Does this feel safe?
The number one reason people don’t ride their bikes is that they just don’t feel safe. In the photo above, created with the Cycling Embassy of Greater Britain’s Insert Loved One Here image creator highlights the failure in road design that keeps people in their cars and off their bikes. To cross this intersection of Conwell Street and Route 6, the signs tell you to cross to the left side of the road. Then you have to cross an unsignalized slip lane get off your bike and walk 10 feet to press a beg button to get a light to cross this four lane, 50 M.P.H. highway. You have to ride on the left hand side of the road against traffic on sand to get to the crossing. It’s not obvious how to get there and it certainly isn’t safe.
The town’s design to improve Conwell Street with bike lanes and a sidewalk doesn’t improve the intersection for people on bikes. It just merges them into motor vehicle traffic at the intersection and adds a new loop detector so that the lights will (hopefully) change for bikes.This intersection really wants to be a modern roundabout. For a great video showing a very safe roundabout in Europe, take a look at the video below (courtesy of A view from the cycle path). This is what we should aspire to: