The Death Chute
Southbound lane of Lombardy just after you cross over Brook.
When I bicycle to work, I cross Brook Road heading south on Lombardy. It’s easily the most dangerous part of my commute.
The road, once wide and spacious on the north side of the intersection, suddenly narrows. Raised concrete curbs on either side prevent cars and cyclists from giving each other personal space and prevent escape should either wander into the other’s domain. The promise of the bike lane, just a few dozen yards south of the intersection, almost makes things worse. Like a honeypot for unsuspecting cyclists, it lures them in just to squash them against the side of the road for a few terrifying feet.
Just this year, the General Assembly passed a law requiring cars to give cyclists three feet of space when passing. How’s that even possible on this stretch of road that only measures something like 12 feet across? It’s barely possible to fit a vehicle and cyclist side-by-side, let alone with a three foot buffer zone.
I’d love to see something done to make this tiny stretch of road safer for cyclists.
I hear there was some sort of thing about train tracks?
More on the Lombardy St Bike Lane.
- Give cyclists the right of way until the bike lane begins, and hang a ton of signs saying no passing cyclists before the bike lane.
- Tear up the concrete-only separator between the north and south bound lanes. I’m no traffic engineer, so I don’t know if it’s serving a purpose, but it’s just about wide enough to make up for the current lack of space.
Code of Virginia § 46.2-839
Any driver of any vehicle overtaking a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass at a reasonable speed at least three feet to the left of the overtaken bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle and shall not again proceed to the right side of the highway until safely clear of such overtaken bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle.