Hines: Bike Path vs. On-Road

We recently received an email from an active cyclist in California.  Their relatives in Southeast Michigan could not understand why Hines Drive bicyclists were on the road shoulder instead of the parallel bike path.  She wondered if we could provide an answer.

[geo_mashup_map height="200"]

To an experienced cyclist, the reasons seem quite apparent.  Riding on the Hines Drive’s wide paved shoulder is:

  • Faster and more direct
  • Much safer at the intersections
  • Free of pedestrians (which you must yield to on the bike path)
  • Better lit at night
  • Plowed of snow and ice in the winter
  • Less flooded after a rain
  • Has less debris (e.g. rocks) that can cause flat tires

Besides, the road lanes are wide, the paved shoulders are generous, and the speed limit is low.  And due to the lack of commercial/residential access along the road, it is absolutely an ideal place to ride a bike.

If motorists can’t safely share this roadway with cyclists then they probably shouldn’t be driving.

Coincidentally in 2004 I was asked a similar question while giving testimony before the House Transportation Committee in Lansing.  Hines Drive passed through one of the committee member’s districts.

We should also mention that Edward Hines, whom the road is named after, was Chief Consul of the League of American Wheelmen in Michigan (forerunner of the League of American Bicyclists), as well as a major “Good Roads” advocate.  Hines invented the double-yellow center line, pioneered snowplowing roads, and created the first mile of concrete pavement.  Hines is just another famous Michigan bicyclist that all road users can thank.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply