Saturday, August 25, 2007

Beacon St. islands

Beacon Street is enormously varied in width. This causes some real problems with striping a shoulder for bikes.

If you stripe a consistent (car) travel lane—as the city did in its striping trial—you end up with shoulders that are so wide, motorists confuse them for travel lanes. If you stripe a consistent shoulder, you end up with an inconsistent width travel lane, which is also problematic.

So, which is it? Consistent shoulder width or consistent lane width?

How 'bout both!

Work from the outside, in. Consistent shoulder width (4 ft., I believe). Consistent travel lane (14 ft.). Where the curb-to-curb distance is greater than 36 feet, create a painted "island" with diagonal yellow stripes.

Eventually, when the road is repaved again, the city could make the road width consistent (one hopes with separated bike lanes east of Newton Centre), adding to the grass berm. Or, maybe turn the paint islands into real, landscaped islands.

That would be cool.

Another possibility is to create a buffer between the shoulder and the travel lane.

1 comment:

Ken Parker said...

Great idea, Sean. If you'd like to follow-up on it, we can set up a meeting with Public Works. The current striping is confusing and dangerous.
-Ken