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  1. #1
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Do you favor bike freeways?

    Members in another thread got off topic on an interesting question:

    Do cyclists and cycling advocates support the building of bicycle freeways?

    My understanding is that these freeways would be totally segregated bike facilities (no cars, pedestrians, skateboarders or Canada Geese allowed). They would presumably be long enough to go across town, with some form of entrance and exit ramps.

    What do you think?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  2. #2
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Im one of those who posted in favor of them im all for it. So Ill repost part of my post from the anti vc point of view thread for reference.

    A perfect system would be a 3 lane system sort of like this
    =====================================
    BL>
    =====================================
    =====================================
    < PL >
    =====================================
    =====================================
    <BL
    =====================================

    The double line of ====s are a built in buffer zone (maybe a unpaved area between bike lanes and pedestrain lanes. maybe a curb like construct. The postions of the lanes could be bike lanes togather with buffer zone between directional lanes and pedestrian lane. I dont know about every one else but when im walking i prefer a unpaved or crushed stone surface over a paved one its more confortable to me. So maybe to discourage cyclists riding on it make it crusshed stone with bike lanes paved.
    lets say 4 foot lane widths ? and 6 inches of buffer space between lanes so total width of 13 foot. I eleive most MUPs are only 8 foot wide give or take.

    This would not work along side roads as a bike lane but would make a truely awesome MUP system. Likely this is the best we could ever hope for. Thats why i show the PL as being used for both directions of travel. A PL would not realy need to be a single direction system do to pedestrian speed.

    I dont think we should expect it to be free of pedestrians so we might as well include them in the idea but do so in a safe manner as shown above. Lane positions could be prety much any combo of the above one lane for pedestrains then 2 for bikes the exact reverse or ped lane in center. For safty sake the lanes need some sort of buffer or barrier to prevent crossing over in to oncoming trafic.

    If somes ones artistic and has a scanner how bout useing my cheapo grafic up there to create a sketch showing a on ram and off ram system as well. My scanners down or id give it a shot my self. Our dog chewed the only cable i had for it in half heh.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    NO

    From what I've seen of limited access bike paths that get any use it would do me little of no good. Even IF (and it is a big if) you can keep walkers, skaters and skateboarders off the route these seem to attract slow and eratic bike riders. (Though to be fair, such paths that exist in Los Angeles are in areas that would attract this kind of riding anyway).

    I would also question the cost. Just how would one do this? To *** anywhere you have to cross roads. If at ground level it is then far from a freeway, since there is an intersection at each street crossing, likely one that is worse than a normal street crossing. The only alternative is a raised path and that is prohibitively expensive.

    But right now L.A. has found a way to put in some. They use the side paths on both the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers. Good points is it is actually sort of a freeway most of the way. Bad point foolish riders still bomb it where it drops under street crossings and it is not safe to go fast. Other bad point is that it is a potential crime magnet.

  4. #4
    Conservative Hippie
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    I would be against it.

    Funding: I've yet to see any location where all roads are adequately maintained. Where will the money come from to build and maintain a whole new infrastructure?

    Not to mention bridges. If cyclists use existing bridges it wouldn't be a totally separate system.

    Land Use: Here in rural Florida a system like this would require bulldozing a whole new road system through the forest, on private property, a national forest, a wildlife refuge and state parks.
    Ain't gonna' happen.

    Cager Confusion: Many of them don't know what to do now when approaching or being approached by a bicycle. More separation will only add to this confusion.

  5. #5
    genec genec's Avatar
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    In order for the concept to work, it has to be bikes only, enforced and limited access... just like a motor vehicle limited access freeway. It may be at ground level, but it cannot be like most "paths" that badly meet regular streets.

    The whole concept is based on making cycle transportation faster and more efficient... just like an interstate hiway system.

    Consider just for a moment that as cyclists we are stuck on surface streets and therefore are subject to lots of stop and go... which we really hate as it kills momentum. If a limited access freeway-like "bikeway" was built to allow for fast cross town trips, think about how this could decrease the time it would take for a cyclist to move across town, unencumbered by intersections and traffic lights... it might be quite an encouragement for folks who now believe that certain trips just take too long on a bike.

    The lack of intersections with autos could also be a huge safety factor. I for one would love to dash across town at my highest speed possible, rather then moderating my speed for traffic, and killing my momentum for lights and signs.

  6. #6
    Violin guitar mandolin
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    Yes, if lots and lots of people ride and if they are properly maintained & policed. I sort of thought this already existed, except there's still enough gasoline to keep cars on the amazing bike path network we've built. I75, I40, etc.

    A proper system would require enough use that enforcement of access would be a high-profile thing, tickets to peds, education, etc. I'd like to see 45 mph design speed with room for tandem recumbents with fairings to pass safely at a good clip. The day may be coming.

    I'm not in favor of more badly designed MUPs with the usual hazards and neglect.

  7. #7
    I'm fine. Cromulent's Avatar
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    Of course freeways are great for traveling long distances by car... Milwaukee to Chicago. Or New York to LA for that matter.

    For a commuter a bike freeway would be great. A clear, straight way from home to work and back again (and to wherever else we go). And we could travel by bike for longer distances. I can see new strip malls popping up consisting entirely of bike shops and coffee shops. Perfect.

    I have an issue with freeways in general though. They cut through sections of a city and divide them. There's almost no business, industry, housing, shopping, etc. right around those areas. So freeways essentially take land away that could be zoned for other things.

    Here in downtown Milwaukee, they just knocked down a big section of freeway a year or two ago, and people are coming back into the area. It's a real interesting transformation.

    Would bike freeways do the same? Or am I not seeing them correctly?

  8. #8
    mac
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    No - it sounds like an incredible waste of my money. Where are they going to put it (I live in LA)? Build an elevated highway system across all of SoCal? Either widen the streets, or make streets one way so there is enough room for parked cars and wide lanes.

    If it raises my taxes, it's going to get a big fat NO vote from me, I don't care if it is for "bicycling advocacy." That's just another "special interest" pork tax.

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac
    No - it sounds like an incredible waste of my money. Where are they going to put it (I live in LA)? Build an elevated highway system across all of SoCal? Either widen the streets, or make streets one way so there is enough room for parked cars and wide lanes.

    If it raises my taxes, it's going to get a big fat NO vote from me, I don't care if it is for "bicycling advocacy." That's just another "special interest" pork tax.

    How about a toll system... like the new Orange county freeway. You as a cyclist can buy a multi pass card and simply zip on and off.

    Com'on use your imagination. The suggestions of putting it next to rivers and RR beds is a good one.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    You'd end up with the cagers complaining that we should stay on the bike paths/lanes/freeway whenever we need to use the road.

  11. #11
    militant commuter
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    You'd end up with the cagers complaining that we should stay on the bike paths/lanes/freeway whenever we need to use the road.

    I love the idea, especially for interstate routes- but I think the above is true and funding would be a bear.

  12. #12
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Members in another thread got off topic on an interesting question:

    Do cyclists and cycling advocates support the building of bicycle freeways?

    My understanding is that these freeways would be totally segregated bike facilities (no cars, pedestrians, skateboarders or Canada Geese allowed). They would presumably be long enough to go across town, with some form of entrance and exit ramps.

    What do you think?
    A poll or a troll? LOL, just messin with you. I like the idea, but obviously the devil is in the details. For example, will creating such bikeway be used by some to justify restricting cyclists rights to the road? Who will be tasked with enforcing the no geese rule?
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  13. #13
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    You'd end up with the cagers complaining that we should stay on the bike paths/lanes/freeway whenever we need to use the road.
    This might be true. But youd only get these in places where the bike highway was going through. If they hassle you to much you tell them flat out ive ridden it as far as i can and my stop if right up where ever. If you chose nto to use it then lie to the morons heh.

    Remember this isnt just somethign for us to use to be safe from cars but a proposal for somethign to make our bike comutes truely effective. I used the example of beating my brother twice in a race from snyder av to manchester road here in my area. I won both times on way there i waited for him for nearly 15 minutes on way back i won by 10 even. He was in a car and stuck to surface roads i was on towpath.

    I am planing on going to montrose to put in some job aplications its a 11 mile oen way trip on surface streets id kill for a bike high way cutting nearly strait up to there. My trip would be much much easyer.

  14. #14
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    A poll or a troll? LOL, just messin with you. I like the idea, but obviously the devil is in the details. For example, will creating such bikeway be used by some to justify restricting cyclists rights to the road? Who will be tasked with enforcing the no geese rule?
    Roaming coyotes.

  15. #15
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    What about leveraging our existing interstate highway system? Pros, cons?
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  16. #16
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    A poll or a troll? LOL, just messin with you. I like the idea, but obviously the devil is in the details. For example, will creating such bikeway be used by some to justify restricting cyclists rights to the road? Who will be tasked with enforcing the no geese rule?

    Ill take up the roll of goose terminator just give me a 12 gauge and ammo

    As for enforcement of other rules why not a volunteer system?
    Would most asuradly need to make sure motorists know that we have full rights to use it and or the surface roads. Get the news media involved in that part. Many more signs share the road and other cycle advocacy signs on surface streets etc. Remember the majority of motorists have respect for us its only a hand full per 100 who dont.

    I think we all need to think about more of the technical details first and argue rules regs and how to over come problems after. Then modify our ideas acordingly.

  17. #17
    mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    You'd end up with the cagers complaining that we should stay on the bike paths/lanes/freeway whenever we need to use the road.
    Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner.

  18. #18
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    What about leveraging our existing interstate highway system? Pros, cons?
    As in bike lanes outside the gaurd rail sort of like this

    ---------------------------------------
    <---------BL------------------------
    ---------------------------------------
    =====[]=====[]=====[]
    ---------------------------------------
    Highway lane
    <-------------------------------------
    Highway lane
    ---------------------------------------
    /////////////devider\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
    \\\\\\\\\\\\\devider//////////////
    ---------------------------------------
    Highway lane
    ------------------------------------>
    Highwaylane
    ---------------------------------------
    =====[]=====[]=====[]
    ---------------------------------------
    ---------BL------------------------>
    ---------------------------------------

    Hows that ?
    Shared on and off ramps would be constructed the same way same for bridges. It would only require construction along side existing highways and highway over passes and ramps. Ohhh just think of the cyling touring possabilities

  19. #19
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    What about leveraging our existing interstate highway system? Pros, cons?
    As for pros easyer and cheaper build wise. Cons high speed crash that makes it through the gaurd rail in to the bike lanes. Now even if that happened (unlikly) our chance of being in the very spot at the very time it happens.
    Another con is costs of course. Even useing the highways right of way and the fact its going to be easyer and cheaper to do so we are likly talking high 25 50 75 million just to do say 21 in summit county. But i may be grossly over estimating the cost. We not talkign 2 ton to 30+ tons on the road surface instead were talkign 250 300 pounds at most at any one time. Thinner roads less upkeep.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    You'd end up with the cagers complaining that we should stay on the bike paths/lanes/freeway whenever we need to use the road.
    Why should we care? We get this anyway. If there were no paths/lanes/freeway, they would just want us off the road completely. If we never ask, we never recieve.

    As for funding, the existing freeway system would not exist if not for federal funding -- lots of it. Doesn't it cost several million dollers per mile of freeway? Someone's benefit is someone elses pork. Its the way the government works.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  21. #21
    mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by nova
    Shared on and off ramps would be constructed the same way same for bridges. It would only require construction along side existing highways and highway over passes and ramps.
    Highway space is a premium. LA widened the 405 and put in another lane on both sides. Phoenix, Vegas, etc. widened their highways from 3 to 4 lanes. When it comes to widening the freeways, the choice is glaringly obvious - add more vehicle lanes, not bicycle lanes. In fact, bicycles are not allowed on the freeways at all except in rural areas in some states and nowhere in others.

  22. #22
    mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    As for funding, the existing freeway system would not exist if not for federal funding -- lots of it. Doesn't it cost several million dollers per mile of freeway? Someone's benefit is someone elses pork.
    No, our Constitution states that Congress shall provide post roads. In present-day that means freeways. It's not pork. How do you think people across the nation get stuff shipped to them that arrived in the Port of Long Beach? Besides, L.A. and SoCal in general might have the highest concentration of freeways. Thank you for your tax dollars.

  23. #23
    Violin guitar mandolin
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    A prerequisite (to my way of thinking) would be a need. The interstate system arose from a need (a debate in there, I'm sure). Once enough people start using bicycles or the functional equivalent, then the pressure to accommodate those folks will be real. I don't see any reason to keep 25 cc recumbent commuter thingies off a bikeway. But that's probably another can of worms.

    What is it for? Vehicles that don't compete well with cars, but are more efficient. I can see selling that pretty well. The 10 to 45 mph crowd.

  24. #24
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandovoodoo
    A prerequisite (to my way of thinking) would be a need. The interstate system arose from a need (a debate in there, I'm sure). Once enough people start using bicycles or the functional equivalent, then the pressure to accommodate those folks will be real. I don't see any reason to keep 25 cc recumbent commuter thingies off a bikeway. But that's probably another can of worms.

    What is it for? Vehicles that don't compete well with cars, but are more efficient. I can see selling that pretty well. The 10 to 45 mph crowd.

    Good point instead of limiting it only to bikes how about limiting it to bikes peds (dont think would be much of a call for that but you never know) and mopeds and scooters that dont meet the legal mins for highway travel. Thats accualy a speed requirement if i recall its no vehical that isnt capable of at least 45 mph as well as a few other requirements on lighting etc. I had back when i was aroudn 10 to 12 a batavous moped 3 speed automatic. It had a hgihway patrol sticker on it meanign it met the requirements for speed and lighting. It would do about 50 to 55 mph at top speed. Ting was damn fun and i still sort of miss it now and then.

    I think allowing all sub 45 mph 2 wheeled vehicals on it would make city and highway planners more apt to consider it. I say we plan it all out come up with a full proposal includeing some prelim designs and send it out to a few select cities and county comisioners just for the hell of it. Maybe get some usefull feed back. Or maybe just get laughed at who knows. But i mean hey with a good design and proposal we might get them intrested in the idea.

  25. #25
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nova
    As in bike lanes outside the gaurd rail sort of like this
    KISS principle. Just improve the existing shoulders (many are already simply beautiful) and let us use the darn things. Yeah, bike-cage accidents would probably be fatal for the cyclist, but I rode portions I-25 in NM and Colorado for 10 years and never even had a close call. The biggest danger isn't pissed off people trying to run you down, because you are not blocking their path or causing them to have to change lanes to pass you. Jerks who use the shoulder as a lane to bypass traffic are a danger, as is debris, both on the shoulder and flying up from truck wash, which is another danger...darn trucks can blow you clear to Kansas. Motorists who need to pull to the shoulder for emergencies are a risk, especially at night when tired drivers get to wandering. No problems with trying to merge into traffic lanes to take a left, we follow the same traffic patterns using off-ramps, which are also usually well shouldered. No parked cars to worry about, very few peds, not a lot of loose dogs, at least not live ones.

    My experience in NM may not be a good indicator...traffic volume on 25 at the NM-CO border isn't that heavy, and I have not thought this totally through...but that's why I mentioned it...lotta smart, experienced cyclists around here make for a hell of a brainstorming group.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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