Buffered bike lanes
Buffered bike lanes are becoming more common in Bend. When a street is a bit wider than needed for the car lanes it can be repainted with the extra space serving as a buffer between the bikes and the cars.
A buffered bike lane is basically a painted bike lane with extra space between the bike lane area and the car area. A normal bike lane has a single white line between it and the cars. A buffered bike lane gets an extra white line, and the space between those two white lines is the “buffer”. Sometimes buffered bike lanes are also used because a very wide painted bike lane can be mistaken for a car lane or a parking area. The additional white paint helps reduce confusion.
This buffer varies in size depending on how much available area there is on the street. If the two white lines are very far apart they will usually have diagonal white stripes or bollards between them. Cars are not supposed to travel in this buffer.
The rules for biking in buffered bike lanes are the same as when riding in a normal bike lane.
Things to love
- They feel safer than normal bike lanes because there’s more space between cars and bikers
- The painted buffer can quickly wear off, and when it does the car lane just looks extra-wide