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Citizen complaint of the day: Dorchester crossing guard's war on bicyclist-protecting cones

Traffic cones set out by bicyclist to protect bike lane in Dorchester

A concerned citizen files a 311 complaint demanding that the crossing guard at Dorchester Avenue and Columbia Road stop removing the traffic cones somebody put there to try to protect bicyclists in the bike lane turning from Dot Ave. onto Columbia:

The crossing guards for the school dismantled it. Please install an official protected lane and intersection or inform crossing guards it is not their job to dismantle safety improvements.

Ed. note: BTD traditionally does not like traffic-control competitors.

Neighborhoods: 

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Comments

pedestrians have the right of way against all wheeled modes of transportation.

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Voting closed 56

It's been 20 minutes and no bike advocate here has called for velopedian jihad yet.

They must be stewing in their rooms about them bad cops.

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Voting closed 35

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ek4erEGXgAAhYZK?format=jpg&name=900x900)

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Voting closed 40

Just like you.

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Voting closed 44

Who comes in whining about the lack of cyclist comments while commenting the comment he came to comment three times without any connection to the subject at hand.

Um. Yeah. Sure.

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Voting closed 59

"Your snarks are misery, not funny at all.

You constantly crap on native Bostonians like we are some type of zoo animal for you to gawk at and poke fun. Give it a rest."

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Voting closed 21

What I said was true. You do have a dislike for native Bostonians. You say it time and time again.

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Voting closed 22

We have them, nonsensical and all.

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Voting closed 15

Recoils at perceived slight based on fictitious victimization category and gives you a hard shove off HIS blanket! So there!

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Voting closed 11

I'm happy to...

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Voting closed 9

If you’re going to be accused of being trigged all the time, you’re going to have start using all caps and exclamation points.

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Voting closed 13

...he is, Blanche.

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Voting closed 10

with removing the traffic cones?

(also fun fact: protected bike lanes lead to safer roads for pedestrians, because it decreases the amount of road they have to cross with car traffic. The more you know!)

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Voting closed 5

The more your advocacy falls on deaf ears.

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Voting closed 46

the old chestnut "you don't deserve infrastructure until you're doing everything exactly right!"

Personally, that's why I oppose doing any highway maintenance until every driver stops speeding. No reason to provide resources to a bunch of scofflaws, right?

(also I like that you ignored the part about how protected bike lanes protect pedestrians as well. What are they doing wrong here?)

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Voting closed 62

Because motorists running red lights and stop signs kill hundreds of people each year in our area alone.

None of this has anything to do with why a crossing guard would move traffic cones. I guess I shouldn't judge you for your sexuality, though.

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Voting closed 7

Massachusetts had 78 pedestrian deaths (78 too many of course) in 2018.

78 (Per The State) or Hundreds (Per You). I guess math isn't your thing either.

I'll take the State's data and not your anger data as fact.

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Voting closed 46

And not focus on reducing that 78 to 0 Ped and Cyclist deaths and injuries which protected lanes have shown to get us closer to? I think you would agree that's a goal we should strive for.

Unless there's research that shows cyclists "running red lights" as you mentioned earlier nullifies these protections effectiveness, I don't see the point in bringing it up in the conversation except to be a contrarian.

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Voting closed 5

And if a crossing guard is there, this shouldn't be a problem. When the crossing guard leaves though, they cones can be put back (I assume that is the problem).

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Voting closed 12

Cars should not be using the bike lane to turn right, cars doing that kill cyclists every year

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Voting closed 5

During that time to facilitate the turn and avoid traffic backing up behind it. That’s all.

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Voting closed 15

between the end of the bike lane and the crosswalk, which is where the cones have been placed. That denotes it's legal for right turning traffic to cross the line. And please e-read the opening sentence of the complaint:

A CITIZEN (emphasis added) created this protected bike lane intersection

. So the cones aren't even legal to begin with.

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Voting closed 13

No, that's the safest way to turn right.

The way cars kill bicyclists is staying in the through lane and cutting right at the last minute.

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Voting closed 9

Please explain to us how Dot Ave is somehow narrower after adding the bike lane. Nothing against the lane, but that was a road with 2 vehicle lanes along with 2 parking lanes before, but now it is 2 vehicle lanes, 2 parking lanes, and from 1 to 2 bike lanes, with the overall road being just as wide.

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Voting closed 12

A protected bike lane has a protective area where pedestrians can stand after crossing the bike lane and before crossing the car lanes. It’s safer in the same way that pedestrian crossings with a median in the middle are safer than those with no median.

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Voting closed 5

If you add a protected* bike lane, you've created a part of the road that cars can't drive into, which in turn, is safer for pedestrians (because, despite what Mr. Costello may think, bikes running red lights is not as dangerous as motor vehicles not paying attention to crosswalks). Even if the road overall is the same width, the part of it that's dangerous to pedestrians is now narrower.

*this assumes that there's some kind of actual barrier or actual enforcement that prevents cars from just driving through the bike lane, of course. Because again, the cars are the dangerous part of the equation here.

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Voting closed 20

The distance from sidewalk to sidewalk is still the same. The distance from parked car to parked car is still the same. The number of vehicular travel lanes is still the same. In fact, a lane or two of traffic has been added.

Again, not knocking this bike lane. Just noting the falseness of the claim that pedestrians are facing a narrower crossing.

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Voting closed 5

They provide a place for pedestrians to be seen when crossing since traffic in the traffic lanes (and what motorists tend to do to make new ones) don't end up as close to the parked cars.

Sort of the same thing as when states and localities mow the roadsides to provide space for deer to see vehicles and drivers to see deer.

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Voting closed 17

.... side benefit. Especially where parking is still permitted way too close to intersections and crosswalks and the drivers of monster vehicles too tall for anyone to see over park there.

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Voting closed 5

Traditional bike lanes do this.

Protected bike lanes do the opposite. They push the parking out into the street, so traffic is much closer to parked cars, and visibility is terrible.

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Voting closed 4

but what was where the bike lane was before? Was it a spot cars could drive in...? Because if that's the point you're trying to make about "vehicular travel lanes"...you might have missed the relative dangerousness of bikes vs cars.

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Voting closed 11

They basically narrowed the travel lanes to get a bike lane in. I could point out a bunch of examples of this in Boston, starting with the cross street- Columbia Road between Uphams Corner and Blue Hill Ave was one of the first spots I saw in Boston with a bike lane added, and no travel lanes were lost to create it. Dot Ave is one lane in each direction (with the occasional turning lane) from Andrew Square to Lower Mills.

Look back towards the horizon in the photo. There’s no way to “protect” that bike lane as it is currently, as there is a parking lane between the bike lane and the sidewalk.

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Voting closed 7

As a pedestrian, I find that floating parking on the far side of the bike lane makes it much harder to see and be seen by cars.

For example, if someone was whipping along in the right lane and ran the red light while texting, I would have no chance of seeing them in time due to the floating parking: https://goo.gl/maps/rMuRqFuUMuRHysRM7

But before this reconfiguration, it would be much easier to see up the block:
https://goo.gl/maps/XELYVVn4sK1USGr47

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Voting closed 5

The cones are there to protect cyclists from cars turning right into the bike lane and plowing into them - a common cause of cyclist deaths - not anything to do with pedestrians

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Voting closed 4

Doesn't the dotted line in the bike lane towards the corner mean autos can use that territory when making a right turn?

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Voting closed 45

Yes but that's bad design. Mixing zones like that put cyclists in danger. They also don't help people in cars because a turning car in the bike line still blocks half the car lane

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Voting closed 4

This is why the City doesn't like people doing their own traffic signs/cones/painting stuff.

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Voting closed 34

Maybe. Why would they need to though? Cutting the corner on a turn like that is dangerous and still doesn't give enough room for someone going straight to pass.

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Voting closed 5

Cyclist should pass on the left of right-turning traffic. The dashed lines indicate that right-turning motor traffic should merge right.

Some motorists are dumb and don't do it sometimes cutting off (a right hook) cyclists in the bike lane. Some cyclists are dumb and STILL pass on the right at normal speed when a car ahead is turning right and signalling, somehow expecting right of way.
Merging right SAFELY AHEAD of cyclists in the bike lane is what motorists should do.
Cyclist need to be aware that "protection" at intersections does not exist unless there are separate motor traffic and bicycle traffic signals.

Some cone-placers are both misguided and ignorant and also whiny.

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Voting closed 9

Cyclists passing a turning car on the right is way more dangerous than the car getting all the way over and the cyclist passing on the left. Whoever put the cones up apparently believes that separated bicycle lanes are always the safest option, but that's just not true for an intersection like this.

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Voting closed 10

This 311 complaint is like a collision between Bike Lane season and Space Saver season.
"Stop moving my cones."

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Voting closed 28

According to his Twitter account, he took the cones that belong to Mother Theresa of Calcutta Church for funerals and set them up on Dot Ave. get your own cones, bro.

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Voting closed 29

I’m guessing the church paid the same amount for the cones that they pay in property tax.

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Voting closed 23

What’s your point?

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Voting closed 5

This daylighting looks great. Seems like DOT needs some permanent infra to make this safer!

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Voting closed 6

Bicyclists vs pedestrians, I knew they would eventually turn on each other.

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Voting closed 14

It's not actually about bicyclists versus pedestrians. Unofficial cones are bad for both.

It's about someone making their own roadway changes because they feel like it, versus the city maintaining order.

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Voting closed 4

How did you read the brief article and come to the conclusion that this is "bicyclists vs pedestrians"? Vacuous

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Voting closed 2

Yes. So much overlap and mutual identity here that these imaginary pedestrians and cyclists of yours who turned on each other must be self-loathing types.

Nobody could possibly identify as more than one category at a time.

Come back when you decide to make sense when you might be actually right about something.

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Voting closed 3

The 311 complaint says the cones are "to protect cyclists & pedestrians from cars cutting through the bike lane to turn right onto Columbia Road".

But the safest way for cars to turn right is to merge into the bike lane before turning (checking for bikes, of course).

Bike advocates recommend doing this:
https://ggwash.org/view/5827/drivers-must-merge-into-bike-lanes-before-t...
https://sfbike.org/news/bike-lanes-and-right-turns/

Staying in the through lane until the last minute means you *have to* cut through the bike lane when cyclists don't expect it. It doesn't allow the car and cyclist to position themselves correctly in advance of the intersection.

In fact, the city's traffic engineers EXPLICITLY DESIGNED the lanes this way. The bike lane line becomes dashed in advance of the intersection, indicating that you're supposed to merge into that lane.

All of this demonstrates why do-it-yourself traffic engineering with cones is a bad idea. If you want to design the roads, go to engineering school and apply to work for the BTD.

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Voting closed 25

The cones are being repurposed for space savers in Southie. Thank you Dorchester.

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Voting closed 8

They're not exactly "the school's" crossing guards.
The catholic school is closest to that corner and this affects them most, yes, but there is also a little foot traffic for the public school up the street.
I think they're actually provided by DCR, due to the road jurisdiction.
I haven't been going through there much at school arrival/dismissal time, especially since March, but the two crossing guards I've seen on duty together there are pretty good and aren't prone to dangerous creativity - not like the (former (hopefully)) crossing guard up the street at Columbia and Pond Street. That one had a tendency to step out against a DON'T WALK and wave their sign to stop traffic that had the green light

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Voting closed 7

Are we allowed to put up our own stop signs now too? Then complain when they are taken down?

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Voting closed 7

I've been tempted to deploy a few of the ones available on Uline.

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Voting closed 4

Cars SHOULD be filling the bike lane when making a right turn, it eliminates the chance of right hooks. The lines are dashed for a reason.

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Voting closed 15

Rights hooks and cutting cyclists off are the fault of negligent drivers. No dotted line will fix that.

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Voting closed 6

Negligent drivers AND negligent road design.

Making drivers take right turns from in the bike lane is not however negligent road design.

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Voting closed 10

That bike lane is too narrow and close to the last of the parked cars, meaning it's mostly covered by the Door Zone. The safest place to ride in this situation is right on the line, which... is now covered by cones.

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Voting closed 10

... of the main travel lane.

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Voting closed 9

Safest place is not on a bicycle on the streets of Boston.

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Voting closed 14

but that's not what ships are for.

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Voting closed 6

There's a few ships that would like to have a word, you can find them in their last port.

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Voting closed 6

If you can't understand and follow the rules of the road, you should not be piloting a motor vehicle. Period.

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Voting closed 9

City kids have it hard enough without some adult cyclists advocating against them being able to cross the street safely.

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Voting closed 8

Putting up traffic cones is for the city to do, not a citizen who feels it's a good thing.
Can I put up traffic signs on my street if I deem them necessary? Nope.
If a vehicle has to move over for fire, police or an ambulance the cones are in the way.

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Voting closed 16