Evaluation Of A Combined Bicycle Lane/Right Turn Lane In Eugene, Oregon
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Evaluation Of A Combined Bicycle Lane/Right Turn Lane In Eugene, Oregon

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  • English

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      Final Report October 1997 - July 1999
    • Abstract:
      In many bike-lane retrofit projects, there is not enough space to mark a minimum 1.2-m bike lane to the left of the right-turn lane. This report focuses on a combined bicycle lane/right-turn lane used when right-of-way at an intersection is limited. This evaluation took place in Eugene, Oregon. The narrow right-turn lane described above was evaluated by comparing the behaviors of bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers at 13th and Patterson (an intersection that had the shared, narrow right-turn lane described above in place) with behaviors at 13th and Williamette (an intersection that had a standard-width (3.7-m) right-turn lane and accompanying bike lane (pocket) to the left of the right-turn lane). The intersection of 13th and Williamette is located about 0.8 km (1/2 mi) to the west of 13th and Patterson. It is important to note that bicyclists approaching on 13th at Patterson Street proceed straight ahead to the bike pocket at the intersection proper, in that the right-turn lane is "bulbed-out". Bicyclists approaching on 13th at Williamette have to shift to the left to get in the bike pocket adjacent to the right-turn lane at the intersection (i.e., there is no "bulb out"). Bicyclists traveling through each intersection were videotaped. The videotapes were coded to evaluate operational behaviors and conflicts with motorists, other bicyclists, and pedestrians. More than 17% of the surveyed bicyclists using the narrow-lane intersection felt that it was safer than the comparison location with a standard-width right turn lane, and another 55% felt that the narrow-lane site was no different safety-wise than the standard-width location. This is probably a function not only of relatively slow motor vehicle traffic speeds on 13th Street, but also due to the bike lane proceeding straight to the intersection at the narrow-lane site such that motorists crossing to the right-turn lane tended to have to yield. It was also relatively easy for bicyclists to time their approach to the intersection and ride through on a green indication. It was quite easy for bicyclists to ride up to the narrow-lane intersection and position themselves beside passenger cars or light trucks. Bicyclists at the narrow-lane site were "forced into" the adjacent traffic lane on a few occasions, usually the result of a heavy vehicle taking extra space. Sometimes bicyclists would shift to the right-turn portion of the lane if a heavy vehicle were in the through lane. Right turns on red by motor vehicles were rarely prevented when bicyclists were present at the front of the queue at the narrow-lane site. No conflicts between bicyclists and motor vehicles, other bicyclists, or pedestrians took place at either intersection. It is recommended that the design be implemented at other types of intersection locations (i.e., different motor vehicle approach speeds and approach configurations) and evaluated for effectiveness.
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