Bike lanes seem to be very popular with the local news media. And they seem to find a lot of cyclists who think they are a brilliant idea. I'm challenging this claim on the basis of my everyday observations, in particular for cars turning right and thus crossing the bicycle lane.
Having taken a bicycle safety course, I can attest to part of the syllabus in which they explain why bicycle lanes are less safe than operating as another road user / vehicle operator. As a proponent of these courses, I operated in that manner and have personal experience for both methods. Bicycle lanes are unsafe compared to conventional road operations.
The problem is more with the road users (of all kinds) than with the infrastructure. People on bicycles are poorly trained to interact with other vehicles on the roadway, and people in motor vehicles who have not taken a bicycle safety course of the proper format are also ignorant of safe use of the roadway. Bicyclists are responsible to obey traffic control devices, including stop signs, traffic signals, road markings, etc. Motor vehicle operators have similar responsibilities.
You've referenced an intersection. This is the most common dangerous encounter for a bicyclist in the bike lane. The motor vehicle operators should have pulled into the bike lane prior to the intersection, signaling intent. Cyclists approaching the intersection with intent to continue straight through should have taken the main traffic lane.
This is part of what is taught in a bicycle safety course and it is effective and solves much of the problem you describe.
I became a certified instructor of this course and gave it up in short order.
Politicians and other administrative people like to present bike lanes as a panacea, but it's not that way at all.
As requested/required, references in the above answer represent my personal experience with the CyclingSavvy program. Specific quoted material from the web site:
PEOPLE IN CARS
Most people want to do the right thing, but many drivers don’t know
the best way to interact with bicyclists: They don’t know our space
requirements; they often underestimate our speed; and sometimes they
Most crashes caused by motorist mistakes can be avoided or prevented
by the bicyclist — often as simply and passively as riding in a more
Most drivers are willing to cooperate with a bicyclist who
Regardless of whether or not motorists believe bicyclists have the
right to control a lane, or understand why we need to, they will
change lanes to pass a lane-controlling bicyclist. That’s what
Inattentive driving is a problem, but bicyclists can easily command
the attention of drivers — including those who are mildly distracted —
by being relevant and operating in their primary focus area.
Specific to bike lanes:
Bicycle-specific infrastructure is valuable for both access and
enjoyment, when designed properly and applied in an appropriate
Well-designed bicycle infrastructure is an asset to the community.
Most types of bicycle-specific infrastructure, including bike lanes
and side paths, have contexts in which they work well, create access,
increase comfort and benefit bicyclists. Unfortunately, some of these
facilities can be very problematic when designed poorly or used in the