The City of Burbank recently upgraded their bike lanes along Riverside Dr. which you can call a good thing, but question how impactful they are.
This segment from Buena Vista to the city border by the wash just east of Main Street have long served this calm area which also sees its share of horse riders take to the road as well.
Having wider bike lanes sounds like a big win, but hold on for a second…
Riding it for yourself may elicit some varying responses as I did a few weeks ago.
Coming from the west, things got confusing just after passing Disney Studios.
The door buffer comes immediately into play, but the way it is implemented might do more harm than good.
If given the choice, I’d prefer any painted buffer on the left, as it gives a better visual delineation between moving traffic where they should be.
It’s problematic here as the bike lane is so wide, it can be confused for another lane for drivers to use.
The bike lane is even larger than the other lanes!
I hate it when I’m right.
My fear is if others would make the same wrong assumption this is a travel lane and plow straight into me!
Narrowing the lane of traffic is one thing, but there’s some work here to be done to make this safe for all.
Approaching the Pickwick area, the bike lane narrowed to a more normal width, but it didn’t feel like that substantial of a difference than before.
The lane looks more normal around the Pickwick area.
Drivers would still speed and the roadway didn’t improve its calmness.
On the innovative front, passing Main Street was a new safety feature I had never seen implemented.
Lane protecting trash cans!
A radical new form of protected bike lanes?
Kidding aside, anyone who’s ridden this area know the previous history of the bike lanes being blocked by a bevy of trash cans even on days the garbage trucks don’t come around.
A glass half opinion would say this extra space gives cyclists more room to ride on the inside when this does happen which is a conversation we shouldn’t be having.
Instead, it seems to encourage more trash cans out there as this new, established pick up line scares those keeping them close to the curb that tjeir load won’t get picked up.
Normally, I herald any additional infrastructure, but resources could have been used better elsewhere.
Alameda, which parallels Riverside to the north is also one of the viable east-west passages through Burbank that more urgently could have used these door buffers.
Doesn’t Alameda’s bike lane largely exist in the door zone?
Earlier this year, Lenny Trinh lost his life in this section for this very reason: riding in a bike lane and getting doored into traffic.
What a tribute to his life this would have been, but instead people riding bikes will still have a struggle to face on both streets.
Let’s start making smart choices again.