What do you do if you have active freight rail tracks running down the middle of a downtown street? Add bike lanes, of course!
This is East Avenue in downtown Clearwater, Florida. It’s one of America’s most unusually multimodal streets.
On the left: A normal one-way general purpose lane with normal car traffic. In the middle: Freight rail tracks. On the right: A major regional two-way bikeway, the Pinellas Trail. What could go wrong?
Actually, it’s not as dangerous as it looks. Freight traffic on those tracks is relatively light, and extremely slow-moving. The train in this photo was moving maybe five miles per hour. And unlike cars, trains don’t suddenly change lanes. There’s zero danger of a CSX right hook.
In fact, the rail tracks are effectively a buffer between the bikeway and car lane. They make a bigger buffer than normal buffered bike lanes get. In a weird way, the tracks are a sort of protection.
So it’s totally bonkers. But maybe it works.
What do you think?
Comment on this at the version cross-posted to Greater Greater Washington.