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Old 01-02-06, 08:26 AM   #1
Daily Commute
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So Cal Bike Lanes, B+

I went riding in Southern California (between Newport Beach and Dana Point) last week and got a good dose of bike lanes. (I rode a rented a road bike.) For the most part, I thought the lanes worked well. I'll give them a B+.

They had lanes on the Pacific Coast Highway, which is a 55+ mph road between towns and 10-35 mph street in towns. The lanes were largely wide and clear. The biggest problem (not surprisingly) came at the intersections. The lanes just ended and dumped cyclists into right-turn-only lanes that led into gated communities. The lanes should have been run to the left of the turn lanes. There was plenty of space.

The lanes wisely ended in towns. That was needed to avoid on-street parking. Plus, there is little need for a lane when traffic toodles along at 15-25 mph.

The PCH bike lanes eventually ended entirely and were replaced by parking-permitted shoulders. Riding in those shoulders would be perilous because you would have to weave in and out of traffic, and the shoulders sometimes disappeared without notice.

I did see one stupid lane on a 25 mph side street. There was a nearly unused larking lane (it was off season), a bike lane, and a car lane. If the parking lane had been full, the bike lane would have been in the door zone. When the parking lane was empty, the cyclist was riding needlessly to the left.

Other than the one stupid 25 mph bike lanes, the bike lanes were limited to freeway-like roads. They were wide and generally well-cleared. I doubt that cities could maintain lanes in less gentle climates.

There were signs in some places that said that sidewalk cycling was allowed, but it was on wide sidewalks that few pedestrians used on freeway-like roads with few intersections. Plus, cycling was still allowed on the street. I'm not sure about the wisdom of encouraging sidewalk cycling, but my guess is that they're used mainly by pedestrian-style cyclists. As long as you ride like a pedestrian, those sidewalk routes can be safe.

Now, if I can just convince my city to limit bike lanes to high-speed (>35 mph) roads, I'll be happy.
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Old 01-02-06, 09:52 AM   #2
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Oh, I didn't know you were in town over the holidays. Anyway, I largely agree with your assessment of the bike lanes here.

On Pacific Coast Highway, the distinction between bike lane and shoulder isn't always clear. According to the map below, it's mostly bike lane in Newport Beach, shoulder (or lack thereof) in Laguna Beach, and then back to bike lane in Dana Point.

http://www.octa.net/bikeways.asp?cat...bikeways%20map

I don't know if you made it inland to Irvine or other south Orange County cities. As you get away from the ocean in this area, the roads inland are even more freeway-like, with few intersections and no on-street parking, and therefore generally have bike lanes.

How busy was Laguna Beach? Usually the weekend summertime traffic on PCH can be so congested it slows bicyclists down. Other times I see a lot of door zone cycling on PCH through town. There are a group of advocates in town who are pushing for a signed "alternate" route through town, but the alternate route is not without its problems (such as stop signs at the bottom of steep hills).
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Old 01-02-06, 11:47 AM   #3
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Laguna Beach had a decent amount of traffic. It slowed me down a little, but not much. I'm skeptical of the value of a signed alternative route through town, but it's worth thinking about. Most of the cyclists on the road appeared to be experienced roadies (or at least poseurs for experienced roadies), who used the PCH because it is a fast route. I can't imagine many of them would use it.

The signed alternative route might be helpful for the tourists and locals riding beach cruisers around town. My biggest concern would be that the alternative route might be a first step to banning cyclists from the PCH.

One fun part of the ride was not getting passed by the roadies. I was using toe clips (I left my SPD's in Ohio) and all I had on was an ordinary T-shirt and baggie shorts, so I certainly didn't look the part. Two roadies (one of them on a TT bike) passed me as I was approaching a red light. I let them go on ahead, but they were going so darned slow. They must have thought that no t-shirt wearing toe-clip using cyclist could stay ahead of them. I passed them and they never caught back up.

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Old 01-02-06, 02:17 PM   #4
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My wife's younger sister lives up a steep hill in Laguna Beach, so I am somewhat familiar with the area. I suppose there are reasonable alternate routes here and there, but given the area's topography, it is hard to envision anything generally useful for a long stretch. In addition, the side streets do get very steep.
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Old 01-02-06, 06:19 PM   #5
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The alternate route is pieced together from side streets here and there (maps at link below). Generally, my preference is to go through Laguna Beach in the shortest time possible in order to get to the more enjoyable riding north or south, so I prefer PCH.

Cyclists can't be banned from PCH, although I was concerned at first about negative publicity about PCH, therefore marginalizing cyclists who wish to use PCH. I have to give the local advocates credit for doing a good job of promoting the route in a manner that would appeal to tourists and beach cruisers, while the route also "recognizes large cycling groups will still use Coast Hwy - as is their right by state law." (per the web page below)

http://www.bikeoc.org/pages/1/index.htm
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Old 01-03-06, 02:18 PM   #6
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Glad you liked the bike lanes out here.

We have some very good bicycle facilities inland too.
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Old 01-03-06, 02:54 PM   #7
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HH,
I disagree strongly with the placement of many bike lanes, but even the worst bike lanes do not deserve a comparison with Nazi Germany. This thread explains my position on Nazi analogies more completely.

Unless you think the government is going to start shipping us off to be murdered by the millions in concentration camps, pick a better argument. Your post demeans the true evil of Nazi Germany.
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Old 01-03-06, 03:41 PM   #8
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Whatever your intent, it sure didn't come off that way. It's not a good juxtaposition to make, and only serves as an appeal to fear. Not a good way to make your point.
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Old 01-03-06, 04:35 PM   #9
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The Nazi point has been made, rebutted, re-rebutted, and re-re-rebutted. My request is that general bike lane arguments move to the bike lane sticky and that posters in this thread limit the discussion to the specific bike lanes in the original post. Of course, you often need to discuss general principles to talk about specifics, but please don't forget the specifics.
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Old 01-03-06, 04:56 PM   #10
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I wonder if the Moderator could drop the posts RE Nazi's, Jim Crow, and Japanese internments. They add nothing to the OP and only serve to inflame.

There is no need to compare our advocacy to the social holocausts of years past. The same points can be made in more respectful terms.
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Old 01-03-06, 05:12 PM   #11
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OK, how's this?

You know, you could "grade" bank robbers, ******* and murderers, and some might even earn a relative B+ on an overall "goodness" scale, but that wouldn't make them acceptable.
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Old 01-03-06, 05:15 PM   #12
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Once again, please take the discussion about the appropriateness of Nazi analogies elsewhere, like this thread. If you have general comments about bike lanes, we have the bike lane sticky.

HH, do you have any comments about the specific lanes I was talking about (or lanes in similar situations)?
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Old 01-03-06, 05:17 PM   #13
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OK, how's this?

You know, you could "grade" bank robbers, ******* and murderers, and some might even earn a relative B+ on an overall "goodness" scale, but that wouldn't make them acceptable.
You've just lost my respect.

Do you really compare bike lanes to "bank robbers, ******* and murderers?" Oh yes, I remember now... the conspiracy to murder, **** and rob cyclists is in full swing. Bike lanes, obviously, are the start.

You, sir, are now on my ignore list.
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Old 01-03-06, 05:20 PM   #14
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My only comments, DC, are that when you look at these bike lanes in isolation, with blinders on, they might not be too bad. A B+ even. So what? I don't live in this world with my blinders on, do you? What's the point of pointing out that, in isolation, they're a B+ or whatever? B+, C, D, F or A+, ALL bike lanes on shared roads convey the message that cyclists should stay out of the way of cars, which is unacceptable.
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Old 01-03-06, 05:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
Do you really compare bike lanes to "bank robbers, ******* and murderers?"
Absolutely not.

Jeez, some of you have a real hard time with analogies.

Is saying car is to vehicle like orange is to fruit a comparison of cars with oranges?

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Old 01-03-06, 05:32 PM   #16
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This is just beyond perverse

You should be deeply ashamed of yourself but I doubt you have the capacity for shame, or any other emotion requiring posession of a conscience.

Welcome to my ignore list
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Old 01-03-06, 05:33 PM   #17
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Jeez, some of you have a real hard time with analogies.
Seems to me that your analogies often fail to make your point, so perhaps the hard time is yours?
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Old 01-03-06, 05:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
I wonder if the Moderator could drop the posts RE Nazi's, Jim Crow, and Japanese internments. They add nothing to the OP and only serve to inflame.

There is no need to compare our advocacy to the social holocausts of years past. The same points can be made in more respectful terms.
I'll second that, and add that some of those posts are incredibly offensive.
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Old 01-03-06, 06:46 PM   #19
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I'll second that, and add that some of those posts are incredibly offensive.
+3 . As all of us can see in the recent thread/poll on the use(s) of the term "cager" to describe, and in addition, to deliberately offend people in the pursuit of a perverse brand of bicycling advocacy is the name of the game for some posters.
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Old 01-03-06, 07:02 PM   #20
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So, please explain. Is any reference to the nickname of the National Socialist German Workers Party now considered "incredibly offensive"? I guess I missed that PC bulletin.

I see that my example of grading camps has been deleted, but my almost identical example of grading ******* and murders remains:


Quote:
You know, you could "grade" bank robbers, ******* and murderers, and some might even earn a relative B+ on an overall "goodness" scale, but that wouldn't make them acceptable.
I guess no one here is offended by bank robbers, ******* and murderers. But just mention the you-know-whats and you get deleted...

This, my friends, is Political Correctness taken to an absurd level.

However, you have all succeeded in deflecting the discussion from the matter at hand. Good job.
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Old 01-03-06, 07:11 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
There is no need to compare our advocacy to the social holocausts of years past
Of course, I agree. If you think I have been comparing any advocacy to the social holocausts of years past, you didn't read my posts very carefully.

Do you (or anyone else) really think I am comparing anyone's advocacy to lima beans in the following statement?

You could "grade" lima beans on some scale of quality (ripeness, freshness, size, fullness of flavor, texture, etc.), and some might even earn a relative B+ on an overall "goodness" scale, but that wouldn't make them tasty to me.

If so, please explain.
If not, if I substitute camps for lima beans in the above, why does it suddenly become a comparison of advocacy to the social holocausts of the past?
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Old 01-03-06, 07:11 PM   #22
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Is any reference to the nickname of the National Socialist German Workers Party now considered "incredibly offensive"? I guess I missed that PC bulletin.
No, comparing bike lanes to death camps is offensively stupid. Try another tactic, like logic, to get your point across. We're not sheep.
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Old 01-03-06, 07:18 PM   #23
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I started a new thread to discuss the Nazi analogies. that pop up all too frequently in A&S. The thread is titled, "Nazis, Jim Crow, Bike Lanes and the NYPD." Could we please move the discussion there?
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Old 01-03-06, 08:09 PM   #24
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No, comparing bike lanes to death camps is offensively stupid. Try another tactic, like logic, to get your point across. We're not sheep.
I agree comparing bike lanes to death camps is offensively stupid. I am using logic, but you guys can't see past the death camp reference, thinking it's a comparison. I've switched to lima beans, and you still can't see the point, apparently.
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Old 01-03-06, 08:11 PM   #25
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I started a new thread to discuss the Nazi analogies. that pop up all too frequently in A&S. The thread is titled, "Nazis, Jim Crow, Bike Lanes and the NYPD." Could we please move the discussion there?
If you want to bring this thread back on topic, please respond to #14.
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