One thing noted at the Bike Summit Wednesday was that it seems fears that making a bike lane wide enough to fit a car into it actually didn’t end up with cars using the bike lane.
I speculated then about how important a factor the lane being used by bicycles was; that if there weren’t bicycles on it regularly, perhaps drivers would end up using it to duck around and pass and that sort of thing.
This morning I was heading up Church Street to Mattis. A phone discussion from me some years back means there’s an extra five seconds or so on my part of the cycle but it’s still a pretty short cycle and I knew at my pace & position that I would arrive about when the light changed… so having a mess of cars in front of me would … matter… and I could see, in my mirror, a light cycle’s worth of cars approaching…
Two of ’em went right on Mattis on the merge ramp.
The other five all lined up in the left lane (there’s also a left turn lane). I ended up with a fully legal, justified “shoaling,” as I passed ’em all in the right lane and got to the intersection as green happened. (None of them were turning left; there’s a separate lane for that.) (erm, yes, I’m going to “pass on the right” in this situation.)
Essentially, they treated the right lane as a bicycle lane, just because a bicycle was in it. (Yes, I am rather certain that had I been hugging the right side, it wouldn’t have happened. )