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New Bike Lanes on Charles Street at I-695

January 2nd, 2013 | Categories: Infrastructure | 6 comments

100_0696As the new interchange of Charles Street and the Baltimore Beltway nears completion, bike lanes were added as part of the project.  The new bike lanes extend from Bellona Avenue (north of the Beltway) to just south of Kenilworth Avenue.  Wayfinding signs direct cyclists (and other road users) to destinations, like Baltimore City & Lutherville.



The only interruption to the bike lanes is across the ramps to and from the Beltway.  In the image above, the bike lane ends at the ramp entrance.  A “Right Turn Yield To Bikes” sign is present, but not until well after the mixing area of merging traffic.  The bike lane resumes adjacent to the gore area on the other side of the ramp.  Connecting the bike lanes would create safer conditions for cyclists.  By dashing the bike lane between the new lanes with green treatment, motorists would be more likely to share the road.  Think of it was a crosswalk for bikes,.. that even Texas uses.

  • Mark

    Ridiculous they couldn’t even put in a dashed bike lane across the ramp to make drivers more aware of cyclists. Perhaps the county’s/SHA’s engineers could use a copy of the new NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide.

  • Darlene

    Note how the pedestrian crosswalk is also around the bend where speeding drivers may not see a crossing pedestrian until it’s too late. The bike and ped amenities here are little more than lipstick on a pig. It’s clear that the intent is still to promote rapid car travel with the assumption that it’s superior to other modes.

  • Steve

    Well, if I ever bike around there I’ll still be taking the full lane and not using the unsafe bicycle facility.  Thanks for the thought, though, SHA.

  • Liam

    The one place where markings are really needed is the one place where they haven’t been added. Absurd and dangerous. I’ve rode this stretch before and traffic to and from 695 is typically going pretty fast.

  • John McDonald

    I wonder whether having a green dashed bike crosswalk would really improve safety there–it might encourage inexperienced cyclists to blindly follow the dashed lines without checking for overtaking cars first. For all but the most experienced urban cyclists, the best thing to do at an intersection like that is stop, take a good look behind, and cross when there’s a safe gap. I’m comfortable looking over my shoulder and crossing without stopping, but a lot of cyclists aren’t–I volunteered at a left turn intersection at this year’s Tour du Port, and it was amazing how many people pulled out into the car lane without looking over their shoulder to see whether it was safe. The painted arrow on the street said turn left, so they turned left, with no regard for the car or bus coming up behind them at 35 mph.

  • Teresa

    Have to say I agree with all the comments, I saw this & it looked scary. Appreciate the effort, just needs better input & planning. #bikes #baltimore



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