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A couple of weeks ago I introduced a bike lane over on Cherry Street… where the city has built in handicapped parking, making you wonder if it’s a bike lane or not. Today I was going to post about a vestigial bike lane sign on Taft near Elizabeth, but then I passed by Laporte near Taft and couldn’t resist. So today’s post is going to hit both spots.

Laporte just east of Taft Hill Road

I’m going to start with the bigger of the two oopsie areas. East bound Laporte is heavily trafficked not only by recreational cyclists returning from a ride along Overland Trail Road, but also by students heading home from Poudre High School. It’s helpful to have a bike lane for the high school cyclists so that they don’t have to worry quite so much about all the high school motorists on the road.

IMG_0707The bike lane is clearly marked as one crosses over Taft Hill Road on Laporte.

IMG_0708But as you begin to approach the first of two bridges over an irrigation ditch that runs through the area, the bike lane suddenly shrinks down to a gutter. There’s no “bike lane ends” sign or “bikes merge with traffic” sign or even a “share the road” sign (not that those are very helpful anyway).

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I was walking on the curb to try to get a better shot and felt bad that the cyclist had to go around me. …but then I noticed he had to stay in the lane anyway to avoid the obstacles up ahead.

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Because Laporte runs alongside Grandview Cemetery, it’s not uncommon to find cars parked in the bike lane. And there’s no signs around indicating that there’s any problem with that. In fact, if I hadn’t seen the “bike lane” sign earlier, I would have guessed that the line was meant to show where cars should park.

IMG_0713And, of course, the icing in the cake is the “road construction ahead” sign that’s plunked down right smack in the middle of the bike lane. I’d love to see what would happen if a sign like this was plopped into the middle of a car lane. And as my daughter pointed out when I showed her the photo, cyclists are the more vulnerable citizen in the road and yet they’re the ones whose lanes are cut off with signs like this. Go figure.

So you tell me. Is this a bike lane? or isn’t it?

N. Taft Hill Road just north of W. Elizabeth

My second example is easily fixed with the removal of a sign, but it made me crack up all the same.

Road work has recently been done along Taft Hill Road resulting in bike lanes (some with buffers!) where there used to be no lanes at all. And in other spots, some bike lanes were lost.

As I was leaving the King Soopers the other day, I noticed a bike lane sign in one of those areas where there’s no longer a dedicated bike lane. So I took the lane. But seeing the sign made me feel even more secure in doing so. If anyone questioned me I could point to the sign. Clearly I was in the only possible lane that it could be referring to. Right?   🙂

IMG_0703I think this photo really captures the situation. The sign is on the right, and a bus and car completely fill the lane on the left.

I’m assuming this sign will eventually be taken down, or perhaps moved further north where a bike lane does start up again. But in the meantime, I get a kick out of it being here. It’s a great reminder that every lane is a bike lane if we’re brave enough to use it.