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Plastic Curbs to Delineate Bike Lanes

Richard Masoner at has a nice picture of some 4″ tall rubber curbs some cities are using to delineate bike lanes and keep cars from encroaching.

4th St Cycle track

4th St Cycle track by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious, on Flickr

I like this kind of installation, although most communities here in MN would probably shy away from something like this because of concerns about snow removal (which is a valid concern). I’ve heard some critics claim that this type of product has a potential to harm cyclists, because if a cyclist accidentally strays into the curbs, they may be likely to topple over them into traffic lanes. This is a possibility, I guess, but I guess I’m not too worried about that (especially if the adjacent lane is a parking lane, not a travel lane, like in this particular location).

3 comments to Plastic Curbs to Delineate Bike Lanes

  • A real curb would be nice, but for retrofits, I prefer the bollards, like the ones that have just gone up on N 1st Ave. They’re spaced far enough apart to allow cyclists to enter and exit the lane as needed. Unlike these curbs, they’re in the sight line of both cyclists and motorists, making it less likely a biker would hit one accidentally (or that a car would veer into the cycletrack).

    • I also like that the bollards allow cyclists to enter and exit easily. My only real issue with them is that I think they look cheap and trashy – they make the bike lane look like a construction zone (even if they aren’t construction orange). These little curbs aren’t exactly classy looking either…

    • Yeah I think these are at least equally ugly compared to the bollards — they remind me of those plastic wheel stops you see in seedier parking lots. The main aesthetic solution is small curbs like those used in Copenhagen. They’re large enough to give a sense of separation, but small enough that you can cross over them on bike without too much hassle. Of course, it’s a very permanent commitment to more storm drains and more complex snow clearing for a city.

      It seems that a Minnesotan compromise solution might be to actually have the bike lane at the same level as the driving lanes, but simply move the gutter away from the curb, to serve almost as a rolled curb between bike lane and street. A snow plow could still run over the whole thing with one swipe. And if everything is graded properly, no additional drains would be needed. The best example I can think of this treatment is actually from Apple Valley of all places: they have the gutter between parking and driving lanes on Galaxie Ave. Never seen it used with a bike lane.

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