According to the excellent and well informed http://www.citycyclist.org stuff might be happening with the Albert St cycle lanes again.
How do people feel about these lanes now? I checked them out recently, and liked them, now the cars seem to be parked properly (a problem to begin with I understand). To my mind they are a better solution than the kerbed Swanston street attempt at Copenhagen lanes, as those kerbs make it impossible to avoid pedestrians who always seem to crossing or getting out of cars.
However I don't normally ride on Albert, but Swanston is one of my main routes into the city.
I rode (uphill on the park side) on them yesterday during peak hour (no parked cars)
The park side is good because there is good visiblity around you with very few cross streets/driveways/carpark exists)
Downhill they seem less safe.
I'd rather be further out in the road where I've got more visibility angle to see any traffic entering from the side, and traffic has more visibility angle to see me (and hopefully stop).
I like the white pole demarkation (have seen something similar in QLD to stop cars cutting corners into the bike lane), but the lane could be a little wider (so a faster cycledude can overtake a slower cycledude without the slower cycledude feeling like they're about to be pushed into the kerb)
A good detail for the intersections would be to stop the carparking well short of the intersection, but continue the green paint/white barriers right up to the edge of the bike box - this way turning cars have got more time to see bikes as they enter the sliplane, and there is less chance of being pushed into the kerb
I've been riding them every day for the past few weeks after avoiding them entirely for ages. The short story is that i don't feel safer in them than i did when i used Albert St without the lanes but i can understand why less confident riders would prefer them.
As srad says, they are too narrow to comfortably pass another cyclist which is a problem when heading up the hill. I have tried crossing into the car lane when it is clear but with the white poles and rumble strip it's not worth the effort.
Heading downhill there are more driveways and crossings and i've had several close calls with crossing traffic. There's also problems with pedestrians in the vicinity of the fish and chip shop (justt west of powlett st), possibly due to the hotel above it, and near the Quest apartments (just east of powlett).
Finally, while cars in general have not been a problem when there are events at Dallas Brooks Hall and people who don't often use the street park they don't understand the new system. I actually stopped and spoke to some people who were leaving their car, i ponted to the green paint, the poles, the bike symbol painted on the road but tey just looked at me like i was speaking greek. Maybe DBH should employ parking attendants for these events?
Maybe DBH should employ parking attendants for these events? DBH are one of the parties trying to have the lanes removed, from memory another on is the MBA. I have never ridden this path but drive along it many times in one day. What used to be a good commute for me from the office in Abbotsford to the City has really been destroyed. I have thought about how nice it would be to have a cargo bike and use that to transport my tools into town but I expect for those using the lane I would be like following a horse drawn cart or a rubbish truck in a narrow street. Due to local complaints I read that the MCC are conducting a study into the effect of the lanes. I would not be upset if they were scrubbed, but if that were the case there would be a big outcry in the waste. As for the cargo bike, I don't think that would be an option for me as my base tools would be far too heavy and as a locksmith I would be always worried about what I have in the cargo box and would it still be there on my return. Shame for it would make life a lot easier dodging parking meter officers all day.
And this is the single biggest problem I have with inside-out bike lanes. When cyclists are placed between parked cars and the footpath, we have to give way to everybody. It's not a legal thing, it's a simple logistics thing, visibility simply vanishes.
A friend commutes on them daily, and really likes them. I'm still undecided. However, I don't find them as narrow as some people make out. I'd certainly take my CargoBike down there (with daughters aboard). In fact, I plan to, sometime over summer.
But still, my time on them is probably not indicative of the problem times people are mentioning.