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  • 1.  Bike lane direction

    Posted 01-30-2021 04:57 PM


    Something I have always been wondering is the direction of bicycle lanes (It might different in some states). I'm looking for any research that is related to the direction of bicyclists facing traffic and against traffic. I was thinking that it might safer for bicyclists to see oncoming traffic as they cycle, the other consideration would be if it would be safe pedestrians.

    Thank you,
    Oanh Le

    Oanh Le (She/Her)
    Rochdale MA

  • 2.  RE: Bike lane direction

    Posted 02-01-2021 09:45 AM
    Contra-flow Bike lanes 
    more info here 


    Dawood Alani

    Dawood Alani P.E., M.ASCE
    Traffic Engineer
    City of Amarillo
    Amarillo TX

  • 3.  RE: Bike lane direction

    Posted 02-01-2021 09:46 AM
    Hi Oanh,

    I'm not familiar with research on this topic but can speak from the standpoint of someone who cycles on the road 3-4 times per week. Riding against traffic is flat out dangerous. The relative rate of closure provides little time to take evasive action if needed and turning creates an unsafe situation for the cyclist and motorists sharing the road. Alternatively, riding with traffic creates a predictable situation for the cyclist and motorists sharing the road, providing a modicum of safety, as both know their places and use a common, well-understood, set off signaling.


    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX

  • 4.  RE: Bike lane direction

    Posted 02-01-2021 05:47 PM
    Actually, you've a good idea but I believe you got it almost right, or left.

    When I was in about 1st grade (I'm 67), a policeman came to our class to discuss safety, especially since many of us walked to school in an urban area (not in the snow, not uphill both ways). He made a point to say pedestrians should walk on the left facing traffic, bicycles on the right with traffic. This is much safer! As you mentioned, best to see approaching traffic (Cars, trucks & BIKES?)

    While visiting Seoul, South Korea, had many occasions to walk. Their bike/pedestrian path signs show pedestrians walking on left, bikes on right. US generally have both bikes & peds on right. Bad news when walking & a bike at much greater speed passes, sometimes within inches!  Courteous riders will say, "On Left (or Right?)" when approaching but II can tell you since I am hard of hearing, I may or may not here a sound but certainly not what they said.
    Once I attended a pedestrian safety presentation. The Instructor reported proudly he is a Bike Rider! He was on crutches. He explained that Pedestrians are stupid and don't require a license! He was riding in a Park on a Bike/Ped Path past a group of Pedestrians when one suddenly stepped out in his way, he crashed to avoid hitting them, breaking his leg in self-sacrifice!
    I interrupted his presentation with a question and a statement. "Where did you get your bicycle riding license?" and "Under the Basic Speed Law", YOU were riding too fast for "conditions". He was not appreciative but I got a number of approving responses from the audience!
    Phil George
    Redding  CA

    Philip George P.E., M.ASCE
    Sole Proprietor
    Philip E. George, P.E.
    Redding CA

  • 5.  RE: Bike lane direction

    Posted 03-17-2021 01:14 PM
    Thank you all for your response, I'll read more into these resources. A lot of things seem to work in theory anyway.

    Oanh Le (She/Her)
    Rochdale MA