Stupid, but for different reasons

Everybody has been talking about this video from Slate about the “stupidest bike lane in America.”

Andy Bowers thinks his one block long bike lane makes it “the stupidest bike lane in America.” In many areas, local governments have committed themselves to striping every wide street in their jurisdiction, so these short bike lanes abound these days. Andy’s short lane isn’t particularly stupid in comparison.

Andy says of his bike lane that, “a nice painted bike lane like this makes [bicycling] … safer and more fun.” He says this with a complete lack of irony as he rides smack in the middle of the door zone, which is not a safe way to ride. Still, door zone bike lanes aren’t exactly uncommon in their stupidity.

Somebody on a local mailing list commented that anybody who fails to mark the end of a lane should lose his job as a traffic engineer. Still, this failure to properly mark the end of the bike lane isn’t exactly uncommon. As far as “bike lane stupidity” goes, this bike lane seems about par for the course.

I’m sure readers of CommuteByBike have seen worse. What are your nominees for Stupidest Bike Lane in [Your Country]?

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0 thoughts on “Stupid, but for different reasons”

  1. wtf says:

    I saw plenty bike lanes just as short, ending without notice in America’s heartland. I never saw a door zone bike lane. that just looked dangerous! the first time i saw it i was half expecing the bike lane stupidity to be a door prise!

  2. william says:

    most bike lanes I’ve seen are in the door zone.

  3. andrew says:

    Check out the wide variety of high quality British cycling facilities showcased by the Warrington Cycle Campaign at

  4. Nicole says:

    From the context, I think the “a nice painted bike lane like this…” statement was meant for bike lanes in general, not specifically that bike lane. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of more than one local bike lane that is completely out of the door zone (though usually the left side of the lane is). There typically just isn’t enough space on old, established streets to allow for this.

  5. MikeOnBike says:

    It’s not just a “failure to properly mark the end of the bike lane”. All bike lanes end eventually. Lots of bike lanes end *between intersections* simply by dropping the stripe. The need to merge left is implied by the ending of the stripe.

    The problem here, one that’s (thankfully) less common, is that the bike lane continues all the way up to the intersection. But on the other side, it’s simply gone. The implied merge, assuming the cyclist notices in time, is *within* the intersection.

    That’s simply not how intersections work. It’s certainly not how they work with ordinary travel lanes. If that bike lane were an ordinary travel lane, it never would have been drawn that way, and certainly never been painted that way. (I never use absolutes, but I’ll make an exception in this case.)

    Merges happen away from intersections, not *in* intersections. Destination positioning at intersections requires there to actually be a destination (a receiving lane) on the far side of the intersection.

  6. Not to toot my own horn too loudly, but I’ve seen stupider.

  7. Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, UK. 10 metres long. Has to be seen to be believed.

  8. Ed W says:

    There was one in eastern PA, I think, that had a bike lane stripe wandering on and off the pavement, and it varied in width from about 2 feet down to nothing. I tried to find some photos but came up empty.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Dunno, I thought the Infiniti ad at the bottom was even stupider.

  10. justin says:

    I live in portland oregon. there’s a bike lane here that’s even more stupid. it might be 20 yards long, on a two lane street that allow parking on both sides – with the exception of the aforementioned 20 yard segment. good intentions – the road to hell is paved with’em, in portland, so is the road to the hospital.

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