Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Three signs

I updated an earlier post to include a third sign that I mentioned but did not have a photograph of, this one also in Cambridge.

Three signs, maybe more than one message. 

The first sign is in Cambridge at the intersection of Main Street and Galileo Galilei Way and and routes you around a construction site, with the sidewalk taking up the bike lane and bikes moving into the right turn lane.  This small sign, propped up on a traffic cone, might be hard to see from a car driver's perspective.  And this sign might subject travelers to some confusion.  Does it say "bicyclists, share the road with cars, because you act like you own it" (which we certainly do in part because we pay for it with our taxes) or "cars, bikes are on the road, share the road"?  I know the law so the I understand the second interpretation to be correct, although not all drivers may see that.

Not the most obvious sign.
To give Cambridge some credit, there is a much clearer sign on the corner of Ames and Main Street, right by Legal Seafood.  I don't go by there much but I went back today to get a picture. I much prefer this sign over the first sign.  It could be clearer but you have only so much space on a sign.  I do recognize that Cambridge is paying attention to cycling and this sign shows it.  In fact, there is a bike lane with a separation from the parked cars on both sides of this street.  I've seen photographic evidence of cars parking in the bike lane.  Hopefully police respond when/if people call it in although it isn't clear to me that parking in a bike lane is illegal in Massachusetts at this time.

This one seems easier to interpret, at least for me: "Bikes, cars - share the road."

The next sign, in Somerville, is much clearer than the first two.  Granted, it has three screens to get its message across but it does educate drivers and cyclists in about five seconds.  This is at the east end of the recently repaved Beacon Street and is part of a much larger project to improve the street for all users, including cyclists.  That Somerville and the state spent money on the temporary pavement is recognition of how bad the street was, in particular for cyclists  Somerville had already advised cyclists to take a signed detour, which I used a number of times and will likely use frequently during the full depth reconstructions.  This is a video and you need to click on the image to start the video.

In short, It looks like Somerville's political leadership recognize that there are a large number of people, residents and neighbors like myself, who cycle on its roads and is doing a lot to make it easier and safer to ride bikes through the city.

A video posted by NEBicyclist (@svillecyclist) on
Thanks, Somerville.

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