What bike lane, where? – Hasso Hering


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

What bike lane, where?

Written November 22nd, 2014 by Hasso Hering
Albany's Elm Street on Saturday afternoon.

Albany’s Elm Street on Saturday afternoon.


At the risk of beating this drum once too often, what are they thinking when they make the bike lanes impassable in this way? Maybe they figure it’s no big deal if someone gets hit in the traffic lane, because the emergency room is just around the corner.

If it was me, I’d check when Republic Services sends its leaf pickup truck down this block of Elm Street — which probably is not Saturday or Sunday — and then I’d pile the leaves in the street that morning or the night before.

I ran a similar photo of this same scene about this time a year ago. It’s nice that some things never change, but then again, maybe some things should. (hh)

6 responses to “What bike lane, where?”

  1. Floyd Collins says:

    Hasso: this is but one of the negative impacts associated with “socially correct” narrow street planning standard. Note that the there is a bike rider in the opposite direction. However, the bike path is not adjacent to the curb, it is outside the parking lane. Narrow streets, less hard surface but less parking, and less right-of-way to accommodate two travel lanes for vehicles, two parking lanes and bike lanes away from the curb line. There are other downsides to “skinny” streets also.

    • James Carrick says:

      “Socially correct” street planning? That’s a new one and it begs an explanation.

      • Hasso Hering says:

        Councilor Collins was referring to the trend of recent decades to make residential streets as narrow as possible to minimize paved surfaces and discourage speeding, while at the same time providing for parking and even in some cases bike lanes. Albany adopted that approach with its “great neighborhood” planning in the 1990s, though I don’t see how it’s to blame for Elm Street, which was established generations before. (hh)

  2. Bill Kapaun says:

    Another problem is a lot of commercial properties use a lawn/landscape service. They won’t mow the leaves because then they would have to haul them. They simply blow them into the street weeks ahead of any potential leaf pick up.
    Things get pretty bad on 14th SE. between the Heritage Mall and Waverly.

  3. Hasso Hering says:

    Peggy Richner commented by email because the “reply” feature did not work for her: “Bike lanes are a foolish waste of taxpayer dollars. There is virtually no demand for them and yet untold sums are spent to provide them. They are a nice freebie for the few people who use them, and of course they allow city fathers to feel virtuous by contributing to . . . what? Efficiency, reduction of CO2? Not likely. At least sidewalks have the advantage of looking nice although they are also for the most part another waste of taxpayer dollars. Storekeepers who wish sidewalks for their clientele should pay for them directly and provide for their upkeep just as they do for their store interiors.”

  4. Jim Clausen says:

    Gee, we didn’t have bike lanes when I was growing up… then again, we weren’t a part of the collective and “socially correct” back then…


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