City installs bicycle signs on both sides of Jefferson Road

Jefferson Road bike lane sign Jefferson Road 'share the road' sign Jefferson Road storm water grate 
On the newly paved Jefferson Road between Jefferson Parkway and Heritage Drive, the City of Northfield has installed 13 ‘BIKE LANE/No Parking’ signs on the east side of the street and 7 ‘SHARE THE ROAD’ signs on the west side.  All the storm water grates have been spray-painted a florescent green.

Will there be striping? Stay tuned.

Update Oct. 8: Striping is now complete on both sides, with bike icons and arrows in the bike lane on the east side of the street.

Jefferson Road bike striping Jefferson Road bike striping Jefferson Road bike striping

Update Oct. 10: This morning, a City of Northfield street crew was removing the overabundance of bike lane signs that were installed by the contractor. The signs will be used elsewhere:

removal of Jefferson Road bike lane sign


  1. kiffi summa said:

    One can thank Councilor Buckheit, and those who supported her, for the final design of this reconstructed road, as well as the reduced assessments for its ‘collector’ status.

    She fought hard, with facts and a power point presentation, against the less ‘multi-modal friendly’ consulting engineering presentation, and with the support of her fellow councilors, won.

    Jefferson Road is a prime example of how planning decisions have impacted the traffic patterns, the wear and tear on that road, and the effect on the residential properties that line it for most of its length.

    Although some other councilors were very supportive, both in discussion and vote, I’m not sure how things would have gone if this one Councilor had not had the facts, the principles, and the courage to challenge the consulting engineers presentation materials.

    September 30, 2011
  2. William Siemers said:

    This half mile long road is now littered with signs.

    On one side 7 new full size traffic signs urging drivers to share the road with cyclists. So, drivers are reminded every 10 seconds or so that they should ‘share the road’. A newcomer might wonder if Northfielders suffer from attention span disorder. Another visitor might surmise that this stretch of road is so packed with bikes that such overkill is necessary…that is until they realize that there is generally not a bike in sight.

    The other side of the street has 14 new full size “No Parking/Bike Path” signs. And this where there are already 10 or 12 small, discrete “no parking this side” existing signs.

    The situation is so absurd it could almost qualify as a satire on the nanny state. That is until one considers the visual pollution foisted on citizens and the waste of taxpayer money.

    October 1, 2011
  3. Arlen Malecha said:

    William –

    As I drove down this section of roadway the other day I thought as you did, that there was overkill with the signage — sign pollution if you will.

    October 2, 2011
  4. William: I agree that there are an unusually high number of signs. I suspect they felt this was necessary because of the very non-standard configuration they settled on. As you’ll recall, this was mainly to appease cars’ ability to park on the road; it is very odd to have a bike lane in one direction, but not the other.

    At the other extreme, there are zero bike lane signs on E 4th St and 5th St downtown. Bike lane signs are necessary, at least once a block, because lines fade and winter snow/ice in particular can leave things obscured.

    The signs, for the bike lane side at least, are also pretty well-placed on Jefferson. Placing bike lane signs after an intersection is standard, to inform people who have just entered the street that there is a lane there. But it’s also helpful to place before, to reminding right-turning drivers to give way to bikes traveling in the lane. These reminders don’t hurt! I’ve experienced many times of drivers carelessly turning right in front of me — and even more shocking instance of a fellow using the bike lane on Hwy 3 downtown for an imaginary right-turn lane to get around a car stopped at red (while I was in the bike lane). But I digress.

    And Griff: there damn-well better be striping! I imagine they may be waiting till next spring, but I certainly hope they put down permanent, high-quality striping as soon as as possible.

    October 2, 2011
  5. William Siemers said:


    I don’t object to a sign announcing a bike lane. But, I think having 14 “No Parking/Bike Path” signs announcing it on a half mile stretch of suburban road is nuts. I’ll submit that most people know what a bike lane is, and, for those who don’t, a couple of signs on this stretch of road would be sufficient. The “No Parking This Side” signs are already there. These are small, unobtrusive, white signs. The 14 new no parking/bike path signs are as big as a stop sign and colored a garish yellow/green. Also, I don’t think requiring a bike path sign every 200 feet because the bike lane ‘might’ be covered by snow is reasonable public policy.

    I understand why a bike lane on only one side of a street might require a “Share The Road” sign on the other side. Still, as a cyclist, I am somewhat concerned that the “Share The Road” sign concept could give the impression that drivers need not share the road where no such sign is posted. Shouldn’t motorized vehicles be sharing every road with cyclists? In any case, on Jefferson, one sign where the lane on the other side begins should be sufficient. Do we have to be reminded to share the road 4 times as often as we are reminded what the speed limit is?

    There are seven bicycles represented on the 7 “Share The Road” signs. This is about 7 times as many real bicycles as are likely to be seen on this stretch of road at any particular time. I understand the ‘build it and they will come’ mentality of cycling advocates. In many cases that is what has happened. But this is suburban Northfield, not urban Minneapolis. Why not stripe the lane, put up a couple signs, and determine how much the lane will actually be used before thousands more are spent on signage?

    October 3, 2011
  6. William:
    I think it’s a bit harsh to act like there are no bicyclists on this. On a nice day, I usually see several other bicyclists each time I happen to be on this road. It would be great if the City had proper statistics of bike ridership, but without that, we rely on impressions — my impression, at least, is that it’s a fairly popular bike route.

    It is possible they will remove the old “No Parking This Side” signs — they don’t use the symbol, and the signs have aged and lost reflectivity. I certainly wouldn’t object to removing these.

    And you hit a sensitive issue in your question, “Shouldn’t motorized vehicles be sharing every road with cyclists?” This is a real concern of bicycling advocates, and indeed the sign wording is a bit silly. A more meaningful sign might be Bicyclist May Use Full Lane. Still, the effect of this installation, with the very frequent signage, is a.) a constant reminder to cars and b.) a constant reminder to bicyclists that they have a right to be here. On many roads (say, St. Olaf Avenue), bicyclists may not need the reminder that they have a right to the road. However, on Jefferson and some others (e.g., County Road 1, Cedar Avenue), that’s a useful reminders. Cyclists on the road who do not feel they can be assertive often leads to unsafe behavior — riding in the gutter or on gravel shoulder, not being visible, etc.

    October 3, 2011
  7. William, your question “Shouldn’t motorized vehicles be sharing every road with cyclists?” is important.

    The answer to your question is “Yes” if you read the law and “Yes” if you’re a cyclist. However, having been verbally assaulted and physically threatened in downtown Northfield, on Jefferson Parkway, and on rural roads by motorists who believed I should not be on the road I’ve come to believe that there are quite a few drivers who answer “No.”

    Since we use signs to remind drivers (and cyclists and pedestrians) of a variety of traffic laws (speed, stop, don’t turn, crosswalk) it seems reasonable enough to put up signs to remind us obey the law and share the road. I’m glad to see the bright slime green signs on Jefferson Road because right now we are trying to get people’s attention and highlight the right of cyclists to use this newly repaired road (and encourage cyclists to do so).

    Are there too many signs? Probably. Perhaps after drivers and cyclists are more accustomed to the changes on Jefferson Road we can move some of them to other routes in Northfield which need this kind of attention-getting reminder.

    October 3, 2011
  8. Arlen Malecha said:

    I would like to see signs put up around town reminding bicyclists that they need to obey the traffic laws just as motorized vehicles do. It is not uncommon to see bikes whizzing through stops signs, cutting across lanes of traffic with out signalling and other infractions of the law.

    Now I know not all bike riders are bad apples but there are more than a few out there giving a bad name to the rest.

    Cycelists, please do your part as well.

    October 3, 2011
  9. kiffi summa said:

    Look. … I think there may be too many signs, but isn’t it better than too few and no amenities for a multi-modal road?

    Maybe some of the signs will come down when the public who use that road are accustomed to its new configuration.
    Those signs can then be used elsewhere, and no $$ wasted.

    Isn’t it rather like the red flags on a new stop sign having been installed where there has been none previously?

    By the way, the “garish” yellow/green color is the new standard over the old yellow.

    October 3, 2011
  10. William Siemers said:

    Kiffi, Sean, Betsey

    No $$ Wasted???

    The dollars were wasted when too many signs were purchased and installed in the first place. More dollars will be wasted if they are de-installed and re-installed.

    I get a sense of a kind of moral supremacy in these arguments: That it is ok to waste taxpayer money if the expenditure promotes cycling, because cycling is ‘better’ than motorized transportation. Cycling has benefits for individuals and communities. As a cyclist, I see nothing wrong with promoting those benefits in a cost effective way, at least in good times. But that promotion should never extend to wasting money. And the excess signs are a waste of money. Government expenditures that benefit a small percentage of the population should be very carefully vetted at any time, and should be super carefully vetted in times like this. Obviously that oversight did not occur in this case.

    October 4, 2011
  11. Government expenditures that benefit a small percentage of the population should be very carefully vetted at any time, and should be super carefully vetted in times like this.

    William: curious that you’re railing on the cost of the bike improvements rather than the cost of the cars. It was, after all, not decades of bike traffic that left that road torn up and unusable. It was motor vehicle traffic. Similarly, the original construction of the 10′ parking lane — and maintenance of the new 8′ lane — is, far more than the bike improvements, an expenditure that “benefit[s] a small percentage of the population” (since only homeowners and guests would use it, and even very few homeowners do).

    It ultimately makes financial sense — not just virtuous good — for the City to get more people bicycling. If 1/4 of those car trips over the last 25 years were made by bike, the street would have been in better shape this spring. ~200 lbs (bike + rider) is a lot less demanding than a couple tons of Chevy Tahoe.

    Arlen: The reasonable applicability to bikes of the rules clearly designed for motor vehicles (e.g., “complete stops” at stop signs) is another matter. And ultimately, just because my neighbor hits his wife doesn’t mean I get to rob him; someone else breaking the rules does not warrant my breaking them, too. Your obligation to bikes is the same, whether their riders are grade-A citizens or not.

    October 4, 2011
  12. David Henson said:

    Perhaps a different area but I drove into the high school and out and saw great potential for bike/auto danger. I am not sure there is a safe way to ride your bike into the high school without car danger … seems kind of crazy. Then almost the same day the principal sends out a newsletter saying, ‘be careful for bikes as they are seeing near miss incidents at High School.’ This would seem to scream out for attention before a serious accident occurs. The high school should be a bike friendly space even at the expense of being car unfriendly.

    October 4, 2011
  13. David:
    Is the issue the crossing of the district “trail” of the driveway, or just bikes riding around the parking lot?

    October 4, 2011
  14. john george said:

    William- I have felt for sometime that there is a general attitude of moral supremacy with some bikers. There is the obvious fact that the street and road system in this country was laid out for auto traffic, not bicycle traffic, for the last 60+ years. The bicyclists can thumb their nose at this if they like, but to ignore it just lacks wisdom. Education of the public is always good. To do this with a condescending attitude, though, is an insult. Car drivers are still the majority of the road users and probably will be for some time. Because of the general dependence of our society on mobility for business, bicycling has become a recreational activity rather than a primary source of travel, much like the horse. I think it wise that we adjust our lives accordingly.

    October 4, 2011
  15. William Siemers said:

    Sean…May I suggest that when bicycles replace 25% of the auto traffic on Jefferson we will both be dead and gone. In order to reach that level cycle traffic would have to increase by about 99 times…not to mention that only the most avid cycle during the winter months.

    Here’s my basic point. Let’s think hard before we spend money to re-engineer the road system for bikes. And if we make such a decision, let’s get the most bang for the buck.

    October 4, 2011
  16. David Henson said:

    Sean, I was thinking more of getting to bldg through the parking lot. The newsletter was a general alert to be on watch around school

    October 4, 2011
  17. William:
    In this case, I think we are getting the most bang for our buck. Let’s think about the following street elements:

    1. Underground water/sewer. Pretty indisputably necessary, but expensive and benefits only homeowners — small minority of road users (30 homes vs. 5000 cars a day).

    2. Curb and gutter. Marginal benefits to pedestrians, but primarily aesthetic improvement for homeowners. Increases maintenance costs to the CIty and significantly increases construction costs. Primarily benefits a minority of users.

    3. Strong pavement surface. Adds expense. Benefits everybody, but only necessary because of the weight of a minority of users — semis, garbage trucks, and some large personal vehicles.

    4. Sidewalks. I absolutely support the sidewalk installation on Jefferson, but walkers are also a minority user. This did add expense, yet except for some resistant homeowners, nobody has disputed this.

    5. Curb ramps and accessibility measures. Benefits a very small minority of users.

    As you can see, many things — even things we consider basics — benefit minority users. The last one in particular is worth considering: ADA requirements have added billions in street costs, for the benefit of a relatively small group of people. (Sometimes ADA requirements are implemented rather absurdly, like the beautiful new curb ramps and refuge island on Hwy 19 at Armstrong, leading you to a sidewalk that doesn’t connect to anything at either end, and that is so poor-quality, you couldn’t walk on, much less operate a wheelchair. Pardon the digression.)

    But nobody in this thread has questioned the general implementation of accessible design, because (I assume) we all accept their equal right to the public right of way. Bicycles have a similar right. These lanes cost a couple thousand dollars in signs and I suppose some marginal amount for stenciling (whenever they get around to that); they would have had to strip the lanes anyway. If that’s not “bang for the buck,” I don’t know what is.

    October 5, 2011
  18. Jerry Bilek said:

    I agree with William there are too many signs on the redesigned Jefferson road. I do appreciate that the road is built to accommodate bikes and cars. a few of those signs could be moved elsewhere in town. I do wish the city would maintain the bike lanes. some of the stripes on Jefferson parkway are gone, others have faded. the crosswalks as well. some are gone, others have faded.

    the bike is a great form of transportation, one of the most popular in the world. the roads are paid for by all of us and should be shared by all of us.

    John George there is also an attitude of moral supremacy among many of those in cars as well. it goes both ways. cyclists need to improve as do those in cars. to blame just one side is silly.

    I will not be adjusting my life to driving a car as you suggest. I am quite happy riding my bike to work year round.

    October 5, 2011
  19. William Siemers said:

    Sean…No problem with a stripe and a couple of signs on each side of the road. The rest is waste, pure and simple. Whether due to regulation, standards or lack of planning, it is a waste, not to mention an eyesore. Everyone who has commented agrees ‘there are too many signs’. Even you said, ‘there are an unusual number of signs’. My point is that every proposed change to promote cycling does not necessarily turn out to be a good thing. Let’s think it through.

    October 5, 2011
  20. john george said:

    Jerry- Considering the percentage of bicycle supremists to auto supremists, I think the bikers win hands down. I would opine, though, that those who ignore traffic signals and disdain fellow commuters would probably do so no matter what type of vehicle they were using. The behavior is most likely attributable to factors other than their mode of transportation.

    As far as you riding your bike to work, that is just fine. I wouldn’t physically survive my 40 mile round trip to my workplace, no matter what the weather conditions. As I said before, our society has broadened its horizons (think multiple selections) and time requirements (13 hr. days for me) to the point of being auto-dependent. Until we can have every member of the local population supported by local employment, the dream of a European bicycle system is just that- a dream.

    October 5, 2011
  21. Jerry Bilek said:

    John-can you back that supremists comments up with facts? you’ve been very critical of cyclists on this website for quite some time. It’s rare that you criticize bad drivers. I find this unfortunate and one-sided in your criticism. you seem to seek out the opportunity to criticize those who ride bikes.

    You chose a 40 mile commute. you choose to be dependent on an auto, not society. I don’t understand your statement about dreams, it’s not something I’ve brought up.

    October 5, 2011
  22. Todd Amunrud said:

    Cycling culture has had to contend with auto culture for more than sixty years. Look at city planning, development, and commute times ( thanks John for proving this point). Small developments in cultural change provide benefits over time and a move away from auto transportation for nearly every event in our life. This project is one of those small steps. Could there be less expensive and more aesthetic approaches, you bet. But look at the expense based on city planning for auto use over this time. This is a drop in the bucket.

    btw-many of us choose to live where cycling is a main mode for transportation year round. I feel fortunate to fall in that category.

    October 5, 2011
  23. john george said:

    Jerry- I’m not sure what “facts” you are looking for, but I do have an example in your comment above.

    You chose a 40 mile commute. you choose to be dependent on an auto, not society.

    Ok, so I spent 4 years in college and maintain national certification in my profession just to be dependent upon an auto? And I am supposed to throw that and 16+ years with my present employer out the door just so I can ride a bike? I would LOVE to have employment near enough for me to be able to walk or ride a bike, but that just isn’t possible. My wife is able to walk to her work, and she really enjoys it in good weather. I would love to have all 5 of my children and their families here in town, but that isn’t possible, either. You say this is my choice and not a function of our society. I say that your accusation denies the reality of the world in which we live. If you can live your life within biking distance of your employment, then that is just great. I can’t, and your statement comes across as condescending, as if my dependence upon my auto is all my doing. And I still agree with William that having that many signs posted on Jefferson Road is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

    October 6, 2011
  24. john george said:

    In regards to auto drivers, don’t get me started! If at all possible, I do not drive on the freeway into the cities. I think a person needs to be part kamakazi pilot to put up with that road. I take 23 and 77 to my workplace. It is slower and much safer,IMNSHO. I also see many bikers on that road on the weekends, and I am able to give them ample room to ride. I don’t mind slowing down when meeting oncoming taffic and overtaking them, although I have seen too many other drivers acting impatiently and not allowing prudent clearance. As I said above, agressive, inattentive drivers will act that way indeopendent of the vehicle they are operating.

    October 6, 2011
  25. I’m glad to hear you’re giving bikers plenty of space on Cedar Ave, John.

    As I said above, agressive, inattentive drivers will act that way indeopendent of the vehicle they are operating.

    That may be true, but in that case, I’d rather have those folks being behind the figurative wheel of 20 lbs of aluminum, going 15-20 mph than behind a couple thousand pounds of steel and glass, going 60. 😉

    October 6, 2011
  26. Jerry Bilek said:

    John-you said “Considering the percentage of bicycle supremists to auto supremists, I think the bikers win hands down.”
    I was wondering if you had any facts to back up that statement.

    my statement about your commute is not one of moral supremacy, rather a fact. you seem to indicate that you have been forced to take a job in one town and live in another. Society did not make these choices for you. you made these choices. I’m not criticizing the choice. I’m not suggesting you or anyone should ride a bike unless it is your choice. I’ve never suggested you quit your job, work in Northfield, or ride a bike. You’re making those things up. I’m certainly not denying any reality. to blame society is absurd.

    John-your first comment in this thread you stated this ” Car drivers are still the majority of the road users and probably will be for some time. Because of the general dependence of our society on mobility for business, bicycling has become a recreational activity rather than a primary source of travel, much like the horse. I think it wise that we adjust our lives accordingly.”

    I will not adjust my life and drive a car because you tell me to. I am free to ride my bike just as you can drive your car. at no point did I tell you to ride a bike. it just did not happen.

    I think everyone agrees there are too many signs. I did say that already. A waste? Only if they remain on Jefferson rd. They could easily be moved to other parts of town where they could be useful like Jefferson parkway.

    October 6, 2011
  27. john george said:

    Sean- I agree on that point. But, an inattentive biker can cause a lot of mayhem when you have a few 2 ton vehicles trying to avoid him/her.

    October 6, 2011
  28. @Jerry: Let’s let the signs do their work. I will be making a point of using this route as much as possible. Someday, hopefully they’ll be less necessary, but in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the improved street, including the signs.

    And for Jefferson Parkway, I think some meatier than “Share The Road” is in order, especially for the very narrow portion of W Jefferson Pkwy between Division and Roosevelt Drive. See this post on Bicycle May Use Full Lane (and sample pic on the bottom). The parkway indisputably gets enough traffic (Northfield’s busiest city-maintained street) to warrant bike lanes, but signage indicating proper lane position could be a good interim solution.

    October 7, 2011
  29. john george said:

    Jerry- I don’t have firm numbers of bicyclists vs auto drivers at this hour of night. I don’t think the number of bicyclists begins to approach auto drivers nationally. As william asserted above, both he and Sean will probably be dead before the mix on Jefferson Road approaches 25%/75% bikes to cars. Not all auto drivers are antagonistic to cyclists, and the same can be said for the reverse. I’m only refering to percentages, here, not actual numbers. As the numbers of cyclists rise, the percentage will drop.

    You are adjusting your lifestyle around your bicycle. I am adjusting mine around my profession and my physical condition. We each make our own decisions around our priorities. I’m not going to look down upon you because of your choices, but I still get the feeling that my choice is somehow inferior to yours. I may not be looking at this correctly, but I think your statements portray your choice to ride a bike is something like standing on the Capitol steps with a banner to protest. My choices are driven by economics. I don’t define these positions subjectively as right or wrong. So, the question becomes, “How much am I willing to spend to buck a societal trend?” The example I laid out in quitting my job and trying to find one in Northfield would be my cost. That, and the effect it would have on my wife and family. I’m not willing to pay that price, and to say my decision is not influenced by society is, again, denial of the facts.

    Back to the signs, we paid how much per sign to have them made and installed? And, we are going to pay how much per sign to see them taken down and reinstalled on a different street? And this is cost effective how?Hmmmmm.

    October 7, 2011
  30. William Siemers said:

    Sean…It’s clear that promotion of cycling is one of your top priorities for Northfield. Since installing ‘an unusual number’ of signs is ok because it advances the cause. I’d like to ask you to weigh in on a couple other scenarios.

    Does it advance the cause to widen streets so bike lanes can be installed?

    Does it advance the cause to place “No Bike” signs or stencils on, or near, sidewalks? In general, should cyclists be discouraged from using sidewalks?

    Are bike lanes necessary on streets where there is little automobile traffic?

    October 7, 2011
  31. William:

    Generally, bike lanes are unnecessary and unhelpful on low-volume streets (say, less than 3000 cars/day). There are very few streets in/around Northfield that are truly too narrow — the only ones that come to mind are the aforementioned portion of W Jefferson Parkway, Cedar Ave/Cty 43/23, and Roosevelt Ridge Rd/Cty 1. The rest are wide enough; the use is just a matter of priority. In Jefferson Road’s case, we prioritized parked cars over one direction of bikes.

    Yes, cyclists should be discouraged from using the sidewalk, because it’s objectively less safe, for cyclists and pedestrians alike. A better approach might be to tell them where they should be biking, though, instead of where they shouldn’t — Share The Road is one way to do that; Sharrows are a better way.

    Answered that third one already. There are a handful of streets — like St. Olaf Avenue — where people feel comfortable riding in a safe, reasonable position, due to low traffic volume, low speed, or both. Bikes and cars coexisting, calm traffic, narrow streeet — that is ideal. Where that isn’t possible, bike lanes are a good approach.

    October 7, 2011
  32. Jerry Bilek said:

    John- it seems you just want to argue with me. I have stated there are too many signs. I agree with you. why keep bringing up as if I don’t agree with you?

    Again, I have never suggested you adjust your lifestyle. I just did not say it. it’s not true. I don’t feel morally superior riding a bike. I do it because I enjoy it. it’s my decision not yours or societies. I have no problem with anyone driving a car or riding a bike. it is their individual choice not one made by society. today I drove to work, tomorrow I might ride my bike. it’s my choice, not yours, not societies.

    you seem to think I want you and others to ride bikes. I really don’t care what you do. I do think it’s wrong to suggest outside forces made a decision for you. society did not make me drive a car today. I made the choice. how much more clear can I be? I am not denying any facts.

    October 7, 2011
  33. kiffi summa said:

    Hey , Sean … keep up the good work; and by that I mean I have met no other person… of your age, or maybe any age … who is so informed about civic matters of all kinds; reads so fully to have a complete understanding, and thinks about how a city works in such depth as you do. AND you’ve been doing it since you were in high school!

    I fervently hope that when you’re out of college, you will stay in Northfield and make this a better place by your intellectual investment in the community.

    October 7, 2011
  34. john george said:

    Jerry- Fair enough. We are just coming from two different places.

    October 7, 2011
  35. William Siemers said:

    Sean… Generally good points overall. I disagree to some extent regarding the use of sidewalks. Of course, commuting (fast) cyclists and those who love going fast should stay off sidewalks. But for cyclists who travel at the wheeled equivalent of a stroll, sidewalks sometimes are the best for cars and bikes alike. And it is possible to ‘share the road’ with pedestrians- witness bikes and walkers alike on college campuses nationwide, and on recreational bike paths like the Mill Cities trail. Of course it takes judgment. One has to stay off busy sidewalks where bikes are not expected by pedestrians, be very aware of blind corners, and always give pedestrians have the right of way.

    If I was sending my 10 year old child to pick up a loaf of bread at Cub via Jefferson, I would tell her to take the west side sidewalk, ‘share the road’ sign or not. Likewise, if I was out for a slow ride admiring nature on that same stretch, I’d be on the sidewalk. The child and I are both safer. One distracted driver is all it takes, I’ll do my best to avoid them.

    October 8, 2011
  36. William:
    The trouble is, sidewalk cycling (usually) doesn’t eliminate driving risks — it masks them. Check out the stat risk table here — sidewalk cycling is 25x more likely to result in an accident, all things being equal. It’s actually extremely rare to have accidents from a car overtaking a cyclist and not noticing him or her. What’s far more likely is that the car is making a turn, or coming in or out of a driveway. Unfortunately, with sidewalk cycling, it’s much less likely that a car will notice the cyclist. Don’t get me wrong: if a car smacks into a 10-year-old kid riding on the sidewalk, it is still absolutely the driver’s fault, and we should all be careful about those things. But as cyclists, it’s much less likely that we will face that conflict by being as visible as possible — that almost always means the street.

    Now if you’re going to ride on the sidewalk, even if it’s not perfectly advisable, it’s your right to do so (except downtown). And I think you have the ideas right to make it as safe as it can be:

    1. Ride slowly — people are expecting pedestrian speed. Sidewalk cyclists should probably try to keep it to 10 mph or less.
    2. Still ride with traffic, not on the left-hand sidewalk.
    3. Choose sidewalks with fewer intersections/conflict points.
    4. Use lights! Heck, use them riding on the street too — and definitely use them if you’re driving a car. Daytime lights make it much easier for everyone to see each other and reduce daytime crashes. For cars, it also really helps distinguish between parked and moving cars.

    October 8, 2011
  37. Griff Wigley said:

    Striping is now complete on both sides, with bike icons and arrows in the bike lane on the east side of the street. I’ve updated the blog post above with three photos.

    October 9, 2011
  38. Griff Wigley said:

    Seems like the paint job on some of the icons/arrows is, um, of poor quality. Or I am being persnickety again?

    October 9, 2011
  39. Griff — I think it’s just extra material that will wash away when it rains. See how some of the white dust has already ended up in the gutter in one of your photos.

    I am pleased that they seemed to have used thicker epoxy paint north of Hidden Valley Rd. Between Hidden Valley Road and Heritage Drive, a lower-quality paint was used; in any case, I hope they maintain the lines!

    October 9, 2011
  40. Also fun to see a biker — but zero parked cars — in the parking lane. But maybe you staged it that way? 😉

    A general reminder to all is that cyclists are not required to ride in bike lanes, and are certainly not required to ride in parking lanes. I think most reasonable cyclists will, if there’s not a particular reason not to, but it is worth remembering, in the unlikely eventuality that there are actually cars using the parking lane.

    October 9, 2011
  41. john george said:

    I think you’re right on that, Sean. The current process seems to be an application of some type of paint with a reflective pigment “dust”, as you call it, applied to the wet paint for better visibility at night. My greatest complaint about whatever is being used on all the “white” traffic markings over the last couple years is that it is really hard to see on a rainy night. It seems to disappear when the surface is wet and I am facing oncoming traffic or street lights in fornt of me. I am assuming there is a different formulation now that is more environmentally friendly.

    October 9, 2011
  42. Griff Wigley said:

    This morning, a City of Northfield street crew was removing the overabundance of bike lane signs that were installed by the contractor. The signs will be used elsewhere. Photo added to the blog post above.

    October 10, 2011
  43. Any idea how many remain, Griff? I certainly hope they’ve left at least one per block (at least five).

    For the record, everyone, the standard for these signs is somewhat vaguely defined:

    The BIKE LANE (R3-17) sign shall be used only in
    conjunction with marked bicycle lanes as described in
    Section 9C.4, and shall be placed at periodic intervals along
    the bicycle lanes.

    However, it is clear that the bike lanes on 5th St, Union St, and 4th St are not compliant with this rule (which has been required statewide since 2006). So I certainly hope that’s where the removed Jefferson signs end up!

    October 10, 2011
  44. Griff Wigley said:

    I didn’t stage that photo, Sean.

    Another story, tho: the day before, while driving north in my car, I saw a bicyclist riding the WRONG way in the bike lane. A Northfield police car passed me a few seconds later heading south. I was curious to see if the police officer would intervene and turned around to see if I could get a photo. Alas, the biker had bailed on the bike lane and moved onto the sidewalk.

    October 10, 2011
  45. Griff Wigley said:

    I’ve not traveled that route today, Sean, but I’ll check tomorrow to see how many were removed.

    October 10, 2011
  46. David Henson said:

    Biking can be dangerous

    October 11, 2011
  47. David Henson said:

    Griff, I tried to embed a video on last post – can you fix?

    October 11, 2011
  48. Griff Wigley said:

    Sean, 9 ‘BIKE LANE/No Parking’ signs on the east side remain, down from the original 13. Much better, IMHO. Keep an eye out for where those 4 end up.

    October 11, 2011
  49. Griff Wigley said:

    David, just paste the URL and then I’ll grab the embed code and fix it.

    October 11, 2011
  50. 14 originally, by my and William Siemers’ count. I can live with nine… hope the other five have found a good home. Thanks for looking at that.

    October 11, 2011

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