Ah yes—I’m a The Lone Cyclist again in Hartford, but I remember the first time I had to share a bike lane, going from Kendall to Inman Squares in Cambridge MA. Definitely a step up from dodging box trucks on McGrath, I can tell you that.
Anyway, in my experience bike “traffic” isn’t such a bad thing—way more passing options than traveling in a car, and people tend to be pretty pleasant about it, ringing bells or pulling aside as much as possible.
That said, I think that at stop lights, as many bikes should go side-by-side as the space can comfortably accommodate. Logically, it maximizes roadway capacity, and sorting bikes into a narrower space as the light turns green doesn’t carry nearly the time penalty of an automotive merge.
Then again, I’ve yet to experience significant “shoaling" so maybe—like the limited access highway before it—bike lanes may prove to be something Americans are too American to utilize properly.