There is a segment of the bicycling community that opposes the creation of bike lanes. One of the main gripes against bicycle lanes is practical: Bike lanes become repositories for road debris, which is particularly damaging to bicycle tires. Another argument is more philosophical: Bicycle lanes segregate cyclists to separate facilities. This is a slippery slope, they fear, ultimately leading to the exclusion of bicycles from streets without bicycle lanes. Some folks say, bike lanes are bike ghettos. It's a compelling argument.
I use my city's only north-south bicycle lane on a daily basis, except the portion that runs along Lincoln Street. Lincoln is a one way street running north, making it completely inappropriate for a bicycle route. I quickly learned that riding my bicycle with traffic (as state law requires) would place me on a collision course with a relentless parade of wrong-way cyclists. No thanks.
Lately I'm becoming sympathetic to the first argument against bicycle lanes. South of Victory Drive, the Habersham Street bicycle lane is full of leaves. Some of these leaves have fallen directly from trees. Others have been moved from the yards of homes (including the yard of one prominent local official) into the bicycle lane.
These leaves don't pose much of a problem for me, as I usually ride on the left edge of the lane. However, they are a potential hazard for nighttime and rainy weather cyclists. Admittedly, this situation is seasonal. Once the trees have ejected all their leaves, the danger will diminish. However, in the spring the leaves will surely be replaced with mounds of grass clippings.
Other objects can be found in the bicycle lane at all times of year. I'd like to think that this truck was parked this way in an attempt to leave a portion of the bike lane clear. But I'm doubtful of good intentions in this case. The end result is that this truck is blocking a portion of the bicycle lane and all of the sidewalk. A police officer could have cited the owner of this truck for two different violations. I wonder how many police cruisers passed this location while the truck was parked there.
On a more positive note, while I was waiting at a traffic signal this morning a cyclist pulled up behind me. I turned around and said good morning. Not only was she riding on the correct side of the steet, but she also waited for the light to turn green! These two actions placed this cyclist delightfully at odds with most of the other bicycle operators I see every day. It was an after Christmas miracle!