But there are also Mehrzweckstreifen that are well-designed. Here's one example of such a bike lane that is ~1.5m wide. It is a bike lane that allows riding against a one-way street. In general I would call this a proper bike lane that should work. Never underestimate human stupidity though. Since I use this bike lane regularly I know of the problems. Here are just a few:
- Even after the winter there are literally massive problems - illegal parking. Every third time I pass this bike lane, somebody parks on it. I'm so fed up with this. I always have to shoulder check, signal and move into the oncoming traffic that doesn't expect a cyclist to be in that lane (it's a one-way street after all). Sometimes it's even impossible for me to see whether there is oncoming traffic, e.g. if a truck is parked in such a way that I can't see the junction ahead. I think I once read that in Germany illegally parked cars get partially blamed in case an accident happens. In Austria we don't have that. So if I have an accident because I have to leave the bike lane it might be entirely my fault, because I should have used the bicycle infrastructure and otherwise would only be allowed to walk the bike (especially in a one-way street). The police doesn't care about illegally parked cars on bike lanes, even if they accidentally see one. I've never seen a car that got a ticket :-(. And have you ever tried to talk to a person that parks illegally yourself? I could fill a whole blog with such stories, but it's too depressing thus I won't..
- Another problem are cyclists themselves, in particular cyclists that are not familiar with the road traffic regulations and only ride a few times in the summer. Believe it or not, but some people don't know that bike lanes are only to be used in one direction (the same direction as the car lane next to it, except in one-way streets). We also have some one-way bike paths that work the same way (arrows indicate the direction in which one is meant to use it). It happened to me more than once that cyclists tried to ride in the wrong direction (even on very small bike lanes/paths with many regular cyclists on them) and nearly crashed into me. I don't know if they just don't know the law or deliberately endanger fellow cyclists. I always tell them, but so far it never happened that somebody actually stopped and turned around or moved to the other side of the road. They didn't even apologize. Sad too.
Am I complaining too much? As I said, the bike lane itself is perfectly well-designed. The traffic planners just didn't take into account that some people are stupid and ignorant and that the misuse of the bike lane is too easy.