I was off-base in a comment posted earlier today when I suggested that Waterloo was missing a bet by not putting its proposed Uptown bicycle lanes between the curbs and parked cars, rather than between the parked cars and street traffic, thus creating a real segregated bicycle lane.
I had forgotten that streetside parking in the Uptown is intermittent, with plantings and other sidewalk furniture between the parking sections. A bicycle lane wouldn't really work in that situation.
However, I was surprised to see at tonight's public consultation session that the anticipated width of the proposed bicycle lanes on King Street from Erb Street to University Avenue is only 1.25 metres. The recommended width in the much vaunted Ontario Traffic Manual Book 18 for municipal planners suggests a 1.5 metre bike lane with a 0.5 metre buffer in sections where there is on-street parking (to allow a wide berth around potential dooring).
Effectively, that would be two metres.
Since the part of the reason for the Uptown streetscape re-imagining has to do with encouraging those with Uptown destinations in mind (and encouraging those who just want to drive through the Uptown to pick another route), I think we can assume that on-street parking will see a lot of turnover. Motorists will park on street with a destination in mind, get what they need and get back in their cars and leave. I anticipate a lot of car doors being opened on King Street. That buffer would be welcome.
Unless the planners are expecting the drivers to get out the passenger-side door.
The story so far about the Uptown street improvements can be found here. The maps haven't been put up yet. They should be up next week.