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Thread: Bait and switch

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    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Bait and switch

    This sales technique is simple: offer the customer something that grabs their imagination, then after they are hooked, sell them something less than they had hoped for. So, you go to a used car dealer (the one showing off that bright red sports car) and walk away with a 10 year-old
    economy car, "but at least it's dependable."

    I think many of us are being offered a cycling utopia in the form of bike paths and bike lanes,
    but that in the end, a practical and safe system
    will never materialize. When all is said and done, we will end up with partially completed bikeway systems with limited usefulness and we will find ourselves restricted from riding on the street.

    I am not against safe paths or lanes, just the idea of being forced to use them.
    No worries

  2. #2
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    The central conflict is that we effective cyclists want to be treated as vehicle operators, whereas motorists and city planners want to treat us as pedestrians. The lower the prevailing traffic speed, the more I want to integrate into the traffic flow; the higher the speed, the more willing I become to discuss PROPERLY DESIGNED (from a transportation cyclist's point of view) separate-but-equal segregation.
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    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by John E
    The lower the prevailing traffic speed, the more I want to integrate into the traffic flow; the higher the speed, the more willing I become to discuss PROPERLY DESIGNED (from a transportation cyclist's point of view) separate-but-equal segregation.
    John,

    Motorists already have a separate system in the modern freeway.
    Let them go as fast as they want there (if they can ) But on all other streets, make them adhere to the posted limit and accomodate bicycles realistically by lowering speed limits overall.

    When driving to work at the speed limit, I notice the majority of drivers speeding at 10 mph. or more over the limit. This never saves them more than 3-5 minutes in a 40 minute city drive.

    We should create a favorable environment for cyclists in urban areas, on the road.
    No worries

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    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    The trouble with bike paths is that nobody who designs them ever actually goes and rides them and tries to actually go somewhere in the process. Hence we've got something that is a very good idea in theory, but totally useless in the real world.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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    I like the topic your all discussing here, I like the enthusiasm to overcome the odds for us cycleists. It's just that where I live I don't have to put up with that crap that you people have to. It seems I can ride anywhere I want to and I am not bothered by motorists or other pedestrians. Well I hope something good comes out of your arguments that will improve the bicyclists around the world and in places that you people live. So see ya later, good luck, and happy biking!!

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    opinionated SOB cycletourist's Avatar
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    Chris,

    your statement is darn close to truth. My guess is that the people who design bike paths don't think of them as transportation facilities at all- they think of them as a place to go and ride your bike (and hike and rollerblade and walk your dogs) for fun. Their main mistake is thinking that bicyclists are pedestrians instead of vehicle operators (as John pointed out already).

  7. #7
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    Bike paths aren't designed with transportation in mind, they are designed for recreation; aimless riding for the sheer pleasure of riding with the added pleasure of not having to watch your back constantly, a place to take your kids on some of their first rides with you before they are ready to try the streets, a place for friends and families to enjoy an activity together. If we want to have future generations of cyclists, we need to promote these activities to promote the sport. Perhaps those of us that are transportation cyclists should watch out that we don't act like aggressive drivers in the motoring population. Just because we are thinking in terms of getting from pt A to pt B efficiently doesn't mean that pedestrians or slower cyclists or groups of cyclists have any lesser right to the path or roadway in front of us. When we think otherwise, we are acting like "motoring primates" on cycles. In our own self interest we need to encourage people to cycle as fun, then we have an audience to preach to about cycling for transportation. Then we have a group that may be intrigued by an effective cycling course and the need to keep bikes as a legal part of the traffic mix.

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    Originally posted by LittleBigMan
    I think many of us are being offered a cycling utopia in the form of bike paths and bike lanes, but that in the end, a practical and safe system will never materialize. When all is said and done, we will end up with partially completed bikeway systems with limited usefulness...
    I agree with that, but I don't think it's an intentional "bait and switch". It more that there seems to be no coherent and workable plan.
    and we will find ourselves restricted from riding on the street.
    I think the opposite is just as likely to happen - that is, if more people become interested in recreational cycling (which is about all that most of the bike paths I've seen are good for), many of them will soon realise the limitations of the bike paths, and become interested in being vehicular cyclists. The more vehicular cyclist there are, the better the accomidations for them will have to be.

    If a bike path goes 5 miles and ends, some people will stop at the end of 5 miles, but some people will keep going. The ones who keep going will add to the number of cyclists on the roads.
    "It may even be that motoring is more healthful than not motoring; death rates were certainly higher in the pre-motoring age."- John Forester
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    Jean, you are advocating a Utopian ideal that doesn't/hasn't worked so far --at least on any path I've been on. They are constantly filled with joggers, runners, skateboarders, In Line skaters, walkers 2/3/4 abreast who act as though a bike rider ,even if he's just leisurely pedaling along, has no right to a portion of the path because it interferes with their conversation. It may be different in other places, but that is and has been my experience.

    People, basically, are very selfish. They want the facilities they want and resent anyone else who might also want to share them. How to overcome this in a society dominated by the individualist attitude "All for me and to heck with you" is probably more than political compromise about bike paths will achieve in the foreseeable future.

    But your vision is certainly a wonderful one and worthy of implementation. Convincing the majority of riders and walkers and runners and other users of these paths that's it's time to share respectfully and unselfishly is a formidable task. I'm not one willing to fight the fight or devote the time to such a task, I'm too busy dodging cars on the roadway. And I suspect that 99% of the population is just like me.
    ljbike

  10. #10
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Jean Beetham Smith
    Bike paths aren't designed with transportation in mind, they are designed for recreation; aimless riding for the sheer pleasure of riding with the added pleasure of not having to watch your back constantly, a place to take your kids on some of their first rides with you before they are ready to try the streets, a place for friends and families to enjoy an activity together. If we want to have future generations of cyclists, we need to promote these activities to promote the sport. Perhaps those of us that are transportation cyclists should watch out that we don't act like aggressive drivers in the motoring population. ...
    When we think otherwise, we are acting like "motoring primates" on cycles. In our own self interest we need to encourage people to cycle as fun, then we have an audience to preach to about cycling for transportation.
    Please understand that I was not advocating the removal of any other kind of cyclists. However, I was just trying to make people understand that bikepaths really don't do the cause of cycling (of any kind) any good at all. The thing is, while the 'safety' aspect of bikepaths is so often talked about, every statistic I have ever seen indicates that you are more likely to be killed cycling on a path than on a highway. can be

    I learned to ride on quiet back streets, and I think this is the best way. After all, sooner or later, in the real world you will encounter traffic (and pedestrian traffic can be just as dangerous as motorised traffic). It's best if one learns to deal with it in small doses rather than not at all.

    The other thing is, I often wonder about the motives of those who insist on building these facilities. Often they seem deliberately designed to remove cyclists altogether (I'm talking about metal barriers across the path and so on). Somehow I tend to think the designers of these are trying to manipulate cycling advocates in order to get a nice place to walk their dog.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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    Senior Member phoenyix's Avatar
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    I can't see where cyclists will get much respect on the national highway system, when the construction crews do not. Even with the threat of fines being doubled in construction zones. you still see drivers whizzing by at 70+ MPH while the posted speed is 40 MPH.

    One of the few a computer geek who also is a Bike geek.

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    Well, that last problem's solution is simple--highway construction flaggers should be armed. They should be issued automatic *****s and sawed-off shotguns as they are themselves under hostile fire and in a life-threatening situation. They should be held to a lower standard of accountability for discharge of their weapons than police are of theirs. Their weapons should have stocks that are colored a bright emergency orange so that they are visible to motorists. No, I am not kidding, not in the least. Arm flaggers.

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    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    anybody try to find your way around an unfamiliar area by using a bike path? From my experience it is near impossible; they are unmarked, and they are not straight.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    I am not against the idea of bicycle facilities, properly understood.
    It would have worked if bicycles were the primary means of transportation and the facilities were constructed with the same level of priority our current roadways are.

    But the truth is, the current roadway system was in place first. Adding a secondary, overlaid system of bicycle facilities is sort of like playing tic-tac-toe on a city map. Not practical, except for building token bikeways for recreation.

    The only way to integrate bicycles into the transportation picture is for them to share the road with motorists, with a few notable exceptions, such as neighborhood cut-throughs (connectors.) Motorists, in turn, must accept full responsibility and accountability for obeying all safety rules (especially speeding and aggressive driving.) It could be done if cyclist safety is taken seriously, perhaps more seriously than we currently take automobile safety.

    Who knows, the increased motorist accountability might save some motorists' lives, too.
    No worries

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    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by LittleBigMan
    But the truth is, the current roadway system was in place first. Adding a secondary, overlaid system of bicycle facilities is sort of like playing tic-tac-toe on a city map. Not practical, except for building token bikeways for recreation.
    That is exactly right. It's not a question of 'right or wrong' about building bike paths. It's just a real world question of space. In urban areas there just isn't any left to build a 'second network of connecting routes'. As a result, they always turn out to be totally impractical.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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    Bike Happy DanFromDetroit's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Feldman
    Well, that last problem's solution is simple--highway construction flaggers should be armed. They should be issued automatic *****s and sawed-off shotguns as they are themselves under hostile fire and in a life-threatening situation. They should be held to a lower standard of accountability for discharge of their weapons than police are of theirs. Their weapons should have stocks that are colored a bright emergency orange so that they are visible to motorists. No, I am not kidding, not in the least. Arm flaggers.
    Here in Detroit, we just assume that everyone on the freeway is armed. We have at least a few incidents of gunbattles on the freeway (drivers exchanging fire) and snipers on the overpasses every year. This is not a joke. It really happens.

    BTW: We should start a thread to find you a new signature.... Everyone knows that Mother Theresa never owned a car.
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