People who design roads don't ride bicycles. That is evident to any cyclist.
I'm not sure that even the people who design bike paths ride bicycles. Near my house is a very nice bike path that runs for about two miles roughly parallel to a high-speed collector road. The bike path is great if you're headed north. But if you ride to the south, the bike path spits you out on the the wrong side of the road. You have to ride against traffic for about 100 feet and cross a right turn lane to reach an intersection. Of course, every motorist making the right turn is checking for cars coming from the left — not bicycles coming from the right. Once you reach the intersection — maybe I should say if you reach the intersection — you have to make a left turn onto the busy collector, which has no stop signs to control the 50 mph traffic.
The upshot? When I ride south, I use the road and its potholed shoulder, and I avoid the bike path.
All cyclists have their examples. Slate V recently posted a hilarious (or tragic) video from Westwood about what the editor calls the "stupidist bike lane in America." You can check out the video as well as dozens of horror stories from around the country in a New York Times wellness blog.
- Paul Shigley