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Old 03-21-08, 06:02 AM   #1
higgit
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Get Bike Lanes Through Activism?

I believe that most of us would concur with this goal:

"There are certain roads and highways in every community that should have dedicated bicycle lanes".

Does anyone have any experience with the use of activism to acheive that goal?

By activism, I mean where groups of cyclists "take the lane" during rush hours, slowing traffic to a cycling pace to underline the need for bike lanes.

Ted
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Old 03-21-08, 07:26 AM   #2
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I believe that most of us would concur with this goal:

"There are certain roads and highways in every community that should have dedicated bicycle lanes".

Does anyone have any experience with the use of activism to acheive that goal?

By activism, I mean where groups of cyclists "take the lane" during rush hours, slowing traffic to a cycling pace to underline the need for bike lanes.

Ted
Activism works, but I'm not sure the kind you describe does. Other than infuriate drivers and local enforcement officials, the statement made by blocking traffic probably would not have any positive effect. Be prepared for a barrage of 'no bike lanes are good!' tirades.

Good luck!

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Old 03-21-08, 08:56 PM   #3
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I don't agree with your statement, I have seen no road that needs a bike lane. And I have seen many roads with bike lanes that did not need them.

But the best way to get bike lanes, is to go out and ride. If you and others ride enough, thee drivers and powers that be will want to get you off the road. On a bike lane is the first step to off the road. So you may get a bike lane.
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Old 03-21-08, 08:58 PM   #4
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Other than infuriate drivers and local enforcement officials, the statement made by blocking traffic probably would not have any positive effect. !

I agree with this ^^^^ statement. Infuriating drivers and public officials may get you bike lanes, and that will not be a positive effect.
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Old 03-22-08, 06:45 AM   #5
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Regarding bike lanes, I am solidly in the bicycling political center. On a 25 or 30 mph / 40 or 50 kph road, I absolutely do not want them, but on a 55 or 60 mph / 90 or 100 kph prime arterial, I want some sort of lateral positioning option, be it a wide outer lane which can be shared safely with a motor vehicle, a well-paved and well-maintained shoulder, or a marked bike lane. I also find bike lanes between right-turn-only and through-only lanes to be very helpful in telling clueless motorists where I belong.
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Old 03-22-08, 01:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by higgit View Post
I believe that most of us would concur with this goal:

"There are certain roads and highways in every community that should have dedicated bicycle lanes".

Does anyone have any experience with the use of activism to acheive that goal?

By activism, I mean where groups of cyclists "take the lane" during rush hours, slowing traffic to a cycling pace to underline the need for bike lanes.

Ted
Sounds like what you want is more roadway width so that motorists are not inconvenienced by cyclists using the roads. That's fine but it does not require the installation of a bike lane. A shoulder, WOL, or another same direction traffic lane will serve the same purpose without all the negative effects of installing bike lanes.

Do note that cyclists can still use narrow roads without causing much traffic interference. Motorists are still able to use the oncoming lane to pass when it's safe to do so. I use mostly narrow roads on my commute to work and rarely does any significant traffic back up behind me (but it has happened). In those situations, if I'm not approaching a place where the traffic generally disperses, I'll pull over and let the faster traffic get around me.
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Old 03-22-08, 03:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by higgit View Post
I believe that most of us would concur with this goal:

"There are certain roads and highways in every community that should have dedicated bicycle lanes".

Does anyone have any experience with the use of activism to acheive that goal?

By activism, I mean where groups of cyclists "take the lane" during rush hours, slowing traffic to a cycling pace to underline the need for bike lanes.
I hate to say it but I don't agree with that at all.

1) Emails by lots of people on the same subject are way more effective then any sort of "take the lane" protest.

2) Your goal of just bike lanes is way too limited there is far more to bicycling then just bike lanes.

Baltimore's approach was to guilt the city into doing a Bicycle Master Plan as we are one of the few major cities without bike lanes. Within that master plan we threw in as much stuff as we could think of.

Basically it took emails, letters to the editor and one giant letter (4' in height) to the Mayor signed by a 100+ people to get the ball rolling.

Good luck!
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Old 03-22-08, 08:25 PM   #8
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By activism, I mean where groups of cyclists "take the lane" during rush hours, slowing traffic to a cycling pace to underline the need for bike lanes.

Ted
I always take the lane everywhere, but it is not "activism", as I oppose bike lanes.

In Dallas, to get anywhere, one needs to ride on multi-lane high speed arterials. These roads are notable for having narrow right lanes. It makes for excellent cycling! The right hand lane IS a bike lane.

Why would I want to trade a 10' well maintained and swept lane for a neglected debris strewn 4' lane that puts me in peril of hazards that are presently absent? Traffic flows by me with little fuss, and I am rarely passed with less than a four foot margin. What's not to love?
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