The Green Markings On The Streets In The City Of Concord

June 18, 2018 8:00 am · 135 comments

You might have seen them in other cities across the country, but now the green marking on the streets are popping up all over the City of Concord.

What are they, you ask? They’re called ‘bike boxes’.

A bike box is an experimental treatment, designed to provide bicyclists with a safe and visible space to get in front of queuing traffic during the red signal phase. Motor vehicles must queue behind the white stop line at the rear of the bike box. On a green signal, all bicyclists can quickly clear the intersection.

More information on Bike Boxes can be found in the City’s Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Safe Routes to Transit Design Guidelines (Page 58).

Thanks to David for the top photo.

Old Timer June 18, 2018 at 8:14 AM

The first thing you should do is teach bicyclist to follow the law.How not to run red lights is the biggest one you see all the time.

Fred June 18, 2018 at 9:40 AM

How about getting drivers to stop on the line? Too many stop in the crosswalks or then don’t stop at all, making a Hollywood turn.

Dave June 18, 2018 at 9:46 AM

I see more motorists running reds, specifically left turns, than I do seeing cyclists break any kind of road laws. The most frequent law I see broken by bicycle riders is riding on the sidewalk. This is due to motorists making road cycling unsafe, often due to the fact that many people aren’t informed of the law that states when the road is too narrow to allow 3 feet of clearance for the cyclist, the cyclist is entitled to the ENTIRE right lane.

Cynical Scot June 18, 2018 at 10:30 AM

Yeah, sorry Fred. As someone that got hit by a car /IN a crosswalk/ Drivers get no sympathy from me. More often than not, if a car blows the restraining line (or actually stops in the crosswalk), Ill sit in front of the car after the green and just stare at the driver. Those lines are there as a traffic safety measure, and are for the most-part grossly disregarded by drivers. I applaud the City for trying, but until drivers understand how to stop BEFORE the paint, this isn’t gonna help

concord ygnacio June 18, 2018 at 11:14 AM

Dave, I have rarely see a biker obey a red light or stop sign. They also ride in crosswalks illegally, instead of walking their bike. Most are wreckless and have attitudes of superiority. It is obvious from all of your comments that you have an agenda, and this clouds your thinking.

Dave June 18, 2018 at 11:54 AM

As a motorist, a pedestrian, and a cyclist, I absolutely have an agenda. That agenda is to promote safety for all forms of traffic. I generally don’t feel unsafe walking or driving around Concord, but riding is a whole other story. We have a long way to go in making our roads safer for cyclists. The green paint of topic isn’t perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. I’m sorry you sense superiority with the bicycle community for whatever reason, but I don’t think this should be an Us & Them thing.

Cowellian June 18, 2018 at 1:24 PM

Cynical Scot,
You do realize that bicyclists do not have the same right-of-way that a pedestrian enjoys within a crosswalk, unless they are actually walking their bike, don’t you?

Pyrrhus June 18, 2018 at 8:17 AM

As a driver, I love the green box. It helps establish a lane and safe area for cyclists. I even like it better when there is a physical separation between the car lane and the cycle lanes. As much crap as drivers give cyclists, I’ve seen complete idiot drivers treating those bike lanes as a parking spot or even another lane.

Kenji June 18, 2018 at 1:27 PM

From a law-abiding bicyclist who deals with occasionally dangerous lawbreaking by some drivers – Thank you for that decent and fair-minded point of view!

plus one June 18, 2018 at 10:38 PM

I totally agree; bikes deserve their own safe area and their own lanes. Bike trails used to be nice to ride to Walnut Creek but then they became too busy with people with skateboards, dogs, etc.

G. June 18, 2018 at 8:18 AM

LOL! I honestly do not believe we have enough bikers riding around Concord (actual bikers, not hobos and tweakers on Walmart bikes) to be giving them special lanes and diverting much needed infastructure resources and time.

This certainly looks to be a superficial attempt to belong with the more “progressive” cities in the area. But there’s a good reason we exist on the other side of the tunnel…

Dave June 18, 2018 at 9:50 AM

Superficial attempt? This was in fact years of advocacy aimed to do nothing more than keep cyclists safe.

Lena June 18, 2018 at 11:45 AM

Your City Council member is a graduate of UC Davis, bicycle capital of California and second only to China as the primary mode of transportation. A special interest and totally unrealistic model for a city that is primarily a bedroom community of commuters.

Eudamonia June 18, 2018 at 3:00 PM

If you build it, they will come.
Believing that there are not enough bicyclists to warrant the infrastructure is often the same argument given for wheel chair ramps for sidewalks. But lack of ramps and bike lanes is often the reason people don’t feel safe enough to ride. I have actually noticed an increase in riders, many with panniers who are choosing to commute and be one less car on the road. Alternate modes of transportation are how we will succeed in battling our traffic issues. Today I will take the bus home, tomorrow I will carpool, Thursday I will ride my bike.

Aaron M June 18, 2018 at 8:29 PM

A lot of Davis, CA bike infrastructure went in while people were still commuting locally to jobs. At that time period bike mode share peaked at 35% of trips. It does make slightly less sense after explosive growth combined with a shift in demographics lead to people commuting to another county, but there’s still a very high mode share of cyclists (14-20%) within the city that pays dividends in terms of reduced wear and tear on streets, reduced budgets, reduced traffic, better public health and increased civic engagement. Yes, there are not a lot of people using the infrastructure right now in Concord while it’s disconnected and doesn’t go anywhere without dumping you on streets that are less friendly. If we invest more we’ll get more riders, if we don’t we wont.

Lena June 20, 2018 at 1:18 PM

Concord, CA, bears no resemblance whatsoever to Davis, CA.

Original G June 18, 2018 at 8:19 AM

Bike lanes are to keep bikes and cars separated, then this lunacy comes along putting bikes in direct line of vehicles. Just hope no lives are lost on this “experimenting with peoples lives”.

HappyPappy June 18, 2018 at 9:14 AM

As long as you remain in the bike box, you’ll be dead-right when you’re run over.

Fred June 18, 2018 at 9:38 AM

So where are bikes suppose to go?

Dave June 18, 2018 at 10:04 AM

How do you propose a cyclist safely make a left turn in such intersections? The law already allowed them to get in line with vehicles; the green boxes are to keep motorists aware, and to have a designated area in front where they can be seen by all. Seems like the right move to me, and that we were in fact “experimenting with people’s lives” by encouraging cyclists to get between cars in left turn lanes.

Lena June 18, 2018 at 11:47 AM

The whole of Concord will be traveling just like China at bicycle speed before long.

TOB June 18, 2018 at 1:19 PM

@Dave in regards to left turn.

Why must they use the left turn lane?

If already using bike lane on the right, why can’t they use the signal light to cross like people have for decades? Why be in the street in traffic in left lane when SAME can be accomplished safely from signal and cross walk? So why??? Isn’t this a bit like pushing it in people’s face. Not saying you. You’ve been polite and an advocate for biking. Just curious and would like to know as would most.. Purely entitlement? I’m waiting on a practical answer not just they we should be able to when we already have the means to safely do so?

Dave June 18, 2018 at 2:20 PM

@TOB

I’m not sure that I understand your questions. Cyclists that are using the bike lane on the right can and do stay on the right and cross. The bike box is not for cyclists to utilize unless they are turning left. Prior to the bike box’s existence, use of the left turn lane was still allowed for cyclists. At least that’s my understanding.

If your question is” why don’t they just get off their bikes and act as a pedestrian for two traffic lights every time they need to make a left?” I imagine you could understand why that’d be less than optimal.

Rollo Tomasi June 18, 2018 at 9:40 PM

A bicycle turning left from the left turn lane does so at a lower speed as a vehicle and therefore reduces the number of vehicles that can make the turn before the light changes. I imagine you could understand why that’d be less than optimal.

Lena June 20, 2018 at 6:45 PM

@ Dave

“How do you propose a cyclist safely make a left turn in such intersections?”

They dismount and use the crosswalk, just like they have always done …. or, are supposed to do.

K.F.-P.H. June 18, 2018 at 8:22 AM

Seems great for keeping cyclists safe(r).
Will cyclists adhere to the bike box? I have my doubts. I have more doubts that motorists will pay attention and stop before the designated bike box.
I’ve maintained for years that Ican be on the look out for cyclists and do my best not to hit them, or have them hit me. That’s the best I can do.
When cyclists start following the road rules like they’re supposed to and pay taxes, licences, registration, and insurance, I’m more inclined to “Share the road”.

commoncents June 18, 2018 at 8:54 AM

How about you “share the road” anyways.

Mir24 June 18, 2018 at 10:39 AM

What makes you think that cyclists don’t also own a car? So they’re paying for everything you state.

NoMoreFreeRide June 18, 2018 at 8:48 AM

It also means that if the car is rear ended they will hit the bicyclist

Dave June 18, 2018 at 9:48 AM

Not sure that it’d be wise to engineer a city with expectations that motorists will regularly be rear-ending each other.

concord ygnacio June 18, 2018 at 11:10 AM

Really Dave? You engineer to the realities of life, not live in a vacuum. Motorcyclists are cautious when when an oncoming driver is making a left turn, since they may not see them. Bicyclists should be too. The point being, everyone needs to be aware of what could happen realistically when you design something.

Dave June 18, 2018 at 12:06 PM

Yes, really. You are correct that everyone should consider what could happen when designing something, but the specific scenario raised has next to nothing to do with the design. Again, cyclists were already entitled to the left turn lane. Before the green boxes, cyclists were already at risk of sustaining injuries from rear-ending, and to some degree at greater risk as they could be in between cars.

As far as cyclists being cautious, I would they should be as cautious as motored vehicles, and argue that they are more cautious than motorists much of the time because they have more to lose in a collision.

ME June 18, 2018 at 8:53 AM

I am not a fan of all the extra street painting I see in cities these days. Half the time people don’t know what a certain color or striping mean anyway. It just makes the roads look like crap and causes additional confusion. I’m constantly coming across confused and thus dangerous driving where I work because of this nonsense. People don’t have common sense anymore because they’re not allowed to exercise common sense. Use it or lose it. I feel like we’re becoming like the people on the ship in Wall-E. Can’t think for ourselves and aren’t allowed to either.

Pyrrhus June 18, 2018 at 1:26 PM

You do realize the people of Wall-E were fat, lazy, and selfish right?

These colored lanes (What other street painting is there that is confusing?) entourages people to share the road and to get some exercise by making it safer to use a bike.

S June 18, 2018 at 8:56 AM

I have read studies where pedestrian verses car wrecks actually increased in those newer lighted crosswalks, thought to be due to walkers having a false sense of safety. Biker riders; I doubt, would be any different?????

Mimi (original) June 18, 2018 at 9:02 AM

As a woman of “a certain age” who rides an adult tricycle I can only throw my two cents worth in here. I, personally, do not think that bicyclists SHOULD be held to the same Rules of the Road as automobiles. For one thing, I refuse to ride in the streets where I’m a much bigger target for lousy drivers. I stay on the sidewalk whenever possible! AND I prefer to ride TOWARDS oncoming traffic so that I know WHEN or IF the driver actually sees me and so that I can get a feel for what the driver might be planning to do. I know this makes me a scofflaw, but, it’s the only way I feel safe out there.

Clam Bake June 18, 2018 at 9:57 AM

Good 4 you! I am at “certain age” too – and ride very defensively – and safely – obeying all laws. In my opinion – it is necessary to actually stop, watch, and listen – for traffic. Many drivers just barrel through stop lights, and stop signs – worst than In have ever seen. Maybe our population is aging, or heavily medicated? Not sure why – the increase in red light/sign runners.

Concord Mike June 18, 2018 at 9:03 AM

Gotta give the Concord bike lobby credit. They go to every meeting and are on a first name basis with staff and city council. They are getting the job done for the bike enthusiast community.

Problem is our roads in Concord are seriously deteriorated and not enough money is yet being spent to fully maintain them at current levels. Concord roads have a Pavement Control Index (PCI) of 60 (borderline poor condition) which is below the Bay Area average and much worse than our surrounding cities (with the exception of Martinez).

Not sure where the money for this painting is coming from, but if it is money that could have been spent on desperately needed road repair or maintenance, then it is problematic.

R June 18, 2018 at 9:49 AM

I agree with Concord needs to put more money into repairing the roads. I mean did we really need new street signs, and OMG! that damn white picket fence. Start paying attention to what Concord streets really need
.

Aaron M June 18, 2018 at 1:47 PM

A lot of the money for “complete streets” implementation is tied up in State or Regional grants that require multi-modal implementation. That kind of money can’t always be used for resurfacing which usually has to be drawn from municipal funds. I’ve engaged in advocacy with Concord, and I’ve never, ever seen money used for bikes or sidewalks that could’ve be used for cars instead. And if you look at the sidewalk maintenance in Concord, say on the North side of Clayton near Farm Bureau you’ll see sidewalks that are borderline impassable for wheelchair users. I support more money for road resurfacing, and have phone banked for measures to get more money for road repair. Mainly because it’s ridiculous for county residents to spend more money per capita on alignment, increased tire wear, broken axles, cracked CV boots etc… than it would cost to resurface the roads to a usable condition. Voters tanked that measure though. If we increase bike use, we have the potential to save on road maintenance. They weigh less than cars and trucks.

MoJo June 18, 2018 at 9:05 AM

Are the boxes written into the vehicle code? Does a driver get a ticket if they fail to stop outside the the box when it’s empty? First I’ve heard or even seen the green boxes. I think it’s a good idea as it should help Emergency Responders locate the carcass quicker.

Bob June 18, 2018 at 6:45 PM

Spot on.

I don’t remember reading about “green zones” in Driver’s Ed, and I can’t imagine most motorists have any clue what they are.

Are there signs with instructions?

What if no bikes are present?

What if the bicyclist is riding erratically, like most in Concord?

I would advise anybody cited for this BS to take it straight to court.

d June 18, 2018 at 9:09 AM

So, when are we going to have larger curb cutouts for those damn busses that think they own the road when they pull out on you just because the fee like it – or when jar up the roads to load/unload?

Anonymous June 18, 2018 at 2:09 PM

Bus stop pockets are unproductive. There should be curb bulb outs so the bus never has to pull out of traffic and can load and unload quickly

Bob June 18, 2018 at 6:47 PM

Or just downsize the fleet to Link-size.

When was the last time you saw a full CC bus?

Know It All June 18, 2018 at 9:12 AM

That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. First of all you are expecting drivers to stay out of the green area? Drivers can’t even stay on their own side of the freeway as there have been many stories in the news lately of wrong way drivers. If a cyclist things because they are in a “green box” then they are dumber than the driver that is going to run over them and kill them. Then why would you extend the green box in front of the vehicles waiting at the red light (see drawing)? This will just snarl traffic as less cars will make it through the green lights. This is idiotic!

Dave June 18, 2018 at 9:57 AM

What do you propose?

Know It All June 18, 2018 at 12:29 PM

@Dave

I don’t have a problem if they want to paint the bike lane green to highlight it, but I hope cyclists realize that this is no real protection for them just an increase in visibility. As for placing the bicycles in front of cars at red lights that is the idiotic part. Placing a 250 pound rider and bicycle in front of a 4000 pound vehicle is a reciepe for disaster!

Lena June 18, 2018 at 12:30 PM

I propose bicyclists get a car.

Let’s quit junking up the streets with a bunch of meaningless color-coded options and complicated signage which presents further distraction to the already traffic-weary, perpetually harassed driver, confuses the out of town visitor and the elderly, and is virtually an unknown commodity in large areas of the United States where two lanes marked by a line down the center seems to do the trick.

It’s green, for heaven’s sake. It’s screaming “Yes, you can stop here, this zone is an ‘ok.’ zone.” Let’s stop importing these European models like those “traffic calming” circles. The model in the U.S. is “You speed. You get a ticket.” Real simple.

Most of the time you only have seconds to take in the information presented to you, and make driving decisions about it. The simpler the better.

And, about those parking spaces, we need them angled and one size fits all, not straight in, for heaven’s sake, and not an assortment of sizes for different sized cars. Have people lost their minds or something. “If it ain’t broke … “

Dave June 18, 2018 at 2:03 PM

Lena – That’s about as helpful as a cyclist suggesting that motorists all get a bike. As is the case with most cyclists in Concord I know, I do have a car. I don’t always use it if I don’t need to. If I’m going a couple miles or less, I’d consider walking or driving.

Despite the fact that Concord – like most California cities – was designed with roads intended exclusively for automobiles, communities like ours are going to eventually come to realize that building off that old model is unsustainable as our population continues to climb. Hopefully, the new city planning to the upcoming development to our east will have a more modern approach, so that pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, and commuters can all move about freely without being competition with one another. My hope is that many of the new roads will feature protected bike lanes, so that we don’t find ourselves.

Dave June 18, 2018 at 2:24 PM

Last sentence was supposed to read:

“My hope is that many of the new roads will feature protected bike lanes, so that we don’t find ourselves in competition with one another as we get from point A to point B in our city.”

Lena June 20, 2018 at 9:43 AM

@Dave Would you mind telling us which third-world country this idea was borrowed from?

justifiable anger June 18, 2018 at 9:16 AM

I like the idea, but I wonder if activists will be able to control their urge to force automobiles to cater to whimsical riding. Share the road is a two way street. Thank you for your consideration.

Das June 18, 2018 at 9:33 AM

Cyclists. Were not bikers. Concord along with walnut creek, is trying to install cyclist friendly road signs; great. Unless motorists can get mental test, checking for fitness to actually drive a 2400lb killing machine. I see people floating into these green…more as a way of teasing. Happens all the time. All you need is an age to drive a metal speeding auto. Half of auto drivers should be on foot or bike..not even ready for a car. Thanks for green boxes.

concord ygnacio June 18, 2018 at 10:19 AM

google dictionary defines a biker as:

” a motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a motorcycle gang or club.
“her biker boyfriend”

or
a cyclist.
“a mountain biker””

Thus you are a biker.

Rollo Tomasi June 18, 2018 at 11:49 AM

Wait a minute. I’m told nearly every day by the anti-gun crowd that cars aren’t “killing machines”. What gives?

MIchael June 18, 2018 at 9:45 AM

The City of Concord obviously does not have the funds to maintain their existing roads — one example, Treat Blvd / Oak Grove intersection — and now they have created a confusing colored box that will require more money, that they don’t have, down the road to maintain the paint for a bike riding population of probably less than 1% of the population. Is that a smart usage of city funds?
Most cyclist can’t accelerate as quickly as most cars and it would appear that this will create a backup, including the accordian effect of cars accelerating and then slowing down, causing possible other traffic issues.
If this confusing green box was created with some kind of grant or donation, more power to them. I just hope it also made concessions for maintenance in the years to come.
One last note, try driving in SF. You practically need a color legend to figure out what, where, when to drive. Please don’t tread down that path.

Lena June 19, 2018 at 3:22 PM

My understanding of the “rules” and practice of biking is that in traffic, if you are turning left at a signal, you pull to the right, dismount, cross in the crosswalk walking your bike, wait for the signal to do the same on the cross street, then resume riding on the right. In other words, the left turn lanes are for vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles) only. The bicyclist proceeds to make the left turn as if a pedestrian.

Cellophane June 18, 2018 at 9:52 AM

This would work better if more bicyclists would follow the laws.

Riding on the sidewalks and in the crosswalks is not the law. Neither is riding against the traffic.

I think this is an example of what a small organized group can do to make changes for themselves without a lot of public input.

I don’t think there are enough serious cyclists in Concord to warrant the expense.

Watch and see how many cyclists use the green areas and how many ignore them.

You’ll need to look no further than the area around Todos Santos and Willow Pass.

Dave June 18, 2018 at 10:24 AM

Cyclists ride on sidewalks when they deem the road to unsafe to ride in. If the road is too narrow for motorists to give 3 feet of clearance to the bicyclists, those bicycles are legally entitled to the entire right lane. Would you prefer them to ride in the middle of the right (and in some cases, the only) lane?

Cellophane June 18, 2018 at 1:02 PM

I’d prefer the bicycles take another road. Because when I bike around town, I find it far safer to take the road less traveled.

Neither motorists or bicyclists obey all the laws. Everyone needs to share the road.

When it comes to a debate between a 3000-pound car and lightweight bike, I’ll go down another street.

Jojo Potato June 18, 2018 at 9:52 AM

I do like the green lanes on the side of the road like on Detroit and Meadow Lane and use them regularly. Thanks to Bike Concord for getting those done. I don’t really get the green box though. I would certainly not purposely get that far away from the curb unless I was turning left. As for obeying traffic laws, I’ll do it when drivers do it. I do stop for red lights but for stop signs mostly no. I slow down and take my turn if there are others waiting. If I stop completely drivers just get confused. I do pay taxes and would even be open to bicycle licensing if the police would actually use those fees to reduce bicycle theft and actually do something to recover stolen bikes. The way it is now they don’t care so I won’t pay.

Kenji June 18, 2018 at 1:35 PM

Jojo, turning left is what bike boxes are mainly for. They are also meant to give some space for bicycles going straight to get to the left of cars turning right, to prevent right-hook collisions.

Jojo Potato June 18, 2018 at 7:53 PM

Hey Kenji, I hope you are well. Can you tell me which intersection has this box set up? I’d like to give it a try. Thanks.

Kenji June 19, 2018 at 8:43 AM

Thanks Jojo, I hope you’re well too. Grant St. northbound at Willow Pass, as well as southbound from TSP to BART at a few intersections- I think both Clayton Rd and Concord Blvd.

BikerDope June 18, 2018 at 9:53 AM

As someone who recently began cycling around Concord, I was surprised at how few bike lanes there are. Almost none of the major roads have bike lanes or they have one in one direction only. Concord Blvd, Clayton Rd, and Cowell Rd. come to mind.

I don’t see the need for these green boxes. I don’t have a problem turning or crossing streets.

Lena June 18, 2018 at 12:39 PM

Creating another breed of snowflake, IMHO. I biked in Oakland in the 70s without bike lanes just fine.

luvmycats June 18, 2018 at 10:05 AM

To MIMI I(original). I totally agree with you. I refuse to let my husband bicycle ride the city streets. He rides a mountain bike in the park. Too many cell phone drivers talking & texting.

Mimi (original) June 18, 2018 at 4:09 PM

Thank you!

concord ygnacio June 18, 2018 at 10:22 AM

I think think motrocylists should also be allowed to use the green box in front of cars, to help prevent accidents, since they are less visible. It would allow them to move to the front of the line at a red light, to avoid getting rear ended.

Me me me! June 19, 2018 at 9:44 AM

You must ride a motorcycle!

Tinknocker June 18, 2018 at 10:58 AM

THE CITY OF CONCORD is wasting money on this bicycle lane crap when our streets are full of patches that last less than 6 months. WC removes and repaves their streets. Concord WASTES money on SLURRY SEAL. The crack multiply and the streets are deplorable. Sidewalks crack and become hazards from trees the city will not allow to be removed. It’s now the homeowner’s responsibility to replace at their own expense.We need a decent City Manager and City Council to run OUR city. They want to build all these apartments down town and think tenants are going to walk or ride bikes to BART, which is not a reality. They need to get out at 5:30 am and try getting on a BART train. They have spent money on sign that prevents access to side streets that has created the worst grid lock in the mornings that Concord has ever seen. We don’t need bike lanes, we need car lanes.

Aaron M June 18, 2018 at 1:54 PM

The money for bike lanes comes from grants that aren’t going to cover resurfacing. I phone banked for a measure that would get more money for road resurfacing, but voters tanked it because they’d rather pay their mechanics $$$ than the city $. As for more car lanes, we’re at capacity unless we get a boatload of millions to widen the roads and bulldoze. That’d fill up too though, everyone is spilling off of Hwy 4 across Concord city streets. We’re paying the maintenance dollars for Antioch/Pittsburgh/Bay Point commuters to fly through our city without stopping to buy anything. More lanes would mean more drain.

Concord Homeowner June 18, 2018 at 3:24 PM

Councilman Tim McGallian? Is that you?

Law Dog June 18, 2018 at 11:01 AM

What a joke.

Never Mad June 18, 2018 at 11:08 AM

Technology is at an all time high. We have computers in our pockets. We can fly halfway around the world in less than a day. Why is everyone so unhappy? Please stop taking your vehicle for granted. Be considerate of what others may need or benefit from. To the Know It All that said “less cars will make it through green lights” I say to you, be happy and appreciate you have the privilege to drive a vehicle. I see more cases of less cars getting through intersections because the person in the front of the line is on their cell phone. I know first hand as I have been the second vehicle in the line and have politely honked my horn so the person can come back to reality and start operating their vehicle again. Big thumbs up to the city of Concord for at least making an attempt to accommodate cyclists a little more. Again I’ll say to everyone, be HAPPY and try to be less toxic! We’re all on this planet together. The human race could potentially be a lot more advanced if we all worked together instead of fighting with each other.

Foonman June 18, 2018 at 11:25 AM

Just to add to others have said…………good idea but I don’t think this will work well. I can see the flaws in it already. Better idea, don’t push the green into the road used by motor vehicles, much safer….

Getting ready June 18, 2018 at 11:26 AM

First time I see a motorcyclist in the green box I going to get really angry. Oh wait, they already push themselves into the front of every lane to take off first and fast.

pedal m butoff June 18, 2018 at 11:28 AM

How about bicyclists start paying a yearly fee to the DMV to ride in the streets? That would pay for these ‘special’ lanes/bike paths, etc. the state offers for ‘free’ to these folks.
Also start having the cell phone/texting crowd start receiving notices from their insurance companies that their rates just went up because of that. Those phone/texting tickets do not go on their insurance records at this time. That would stop a lot of that behavior dead in it’s tracks.

jjshawk June 19, 2018 at 1:46 AM

I pay money to the DMV, in order to keep my cars registered and legal to drive. However, my bicycles are my main modes of transportation. Driving a car, in and of itself, is fun, enjoyable, and at times therapeutic, but driving in traffic, with a bunch of stressed-out people, is another story,…..it sucks! Been rear-ended three times, all while stopping for red lights. Paying money to both, DMV and the insurance company for two cars that I rarely drive is fine with me. I don’t want to have to register with the state, and pay insurance for, my bicycles as well. The instant one has to register personal property, it is not really personal property. Whats next? Registration for skateboards, rollerblades, shoes, coffee makers, smart-phones, and (____)……? By the way, running a red light costs almost $500 (after penalties and assessments), seems painful enough, but I have seen up to six cars roll through red lights on a daily basis. Applying a similar penalty to smart phone / texting use may not solve anything. It just seems to encourage risk taking, and the state government is the casino. Oh well. Just my two-cents.

Kirkwood June 18, 2018 at 11:51 AM

I don’t think there are many bicyclists who actually use their bikes as serious transportation. I see bicycling as a hobby or recreation, like tennis or bocce ball and should not be subsidized by the taxpayer. We are a mechanized society, this is not Bangkok.

Interestingly, the above illustrations show a green area large enough to hold a dozen or more bicycles. The photo shows one bicyclist and I think that is more than what you’ll see most of the time. A more reasonable solution might be to have the green only in the bike lane, if there are more than two riders they can line up like the cars do, there’s not likely to be a drag race when the light changes. I think the ordinance should be modified to at least allow cars in the green if the bike lane is empty.

Retired LEO June 18, 2018 at 11:52 AM

1. This is experimental and is not in the CVC.
2. To my knowledge, no LE agencies are enforcing this, because it IS experimental.
3. The CVC defines who can ride bikes on sidewalks (CVC 21206).

I’ve seen more than my share of bikes blowing through stop signs/red lights without looking (and ignoring other Rules of he Road) than I have of cars doing the same. And I’ve cited plenty of cyclists doing that. Yes, they were pissed, but they found out in court that they’re not as entitled as they think they are. But there’s still too much distracted driving of cars (pets, texting, cell phones, eating, reading newspapers, etc….) to make it safe enough for the green blocks to be used.

Another “solution” in search of a problem. The money could best be used elsewhere.

Kentucky Derby June 18, 2018 at 12:19 PM

I agree with using the money elsewhere.

George June 18, 2018 at 12:30 PM

When it rains these painted areas get very slippery for cars and can cause a dangerous situation for all.

Aaron M June 18, 2018 at 12:37 PM

As a cyclist and driver who rides in Concord frequently I can say this infrastructure is a helpful baby step towards making enough of a low stress network that will enable more people to make the shift from cars to bikes for more of their trips. If you are a committed 100% driver, that’s still important for you because if there’s enough of a mode shift it will mean when higher density apartment complexes downtown and CNWS development ramps up you wont be stuck in your car for two to four times longer during peak commute. Better infrastructure for cyclists has been shown to dramatically increase compliance with traffic laws and signals (note that multiple studies have shown cars aren’t any better than cyclists on compliance statistically). Personally I will admit that I’ve run red lights on occasion when signal detection has failed to detect I’m there for multiple cycles of the light. As for paying fair share, operational costs for roadway maintenance per mile are up to forty times more expensive for roads that have cars/trucks on them than bicycles. Additionally, fuel taxes cover at best fifty percent of maintenance, and so cyclists are generally covering more than their share in general taxes alone. There’s a reason why most municipalities that required bike registration/licensing abandoned such efforts; the costs outweigh the benefits. Lastly, there are state mandates that have come down that affect complete streets. If Concord gets in the way we may wind up seeing complete streets implemented anyway after some very expensive litigation. As a taxpayer in Concord that is the worst possible outcome as far as I’m concerned. We have something like eleven streets in all of Concord that have bike lanes so far. That’s a ridiculously low percent of the total mileage or budget compared to cars to be complaining about. Don’t even get me started on the dramatically reduced public health costs for communities that embrace cycling.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd528063.pdf
https://www.railstotrails.org/resourcehandler.ashx?id=6336
https://usa.streetsblog.org/2018/01/03/study-cyclists-dont-break-traffic-laws-any-more-than-drivers-do/
https://www.triplepundit.com/special/business-of-biking/bicycling-cuts-health-care-costs/

Dave June 18, 2018 at 1:08 PM

I hope everyone that has chimed in so far takes a minute to read this. Thanks for providing sources as well.

Pedal Power June 18, 2018 at 12:40 PM

For sale: used car because they finally convinced me to ride a bike everywhere, said no one ever!

Kirkwood June 18, 2018 at 1:13 PM

You could use the money from the sale of the car to buy a coat and tie made from Spandex. 🙂

Dave June 18, 2018 at 2:50 PM

It’s weird to me that some motorists – whom I can only assume do not ride bicycles – feel a need to perpetuate the misnomer that cyclists don’t also drive cars.

Aaron M June 18, 2018 at 8:37 PM

Kirkwood, I laughed.

Aaron M June 18, 2018 at 12:54 PM

I do agree that outside of the Monument corridor a low percentage of people are bike commuting. My wife and I commute to Walnut Creek from downtown Concord most days, but even with the IHT and Monument corridor trail available it’s not a super easy commute. However, that’s kind of a circular argument against investing in bike infrastructure. The cities that do invest a lot in infrastructure eventually see up to a 30-35% shift in mode share to cycling (and better red light compliance). The current numbers of people willing to cycle (who aren’t cruising on the sidewalk) are experience in cycling mixed in with automobile traffic and tolerant of high risks, and that generally means young and male. Getting from that first 1 or 2 % mode share to the next level of mode share usually takes enough infrastructure investment to make a complete network. Not just adequate for parts of the trip and terrifying in the middle, the whole trip has to be less than completely stressful. That kind of infrastructure where there isn’t a heart-in-your-throat moment on every trip combined with e-bikes so that people are able to shop and sweat-free commute more with their bikes can yield a huge shift in the percentages, and with it a shift in attitudes about the culture of cycling in our city. It can also revitalize businesses who get ahead of the curve in terms of providing racks for cyclists. Cyclists spend more money at local businesses. I’m tired of Concord having to pay money for people to spill off Highway four and commute through our city without stopping. We get all the infrastructure costs and none of the revenue. As CNWS development ramps up Concord residents are going to have to decide how much of their life they want to spend stuck in their cars. It’s probably going to be a lot of time, and it’s going to erode the number of volunteer hours people spend making the community better.

Lena June 18, 2018 at 3:14 PM

Not really … I will be deciding to spend less of my time (and money) in Concord if it continues like this.

RANDOM TASK June 18, 2018 at 1:13 PM

CRAZY because when I was younger many years ago ….I used common sense …just like walking …cars are bigger they win

it appears cyclist are being entitled and elitist here …

like how about a lane just for black cars then since they are hard to see at night ….or red cars because they pay higher insurance …

no probably not … it sounds ridiculous right ..oh I mean left ..sorry don’t want to offend the parliament here and be forced to wear tie dye and push a chopping cart

Aaron M June 18, 2018 at 1:16 PM

@Pedal Power. I actually know someone who did, and I sold mine and share one car with my wife. I’ve got some huge incentive to stay healthy though.

RANDOM TASK June 18, 2018 at 1:16 PM

OH SNAP I DIDNT REALIZE the reason dave is so adamant

he took the photo of the intersection

sorry bro your invested in this and I can see how heartfelt your outcry is

nice photo keep up the good camera maintenance …whats your shutter speed? on that ???

Dave June 18, 2018 at 2:54 PM

Not my photo, but thanks for your interest in my comments.

Simonpure June 18, 2018 at 2:43 PM

Texters are color blind

Concord Resident June 18, 2018 at 2:57 PM

If bicyclist want to be on the road they should have break lights and turn signals. When the roads are already congested with cars (which the gas tax people who use gas pays for the road). When a cyclist stops the person in the car doesn’tget alerted they are stopping, that is why cars now have a third beak light! Also cyclest aren’t motorized and can’t go the speed limit and are as dangerous as a car that drives too slow ithat impeads traffic and they are in more a danger to themselves since the cyclist are unprotected. My Dad always says “YOU MAY BE RIGHT BUT YOU CAN BE DEAD RIGHT”. I teach my kids as i was taught ride in the bike lane and walk the bike across the street at the light in a crosswalk. Don’t expect others to be responsible for your safety beaus when it is you against the car the car will always win, that is why you look both ways before crossing a street even is the light is green.

Aaron M June 18, 2018 at 3:32 PM

Most of road maintenance and construction does not come from fuel taxes, but rather general taxes. Cyclists contribute more money into road maintenance than they use given the higher wear and tear of cars and trucks.

Aaron M June 18, 2018 at 9:00 PM

You are right though when you say look both ways even on a green light. I look both ways even on a one way street!

Dave June 18, 2018 at 2:59 PM

When I said “entitled” I was referring to road law, not a sense being or social attitude. I’m sorry you’re unhappy about all of the unrelated things you mentioned. I hope you find relaxation in some manner this afternoon. Cheers!

Lena June 18, 2018 at 3:05 PM

Now, you’re going to have bicyclists lane splitting, too?

Vandy June 18, 2018 at 3:18 PM

I applaud the cyclist-friendly markings. These took a long time to get placed. But its small step in the right direction. Concord is secretly a great city of great people. You just have to poke around. Thank you Concord!

Rollo Tomasi June 18, 2018 at 3:25 PM

“On a green signal, all bicyclists can quickly clear the intersection.”

“Quickly” is a subjective term. I doubt the bicycle rider’s definition matches mine. Also, it requires a prohibition on right turns on red lights. No bueno…

Dave June 18, 2018 at 4:11 PM

On the solid green lanes, I believe you are correct. However, on the “broken” painted sections like in the aerial photo above, motorists are allowed to use the lane – including turning right on a red light – if said lane is unoccupied by cyclists.

Rollo Tomasi June 18, 2018 at 9:49 PM
Tommy June 18, 2018 at 3:44 PM

Why do they get to go in front when they are slower and cause traffic?

Dave June 18, 2018 at 4:42 PM

It’s for left turns only. It’s safer and more time-efficient than having bikes scattered between cars. If cars and bikes are both turning left at the same time, it makes sense to have the cyclists go first, and then move to the right after completing the turn. The entire process is slowed by bicyclists (no matter if there one or a half dozen) by a manner of a few seconds, if that. If you are in a car 8 or 10 cars back, it is possible that you will not make the light because of these few seconds, though if you’re that far back, you kinda run that risk anyway regardless of bike presence, if we’re to be honest.

Tommy June 18, 2018 at 3:49 PM

I hate when people ride their bike in the middle of the road.

Dave June 18, 2018 at 4:45 PM

If there is a bike lane – or if the road is wide enough that motorists can give them the required 3 feet of distance – they shouldn’t be riding in the middle of the road.

concord ygnacio June 18, 2018 at 7:01 PM

When I ride my bike, I always stay to the right. When I need to make a left turn, I go to a cross walk, and walk my bike through, as required by law. If you ride in the middle of the lane, you are making a death wish.

Eudamonia June 18, 2018 at 10:05 PM

@Tommy, As a bicyclist I prefer to not be in the middle of a lane, but there are places roads in Concord where there is absolutely no shoulder. At these places, I will signal my intention to take the lane and then move to the right as soon as possible.

G. June 18, 2018 at 4:57 PM

Dear Dave,

We understand you really like your bicycle, but you don’t have to respond to every comment. You seem to have a habit of hogging the conversation in a very selfish way, I can only assume that’s probably why you like to ride your bike in the middle of the street too.

Well here’s some more of that attention you so obviously crave.

Dave June 18, 2018 at 5:49 PM

G,

Why direct hostility toward me for engaging in conversation with my community? My intention is not to “hog” the conversation, but rather to offer an alternative perspective, answer questions that I felt I could (even if rhetorically intended), and correct untrue statements with any commenters willing to have a conversation.

I normally abstain from commenting on Claycord due to the cynicism and general negativity often found on display in the comment section, but I thought I could perhaps be helpful in moving the conversation forward past the hurdle of “AAHHH! Something new that confuses me! I don’t like it!”

I too was initially confused by the green lanes and inquired about them to people that advocated for them. I thought passing along some of that information where it seemed appropriate was worthwhile. Never-the-less, even when discussing something as seemingly innocuous as bicycle safety, it is clear as day that some individuals have no interest in creating a better understanding by way of considering different opinions, perspectives, or insight. Thanks for the reminder, G.

Make Disagreement Constructive Again!

-Dave

G. June 18, 2018 at 8:51 PM

Dave, I want you to understand I have already made up my mind about you and your agenda. I have zero respect for you, your narcissism, or your position at large. Certainly not enough to read multiple paragraphs of your wah wah…

Resident June 19, 2018 at 9:32 AM

Dave, thank you for your rational responses. It’s the emotional reaction of people like G that most people avoid the comment section like the plague.

Lena June 19, 2018 at 10:52 AM

No. I’m sorry. You would need Dave riding along with you to tell you what to do, obviously. It’s too complicated, it is not safe, it slows everybody down to bicycle speed. At a standing stop, a bicycle cannot match the startup of a vehicle or motorcycle. The standard is “Slow, keep to right.” That is where bicycles belong. I think “Narcissistic” describes this design perfectly.

Nunya June 18, 2018 at 6:07 PM

Bikes stopping in front of cars, have you idiots lost your minds?

Mr. J June 18, 2018 at 6:23 PM

Now if Concord PD would start ticketing all the double parked cars and trucks on Grant Street between Clayton Road and the 1575 Grant Street parking garage. Not only are they in a red zone, they are also obstructing the new bike lane.

Pony June 18, 2018 at 6:32 PM

At the BART end of Grant St, Grant does a hard right. Before this turn there are dashed green boxes which I think designate a turn lane. Except cars are parked all the way up to the stop sign so you can’t use that lane if your life depended on it. (it is also hard to see the stop sign) It’s not posted no parking so the cars are legal. Just love how even within the same general governmental group they can’t get things together,

concord ygnacio June 18, 2018 at 6:57 PM

Dave: bicylcists as a whole are entitled. Did you read the comment above by a law enforcment officer who confirmed more bicylsits blow through red lights than cars ever do? Maybe I would respect bikers more if they registered their bikes and paid their fair share for all these amenities.

Mr White June 18, 2018 at 9:41 PM

Until all bicycles have to pay the same fees as cars, like 200 plus dollars each year for registration and instead of a smog check that costs too much, they have to submit to a safety check to make sure all of their bikes have the required reflectors and enough tread on their tires to be safe.they should also have to over pay for insurance, until then they should not get any special privileges. F-them! Keep off my roads, you know the ones I pay for!

Kenji June 19, 2018 at 8:47 AM

Currently, about 25-50% of the cost of road building and maintenance is subsidized by general taxation, over and above total revenue from fuel taxes, tolls, and vehicle fees. Those who drive little or not at all do not receive any exemption from paying those general taxes to support infrastructure for drivers.

Eudamonia June 18, 2018 at 9:56 PM

@Dave and Aaron, thank you for your intelligent and informed comments. I applaud the energy and dedication you’ve given to this dialogue.

S June 19, 2018 at 7:12 AM

Not the record, but nice turn out for comments on this one…….

Sign from Above June 19, 2018 at 8:07 AM

I’ve been seeing these for a while now. However, this is the first explanation I’ve seen. If you’re going to do a pilot program, you may want to educate the public as to what they are suppose to do……

Bad Nombre June 19, 2018 at 8:14 AM

Seems unnecessary to me. The green markings were new to me and I still don’t know exactly what they mean and if there are any legal strings attached (requirements and penalties). From my years of biking on streets with cars, it is not the stops that have been a problem, it is when I am going straight and a car passes me and then immediately turns into my path as I am cruising at speed. Drivers seem to think that bikers are stationary; once past them, they no longer exist as traffic. If I am the first vehicle to a stop and I am going straight, I get into the center of the lane. I don’t need a green marking to know how to ride a bike.

Kirkwood June 19, 2018 at 11:52 AM

This demonstrates how a very tiny but well organized group with a tightly focused objective can affect an entire population. The squeaking wheel gets the oil.

Janie June 19, 2018 at 1:49 PM

WOW! I have been in many many large cities and have not seen this. I know this sounds nuts BUT why don’t we make the sidewalks wider and then the cars can drive on the sidewalk and the bikes and motor cycles can have the street?

sickofit June 19, 2018 at 3:01 PM

This is the dumbest thing I’ve seen in days. They have a bike lane. Stay in yo lane. If I was stuck at a red and some bicyclist got in front of me and I had to wait for the dude to pedal to get up to speed, I’m gonna get pissed.
Straight up. This is dumb. Mega mega mega dumb. Keep the bikes in their own lane and let them take their time, not ours.

Lumberjack June 19, 2018 at 3:26 PM

I’m glad to see Concord is adding the green marking zones throughout the city. Currently, I have the Canel trail and Concord Blvd as my only options in and out of Concord on a bike. It will be good to have more route options through the city.

Lena June 20, 2018 at 8:32 AM

And, you wonder why there is road rage?

R June 20, 2018 at 9:31 PM

What are you supposed to do when you want to turn right but there is a bike lane on your right? I heard that you are not allowed to move into the bike lane. Feels very dangerous, like I’m gonna crash into a biker on my right that comes from nowhere. You can’t turn like that
next to a car lane on your right.

Fred P. June 20, 2018 at 9:55 PM

if the bike laneline is broken, you can move into it. If not, you’re not supposed to move into it, but just cross over it.

Assuming your turn signals are on, the cyclist will just have to pay attention.

Vandy June 21, 2018 at 8:37 AM

Hi everyone,

For drivers perplexed by how to safely drive around bicycles, there is a free workshop where you can learn how!

https://bikeeastbay.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=1252

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