Chris Hoeber/Special to the Town Crier
The protected bike lane on Castro Street in Mountain View was installed to allow the students at Graham Middle School to safely navigate the intersection.
When I started cycling in 1972, there were fewer bicyclists and cars, and roadway design did not explicitly take cyclists’ needs into account. In fact, many of the first bike lanes were little more than white lines on the road, where the surface of the “lane” was literally unusable.
Due to the energy crisis at the time, interest in cycling began to take off, and John Forrester developed the concept of “vehicular cycling.” According to Wikipedia, he became a cycling advocate after being ticketed in Palo Alto for riding in the street instead of a recently legislated separate bikeway. He contested the ticket and won. “Vehicular cycling” simply means “driving your bicycle as if it were a motor vehicle.” All of the tips I have shared regarding lane positioning, signaling, etc., are consistent with this philosophy and have been proven over time by cyclists on the road the world over.