I feel much less safe than I used to in the strip – whereas I used to take the lane, giving plenty of space between me and the parked cars, now I’m in the bike lane and cars backing out of parking spots can’t see me.
I wish the bike lane were on the other side of parked cars, rather than being in their blind spot.
Any time I do not feel safe in the bike lane, I will take the lane. This can be because of road debris, snow and ice, potholes or poor road surface, door zone, or potential for being backed into. I believe it is an unfortunate state law that prevents the lane from being placed on the far edge with parked cars acting as a buffer.
I don’t mind them. I think if you put the bike lanes on the other side of the cars you would deal with too many people in the bike lanes and foot traffic, so that probably wouldn’t work in this case. I would rather have the bike lanes where they are. I am always keeping an eye out for cars backing up or people in cars. Simply look for reverse lights if someone is in a car. It isn’t that hard.
I prefer Penn to Smallman truth be told, but there is also a bike path along the river. It isn’t like there are no choices, but to some it will never be enough. I think Pittsburgh is pretty luxurious for cycling. No it isn’t a Nordic country yet or Boulder CO, but it is pretty amazing considering our topography and road situation to begin with.