Thursday, March 18, 2010

Freebie Bottles and Lanes on 16th Ave

I got a new water bottle from the Census Bureau!

It doesn't look nearly as good as the blue on blue, but that old bottle is ... old. And getting kinda beat up. I might go back to carrying it just for aesthetics, but for now I'm glad to add a little more political content to my bike.

"I ride a bike and I count."

Plus, this continues my life long streak of having never bought a (bicycle) water bottle.

I got the bottle at a meeting in downtown Denver, a meeting after which I had to ride back to where I work. So I hopped on the E/W leg of the Teenybopper Mallrat Route, and soon fell in alongside this other biker. We started chatting, and as we approached an intersection a car pulled up to the stop sign at our left and came to a full stop. The driver looked at us, and then started to proceed through the intersection while we were in the middle of it.

I hollered and the car stopped, while my new cycling partner pointed angrily to the driver's stop sign.

That gave us plenty to talk about until we parted ways a few blocks later.

"What a bozo!"

"I thought he saw us, but I guess he didn't!"

"It's like, I'm amazed I haven't been hit yet, you know?"

I recall several friends of mine saying they've almost been hit along that same stretch of 16th Avenue. It may have something to do with the fact that the bike lane there doesn't resemble a bike lane as much as it does a shoulder in need of some patching over.

click through for street view

It just doesn't look like a bike lane. It looks like a wide shoulder, or like street parking. I'm not surprised that a lot of cars don't think to look for cyclists.

I found myself riding outside the bike lane and in the traffic lane during the remainder of my time on this street.

Compare that to the bike lane on Montview, which I got to ride on during another leg of my ride.

click through for street view

That looks like a bike lane. At least, it's recognizable to motorists, and doesn't look simply like a wide shoulder.

16th Avenue probably needs a bit of a touch up to its lane markers. As it is, bicyclists aren't as visible as they could be. Until then, I'll probably just continue to eschew the bike lane and utilize the traffic lane.



Consider further the new DC bike lanes! Holy cow!

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