Why should the City of Bend build protected bike lanes throughout Bend? Over the next few months we'll explore why they are a good idea if you want more people to commute by bicycle. To start things off, here's a reason: Because there's room. While it's true that you might need to get creative, space can be found.
A few days ago, I was biking east on NE Olney Avenue and had just passed NE 4th; at least, I think it's still Olney there, and hasn't yet turned to Penn or Neff. The morning was cold to be sure, but not overwhelmingly so. There was a trace of snow on the roads west of Hwy 97, but by the time I crossed the railroad tracks near the Deschutes River, it was more of a heavy frost than snow.
Stopped at the signal at NE 8th, I looked behind me and there is was staring me in the face during my short climb and I hadn't noticed it: extra space.
The frost gave me a chance to see where cars traveled in the auto lane. As you can see by the untouched frost in the car travel lane, there's room enough for a barrier to either sit atop the bike lane stripe or adjacent to it, and neither impede the auto nor bike traffic.
Stay tuned for more posts about the reasons in support protected bicycle lanes in Bend.