Driving on the Bike Boulevards


Drivers suck.
Just because it's a "bike boulevard" doesn't mean people are going to drive any different, that's pretty much a given. Just like when the cross traffic has a stop sign and you don't doesn't mean they aren't going to blow through it and nearly run your ass over.

I take the time to make sure I'm taking the "safest" route when i bike, for all the good it does. But for the most part drivers do seem to be a tad less aggressive and belligerent on the bike boulevards. I think that's probably about as much as one can expect, even in this town.
It is dumb to drive on a bike boulevard and not expect bikes. But you sound like maybe you don't realize that it is still a street and you're required to get over the right as on any other street.
As a cyclist, I hate this post. I don't want to be told what roads I'm allowed to ride on, so I'm not going to do the same to cars. Share the road. Share all the roads.

Also the road going east on Clinton is crazy wide, move over to the right a bit.

Also, the hill up Clinton is not that steep, you sad wimp.
I sympathize with anonymous. Bike riders should use the bike streets when possible, and drivers should be extra-nice when they do.

But... bitching about drivers giving bikes *too much* space while passing is kind of dumb. By "kind of" I mean "yes."
As a cyclist you are allowed to ride as far to the right of the lane "as is safe to do so". As riding though broken glass, piles of debris, and in range of people opening their car doors without looking first is very much the opposite of safe I choose not to. There are plenty of places were even a dedicated bike lane will be blocked by construction, delivery vehicles, people standing in the road, etc. In these unsafe situations you are well within the law to "take the lane", no matter what grumpy driver guy says.

If there isn't enough room to safely pass a cyclist wait 10 seconds until you are able to do so. Trying to squeeze by on some of these tight boulevards is a surefire way to run someone into the side of a car or worse.

Also, enough with the three-abreast rolling cycle roadblocks, people. If you guys weren't going so slow it might not be such an issue, but you are, so it is.
The city could easily solve this problem by installing diverters like Vancouver BC uses so that cars do not use the Neighborhood Greenways (not bike boulevards) as through travel streets.
You know why drivers "do that thing" and give you a wide berth when passing? Because if we pass you any closer than that you start throwing tantrums, asshole.
I guess I don't understand *why* drivers absolutely must drive on the bike boulevards at all. They rarely seem to be going places which are actually located on that exact street, and the bike streets are nearly always within a block or two of major car thoroughfares on either side, so it really does seem as though the only reason to drive on them is to avoid stopping. And yeah, staying way off to the right would make sense if the right weren't frequently full of parked cars and people getting out of them without checking to see if anyone is coming behind them first, but they are and thus it doesn't.
Maybe they weren't in a hurry and/or didn't feel they could safely pass you? You even said their rage was 'psychic', which leads me to believe they weren't even upset and that you are insanely insecure/defensive/uncomfortable riding the streets of this town. I live on a busy street in NW and see cars ride slowly behind cyclist for blocks. It's not meant to intimidate, it's called sharing the road. Weirdo.
It is a fact that if you are in some hell of a hurry, and you're in a car, *and* you're on a bike boulevard - especially one like Clinton or Ankeny where a major auto-friendly-and-not-bike-friendly street is exactly one block away? You, the driver, are the asshole. Get the fuck over that one block or accept that it's not your best choice for speed, all right? Yes, I'm riding companionably two or three abreast and chatting wtih friends. Just like you would in a car, but on bikes. And it's a side street, jesus. That is why Burnside's limit is 35 mph, it's exactly for people who want to go 35 mph!

I do sometimes drive, though - and knowing what it's like to be the cyclist, I will often follow a bike at a respectful distance when there's no point going around - either because the bike is doing 23 in a 25 zone and there's a red light ahead, or because there's a double yellow line and parked cars and pedestrians and a dozen other reasons why 23 mph is an acceptable speed, or whatever the reason. That is sharing the road, yes. Remember, your fellow cyclists often also drive sometimes. Put yer dukes down just a little, there.
Not that I own a car but in defense of drivers, Clinton makes sense. Those side streets are fucking narrow and the paving is bullshit, and with cars parked on both sides of the street, it's incredibly narrow and much slower than simply taking the bikeway that is Clinton, which is a very wide street in comparison.

To my fellow cyclists, grow a pair of balls and stop shaking like a chihuahua in the snow anytime you see a car. This entire letter is based on "OMG THERE WAS A CAR BEHIND ME!"

Bunch of drama queens.
The problem here is that, in a very general sense, both sides want it both ways.

Bikes want protected lanes and prioritized routes. That makes sense, and as a biker I love it. But that doesn't mean I have to ride on marked routes exclusively! There are so many gaps in the system it will forever be impossible to avoid using a narrow, inconvenient thoroughfare every now and again. I got pissed when the Alberta "Arts" neighborhood association put up sandwich boards telling folks to go ride on Going-- because fuck you, I have the right to ride on Alberta too. Especially if you want me to spend money at your dumb businesses.

Drivers like telling cyclists to "get out of the way" and use bike lanes, bike boulevards, etc, but then they end up on a bike boulevard and get all butt-hurt when they can't do 35mph through a dozen stop signs. That's dumb too, but yeah, I own a car and I sometimes end up on those streets.

Similarly, it sucks ass when some bicycling fool decides to prove a point by riding up MLK or similar-- this is unreasonable and unsafe, just as bad as driving down a bike boulevard and being a dick to the bikers.

JUST FUCKING BE REASONABLE, PEOPLE! You'll do fine if you chill the fuck out, whatever your mode.
you dont own the street!!!! roadways are for cars!!!!
One day I'll own the street, and then I'll show you Gary Shepherd!!!! Seriously though, how hard is it to not be a dickhead while cycling/driving/walking/riding transit. Take a deep breath, and RELAX, you'll get where you need to be with time to spare more likely than not.
And, if you are one of those bicyclists on a bike street that insists on blowing by kids playing in the street with inches to spare and a nasty "get the fuck off my street" glare, then fuck you too.

JFC, people, manners and common decency is all it takes. Too bad there is always the 1% that have to fuck things up and make us read bike rants.
Bikes! Portland!
"Yes, I'm riding companionably two or three abreast and chatting wtih friends."

Fuck you. Hope you like the sound of my car horn from ten feet away. You have to share the road with cars too. Goes both ways.

I ride Ankeny frequently. When a car comes up behind, I get over to the right. You guys who are scared of every car door on a quiet street are pussies.
People who've been doored in the past tend to be a little more cautions about it in the future, for some weird reason. I also think both drivers and cyclists should be doored and/or hit by a car so they know what a moment of inattention feels like, but I digress...

I bike about a 120 miles a week all over this town and have been doored, right-hooked, and otherwise damaged by distracted or belligerent drivers numerous times. There's only so much I can do to lessen the likelihood of being injured, short of just staying home. One of those proactive things I do is give vehicles parked on the side of the road that are idling or have a driver in the front seat a wide berth, as slamming into a hastily opened car door at 20+ mph is less than awesome. The last time I had that happen was on NE Tillamook, one of those "quiet streets", and I busted my collarbone.
I don't care how much you bike.
I hate this bullshit. There are not enough people commuting by bikes to make this relevant yet Portland for the most part is highly considerate of you mother fuckers. You don't like this shit? Move to New York city.
Cyclists want all kinds of shit. Guess what? There aren't enough of you assholes for the taxpayers to give a fuck what you want.
Go ahead and vote in all this crap you want. I'll wait here.
Your votes count, James, and you totally matter.
Try riding a bike in China (millions do, literally) the cities are far scarier than anywhere in the US
Fuck You IA. My road too.
In fact, on the way to the market here in a few moments, I will take every possible damn sidestreet marked as a bike path, just for you.
You lose, IA. You complain about the angry psychic waves the too-close car is giving you, while also taking offense to cars going too far out of their way to avoid you.

And "Yes, I'm riding companionably two or three abreast and chatting with friends", asshole. It's a street, not a park.
Streets are for cars. Sidewalks are for people. Bikes need a boost from balloons.