This out of Hayward, CA, a new STROAD (street/road hybrid) called the "Hayward Loop." Now, if you're like me and thought the "Hayward Loop" was a pro wrestling move, they've developed this friendly video to explain how it works.
I love the fact that none of the cars in this simulation stop at any of the traffic signals.
If this all wasn't innovative enough, they've come up with a novel way to make drivers aware of cyclists: bike-shaped bike racks, because nothing tells drivers on a 5-lane STROAD to slow down and watch for bikers than a novelty hunk of metal on the back of the curb.
New bike racks along Foothill Boulevard in the shape of bicycles look whimsical, but their shape serves a serious purpose -- raising driver awareness of cyclists.
The hope is that the shape of the racks will alert motorists that bicyclists also are riding on the new one-way downtown traffic loop, which has no designated bike lanes, except for three blocks on Foothill from D Street north to B Street. Traffic can be heavy on the five-lane loop, and drivers often speed through the area.
Ben Schweng, owner of the Cyclepath bicycle shop on Foothill, approached the city about installing the racks and suggested the bicycle-shaped design.
"When you're coming through downtown Hayward, on your left and right you are seeing bikes. It will help drivers be aware that there are bicyclists downtown," Schweng said.
With five lanes a traffic in one direction, there simply isn't enough room for bike facilities in the Hayward Loop.
"We tried to make the curb lanes wide enough to accommodate a bike, but the roadway wasn't wide enough for a full bicycle lane," [Don Frascinella, Hayward transportation manager] said.
The bike-shaped bike racks should serve as a sentimental reminder of a simpler time when people were able to bike in downtown Hayward. More sentimental -- and green -- improvements are planned for the future.
Hayward also is considering adding some eco-friendly racks made from old San Francisco cable car cables, [Frascinella] said.
Go ahead and wipe that tear from your environental-loving eye. While you do, rest assured, with the new Hayward Loop, the city of Hayward has officially arrived (in the 1990's).
"If you look at the artistic design of the streetlamps and archways, you can see that the city is trying to portray a different feel for the area."