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  1. #1
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    "Safer streets" implies some streets less safe than others?

    In the Copenhagen thread, an american bicycle obstructionist made claims that bike lanes in Portland were installed on 'the safer streets' first, minimizing the postive effects of bike specific street planning.

    The question was raised that if jhon considers some streets 'safer' than others independant of the bicyclist, what constitutes a 'safer' street and what characteristics combine to create some streets less safe?

    john recognizes that some streets are safer for bicycling than others.... how does that play out?

    John wants bikes banned from high speed transportation cooridors if slow speed alternatives are available. you better belive he does! (I wonder where his proposed bans would stop? is a 65MPH road merit banning bikes? how about a 55MPH road? a 45 MPH road?) Seems jhon not only thinks some roads are safer than others, but some are meant to be reserved soley for cars, banning bikes for the conveinence of motorists.

    discuss.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  2. #2
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Where has John advocated banning cyclists from higher speed roads?

  3. #3
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Of course some streets are safer for all drivers and/or pedestrians.

    Lower (actual) speeds, lower traffic volumes, fewer intersections and good sightlines can make a street safer for all users.

    Al

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Bek, your threads are getting dumber and dumber. What Al said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    Of course some streets are safer for all drivers and/or pedestrians.

    Lower (actual) speeds, lower traffic volumes, fewer intersections and good sightlines can make a street safer for all users.

    Al
    I whole heartedly agree.

    And that being the case there would then be times that a well designed, well constructed separated bike facility, like a bike path or MUP, could, in fact, be a safer alternative to that particular street or road.

    This may seem like a no-brainer of a conclusion but one that has been impossible for many who advocate for an all-VC/all the time solution to all problems to accept. I have been taken to task on many occasions in these forums for even implying that some streets are "safer" than others. I've been chastised for being childish, incapable of cycling in a vehicular manner and suffering from phobias for daring to suggest that there are some roads that I avoid and that I prefer a bike path or "safer streets"- sometimes even, God forbid, ones with a bike lane!!

  6. #6
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    Bek, your threads are getting dumber and dumber. What Al said.
    Actually, head, your mentor jhonny made the assertion first...that bike lanes were installed first in portland on the "safer streets"- implying that some streets are safer than others.

    I think we all know that, but to the strict VC all roads are equal arent they? why would john then assert some roads are safer than others? are some roads more suited for bike infrastructure than others like high speed suburban arterials? johns comment impliesa there are some streets unsafe for bicyclists.


    and the banning bikes comments were made on this forum. john advocates banning bikes from some high speed transportation cooridors -if a slower speed alternative is availavble -for the conveinence of the motorists... I wonder where he draws the line, and if his metric for roads not suitable for bikes will erode over time to encompass greater and lower speed roads. I can see jhons camp lobbying to ban bikes from freeways, then 55MPH state roads, then 45MPH -if a slower speed road is available as an alternative.


    just my thoughts on this glaring contradictions in the forestorite POV.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    Actually, head, your mentor jhonny made the assertion first...that bike lanes were installed first in portland on the "safer streets"- implying that some streets are safer than others.

    I think we all know that, but to the strict VC all roads are equal arent they? why would john then assert some roads are safer than others? are some roads more suited for bike infrastructure than others like high speed suburban arterials? johns comment impliesa there are some streets unsafe for bicyclists.


    and the banning bikes comments were made on this forum. john advocates banning bikes from some high speed transportation cooridors -if a slower speed alternative is availavble -for the conveinence of the motorists... I wonder where he draws the line, and if his metric for roads not suitable for bikes will erode over time to encompass greater and lower speed roads. I can see jhons camp lobbying to ban bikes from freeways, then 55MPH state roads, then 45MPH -if a slower speed road is available as an alternative.


    just my thoughts on this glaring contradictions in the forestorite POV.
    I asserted that with respect to the Moritz studies, that was in the era when bike lanes were first installed on the streets that the planners thought were safest. I don't know about Portland, and I made no assertion regarding Portland.

    You are a fool, Bekologist, to try to describe my opinions as that all streets are equally safe for vehicular cyclists. Or, of course, you are a liar making trouble.

    And, of course, nothing in this logic implies that some streets are unsafe for vehicular cyclists; it is just that some are safer than others. Again, Bekologist, you are a liar making trouble out of nothing.

    And you are more of a liar by stating that I, or any of my associates, propose, or have any intention to propose, that cyclists should be prohibiting from using any other highways than legal freeways for which there is a route on normal roads that is equally suitable for cyclists.

    I have no compunction, not any more, for describing you as a liar about to create trouble out of nonsense.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    I whole heartedly agree.

    And that being the case there would then be times that a well designed, well constructed separated bike facility, like a bike path or MUP, could, in fact, be a safer alternative to that particular street or road.

    This may seem like a no-brainer of a conclusion but one that has been impossible for many who advocate for an all-VC/all the time solution to all problems to accept. I have been taken to task on many occasions in these forums for even implying that some streets are "safer" than others. I've been chastised for being childish, incapable of cycling in a vehicular manner and suffering from phobias for daring to suggest that there are some roads that I avoid and that I prefer a bike path or "safer streets"- sometimes even, God forbid, ones with a bike lane!!
    No, buzzman. You have been chastized for claiming, incorrectly, that some particular treatment makes a road safer when there is no evidence for that claim, and, generally speaking, that that claim is contrary to the evidence that is known.

  9. #9
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    .....some particular treatment makes a road safer when there is no evidence for that claim, and, generally speaking, that that claim is contrary to the evidence that is known.
    So this treatment doesn't make this highway safer for cyclists?....
    (Warning VC zealots, you may find the following pics offensive )

    A reinforced concrete barrier which is about 3 or 4 feet thick at its base, over 4 feet tall...


    This cycleway is a bicycle freeway with its own on/off ramps which interconnect with hundreds of local MUPs. It forms a huge interconnected network which parallels the arterial roads. You can see an on/off ramp in the pic, just off to the right. It links with the road running underneath that overpass up ahead. Look at the wear marks on the ashphalt, you can clearly see the usage pattern i.e. cyclists respect the marked centerline and behave in accordance with the "rules of the cycleway".....


    This is a bridge over another arterial (with its own segregated cycleway) I took this pic while it was being built, it's lit up like christmas now....


    This is how the local MUPs cross major arterials with grade separated overpasses...


    On that arterial (on every single road pictured here, in fact) you have the option of riding on the roadway if you wish, but why would you want to when you have a really nice separate cycleway right next to it? I took this pic from the overpass in the previous pic. Notice that the cycleway on the left is not a sidewalk. There are no driveways, only connected MUPs like the one I circled in red. The right hand side is a sidewalk....


    controlled intersections accomodate all classes of vehichles...


    Anyone want to see the segregated busway with parallel segregated cycleway? it's part of a very functional public transpost system that links all the commercial and industrial areas.
    Last edited by Cyclaholic; 01-07-08 at 06:06 PM.

  10. #10
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    ^^^^ Im moving to Sydney, tomorrow !

    Politics, infrastructure, worker policies.....
    Why are we sooooo far behind civilized countries ?

  11. #11
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    It's probably worth noting that the relative difference in safety between two streets is significantly less for an experienced vehicular cyclist than for an inexperienced cyclist who rides contrary to the rules of the road (assuming that safety is measured in terms of likelihood of being in an injury causing conflict with a motor vehicle).

    Let's say we have roads A and B, with A very quiet and very little traffic, simple quiet intersections with good sight lines, etc., while B is very busy with lots of traffic, including cross traffic and blind intersections.

    An experienced/attentive vehicular cyclist would be very safe on Road B (because his behavior makes the odds of him being in a crash so low despite the high traffic), but even a bit safer on Road A (where the odds of a crash are even lower).

    The inattentive inexperienced non-vehicular cyclist would be safe on Road A too, simply because the odds of encountering a conflict are so low there, even for how he rides. But on B he would be much less safe than the experienced/attentive vehicular cyclist.

    Most cyclists fall somewhere in between on the spectrum with one of these two hypothetical cyclists at each extreme, and, so, the relatively difference in safety between such roads for most cyclists falls somewhere in between too.

    But the safety of a given road for a given cyclist depends much more on the behavior and practices of the cyclist than on the road itself. That's the main point.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 01-07-08 at 06:45 PM.

  12. #12
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
    So this treatment doesn't make this highway safer for cyclists?....
    (Warning VC zealots, you may find the following pics offensive )

    OMG enough to make me cry... that was simply beautiful.

    However I did notice that everyone is driving on the wrong side of the road... that simply won't do... perhaps with the right education, those motorists can be convinced to drive properly...



    BTW the wear patterns on the bike path were interesting... how much bike traffic is there... those pics looked awful lonely.

  13. #13
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    OMG enough to make me cry... that was simply beautiful.

    However I did notice that everyone is driving on the wrong side of the road... that simply won't do... perhaps with the right education, those motorists can be convinced to drive properly...




    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    BTW the wear patterns on the bike path were interesting... how much bike traffic is there... those pics looked awful lonely.
    I took that pic on a winter weekday after morning rush hour, if I recall correctly. I've noticed that the patterns of traffic tend to mirror car traffic in that during the week the predominant traffic is commuters during AM & PM peak times, then families with kids in the evenings. On the weekends you see pelotons of lycra clad roadies early mornings and a mix of commuter/recreational/family with kids the rest of the time.

    It seems to have become busier over the past 12 - 18 months and I'd be hard pressed to find it empty like that these days. One day I'll post a picture of when it gets busy, it's such a beautifull sight. You also need to bear in mind that this is on the outskirts of the suburban sprawl, the area beyond that freeway is still rural. The city of Sydney would be about 40km away so all this cycling infrastructure is currently under utilised (as is the freeway) but it's about accomodating future cyclists along this suburban development corridor. One of the universal truths about transport infrastructure is build it and they will come That's why I firmly beleive that you need this sort of infrastructure if you're ever going grow the percentage of transportation/utility cyclists (vehichular or otherwise) into double digits and beyond.
    Last edited by Cyclaholic; 01-07-08 at 10:22 PM.

  14. #14
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    I asserted that with respect to the Moritz studies, that was in the era when bike lanes were first installed on the streets that the planners thought were safest. I don't know about Portland, and I made no assertion regarding Portland.


    rants and raves of the angry curmudgeon follows
    jhon, sorry to have confused your anti-infrastructure diatribe in the Copenhagen thread. You lumped Moritz' studies into your smear of Portland. My apologies.

    Your assertions that YES, some streets are safer than others is what this thread was meant to draw out. Illuminate us, john, what makes some streets safer for bicycling than others? Low speeds, low traffic, wide lanes? what makes streets less safe for bicyclists? high speeds, heavy traffic, limited sightlines, agressive motor traffic? around bars at closing time?

    what do you mean when you describe 'safer' streets?

    And hey, banning bikes from certain high speed cooridors if a slow speed alternative exists IS your point of view, jhon.

    I simply speculate about where the slippery slope stops if you're already lobbying to ban bikes from some transportation cooridors for the benefit of motorists. just freeways? what about limited access highways? and then it will be 50MPH roads.....
    Last edited by Bekologist; 01-08-08 at 08:18 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  15. #15
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post





    I took that pic on a winter weekday after morning rush hour, if I recall correctly. I've noticed that the patterns of traffic tend to mirror car traffic in that during the week the predominant traffic is commuters during AM & PM peak times, then families with kids in the evenings. On the weekends you see pelotons of lycra clad roadies early mornings and a mix of commuter/recreational/family with kids the rest of the time.

    It seems to have become busier over the past 12 - 18 months and I'd be hard pressed to find it empty like that these days. One day I'll post a picture of when it gets busy, it's such a beautifull sight. You also need to bear in mind that this is on the outskirts of the suburban sprawl, the area beyond that freeway is still rural. The city of Sydney would be about 40km away so all this cycling infrastructure is currently under utilised (as is the freeway) but it's about accomodating future cyclists along this suburban development corridor. One of the universal truths about transport infrastructure is build it and they will come That's why I firmly beleive that you need this sort of infrastructure if you're ever going grow the percentage of transportation/utility cyclists (vehichular or otherwise) into double digits and beyond.
    Reaching out to the suburbs is what it is all about... giving cyclists a choice other than either motor freeways or high speed arterial roads with near freeway speeds is what I have been talking about. The city core generally consists of lower speed streets (25-30MPH) which are quite useable by a vehicular cyclist, but reaching the core is often only available through very autocenteric high speed roads.

    What is the width of the "bike freeways" you posted here? I have found that a path that allows 2 side by side cyclists in both directions also tends to be about a motor vehicle width wide... which ultimately allows for maintenance, safety and security by regular services such as police and ambulance. Also wider paths have larger radius turns which allow cyclists to move at higher speeds.

  16. #16
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    OMG enough to make me cry... that was simply beautiful.
    I can take photos where I live that look nearly identical to these. But the paths where I live are impractical for most destinations, are used by people who are not just traveling thru, have poor intersection with other paths, sidewalks and roads they cross, etc.
    Here are two that forum member wheel took:
    Vehicular environmental impact photos.

    Here is one of a bike overpass I took:


    I am not suggesting that they Sydney paths have these same downsides.

    Al
    Last edited by noisebeam; 01-08-08 at 10:43 AM.

  17. #17
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    I can take photos where I live that look nearly identical to these. But the paths where I live are impractical for most destinations, are used by people who are not just traveling thru, have poor intersection with other paths, sidewalks and roads they cross, etc.

    I am not suggesting that they Sidney paths have these same downsides.

    Al
    Really? I love to see photos of your local high speed bicycle freeways. But I have to ask if those bike freeways have "have poor intersection with other paths, sidewalks and roads they cross, etc" then perhaps they are not "nearly identical" to those in Sidney. That's the catch 22. Here in the US of A we tend to get marginal, poorly planned paths as an afterthought, more geared to recreation vice transportation.

    Near my office is a great path, though roughly only 5 miles in length; it butts up against a narrower path, which extends the whole length of off street path to about 8 miles, however, the quality of the path is not consistent, there is one poorly planned area that floods at the first sign of rain, and ridiculously enough, the western end has no decent connection to the street... there are curbs and a dirt path which forces cyclists to walk their bikes.

    Another local path has 4 steps and no curb cuts. Other local paths are akin to waste asphalt: lumpy and narrow, no stripes, no signage and sharp turns. This is typical of what I have seen in various places around America, devoted to cyclists. Let's not forget that most paths are in the jurisdiction of parks departments.

    This sort of treatment is due to the over all view that bikes are not viable transportation, but are "toys." This same viewpoint also allows freeway like arterial roads to be built that are anything but "friendly" to cyclists.

    The result of this is that only a few very dedicated cyclists chose to cycle regularly... The result of this are very crowded roads and a national transportation agency seeking solutions.

    What do you suggest?

  18. #18
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Really? I love to see photos of your local high speed bicycle freeways.
    Did you see the photos by wheel in the link above:



    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    But I have to ask if those bike freeways have "have poor intersection with other paths, sidewalks and roads they cross, etc" then perhaps they are not "nearly identical" to those in Sidney.
    I said they 'look' nearly identical. Not that they are in function. The point is one can take photos from the right place and angle and only show the good. Far more instructive to show usefulness are maps showing the bike path and photos of the intersections, not the clear unobstructed sections.

    Again, I am not suggesting, nor do I think that the photos of the Sydney paths were taken to only show the good.

    Take a look at the photo I posted above, the two from wheel in the link and these below and note the similar look.




    And this video of a cycle path, showing the hazards (which I fully support being there)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFcKQF-3h8M

    Al
    Last edited by noisebeam; 01-08-08 at 10:43 AM.

  19. #19
    genec genec's Avatar
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    It looks like just what I mentioned... recreation paths, with no consideration for transportation.

    We don't see too many auto freeways built to go nowhere... do we?

  20. #20
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    It looks like just what I mentioned... recreation paths, with no consideration for transportation.

    We don't see too many auto freeways built to go nowhere... do we?
    How can you tell the Sydney photos show paths that 'go somewhere' and the Arizona ones don't?

    (The AZ ones actually go somewhere, but not everywhere and not always for much (>10mi) distance.

    Al

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    jhon, sorry to have confused your anti-infrastructure diatribe in the Copenhagen thread. You lumped Moritz' studies into your smear of Portland. My apologies.

    Your assertions that YES, some streets are safer than others is what this thread was meant to draw out. Illuminate us, john, what makes some streets safer for bicycling than others? Low speeds, low traffic, wide lanes? what makes streets less safe for bicyclists? high speeds, heavy traffic, limited sightlines, agressive motor traffic? around bars at closing time?

    what do you mean when you describe 'safer' streets?

    And hey, banning bikes from certain high speed cooridors if a slow speed alternative exists IS your point of view, jhon.

    I simply speculate about where the slippery slope stops if you're already lobbying to ban bikes from some transportation cooridors for the benefit of motorists. just freeways? what about limited access highways? and then it will be 50MPH roads.....
    Regardless of your apology, the rest of your posting is more of your typical work. Again, you are either ignorant of what you write so nastily, or you know the facts and are deliberately lying. I don't know which it is, but either set of acts is despicable. I have never lobbied to have any road closed to cyclists; rather, I have done the reverse, worked to prevent roads being closed to cyclists, or to open roads that have been closed.

    As for what you consider to be the features that make one street more dangerous than another, they are mostly of little significance. The fact that you choose to offer these examples is another demonstration of how ignorant you are about traffic operation.

  22. #22
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    How can you tell the Sydney photos show paths that 'go somewhere' and the Arizona ones don't?

    (The AZ ones actually go somewhere, but not everywhere and not always for much (>10mi) distance.

    Al
    I cannot tell. I can guess... based on the fact that the path paralleled a freeway... most likely there is some destination at the end of the path and freeway. Otherwise, I am only going by the word of the poster. How can you tell that the Oulu paths went anywhere... You are going to have to take my word for it... and the fact that I posted links that show that the paths went "everywhere."

    I can however make the supposition based on what I usually see in the US that the paths you posted are probably for recreation only.

    The path close to my office does in fact tie together two separate communities that recently were tied together with a freeway (one that moments after being built has suffered from the typical "parking lot" stop and go traffic). The "56 path" does offer an alternative to those that cycle to get from Sorrento Valley to Rancho Bernardo/Poway. However, even that path has limitations dictated by the non-cycling community... some of whom referred to cyclists as "kiddos" in the area council meetings; thus showing their bias toward those they believe are cyclists... never mind that the representing cyclists were in their 40s and 50s. (of course that path has the dumb "barrier to entry" of no curb cuts, no signs and cyclists having to walk their bikes to gain entry)

    This bias is what needs to be overcome before real transportation paths will start to be accepted and properly engineered throughout this country. Until then, cyclists are "kiddos" and bikes are "toys" and the response of the transportation secretary is to be expected regarding paths to nowhere maintained by parks departments.

    It is not as if we need to tie every home to a path to every destination. Low speed surface streets (in typical residential areas and downtown cores) serve cyclists well. But if a freeway is offered to motorists, then the same consideration should be given to cyclists. If a high speed arterial is the only way to access a suburb, then provisions need to be made for cyclists... whether it is a very wide outside lane or an separated path.

    When a suitable network, without "barriers to entry" exists, then people will feel safe and will pursue cycling as a transportation alternative.

  23. #23
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I cannot tell. I can guess... based on the fact that the path paralleled a freeway... most likely there is some destination at the end of the path and freeway.
    The first of the two photos by wheel that I showed above parallels a freeway - it can a useful connection link. It is the red path through Phoenix Mountain Preserves that parallels the 51 freeway. See attachment.

    As to destinations at the 'end' of freeways, guess what is most common? More freeways!

    This link (warning 12MB pdf) shows the full bike map of phx-metro. The solid red lines are paved off street bike paths. Biggest problem with them is they are on diagonals and cross many streets with no intersection control. Many have gates across them requiring cyclist to ride off of pavement to get around the gates - only a problem when its muddy like now.

    Al
    Attached Images Attached Images

  24. #24
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    The first of the two photos by wheel that I showed above parallels a freeway - it can a useful connection link. It is the red path through Phoenix Mountain Preserves that parallels the 51 freeway. See attachment.

    As to destinations at the 'end' of freeways, guess what is most common? More freeways!

    This link (warning 12MB pdf) shows the full bike map of phx-metro. The solid red lines are paved off street bike paths. Biggest problem with them is they are on diagonals and cross many streets with no intersection control. Many have gates across them requiring cyclist to ride off of pavement to get around the gates - only a problem when its muddy like now.

    Al

    The bolded statement above is what we have to change... imagine if motorists had to face gated freeways... and get out of their cars, walk around three times before proceeding... that is akin to what we face with the current mentality that prevails around "bikes as toys" thinking.

  25. #25
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    The bolded statement above is what we have to change... imagine if motorists had to face gated freeways... and get out of their cars, walk around three times before proceeding... that is akin to what we face with the current mentality that prevails around "bikes as toys" thinking.
    Yet local bike advocates ask for those gates to prevent the occasional kid on an ATV riding a canal path (they could get thru the previous vertical poles, so more was needed I guess). They ask for sidewalk street facing cross walk buttons instead of inductive sensors that work for bicycles, because getting off the bike and pressing a button gets one out of the way of cars.

    Al

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