Transit Miami is pleased to see that FDOT included bicycle lanes on Coral Way, but upon reviewing the design more carefully, we believe the bicycle lanes need to be improved. Although even a poorly designed bicycle lane probably encourages bicycling, it does not ensure the safety of bicyclists. Simply painting a white line and a bicycle symbol on the roadway surface does not go far enough. We do not want to detract from the fact that bicycle lanes now exist on Coral Way; this is certainly a step in the right direction, but we should not be satisfied just because new bicycle lanes exist.  The quality of the design of the bicycle lanes is instrumental to its overall success.

As shown by the new lanes on Coral Way, the minimum standard that FDOT uses to “officially designate” a bicycle lane a bicycle lane is:

  1. Painting white lines
  2. Placing one bicycle symbol per block
  3. Bicycle signage

The minimum standards do not guarantee safe bicycle lanes, especially for a street as heavily traveled by motor vehicles as Coral Way.  The minimum standards applied on this main thoroughfare are not adequate, although they would probably be acceptable for a secondary side street.

Below are a few handlebar observations I made last week from the saddle of my bicycle:

  1. Not enough bicycle symbols in the bicycle lanes
  2. More bicycle signage (I’ve been told they are coming, we need to be patient)
  3. The bicycle lanes end and begin at every intersection
  4. Poor road marking transition where the bicycle lanes begin and end

More painted bicycle symbols are needed

More Painted Bicycle Symbols Are Needed

The bicycle lane should not end end and begin at every intersection

The bicycle lane should not end and begin at every intersection

A Better Transition Is Needed Where The Bicycle Lane Begins Heading East

Heading east on Coral Way a better transition is needed where the bicycle lane begins

Here are a few suggestions for improvement:

  1. Paint the bicycle lanes green at all intersections and all conflict areas (i.e. driveways).  The only real distinction between the bicycle lanes and the car lanes is a single white line. In fact, the bicycle lanes look more like a shoulder or parking lane. In addition to painting the bicycle lanes green at every intersection, there should be at least three bicycle symbols per block. Also, there should be two white lines to more clearly define the bicycle lanes, a single white line is not sufficient.
  2. The bicycle lanes should continue through the intersections with dashed lines in addition to being painted green; this keeps the continuity of the lane while also making bicyclists aware that motorists will be turning through the lane.
  3. Add signage: “Share the Road” and “No Parking in Bicycle Lane”
  4. The Coral Way bicycle lane needs a seamless transition to the already existing SW 15th Road bicycle lane.
  5. Road diet. Narrowing travel lanes to ensure motorists travel at slower speeds. Although the speed limit is 35mph, most vehicles exceed the posted speed limit. Narrowing the travel lanes calms the speed of traffic.

Two White Lines Define The Bicycle Lane More Clearly for Motorists and Bicyclits

Two white lines define the bicycle lane more clearly for motorists and bicyclists

The Bicycle Lanes Should Continue Through The Intersections With Dashed Lines  And Should Be Painted Green

The bicycle lanes should continue through the intersections with dashed lines and should be painted green

he Coral Way bicycle lane needs a seamless transition to the already existing SW 15th Road bicycle lane.

The Coral Way bicycle lane needs a seamless transition to the already existing SW 15th Road bicycle lane. Currently, the bicycle lanes do not line up and flow into each other.

FDOT should consider hiring a bicycle consultant for all of their future projects that involve bicycle lanes. Too many important details were overlooked with the Coral Way project that could have a significant impact on the safety of this important bicycle facility. These projects need to be planned correctly from the beginning with the help of an expert.  Poor bicycle lane design only ends up costing the taxpayer more in terms of repairs and potential lawsuits. FDOT needs to ensure the safety of bicyclists through properly designed bicycle lanes. Even though FDOT is moving in the right direction, there is certainly room for substantial improvement.

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Related posts:

  1. FDOT tries to fix bike lanes on Coral Way; fails miserably
  2. Coral Way Bike Lanes Nearly Complete
  3. Transit Miami Eye on the Coral Way Resurfacing Project
  4. Update: FDOT’s Coral Way Resurfacing Project
  5. Do You Want Bicycle Lanes Along Coral Way?
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9 Responses to Designing Better Bicycles Lanes for Coral Way

  1. Anon says:

    FDOT does have a bicycle consultant, his name is Stewart Robertson and he works for Kimley-Horn, he is quite knowledgeable and is a huge improvement. Thing is FDOT didn’t have someone doing this for them when they were asked to add bike lanes by the City.

  2. Felipe Azenha says:

    Thanks Anon. Its too bad FDOT did not bring in Mr. Robinson to take a peek at the Coral Way project. Most of the recommendations that were made are fairly simple to implement, and only require a little foresight and some paint. It’s never too late to make it better.

  3. Rog in Miami Gardens says:

    I wonder when bicycle lanes are going to be extended into the Northern Suburbs of Opa-Locka, North Miami, Miami Gardens, North Miami Beach and so on? A lot of residents in these areas ride for commute, not just for pleasure.

  4. Mike Lydon says:

    Rog, start a movement. Miami’s recent success is largely due to its growing advocacy movement.

  5. joel says:

    looks like a patchwork quilt designed by a 7 year old.

  6. Agatha says:

    The FDOT can look at how the NYC DOT has ensured safety for cyclists in a congested area with a center-median, two-way, protected bike path… http://www.infrastructureusa.org/sands-street/

  7. [...] Transit Miami posted images of the new bike lanes painted out on Coral Way and found them seriously lacking in design. I have to agree. Even the ones on Griffin Road in Broward don’t even at every street corner. While Felipe Azenha of Transit Miami has some very excellent ways other cities have improved their bike lanes, I don’t think it’s enough to just paint the intersection portions of the bike lanes green. People here are retarded when they drive. There is no way to fluff it. They just seem to lose all patience and sensibility. Besides, this isn’t how you bargain. You don’t start in the middle and work your way down. Let’s shoot for the top and if we are lucky, we get it. [...]

  8. [...] Coral Way Bike Lanes to be fixed! That’s right - many of you have seen the awkward, confusing, non-standard bike lanes on this road that were striped by FDOT. The City has met with them and we are promised that the [...]

  9. Felipe Azenha says:

    This is great news! Hopefully, FDOT will embrace this as an opportunity to go beyond the minimum standards they are currently using on most of their projects. Bike lanes are good, but we need well designed bike lanes, and this means designing complete streets as well.

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