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Old 04-22-08, 08:06 AM   #1
genec
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Local story about a city trying to improve things for cyclists...

Escondido is north of San Diego... here is a story about that city trying to do something... (long URL embedded in "here is a story")

Couple of personal comments...

Check out the replies below the story...

and in the news story itself, this little issue: "Bike lanes are next, because they are white lanes painted on roadways that protect bicyclists from cars."

I am really waiting for the day that bike lanes actually provide "protection." That must be some really special paint.
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Old 04-22-08, 08:38 AM   #2
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"The biggest thing is trying to get people off the dangerous streets,"

Obviuosly asking what makes those streets so dangerous, and how to make them less dangerous is too hard.

That article gets a big from me. Sorry. At least they're showing some interest in the subject though.
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Old 04-22-08, 08:44 AM   #3
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"The biggest thing is trying to get people off the dangerous streets,"

Obviuosly asking what makes those streets so dangerous, and how to make them less dangerous is too hard.

That article gets a big from me. Sorry. At least they're showing some interest in the subject though.
Tend to agree with you RE the article... shows the typical cycling situation here in So Cal. Especially looking at these "stats:"
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The city ended up building only 4 miles of the 45 miles of bike lanes recommended in the city's first bike plan, which was adopted in 1975. The 1993 plan recommended the city increase the lanes to 84 miles, but the city has only created 33 miles since then.
As far as the dangerous streets... remember those high speed multi laned arterials we were talking about... you know 50+MPH surface streets... pretty typical here.
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Old 04-22-08, 04:50 PM   #4
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As far as the dangerous streets... remember those high speed multi laned arterials we were talking about... you know 50+MPH surface streets... pretty typical here.
Here's one example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhofman...7604304785167/

It's a 55 mph arterial with bike lanes that suddenly end at offramps and pick up again after the onramps. The situation is even worse for pedestrians, who have to wait at each of 3 crossing signals just to cross the intersection.
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Old 04-22-08, 04:54 PM   #5
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Here's one example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhofman...7604304785167/

It's a 55 mph arterial with bike lanes that suddenly end at offramps and pick up again after the onramps. The situation is even worse for pedestrians, who have to wait at each of 3 crossing signals just to cross the intersection.
Yup, I am afraid that some of our cycling brethren don't understand the auto centric nature of some of our local streets. I am not sure these pictures convey the situation either as the traffic appears so light at these intersections.

Thanks though.
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Old 04-22-08, 05:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Allister View Post
"The biggest thing is trying to get people off the dangerous streets,"

Obviuosly asking what makes those streets so dangerous, and how to make them less dangerous is too hard.

That article gets a big from me. Sorry. At least they're showing some interest in the subject though.
In SoCal? Pretty much every major road.
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Old 04-22-08, 05:07 PM   #7
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... "Bike lanes are next, because they are white lanes painted on roadways that protect bicyclists from cars."

I am really waiting for the day that bike lanes actually provide "protection." That must be some really special paint.
Actually I have come across paint that does provide some protection in a way. Out Simi way there are some long sections of road where it works out that riding right on th limit line really does seem a reasonable thing. I was doing that and my bike started vibrating. Not huge, but enough that I kept thinking something was wrong with the back wheel. Turns iout it does the same for cars and is supposed to alert/wake up an inattentive driver. Not protection like a wall, magic or otherwise, but some help with wandering cars.
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Old 04-22-08, 05:14 PM   #8
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I love this sign:

It's so gracious of the city to order me to get off my bike and to push it. Hey, who said that "bike friendly" meant you could actually ride your bike?
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Old 04-22-08, 05:45 PM   #9
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As far as the dangerous streets... remember those high speed multi laned arterials we were talking about... you know 50+MPH surface streets... pretty typical here.
Yeah, but I don't agree that the mere presence of high speed traffic makes a road inherently dangerous for cycling. If everyone stays alert and follows the rules, like they're supposed to, they can be perfectly safe. Removing cyclists from these roads isn't solving the fundamental problem, or even considering it.
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Old 04-22-08, 06:02 PM   #10
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Yeah, but I don't agree that the mere presence of high speed traffic makes a road inherently dangerous for cycling. If everyone stays alert and follows the rules, like they're supposed to, they can be perfectly safe. Removing cyclists from these roads isn't solving the fundamental problem, or even considering it.
Yeah, removing cyclists from any road is the wrong approach... we are in agreement there... but the flip side, making roads that only work for auto traffic (high speed free merge turns and the like) is not acceptable either.
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Old 04-22-08, 06:29 PM   #11
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Yeah, removing cyclists from any road is the wrong approach... we are in agreement there... but the flip side, making roads that only work for auto traffic (high speed free merge turns and the like) is not acceptable either.
Trua, but it happens nonetheless. That said there are ways to mitigate any risks to cyclists on these roads. The biggest one, of course, is the brake pedal. In NSW, they have clearly marked crossing points for cyclists on highway off-ramps, which direct cyclists to cross perpendicularly and give way to cars, which seem ok. I prefer to do a regular merge and not have to slow down or stop, but I can live with the compromise. I just pick my gap and make enough room for cars to pass on the left side as early as possible. Works ok too. Not that I do a lot of riding on such roads, but they're not all that bad. Of course, the heavier the traffic the more you have to rely on the patience of other road users, and that's the real crux of the matter. Patience is getting kinda rare these days.
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Old 04-22-08, 06:55 PM   #12
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Allister, across multilane ramps, those pedestrian-style ramp crossings can be deadly.

The real answer is traffic calming. Lowering the speed limit from 50mph / 80kph to 35mph / 50kph does not significantly reduce traffic throughput, but it makes the street much safer for all users. San Diego County is taking an even more valuable step in keeping CalTrans from building new freeway access ramps as high-speed free diverges and merges.
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Old 04-22-08, 09:58 PM   #13
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Allister, across multilane ramps, those pedestrian-style ramp crossings can be deadly.
I've only ever seen them on the open highway in northern NSW, with 100km/h speed limits (usually with a reduced exit ramp speed limit), but very light traffic and only a single lane exit ramp - I think they'd be reasonably survivable. To be honest, though, I doubt I'd use them. Here in Queensland they deal with the problem by ignoring it.

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The real answer is traffic calming. Lowering the speed limit from 50mph / 80kph to 35mph / 50kph does not significantly reduce traffic throughput, but it makes the street much safer for all users. San Diego County is taking an even more valuable step in keeping CalTrans from building new freeway access ramps as high-speed free diverges and merges.
Sounds good. I realise the roads in San Diego you and Gene are talking about are a different beast altogther, mainly due to traffic density. I don't mind 80km/h roads, if there's plenty of lane width, but lower speed limits are certainly beneficial.
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Old 04-23-08, 05:14 PM   #14
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Yup, I am afraid that some of our cycling brethren don't understand the auto centric nature of some of our local streets. I am not sure these pictures convey the situation either as the traffic appears so light at these intersections.

Thanks though.
When traffic is light it's worse, because it encourages people go faster.

In my opinion the biggest problem is the design speed of these roads is too high, and/or there's too much "safety" margin for the intended speed, which drivers use every bit of. There are a lot of roads with a <50mph limit that you can drive easily at 70mph with one finger on the steering wheel. So guess what people do, especially when traffic is light?

If they cut down the radius of those on and off ramps, the approach and exit speeds would be lower, and it would be a lot easier and safer for cyclists to cross them.

However even the "calmest" of these intersections are too intimidating for too many cyclists.
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Old 04-23-08, 05:47 PM   #15
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When traffic is light it's worse, because it encourages people go faster.

In my opinion the biggest problem is the design speed of these roads is too high, and/or there's too much "safety" margin for the intended speed, which drivers use every bit of. There are a lot of roads with a <50mph limit that you can drive easily at 70mph with one finger on the steering wheel. So guess what people do, especially when traffic is light?

If they cut down the radius of those on and off ramps, the approach and exit speeds would be lower, and it would be a lot easier and safer for cyclists to cross them.

However even the "calmest" of these intersections are too intimidating for too many cyclists.
True on all counts... however when traffic is light it is easy for a cyclist to hear it coming and easy for the motorist to move over or take notice that there is a cyclist on the road. When traffic is moderately heavy, then the "urge to move" and not make waves is held by all motorists. (the guy behind you applies pressure) In that situation bad things happen.

The real solution is to not design surface streets to resemble interstate freeways. Or if that is perceived as the only solution, then provide alternatives for peds, cyclists, segway users, etc... not mere bike lanes... but real paths with bridges or tunnels for on-ramps and off ramps.

The irony of bike lanes on 55MPH multilaned arterial roads is just too much really... as typically BL are no more then 4 feet wide, whereas the shoulder on an interstate freeway may be 10 feet wide... thus the higher speed interstate is far safer then the typical high speed arterial... due only to the ability of the cyclist et. al. to be many more feet away from motor traffic. Of course intersections are still a problem in either case, but on the high speed arterial there are multiple lanes of traffic moving toward an intersection (that you have to verify are actually stopping... or not turning... for your safety) whereas on an interstate typically there is only one stream of traffic moving off at the off ramps. So much for "engineering."
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Old 04-24-08, 08:13 PM   #16
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"The biggest thing is trying to get people off the dangerous streets,".
Yes, that's quite a big help to cyclists, just keep them off the streets.
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