until a week ago. The wheel stops / berms were added a week ago and now the accident count are 3 serious crashes requiring cyclists to be taken away by ambulances. The third accident was today. The Encinitas Mayor and officials ignored input for the public and experienced cyclists at multiple public meetings prior to final design.

Possible factors:

  • Mix flow of high and low speed cyclists
  • Many travel modes and stuff: bicycles, eBikes, walkers, runners, baby strollers, three wheelers, inline skates, skateboards, kids in tow by moms, old people, couples, surfboards, beach stuff
  • Mix of ages and abilities from world class triateletes to first time riders
  • Two-way traffic possible for all the above types. Only bicycles are allowed but the city design does not accommodate the others travelers elsewhere – no sidewalks.
  • Too narrow to accommodate the traffic as validated by 3-accidents in a week and the wheel stops / berms have only been installed for 1-week.
  • Northbound is higher speed due to a descending slope – the three accidents are northbound events
  • Signage needs improvement but that creates more road furniture to run over
  • The wheel stops / berms are the problem and offer no true protection from cars and create a maintenance problems because machinery can’t get in to clean and resurface the bikeway with more safety issues

The best solution would be to shift the Coast Hyw 101 roadway from 2-car lanes each way to 1-car lane each way. The old #2 car lane for each direction could be turned into a Class 1 Bikeway with K-rails for separation from vehicular traffic. The old Class 4 protected bikeway / cycletrack with wheel stops / berms could be turned into a sidewalk for non-bicycle use.

Second best solution is to add sharrows to the tarmac in the #2-car lane each way plus pole mounted signage.

These are just a few of my thoughts that come to mind. Riders with more experience may have some better ideas.

We are working to get the word out to the cycling community to be made aware of the new road hazards on the Coast Hwy 101 in Cardiff.

One more example of why bike riders should always be included in bikeway plans. Or at the very least, why they should turn the job over to an engineer who actually rides a bike.

Hopefully, Encinitas will get this fixed before there’s any more blood on the pavement.

Today’s photo was taken from the email chain; I’m not sure who should be credited.

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Today’s common theme is finding space on our streets for people, instead of just cars.

Alameda is just the latest Bay Area city to install slow streets, returning unused street space to the people to get outside during the coronavirus shutdown.

A Minnesota website casts a critical eye towards Oakland’s slow streets program, saying it plays great in gentrified and urbanist neighborhoods, but not so much in  areas where people are struggling to survive.

Politico says European cities are betting on pedal power for post-coronavirus mobility.

Liverpool, England’s walking and cycling commissioner is calling for a “quiet revolution” to relegate motor vehicles below the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists when the city reopens.

Paris is closing the iconic Rue de Rivoli to cars to provide more space for cyclists and pedestrians while the city reopens.

Brussels is taking street space to make room for bike riders after Belgium’s coronavirus lockdown lifts.

And Vilnius, Lithuania is turning the city into a vast open air cafe.

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Heavenly gravel biking in our own back yard.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the link.

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Now this is how you ride under lockdown.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A Mendocino County man faces charges for violently attacking his pregnant wife — with an effing propane tank, no less — before attempting to make his getaway by bike.

A Montana man faces multiple charges for fleeing from police and resisting arrest while high on meth, after a cop tried to stop him for riding without lights on his bike.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton deservedly takes LA city leaders to task for ignoring the already-approved Mobility Plan, locking in auto-centric streets under the city’s accelerated repaving program.

Long Beach bike shops are riding the crest of the Covid-19 wave.

Not only is Shia LaBeouf one of us, he’s now the proud owner of a kid hauler for his bike.

 

State

California belatedly releases a list of approved outdoor activities during the coronavirus shutdown, including bicycling and BMX.

A San Diego man will muster out of the Navy today, and embark on a cross-country bike ride on Saturday to raise funds for wounded vets. Which should be interesting with half the country shut down right now.

The woman killed by an alleged drunk hit-and-run driver while riding her bike in Goleta earlier this week has been identified as 59-year old Goleta resident Katherine Stewart Peden.

A San Jose website offers advice on how to buy a new bike during the pandemic. Pro tip: Always get your bike from, or at least through, a local bike shop. It may cost a little more, but it will more than pay off in service down the road.

A San Francisco nurse was overwhelmed by an outpouring of support after complaining on Facebook that her bike was stolen as she was working a 12 hour shift; she now has two bikes to choose from.

 

National

It may not seem like it, but May is still Bike Month, pandemic or not.

PeopleForBikes advises bike shops to share the good news about bicycling in these scary times, while Bike Magazine examines why bikes are booming during the coronavirus crisis.

Pink Bike rediscovers the joy of bike riding on a gravel bike.

A writer for Bicycling movingly describes finding her first real sense of home on her bike.

Five cheap upgrades to make your bike feel like new. I’d say give it a good overhaul and cleaning, slap on some better tires, and finish up with some fresh bar tape.

A health website comes up with a list of bike safety tips “you’ve definitely forgotten about since childhood,” none of which you’ve probably forgotten about. Any list that starts with “always wear a helmet” reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of how to stay safe on a bike, anyway. A bike helmet should always be considered the last line of defense when all else fails, not the first.

Add Oregon’s wine country to your bike bucket list. And drinking list, for that matter.

A Utah driver turns his dash cam the wrong way, and catches the roof of his Lotus Elise sports car blowing off as he drives down the road — and naturally, it lands in the bike lane.

Minnesota is changing next week’s Bike to School Day to Bike Anywhere Day. Which can and should be celebrated 365 days a year.

Kindhearted Kentucky police bought a new bike for an autistic teen after his was stolen.

New York City’s essential workers are now eligible for a full year of free bikeshare.

 

International

Road.cc recommends the 28 best bicycle smartphone apps.

A British Columbia man describes how bicycling helped him drop 65 pounds.

London’s Evening Standard takes a look at their picks for the best bike backpacks.

Evidently, Southern California isn’t the only place where people are overwhelming beachfront trails, as police increase patrols in the Welsh coastal city of Swansea to deal with a flood of bike riders.

That’s more like it. A British driver was fined the equivalent of $150 for driving too close to a bike rider. Which was easy to prove, since he actually hit him.

Great idea. France is attempting to support local bike shops while encouraging people to ride their bikes, by making everyone in the country eligible for up to $56 worth of bike repairs.

Cyclist explores the hidden mountain roads of Valencia. No, the one in Southern Spain, not northern LA County.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, but in a different sense. Nine bighearted Mumbai bicyclists are crowdfunding meals to serve poor migrants and homeless people, delivering 5,000 meals a day.

Tel Aviv, Israel is pulling the plug on its bikeshare service, saying it’s become obsolete with the rising popularity of ebikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Redlands Classic goes virtual this weekend.

Red Bull talks with French cyclist Pauline Ferrand-Prévotthe only person to hold road, ‘cross and mountain bike world titles at the same time. 

The winner of the Dirty Kanza breaks down what gear he uses and why.

A writer for Outsports explains why she loves the classic look of the 7 Eleven Cycling team jersey, and the history behind it. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind wearing one myself.

 

Finally…

It’s a lot easier to overcome a bad bike crash when you can’t remember it. Now you, too, can be the proud owner of an ’89 Colnago monocoque carbon-frame prototype built with the Ferrari Formula 1 team, for the low, low price of just 50 grand.

And beware of killer sheep.

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Thanks to Matthew Robertson for his monthly donation to help support this site, and bring you the latest bike news every morning. 

On a related note, some people have asked for an alternative to PayPal or Zelle to donate to this site. Does anyone have a favorite free or low-cost online resource you can recommend?

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

3 comments

  1. Serge Issakov says:

    The sharrows are coming any day now. That should minimize harassment of the experienced cyclists who choose to ride in the #2/right/slow lane.

    I worry about the less experienced riders who are either bamboozled into thinking they’re safe in the cycle trap, or have the sense to avoid it but don’t have the confidence to use the full lane, and will get squeeze-passed, or side-swiped, while riding at the edge.

    The wheel stop barrier makes it impossible for full lane users to safely release traffic when a platoon arrives as we did when we had regular class 2 bike lane space to use for releasing. The “protection” eliminates the flexibility of changing between road and bikeway as conditions change.

  2. Neil Miller says:

    I live in Carlsbad and bike or walk this area pretty much every day of the week. I have watched as they have added the new curbs and the new pavement on these new bike lanes. I questioned the workers how this was supposed to “improve” something that wasn’t broke – but all I got was “we are making it better for you” answers. Well, it is not better, it is WORSE. It is obvious this new solution was developed by someone who has NEVER biked before. Please remove the entire new system and go back to the way it was!

  3. Ann Berchtold says:

    Greetings, I was cycling last weekend near Seaside beach and witnessed a man hit one of the black curbs that have been installed and go down hard. He was picked up by an ambulance.

    The problem is that these curbs are painted the same color as the pavement and very hard to see. I believe he wanted to avoid oncoming walkers (going the wrong way) and went to go to the outside and hit the curb.

    Paint the curbs a bright color – mandate the correct traffic flow.

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