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Old 10-11-06, 04:09 PM   #1
Helmet Head
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Local advocacy group meetings and you

Does your area have a local advocacy group?
Do you go the meetings?
Are you a member? Regular or board?
How often are your meetings?
How often do you go?
How far is the meeting location from your home? Work?
What form of transport do you usually use to get there? If not bike, why?
How often do you go by bike, if ever?
About how many people show up to a typical meeting?
About how many of them (number/percent) arrive by bike?
What kind of cyclist are you primarily... order these by priority: commuter, family-recreational, sport-recreational, racing, utilitarian.
About what percent of the time at typical meetings (average over a year) is spent on fhe following topics:
  • General road issues (not specific to bike-specific facilities)
  • Bike specific facilities
  • Bike Ed
  • Planning reviews
  • b.s.
  • Other
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Old 10-11-06, 04:17 PM   #2
chephy
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There are many bike advocacy groups around here. I don't go to any meetings. I suspect I'll either lose my cool and blow up or get depressed beyond description.

So I just ride...
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Old 10-11-06, 04:39 PM   #3
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Does your area have a local advocacy group?

yes

Do you go the meetings?

Went to two... didn't see room for input from non-board members


Are you a member? Regular or board?

Yes, regular

How often are your meetings?

Monthly

How often do you go?

have gone twice, have also represented cyclists at public city meetings... outside of "advocacy meetings."


How far is the meeting location from your home? Work?

Almost half way... about 5 miles from either.


What form of transport do you usually use to get there? If not bike, why?

Have biked both times.

How often do you go by bike, if ever?

every time (aren't statistics cool)

About how many people show up to a typical meeting?

6-10

About how many of them (number/percent) arrive by bike?

Kerry, me, maybe Serge.

What kind of cyclist are you primarily... order these by priority: commuter, family-recreational, sport-recreational, racing, utilitarian.

Huh? How about sport-recreational, commuter, utilitarian.


About what percent of the time at typical meetings (average over a year) is spent on fhe following topics:

* General road issues (not specific to bike-specific facilities)
* Bike specific facilities
* Bike Ed
* Planning reviews
* b.s.
* Other

Not sure, never gauged it. Road issues and planning reviews seemed to be the key issues, as well as membership... the latter being somewhat a dismal area response, considering all the bike shops and therefore potential cyclists in the area... however, I happen to know that the local water color society has a larger membership, bigger budget, and bigger meetings... My wife is a member of that group.
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Old 10-11-06, 08:52 PM   #4
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Does your area have a local advocacy group?
There are various Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Groups or Committees that the government has put in place that I go to. But technically as far as advocacy groups goes they do not have regular meetings.

Do you go the meetings?
I go to City, Regional and State BPAC’s

Are you a member? Regular or board?
City, Board; Regional, regular; State, Regular

How often are your meetings?
City, Monthly; Regional & State Bi-monthly

How often do you go?
Fairly regularly

How far is the meeting location from your home? Work?
City, 7mi; Regional, 12 miles; State, 20mi (the 9AM start is a pain.)

What form of transport do you usually use to get there? If not bike, why?
Usually by bike, during the summer I arrange bike caravans to the meetings and we pick up people as we meander through the city, they are a blast.

How often do you go by bike, if ever?
Over 95% of the time.

About how many people show up to a typical meeting?
City, 7; Regional, 9; State, ~20

About how many of them (number/percent) arrive by bike?
The City is the only one where we have had 100% arrival by bike but usually it is closer to 50%. Regional, 3; State, 1-2.

What kind of cyclist are you primarily... order these by priority: commuter, family-recreational, sport-recreational, racing, utilitarian.
Everything but racing (though I used to do that when I was a teenager.) My priority is I just look for excuses to ride so whatever works to get me out on my bike is cool.

About what percent of the time at typical meetings (average over a year) is spent on fhe following topics:
• General road issues (not specific to bike-specific facilities)
0%

• Bike specific facilities
20%

• Bike Ed
City 10%, Regional we just started something, State when the topic comes up it falls flat.

• Planning reviews
50% mostly about plans where bike & peds are not accommodated.

• b.s.
Regional, 10% the others next to 0.

• Other
The City is working on a bike master plan, Regional it’s mostly jurisdiction progress reports and the state covers a variety of topics.
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Old 10-12-06, 02:15 AM   #5
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While I won't help you write your book, I will respond by saying thank you. This is a subject that needs to be broached here. Too many people just bich about this and that, but are not willing to actually do anything. I know it's hard, given that most people are just trying to live day to day, but these are questions that all of us should ask ourselves....what am I doing to help---posting here doesn't really count--it's a start, but there has to be a follow-up. What can each of us do?
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Old 10-12-06, 04:50 AM   #6
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Does your area have a local advocacy group?

...No idea, I never thought to look... but there is something called Bicycle Solutions that offers education & advice (in Palo Alto, not sure about anything in Oxford, UK)

Do you go the meetings?

..No

Are you a member? Regular or board?

..No
How often are your meetings?

...Don't know

How often do you go?

... I don't attend
How far is the meeting location from your home? Work?

...approx 10 miles
What form of transport do you usually use to get there? If not bike, why?

...N/A
How often do you go by bike, if ever?

..N/A
About how many people show up to a typical meeting?

Don't know

About how many of them (number/percent) arrive by bike?

Don't know

What kind of cyclist are you primarily... order these by priority: commuter, family-recreational, sport-recreational, racing, utilitarian.

Commuter & sport-rec

About what percent of the time at typical meetings (average over a year) is spent on fhe following topics:

..Bicycle Solutions has a website here: http://www.bicyclesolutions.com/classes_cyclist.html


As an "off the cuff" comment, I would be very unlikely to attend bike advocacy or education meetings. There is very little to interest me in this line. When the time comes, I may encourage my son to take lessons, but would probably teach him myself, the skills I have learned over the years.

Cheers,

Ed
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Old 10-12-06, 07:55 AM   #7
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There was a local bike planning meeting last month in Seattle where over a half thousand bicyclists came in the dark of evening on a rainy night to add input on how and where to improve bicycling facilities in the Seattle area.

It looked like well over %50 came by bike; i didn't see any census ###s on that, but the block was filled with parked bikes overflowing the racks and onto every railing and streetsign nearby.
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Old 10-12-06, 08:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Does your area have a local advocacy group?
Yes, the Siouxland Trails Foundation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Do you go the meetings?
Yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Are you a member? Regular or board?
Yes, regular & Chairman of Sub-Committee's as they are needed for what ever projects are being worked on, but do not sit on the board.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
How often are your meetings?
Advisory team meetings are once a month starting in November going through April or May. Ride Sub-Committee meetings are once a month starting in Jan. going through May. Other sub-committees sometimes only meet once, other times the only contact is via email or telephone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
How often do you go?
To every advisorty team meeting unless I am working on the Saturday. I attend every ride sub committee meetings. Other sub-committees as needed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
How far is the meeting location from your home? Work?
Advisory Team are about 3 miles from my home, 11 miles from work. Ride sub-committee are about 2 miles from home, 12 miles from work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
What form of transport do you usually use to get there? If not bike, why?
Car or bike. If not bike it is because of bad weather or too cold.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
How often do you go by bike, if ever?
Both Advisory Team & ride sub-committee meetings at least ride to the meetings in March April & May.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
About how many people show up to a typical meeting?
Advisory Team - anywhere from 10 to 20 people. Ride sub-committee - anywhere from 5 to 10 people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
About how many of them (number/percent) arrive by bike?
Both - 1 to 3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
What kind of cyclist are you primarily... order these by priority: commuter, family-recreational, sport-recreational, racing, utilitarian.
Sport recreational, commuter, utilitarian.
[QUOTE=Helmet Head]About what percent of the time at typical meetings (average over a year) is spent on fhe following topics:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
  • General road issues (not specific to bike-specific facilities)
  • Advisory Team issue only - 24%
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Helmet Head
  • Bike specific facilities
  • Advisory Team issue only - 50%
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Helmet Head
  • Bike Ed.
  • Advisory Team issue only - 1% Only when there are upcoming Bike Ed. classes that members wuold like to attend.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Helmet Head
  • Planning reviews.
  • Advisory Team issue only- 24%
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Helmet Head
  • b.s.
  • 1%
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    *] Other
    Both - 0%

Last edited by N_C; 10-12-06 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 10-12-06, 08:15 AM   #9
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As you and GeneC know, HH, I belong to a superb advocacy group. However, the meetings are 25 mi / 40km from my office and almost as far from my home. I am more effective as a rank-and-file dues-paying member who regularly writes emails to city traffic engineering departments and letters to the local newspaper editors.



/*What kind of cyclist are you primarily... order these by priority: commuter, family-recreational, sport-recreational, racing, utilitarian.*/

Utilitarian, commuter, sport-recreational
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Old 10-12-06, 09:41 AM   #10
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Does your area have a local advocacy group?
Yes.
Do you go the meetings?
I have attended 2 of their quarterly evening meetings and one picnic.
Are you a member? Regular or board?
Regular.
How often are your meetings?
Once a month.
How often do you go?
Once a quarter or less.
How far is the meeting location from your home? Work?
The regular meeting is about 6 miles from my office, but they have it at noon so it's hard for me to attend. The quarterly meetings are held at a different restaurant each time at dinner time, much farther away but easier to get to on time.
What form of transport do you usually use to get there? If not bike, why?
Bike. Seems sacrilegious not to.
About how many people show up to a typical meeting?
I don't know how many attend the regular meetings, but the quarterly ones have about 30 or 40.
About how many of them (number/percent) arrive by bike?
The vast majority.
What kind of cyclist are you primarily... order these by priority:
It's all the same to me: commuter/utilitarian/recreational. What I am not is racing or mountain biker.
About what percent of the time at typical meetings (average over a year) is spent on fhe following topics:

* General road issues (not specific to bike-specific facilities)
* Bike specific facilities
* Bike Ed
* Planning reviews
* b.s.
* Other
They always have an agenda and they go quite quickly through it (not a lot of bs, in other words). Things on the agenda typically include:
- Up-coming ballot measures or election issues,
- general road issues that affect cycling (road maintenance on the bike path, road or bike path work at UCSB, road striping, road construction, etc), the new bike station they are building, new bike paths they are building, etc
- discussion of possible or actual social programs involving bikes such as build-a-bike programs, giving away lights, etc,
- bike kitchens, bike ovens, etc,
- discussion of recent and future Cyclesmart classes,
- discussion of various city council meetings where there may be a possibility to effect or prevent some change to bike accessibility,
- discussion of events such as picnics, bike races, bike tours, bike rides, critical mass, or whatever is coming up whether it be professional or open to everyone,
- open discussion of whatever,
- and we usually have some cross-pollination with some members belonging to other groups so we get input from multiple sides of the issues, as well as heads-up when something is coming up that the bicycle coalition needs to be a part of.
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Old 10-12-06, 10:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chephy
There are many bike advocacy groups around here. I don't go to any meetings. I suspect I'll either lose my cool and blow up or get depressed beyond description.

So I just ride...
Unfortunately, most vehicular cyclists have similar attitudes to you, and so our point of view is generally underrepresented in these groups and meetings.

It takes very few to bring attention and resources to cyclist education, for example, but it does take a few...

It also couldn't hurt to have someone at these meetings throw out questions like, "why would we support or advocate for a bike lane on a 25 mph street, or on a street with commercial driveways every 100 feet?"
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Old 10-12-06, 10:18 AM   #12
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...and there should be more cyclists throwing out questions like "why don't we have more bike lanes on 45 MPH arterials that everyone from 8 to 80 can ride in? How come more streets in our city aren't being redesigned to be more bike and pedestrian friendly?"
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Old 10-12-06, 10:41 AM   #13
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...and there should be more cyclists throwing out questions like "why don't we have more bike lanes on 45 MPH arterials that everyone from 8 to 80 can ride in? How come more streets in our city aren't being redesigned to be more bike and pedestrian friendly?"
Putting a bike lane on a road to give unskilled cyclists a false sense of security on streets they are not ready to be riding on is not cyclist advocacy.

Last edited by Helmet Head; 10-12-06 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 10-12-06, 01:55 PM   #14
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actually. helmet head, a lot of bike advocacy IS about accomodations on the roads, AND bike lanes are designed for riders of all abilities, skilled as well as unskilled.

you still haven't learned how to ride on accomdated roadway, eh? they probably have some class connections at your advocacy meetings....
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Old 10-12-06, 02:04 PM   #15
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bike lanes are designed for riders of all abilities, skilled as well as unskilled.
Let's back up a second.

On a 45 mph arterial without bike lanes, what characteristics in the design makes it unsuitable for unskilled cyclists?

And how does adding a bike lanes affect those design characteristics such that the road does become suitable for unskilled cyclists?
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Old 10-12-06, 03:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Let's back up a second.

On a 45 mph arterial without bike lanes, what characteristics in the design makes it unsuitable for unskilled cyclists?

And how does adding a bike lanes affect those design characteristics such that the road does become suitable for unskilled cyclists?
Tend to agree with HH here... a 45MPH road is no place for "unskilled" anything, even pedestrians in crosswalks.
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Old 10-12-06, 03:56 PM   #17
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WHAT in the heck are you complaining about again, helmet head? Is this another of your anti bike lane spiels?

Advocacy groups talk about accomodations, and a lot of streets signed at 45MPH become more 'bicycle friendly' with proper accomodations for the benefit of both skilled and not so skilled bicyclists.

is this just another thinly veiled anti-facilities thread?

All advocacy meetings I've been to involve planning, facilities and advocacy ABOUT bike lanes, NOT against them.
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Old 10-12-06, 04:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Unfortunately, most vehicular cyclists have similar attitudes to you, and so our point of view is generally underrepresented in these groups and meetings.
Agreed. But I prefer to avoid discussing controversial issues because I have a defeatist attitude and a thin skin. These are not personality traits to be particularly proud about, but they are there and while I try to gradually change them, they are still there.

I also sort of feel my presence is not really necessary because there more outspoken people than I who hold similar views and who do attend such meetings. Toronto doesn't have too bad a bike scene. The director of municipal Transportation Planning rides a bike to work sometimes - and to the best of my knowledge he is a vehicular cyclist. We have a cycling division in the transportation planning department, and I've been in close contact with people who work there - they believe all the right things.

However, the main reason I don't go is that I don't see how I can contribute. What I believe is truly meaningful and good for cycling advocacy is education, of both cyclists and motorists. Yet I have not the slightest idea how to reeducate vast hordes of people who don't want to be educated. It's just not something a little advocacy group can hope to accomplish.

Anything else is not crucial to me. I don't really care if there is a bike lane to be installed on a 20 mph street, or if there are going to be bike racks on buses. I neither support nor object to these initiatives; they are more or less irrelevant. However, it's clear to me that most cyclists really love bike lanes - and the advocacy groups will more or less do what the majority of cyclists wants. Trying to fight that is pretty pointless, in my humble... democracy rules.

As far as education is concerned, I teach CAN-BIKE courses (equivalent of LAB in the U.S. I suppose). They help individual cyclists but they are doing nothing to change the general attitude of the average road user. Should I advocate for more such courses? But even if they double, triple or increase the number of courses offered by a factor of 10, it's still going to do ZILCH as far as the general public is concerned.
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Old 10-12-06, 04:07 PM   #19
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WHAT in the heck are you complaining about again, helmet head? Is this another of your anti bike lane spiels?

Advocacy groups talk about accomodations, and a lot of streets signed at 45MPH become more 'bicycle friendly' with proper accomodations for the benefit of both skilled and not so skilled bicyclists.

is this just another thinly veiled anti-facilities thread?

All advocacy meetings I've been to involve planning, facilities and advocacy ABOUT bike lanes, NOT against them.
The artful dodger is at it again... Ignoring my questions and posing his own. I'll answer yours after you answer mine.

On a 45 mph arterial without bike lanes, what characteristics in the design makes it unsuitable for unskilled cyclists?

And how does adding a bike lane affect those design characteristics such that the road does become suitable for unskilled cyclists?

I know you hate to think, Bek, but give it a shot, will you?
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Old 10-12-06, 04:09 PM   #20
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As far as education is concerned, I teach CAN-BIKE courses ...
Ohh!!!! Well that explains much.
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Old 10-12-06, 04:59 PM   #21
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I've got a BETTER idea, Head. Let's talk about advocacy meetings.
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Old 10-12-06, 05:11 PM   #22
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If you can't back up your assertions by answering follow-up questions, Bek, then don't make them in the first place.

You said, in this thread, in the context of discussing 45 mph arterials, bike lanes are designed for riders of all abilities, skilled as well as unskilled. .

Oh yeah? Then please answer the follow-up questions:
  • On a 45 mph arterial without bike lanes, what characteristics in the design makes it unsuitable for unskilled cyclists?
  • And how does adding a bike lane affect those design characteristics such that the road does become suitable for unskilled cyclists?

Last edited by Helmet Head; 10-12-06 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 10-12-06, 05:22 PM   #23
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head. lets try to stay on topic.

why do advocacy meetings where i live get attended by hundreds of people? Why are there so many bicyclists in Seattle? Why do so many bicyclists at the advocacy meeting all talk about improving facilities?
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Old 10-12-06, 05:26 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
why do advocacy meetings where i live get attended by hundreds of people? Why are there so many bicyclists in Seattle? Why do so many bicyclists at the advocacy meeting all talk about improving facilities?
Alex, I'll take Lemmings Who Don't Know Better for $100.
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Old 10-12-06, 05:28 PM   #25
Bekologist
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i guess clueless is your strong suit, helmet head.
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