Originally Published: March 31, 2015 6 a.m.
Very recently, the City of Prescott has installed multiple bicycle lane signs on the west side of Willow Creek Road from Haas Boulevard (northern entrance to Embry-Riddle) to Commerce Drive (between Tim's Toyota and Galpin Ford).
The white-stripped lane along the curb is much narrower than the traffic design provided by national highway experts. That can potentially reduce the safe passing distance between motor vehicles and any bike riders.
The state of Arizona has required a minimum width of three to five feet when a motor vehicle in the right lane is passing any bike rider. The American Association of State Highway Transportation officials feel that the minimum for a "safe bike lane" should be five feet in width.
As now painted on the pavement, the bike lane is close to two feet less than this. A false sense of security is given to the riders especially when the speed of traffic is at 45 mph going next to the bicycle.
In the recent past, we have had the death of a college student after being hit by a car going in the same direction as the bicyclist. This posting of a potentially dangerous "Bike Lane" sign for a very narrow space seems to be a poor decision by our Public Works Department. Safety when a two-ton vehicle passes a 15-pound bicycle should not be compromised.
Corridor Criteria from the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials dated June 2006.
Arizona Driver License Manual, page 41, dated November 2013 and ADOT "Share the Road" booklet page 28, dated 2004, as well as A.R.S. 28-723 and A.R.S. 28-735.