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  1. #1
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Good info about how to make cycling safer and more frequent

    From http://www.sbbike.org/docs/Pucher.pdf
    HOW TO MAKE WALKING AND CYCLING SAFER
    However dangerous walking and cycling currently are in the USA, it is definitely
    possible and essential to make them much safer. As shown by the wide range of
    coordinated policies in The Netherlands33,34 and Germany35, the necessary techniques and
    programs already exist and have been proven to work extremely well. They include
    better facilities for walking and cycling; traffic calming of residential neighborhoods;
    urban design sensitive to the needs of non-motorists; restrictions on motor vehicle use in
    cities; rigorous traffic education of both motorists and non-motorists; and strict
    enforcement of traffic regulations protecting pedestrians and bicyclists. American cities
    lack only the political will to adopt the same strategies.

    Due to space limitations, we can only briefly summarize here the six categories of
    public policy measure implemented in The Netherlands and Germany. For detailed
    descriptions and illustrations of the Dutch and German measures, readers can consult a
    range of publications about walking and cycling in Europe.10,26,36,37,38,39

    Better Facilities for Walking and Cycling

    One emphasis of Dutch40 and German35 policy has been to improve the
    transportation infrastructure used by pedestrians and bicyclists. For pedestrians, that has
    included extensive auto-free zones that cover much of the city center; wide, well-lit
    sidewalks on both sides of every street; pedestrian refuge islands for crossing wide
    streets; clearly-marked zebra crosswalks, often raised and with special lighting for
    visibility; and pedestrian-activated crossing signals, both at intersections and mid-block
    crosswalks.

    Dutch and German cities have also invested heavily to expand and improve
    bicycling facilities. From 1978 to 1996, the Dutch more than doubled the extent of their
    already massive network of bike paths and lanes (from 9,282 km to 18,948 km). From
    1976 to 1995, the Germans almost tripled the extent of their bikeway network (from
    12,911 km to 31,236 km).10 In addition, there are an increasing number of so-called
    “bicycle streets,” where cars are permitted but cyclists have strict right of way over the
    entire breadth of the roadway. Unlike the sparse and fragmented cycling facilities in the
    USA, the bike paths, lanes, and streets in The Netherlands and Germany form a truly
    coordinated network covering both rural and urban areas. Importantly, Dutch and
    German bikeway systems serve practical destinations for everyday travel, not just
    recreational attractions, as most bike paths in the USA.

    The provision of separate rights-of-way is complemented by various other
    measures: special bike turn lanes leading directly to intersections; separate bike traffic
    signals with advance green lights for cyclists; bicyclist-activated traffic signals at key
    intersections; and modification of street networks to create deliberate dead ends and slow,
    circuitous routing for cars but direct, fast routing for bikes.

    Traffic Calming of Residential Neighborhoods

    Traffic calming limits the speeds of motor vehicle traffic, both by law—30 km per
    hour (19mph) or less—and through physical barriers such as raised intersections and
    crosswalks, traffic circles, road narrowing, zigzag routes, curves, speed humps, and
    artificial dead-ends created by mid-block street closures.10 Traffic calming gives
    pedestrians, bicyclists, and playing children as much right to use residential streets as
    motor vehicles; indeed, motor vehicles are required to yield to these other users. In both
    The Netherlands41 and Germany, traffic calming is area-wide and not for isolated streets.
    That ensures that faster through-traffic gets displaced to arterial routes designed to handle
    it and not simply shifted from one local road to another.

    The most important safety impact of traffic calming is the reduced speeds of
    motor vehicles. That is crucial not only to the motorist’s ability to avoid hitting
    pedestrians and bicyclists but also to the survival of non-motorists in a crash. The British
    Department of Transport, for example, finds that the risk of pedestrian death in crashes
    rises from 5% at 20mph to 45% at 30mph and 85% at 40mph.

    Area-wide traffic calming in Dutch neighborhoods has reduced traffic accidents
    by 20% to 70%.43 Traffic calming in German neighborhoods has reduced traffic injuries
    overall by 20% to 70% and serious traffic injuries by 35% to 56%.44 A comprehensive
    review of traffic calming impacts in Denmark, Great Britain, Germany, and The
    Netherlands found that traffic injuries fell by an average of 53% in traffic-calmed
    neighborhoods.45 In short, traffic calming greatly reduces the danger of traffic deaths and
    injuries in residential neighborhoods. Traffic calming greatly improves not only
    pedestrian safety but also the safety of bicycling, since much bike use—especially by
    children—is in residential neighborhoods.

    Urban Design Oriented to People and Not Cars

    New suburban developments in The Netherlands and Germany are designed to
    provide safe and convenient pedestrian and bicycling access.10 Residential developments
    almost always include other uses such as cultural centers, shopping, and service
    establishments that can easily be reached by foot or bike. Both residential and
    commercial developments have sidewalks and bicycle paths to serve non-motorists.

    Parking lots almost never surround buildings, as in the United States; instead, they are
    built next to or behind buildings, thus permitting easy access to pedestrians and
    bicyclists. When an obstacle such as a highway, railroad, or river must be traversed,
    Dutch and German cities usually provide safe and attractive pedestrian and bicyclist
    crossings. By comparison, strip malls in American suburbs are difficult and dangerous to
    reach by foot or bicycle, and most bridges lack provisions for pedestrians and bicyclists.

    In the United States, the separation of residential from commercial land uses
    increases trip distances and makes the car a necessity. Suburban cul-de-sacs further
    discourage walking and bicycling by making trips circuitous and excessively long.
    Residential roads often feed directly into high-speed traffic arteries, increasing the danger
    of any trips outside the neighborhood. The lack of sidewalks in most American suburbs
    further exacerbates the problem.

    Restrictions on Motor Vehicle Use

    Dutch and German cities restrict auto use not only through traffic calming, autofree
    zones, and dedicated rights of way for pedestrians and cyclists.10,26,29 They also
    enforce lower general speed limits for motor vehicles in cities—usually 50 km per hour
    (31 mph). Parking is much more limited and more expensive than in American cities. In
    addition, most Dutch and German cities prohibit truck traffic and through-traffic of any
    kind in residential neighborhoods. Motor vehicle turn restrictions are widespread;
    moreover, right turns on red are illegal.

    Traffic Education

    Driver training for motorists in The Netherlands and Germany is much more
    extensive, thorough, and expensive than in the United States.46,47 A crucial aspect of that
    training in The Netherlands and Germany is the need to pay special attention to avoiding
    collisions with pedestrians and cyclists. Motorists are required by law to drive in a way
    that minimizes the risk of injury for pedestrians and cyclists even if they are jaywalking,
    cycling in the wrong direction, ignoring traffic signals, or otherwise behaving contrary to
    traffic regulations.

    Traffic education of children has high priority in both The Netherlands and
    Germany.46,47 By the age of 10, all school children have received extensive instruction
    on safe walking and bicycling practices. They are taught not just the traffic regulations
    but how to walk and bicycle defensively, to anticipate dangerous situations, and to react
    appropriately. That sort of safety education is completely lacking in the United States.

    Traffic Regulations and Enforcement

    Traffic regulations in Germany and The Netherlands strongly favor pedestrians
    and bicyclists. Even in cases where an accident results from illegal moves by pedestrians
    or cyclists, the motorist is almost always found to be at least partly at fault. When the
    accident involves children or the elderly, the motorist is usually found to be entirely at
    fault. In almost every case, the police and the courts find that motorists should anticipate
    unsafe and illegal walking and cycling.

    In addition, German and Dutch police are far stricter in ticketing motorists,
    pedestrians, and cyclists who violate traffic regulations. Thus, walking against the light
    is not allowed in any German city and can easily result in a ticket and fine. Likewise,
    cyclists caught riding in the wrong direction, running red lights, making illegal turns, or
    riding at night without functioning lights can expect at least a warning notice and
    possibly a ticket and fine.

    The most significant contrast with the United States is the much stricter
    enforcement of traffic regulations for motorists in Germany and The Netherlands.
    Penalties can be high even for minor violations. Not stopping for pedestrians at
    crosswalks is considered a serious offense and motorists can get ticketed for noncompliance,
    even if pedestrians are only waiting at the curb and not actually in the
    crosswalk. Similarly, red traffic signals are strictly enforced, and some intersections in
    German and Dutch cities have cameras that automatically photograph cars running red
    lights and stop signs. Finally, the punishment for traffic violations by motorists is far
    more severe in The Netherlands and Germany than in the United States.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  2. #2
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great plan. I propose we should start with the abolishment of the 85th percentile speed rule in California... Streets should be marked with a fixed speed limit and that limit should be strictly enforced. No city surface street should exceed 45MPH... period.

    We can work on the rest later.

  3. #3
    genec genec's Avatar
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    From a Santa Cruz web page on city speeds:

    Formerly, the so-called 85th percentile rule was the primary factor on which speed limits were based. The 85th percentile speed is the speed at or below which 85 percent of motorists drive on any given road. The theory behind the 85th percentile guideline is that most drivers will take road conditions into account and choose a reasonably safe speed.

    "As traffic engineers themselves freely admit, the flaw in the 85th percentile approach is that drivers are traveling at a speed they feel is safe for themselves," writes Dani Weber in the Spinning Crank, the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition's newsletter.

    "That speed is not necessarily safe for other road users like pedestrians and bicyclists. High speeds (over 25 mph) are directly correlated with motorists' failure to yield to pedestrians in cross- walks, high injury rates, injury severity, lack of perceived walkability, and high noise levels. "

    http://www.missionped.org/archive/percent85.html

  4. #4
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Apparently there are negative aspects to traffic calming:

    http://www.thebikezone.org.uk/thebik...nchpoints.html
    Features that reduce the carriageway width down to the point where a cyclist cannot be safely and comfortably passed by motor vehicles constitute the most cycling-unfriendly features normally encountered on British roads. Central traffic islands are the most common example of such a feature.

    The main problem with such features is that in excess of 70% of drivers will overtake a cyclist at or just before an island even when this means that they cut a cyclist dangerously close. Even where a very narrow 'pinch point' is created (as may be found as part of a 20 M.P.H. zone or similar scheme) drivers will still 'race' to overtake a cyclist on the approach to the restriction even though it is clear that there is insufficient room to allow the cyclist and a vehicle to pass through at the same time. This behaviour intimidates cyclists who may as a consequence avoid roads that use such features even if this means riding on more heavily trafficked roads.

  5. #5
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Which is why all those things listed in the article in combination are so important. With increased enforcement of traffic laws people would be less likely to pass cyclists unsafely in traffic calming (or any other) situations. With urban design more oriented toward people instead of automobiles we could probably break the ingrained perception that roadways belong to autos alone. With better education, motorists would "be required by law to drive in a way that minimizes the risk of injury for pedestrians and cyclists even if..."

    Does this make sense?
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  6. #6
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Which is why all those things listed in the article in combination are so important. With increased enforcement of traffic laws people would be less likely to pass cyclists unsafely in traffic calming (or any other) situations. With urban design more oriented toward people instead of automobiles we could probably break the ingrained perception that roadways belong to autos alone. With better education, motorists would "be required by law to drive in a way that minimizes the risk of injury for pedestrians and cyclists even if..."

    Does this make sense?
    Yes, in fact it does... I was just reading about the 85th percentile rule and it appears that lowering speed limits alone will not result in slowing of traffic, so this is much in line with what you are saying.

    However, it is highly unlikely that any of this will happen in any significant amount in our lifetime... so we will still have to deal with motorists and roads just as they are today.

    I also found out that while engineers have been using the 85th percentile rule since the 50's, in the 70's the great experiment with the National Maximum Speed Limit (55MPH) was a failure, and since then, in the early 90s, laws were enacted at a national level endorsing the 85th percentile speed rules. I can't help but wonder if there was any connection between this and ultimately the condition known as road rage.

  7. #7
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Well, I for one am not content to throw up my hands in defeat on this. That's why I'll continue to support my bicycle coalition as they work toward these things.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  8. #8
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Well, I for one am not content to throw up my hands in defeat on this. That's why I'll continue to support my bicycle coalition as they work toward these things.
    Continue the work... but don't expect results soon... that is all I am saying.

  9. #9
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    The only thing that will work is to make cars mechanically incapable of going faster than the speed limit. Some kind of radio frequency device that regulates the cruise control, I guess. then the speed limits need to be MUCH lower than they are now. Most of these traffic calming devices and segregated facilities are silly and ineffective, IMO.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  10. #10
    Speed Demon *roll eyes*
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Which is why all those things listed in the article in combination are so important. With increased enforcement of traffic laws people would be less likely to pass cyclists unsafely in traffic calming (or any other) situations. With urban design more oriented toward people instead of automobiles we could probably break the ingrained perception that roadways belong to autos alone. With better education, motorists would "be required by law to drive in a way that minimizes the risk of injury for pedestrians and cyclists even if..."

    Does this make sense?
    It sure does. I remember a trip to Germany about 14 years ago and saw much of what you posted in the OP. The roads are not only generally better there, but the cities are really really ped and bike friendly. It was marvelous going through Stuttgart (for example) and having the main street be totally closed to cars and FULL of people walking to and from shops and restaurants. It was quieter, safer, more fun. It was fantastic.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Yes, in fact it does... I was just reading about the 85th percentile rule and it appears that lowering speed limits alone will not result in slowing of traffic, so this is much in line with what you are saying.

    However, it is highly unlikely that any of this will happen in any significant amount in our lifetime... so we will still have to deal with motorists and roads just as they are today.

    I also found out that while engineers have been using the 85th percentile rule since the 50's, in the 70's the great experiment with the National Maximum Speed Limit (55MPH) was a failure, and since then, in the early 90s, laws were enacted at a national level endorsing the 85th percentile speed rules. I can't help but wonder if there was any connection between this and ultimately the condition known as road rage.
    What are you talking about? Many places are experimenting with stricter speed limits, speed and red light camaras, redesigning streets, increasing enforcement, etc to make the roads safer for all. Throwing up your hands thinking nothing can be done is self fullfilling. There is no quick fix, that is for sure, but if it takes 10 years to accomplish, better start now since it will still take 10 years 10 years from now.

    Part of the reason the high speed limits are still around is because nobody will challenge them because everyone thinks they are unchallengeable. You've got to start sometime; so might as well start now...

    We constantly confuse short term advocacy with the long term. We constantly dismiss the long term because it is long term, i.e. "it's not going to happen in my lifetime...." But we forget that the short term solutions don't work so well unless you address the long term solutions in parallel. The answer to the "chicken and egg" problem is that what came first is not relevent. The chicken evolved in parallel with the egg. Neither came first; or both did. We cannot dismiss the short term in favor of the long term, but similarly, we cannot dismiss the long term in favor of the short term.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  12. #12
    Speed Demon *roll eyes*
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    This may sound weird, but I am in favour of lowering speed limits in town, and raising them on the motorways (not rural roads) since those roads are better suited to fast driving. I am not talking about a huge increase - for example, increasing the speed limit from 100 to 120 on the 401 in Ontario (this has been proposed, and is advocated by some members of the police as being sensible). Keeping residential speed limits to 40kmph or 30 in some cases, and then enforcing it, will help keep those areas - with the most children and peds - much safer since it allows for a greater reaction time (or rather, less distance covered while reaction occurs) and lower stopping distances.
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  13. #13
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    What are you talking about? Many places are experimenting with stricter speed limits, speed and red light camaras, redesigning streets, increasing enforcement, etc to make the roads safer for all. Throwing up your hands thinking nothing can be done is self fullfilling. There is no quick fix, that is for sure, but if it takes 10 years to accomplish, better start now since it will still take 10 years 10 years from now.

    Part of the reason the high speed limits are still around is because nobody will challenge them because everyone thinks they are unchallengeable. You've got to start sometime; so might as well start now...

    We constantly confuse short term advocacy with the long term. We constantly dismiss the long term because it is long term, i.e. "it's not going to happen in my lifetime...." But we forget that the short term solutions don't work so well unless you address the long term solutions in parallel. The answer to the "chicken and egg" problem is that what came first is not relevent. The chicken evolved in parallel with the egg. Neither came first; or both did. We cannot dismiss the short term in favor of the long term, but similarly, we cannot dismiss the long term in favor of the short term.

    Whoa, I am not giving up... but being a realist... you yourself mentioned that it could be 10 years or more before any change is really done, and even then IMHO, there will still be areas that are not speed controlled... so as a cyclist... while advocating for safer streets... it behoves me to accept that if I want to ride today, I will have to tolerate today's environment.

    That was all that I meant.

    As far as simply lowering the speeds and expecting that to work... I read (sorry I cannot cite... I was just clicking through them) several reports that indicated that motorists tend to ignore speed limits and drive at the speed they are comfortable with... which is why the 55 national speed limit did not work.

    Red light cams are a bandaid to a bigger problem.... the fact is that motorists are still running lights and often fail to stop on a right on red. That is NOT going to be cured tomorrow. Enforcement may stop the illegal activity at one intersection for the duration of the attendent cop, but after the police leave...

    What I really was acquiescing to is that lowering speeds will not have the desired effect... it will take everything Diane mentioned. Locally for instance a couple areas have used traffic calming and roundabouts to achive what 35MPH signs have not been able to accomplish for well over 10 years. So the solution that I initially pointed out (lowering speeds) is NOT enough... it takes more than lowering speeds, and adding enforcement.

    Diane outlined a whole concept that really focuses on peds and a complete street concept... but again, adoption will not come quick.

    Personally I think speeds above 45MPH inside of a city limit on surface streets are foolish... but just changing the limits will not result in slower cars... it takes more to slow down lead footed drivers.

  14. #14
    Speed Demon *roll eyes*
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    What I think it will take is a "sea change" on our collective approach to automobile use by society as a whole. Cars here are relatively afforable compared to Europe, and Europe, due to much smaller distances and greater population density,has functioning intercity public transit that is affordable, and efficient, and publicly funded. Add that to what Diane posted, and you can see fairly easilly I think why it is often nicer to bike/walk/ and yes, even drive, over there than here.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Sounds like a great plan. I propose we should start with the abolishment of the 85th percentile speed rule in California... Streets should be marked with a fixed speed limit and that limit should be strictly enforced. No city surface street should exceed 45MPH... period.

    We can work on the rest later.
    You raise an interesting question, one that I have considered for many years: if all areas (at least in Canada) are regulated with a speed limit and there are no roads like the Autobahn, without speed limits, why have federal and provincial governments (and their counterparts in similar areas of the US) continued to allow car manufacturers to build cars with greater and greater speed? Virtually all vehicles have the capacity to go at least twice as fast as the highest speed limit. Could they not be regarded as complicit in willful endangerment? Should they not insist car manufacturers install limiters on motor vehicles (like school buses and select other vehicles) that deny them the ability to surpass, say, 60 or 65mph (120Km/h in Canada) or develop technology that controls speed of vehicles on urban roads? There is really no viable or reasonable need for a car to exceed the speed limit, after all, and the only reason the government has not applied controls is because of the revenue they gain from allowing motorists to speed. In my opinion, that makes the government negligent---they could have done something to prevent death, serious injury and property damage, but chose not to---and should be legally liable. I'd like to see a victim of a high-speed accident file suit against the car manufacturers and the government to see how they'd defend their failure to act.
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    Oh man, the Pucher/Forester debate has been going on for years.

  17. #17
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Did the 55 speed limit really fail? I remember when they switched it to 65 but I do not remember the reason why. I remember thinking it was a stupid decision they made to switch it to 65. Think of all the gasoline we've wasted since we raised the speed limit. I'm pretty certain the switch from 55 to 65 had nothing to do with how fast people drive and more to do with the oil industry lobby.

    Oh look, the news says that Exxon Mobile has reported record profits today.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Did the 55 speed limit really fail? I remember when they switched it to 65 but I do not remember the reason why. I remember thinking it was a stupid decision they made to switch it to 65. Think of all the gasoline we've wasted since we raised the speed limit. I'm pretty certain the switch from 55 to 65 had nothing to do with how fast people drive and more to do with the oil industry lobby.

    Oh look, the news says that Exxon Mobile has reported record profits today.
    Well, one of the problems is that 55 saving gas is a myth in most modern cars. Most mordern cars are more efficent at higher speeds due to better engines. My Passat gets the best milage at 70mph.
    Also it created problems for long distance travel. 55mph in the salt desert of Utah is just stupid and ads a day or so to a transcontintal journey.
    Also speed limiters are a bad idea. Look at semi-trucks climbing a hill. Some of the big companies install speed limiters to save on insurance rates. They cannot accelerate befgore a hill to get momentum going so they slow up the works. Also, as they are not perfectly accurant you'll have one truck going 65mph and another passing at 66mph. On a four lane freeway, its pretty bad.
    One has to factor the fuel saving aspects with the fact that people's time is worth money. And a guy going 100mph on an empty, flat, straight freeway (ala the salt desert) is not as much as a risk as a distracted driver at 55mph.
    Ho0nestly, i see no reason why rural freeways need speed limits. Even rural highways with low traffic volume could stand higher speed limits. I felt no greater danger in Montana on US 2 with 70mph limits that roads with 55mph limits.
    Speed limits do not naturally coralate to safety except in high traffic (inculding bicycles and peds) situations. Greater problems include driver distraction, road rage, lack of knowledge of the rules of the road, driving like an idiot, and poor equipment (SUVs have no business going more than 70ish mph especailly given thier low speed rated tires). The problem is that everyone is convinced that speed is the issue, which means we focus too much on speed and less on true safety. For example, the traffic calming that narrows the road.
    Implimenting traffic circles without telling drivers how to use them is another.
    Most urban speed limits should be lower (some freeways should be faster, 35-E in Minneapolis is 45mph) if they can be enforced (I'm not convinced at a 25mph limit can help if only 12 the people follow it, in fact I'd argue it makes things more dangerious for all users).
    Also,m traffic calming has other problems. In Sacramento, they introiduced traffic calming in mid-town. It hurt some businesses on the "calmed" routes either by reducing traffic or parking, helped some due to the fact that slower traffic saw them, made midtown hard to navigate and pushed traffic to other streets without calming, in front of other people's homes.
    However nothing pisses me off more than some dumbass speeding on a residential street, especailly with kids around.
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    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Ho0nestly, i see no reason why rural freeways need speed limits. Even rural highways with low traffic volume could stand higher speed limits. I felt no greater danger in Montana on US 2 with 70mph limits that roads with 55mph limits.
    I was on a driving vacation with my mom, dad and four grandkids last year. We were usually doing 60mph on the freeways. My own usual practice is to change lanes to the left if I see a vehicle stopped on the shoulder (flat tire, etc). During the last leg of the trip I put a HandyCam on the dashboard to film some highway cruising and then compress it to 20x playback speed for laughs. It's interesting when I see that movie, because it reminds me that half the time, there was not sufficient reaction time & space to make my lane change when coming upon a stopped vehicle on the shoulder, for one reason or another. And I was paying full attention to my driving, too. Overall I feel that 60-65mph is plenty for average drivers in less-than-stellar vehicles on American freeways.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nm+
    Ho0nestly, i see no reason why rural freeways need speed limits. Even rural highways with low traffic volume could stand higher speed limits. I felt no greater danger in Montana on US 2 with 70mph limits that roads with 55mph limits.

    Ever ridden any of those rural freeways on a bike? I have... and you really don't want to encourage a super high speed on those... especially when the only thing between you and another car is a double yellow line.

    Divided controlled access freeways are one thing and the speeds can easily go up on those... but don't turn "two lane blacktop" into blood alley.

    The road in the pic is in southern Utah, and the only road in that area.
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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Oh man, the Pucher/Forester debate has been going on for years.
    Care to enlighten the rest of us?

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    nm+
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    I was on a driving vacation with my mom, dad and four grandkids last year. We were usually doing 60mph on the freeways. My own usual practice is to change lanes to the left if I see a vehicle stopped on the shoulder (flat tire, etc). During the last leg of the trip I put a HandyCam on the dashboard to film some highway cruising and then compress it to 20x playback speed for laughs. It's interesting when I see that movie, because it reminds me that half the time, there was not sufficient reaction time & space to make my lane change when coming upon a stopped vehicle on the shoulder, for one reason or another. And I was paying full attention to my driving, too. Overall I feel that 60-65mph is plenty for average drivers in less-than-stellar vehicles on American freeways.
    Where was this?
    I do the same and have had no problems with seeing vehicles. The exceptions are hilly and/or cuvy sections that are rare on well designed rural freeways. When they do exists, speed limits should be in place and reasonable. An example might be I-5 south of the Canadian border, though thats urban and croiwed enough to justify a somewhat low speed limit. Most of the freeways of the midwest need no speed limits.
    Ever ridden any of those rural freeways on a bike? I have... and you really don't want to encourage a super high speed on those... especially when the only thing between you and another car is a double yellow line.
    When i said I was on those roads I meant on bike. I have seen tens of thousands of miles of rural highway and have never felt in sdanger because of a high speed limit (I don't think a 2 lane highway should have no speed limit, but feel soem are artifically slow, 70mph would be a good limit for well maintianed roads with good sight lines). The danger is those who can't wait to pass and try to sqeeze you out. In low vis situations, of course speed limits should be lower, but flat land where you can see a few miles ahewad of you?
    In general, when I talk about removing or raising speed limits I mean in plac es where it is safe to do so. places where sight-lines can give you enough warning to see a vehicle or ped (if applicable) and react. Many places the speed limits are low simply to raise revenue. They want to do that? Raise the gas tax.
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    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Where was this?
    Eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana, on the way to Yellowstone & back. Due to traffic, as much as hills and curves. I mean, sometimes I could spot the stopped car, but had someone in the left lane and couldn't change lanes. Sometimes I'd come out from behind some visual obstacle and there it was. The Autobahn it ain't

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    At least nobody disagrees in general with the items in the article. I was starting to get worried with the A&S folks.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

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    there's no sophistic puchner/forrestor debate here.

    All that's needed is a simple check with

    a) cyclists from Europe that now cycle in america; and
    b) bicyclists from America that have bicycled in Europe or lived there......


    there is NO Puchner/Forrestor debate, it is more like contrived criticism on the part of the forrestor camp of roadway and open space design that benefit the entire community.

    designing open space to enhance livable communities.... where is there a debate?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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