Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bike Lane Fail #1

This goes in as Record #1 in my Gallery of Bike Lane Fail. I was on my way through downtown around 1:00 this afternoon when I came across this (at the intersection of Albert and O'Connor.) It was so pathetic a bike lane I had to stop and get a shot. Which took me about 30 seconds, during which time I was nearly clipped, twice, by people swinging across into the turn lane. (Granted, I was stopped, at the left side of the road.)


No, the lane does not continue past the intersection. Begging the question: What's the point of its existence at all, really? Does it ever feel, um, inadequate? Purposeless? Does it wake in the middle of the night wondering what it's doing, why it's here, and if it has a greater destiny that it's just, somehow, not fulfilling?


  1. I live downtown but I bike out to Kanata every day, and I have to share my favourite pointless bike lane.

  2. Although it seems pointless, I actually found this bike lane-ette useful when riding home during 5:00 peak hour traffic. Once you were in the lane, you had your own buffer rather than having to thread through vehicles to get to the lights or turn left. It is enough of a space to say 'I am a cyclist & I belong here as much as you' while still allowing traffic to pass straight ahead or left. It made cycling through this intersection a whole lot safer.

    Across the intersection is a lane of (normally) parked cars with enough space for a bike too, so a distinct bike lane I didn't think was needed. It is not as good as a whole lane, but, like the bus lanes which are not quite continuous to allow other traffic, I didn't find it too bad a compromise.

    Paul (ex-everyday downtown rider)

  3. It's not a bike lane, it's a bike pocket. It's to direct (straight-through) cyclists and left-turning motorists where to go.

    Without it, cyclists would hug the left curb, then when they go through the intersection, they'd get the left hook from left-turning motorists.

  4. Hey, mind if I copy your photos for

    - A