The Beginnings of a Bicycle Boulevard

I had yet to actually post a blog post on my profile here, preferring to just send people to my personal blog instead. But I felt like the birth of the bicycle boulevard was worthy of a first time post.

As shown in the photo above, I saw a bunch of markings on Silver Avenue south of UNM.

This is one of the pavement markings for the new Bicycle Boulevard system which has been talked about for months. These markings, along with some new street signage (which has yet to be installed) will make the presence of bicyclists clearer to motorists.

Along Silver Avenue south of UNM (I haven't checked east or west of there yet) there's about one pavement marking per intersection (for either westbound or eastbound traffic), except at the intersections of arterial streets, where there are two (for both directions of traffic).

I wonder what "CYC" stands for...I guess it could be an abbreviated form of the word "Cyclist", or it could be referring to the artificial intelligence project that seeks to enable AI applications to perform human-like reasoning. But why? And what does it have to do with the bike boulevard? Is a race of bicycle-riding robots envisioned as a means to enslave humanity? Or is "CYC" a secret code? "Caution: Yellow Cyclists"? "Cantankerous Yippies Close"? "Cover Your Crack"?

I guess we'll never know...

Views: 67

Comment by ABQDWELL on March 26, 2009 at 5:09pm
Man, are you on top of it! I saw these last night and was trying to find that initial post that asked about when work would start. Great job as always!
Comment by killbox on March 26, 2009 at 5:35pm
They still allwoing parking on silver? because thats where the problem is, the bikes speed out and frequently avoid stopsigns, and they are sometimes hard to see around the parked cars. (especially at night)
Comment by hettie on March 26, 2009 at 8:11pm
yay! I hadn't noticed these today. thanks for the heads up, john.
Comment by Benny the Icepick on March 27, 2009 at 8:05am

I believe this is the first part of the stencil, and that it will eventually spell out "Bicycle" (with "BLVD" a few feet away).

The first one starts at Silver and Cedar, near Presbyterian.

@Killbox: Yes, they're still allowing parking on Silver. However, because bikes are encouraged to ride in the center of the lane (hence the gigantic stencils) they will be much more visible than when they're hugging the parked cars.

As for running stop signs, I don't know what to tell you. It's a problem, and we're trying to educate cyclists that if they want the same rights and respect that autos get, they have to start following the rules. Most cyclists I know obey the laws, but there are plenty that don't - and they're the ones who are likely to ride without helmets, lights, or reflective gear.
Comment by Khan on March 27, 2009 at 9:43am
Benny's points are exactly my own. As someone who rode his bike to work for about 10 years, either up Silver to Nob Hill or down Silver to Stanford/UNM, I was, and continue to be, blown away by the number of braindeads that seem to think that stop signs are for cars only. (Try yelling at someone about it, too—people really hate being told that they are idiots.) NOT TO MENTION that the car drivers on Silver often seem confused for some reason. More often than seeing people RUN stop signs, which I do occasionally see, I encounter cars stopping when there is no indication to do so. Which is actually just as dangerous, because it creates confusion, and then everyone goes at once. Can we all just obey they dang signs, please? It's pretty easy!

I'm very interested to see what happens with the Bike Blvd, to see if it can create a safer cyclist corridor. They have to allow parking, though; there's quite a few addresses on Silver, and many of them have no driveway, or are apartments that warrant several spots. It's a conundrum.
Comment by once banned twice shy on March 27, 2009 at 9:50am
Yeah, Silver is a problematic street--between Girard and Carlisle. The confusion on the part of cars is all the parked cars on each side of the road--it causes a more dangerous driving environment and makes people more cautious at all intersections. And then there's that damn cyclist-running-stop-sign thing...yeah, all you cyclist scofflaws out there--you make it worse for all of the rest of us in addition to endangering your own life.

I hope the Bicycle Boulevard will make Silver safer and slower. Maybe the cars will move to Central or Lead and Coal...
Comment by bg on March 27, 2009 at 10:03am
Silver SW, downtown, also has these symbols.
Comment by ABQDWELL on March 27, 2009 at 10:57am
I suspect construction on the BB has only just begun and improvements include uniform intersections. Does anyone know if the city has a project update website?
Comment by Alaska on March 29, 2009 at 9:47am
That's awesome! I'm always havin a hard time finding safe routes to bike. These signs will hopefully be helpful, and not hindering or confusing.
Comment by Benny the Icepick on March 29, 2009 at 10:01am
//The "WAYFINDING" signage should be a template for all streets in Aluquerque, motorized vehicular traffic as well//
I think that'd be a lovely idea. Any roundabout in the UK will tell you where each spur takes you. However, Albuquerque's traffic engineers are very, very wary about increasing the number of signs on the road. Traffic engineers can cite evidence that shows that once you've passed a certain threshold of street signs, it becomes "visual clutter" and the driver essentially ignores all of the signs.

In fact, it was the new street signs that caused the project to be delayed as long as it was. From what I hear, there was some intense debate in the city about them.

//I do not think the City has done a good job of informing the driving public about this change and what it means//
I don't know whether it's true, but I've heard the city is planning a series of PSAs that discuss the bike boulevard and also the bike boxes.

//Many motorized drivers remain oblivious to the traffic laws in general and particularly the equality amoung bicycles and motor vehicles.//
Sadly, it goes both ways. Neither motorists nor cyclists do a very good job of following the rules of the road. However, it's alarming to me how quickly each of them will point a finger at the other. Most often, I see this as an argument by motorists who don't think bicyclists deserve rights or taxpayer-funded facilities (it's a complete logical fallacy, but it's surprisingly common).

We need to find ways to educate both motorists and cyclists. It will be an uphill battle, to be sure.

//maybe there is a need for ALL bicylists to at least pass a written or oral test and be licensed//
Advocates like myself will say that this barrier to entry would prevent a great number of people from getting on a bike. It's hard enough to convince someone to try commuting; we want to make it as easy as possible.

That said, the city does offer traffic safety courses approved by the League of American Bicyclists. It was this class that launched me into bicycle advocacy in the first place. Before the class, I was running stop lights, riding on the sidewalk, and engaging in all sorts of illegal and unsafe biking practices. After seeing just how oblivious I was to the rules, I was determined to help spread best practices to Albuquerque's cyclists.

//Certainly the school system(s) could provide classes for students and have some sort of certification process as part of the curriculum.//
Actually, Chuck Malagodi at the city's Parks and Recreation department does just that. He and his team make the rounds of Albuquerque schools to teach kids how to ride safely. I believe their schedule allows them to hit every kid in the system once, but they think if they could have a refresher course one year later, it would stick really well. It's a great program, and Chuck and his staff do a damn good job.


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