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  1. #1
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    You Tube: Berkeley Bike BLVDs, supersharrows and etc

    an interesting you tube film on bicycle boulevards in Berkeley CA.....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX8wk...eature=related

    one of the proponents says in the film 'making the streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians....'


    rerouting thru motorized traffic off streets to make them more conducive for bicyclists...

    what's the chainguarder's opinion on this type of plan? defenitely gives preferential treatment to bicyclists, discriminates against motorists, yet there is no real 'segregation'.


    This is part of the NEW ROAD ORDER....

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    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Definitely quite interesting. Looks like fancy traffic calming through residential neighborhoods. They don't discuss it much on the film, but how extensive is the bike blvd. grid? It would be interesting to see the quantifiable results.

    I'll have to ask my brother what traffic is like on the non-bike blvds in Berkely.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    an interesting you tube film on bicycle boulevards in Berkeley CA.....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX8wk...eature=related

    one of the proponents says in the film 'making the streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians....'


    rerouting thru motorized traffic off streets to make them more conducive for bicyclists...

    what's the chainguarder's opinion on this type of plan? defenitely gives preferential treatment to bicyclists, discriminates against motorists, yet there is no real 'segregation'.


    This is part of the NEW ROAD ORDER....
    Two comments... 1) all the streets looked like they were calm streets to begin with, so adding paint probably didn't really make the streets "safer." (I didn't watch the whole thing... so if there was real change to make a "not safe street," safe, I stand corrected.)

    2) And if a network of Bike Boulevards are not interconnected, then you still have the same old issues that exist now for bike lanes... start and stop in the middle of nowhere.

    ***********************

    Honestly, what I would love to see is bike boulevards where they are needed... on arterial roads that are the only connections between two areas. Here that would mean devoting part of a 50MPH arterial as a bike boulevard... now that would mean something.

    Myself, I have never had issues riding through quiet residential neighborhoods...

    No don't get me wrong, I support positive change... but it has to actually be change... not just paint for paint's sake or for some political photo op.

    We had a discussion in San Diego about making some bike boulevards... and frankly they were routes that cyclists use now to avoid more congested routes. BFD. Now take a route that has problems and improve it... that is reason for cheer.

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    Working on Not Dying Chimera21's Avatar
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    http://www.cityofberkeley.info/uploa...ay_Network.pdf

    It looks like they have a decent grid system. Not extensive, but is covers north, south, east, west and you could do a decent loop around the city. It should at least get someone within a few blocks of where they need to go.

    I don't see this as being 'bicycle preferential', as cars are still allowed on these roads - reducing a speed limit doesn't exactly strike me as discriminatory. It seems they mostly added lots of large, screaming 'hey, motorist! Pay attention, bicycles use this road!' signage. Which I really, really wish were plastered all over my fair city.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chimera21 View Post
    http://www.cityofberkeley.info/uploa...ay_Network.pdf

    It looks like they have a decent grid system. Not extensive, but is covers north, south, east, west and you could do a decent loop around the city. It should at least get someone within a few blocks of where they need to go.

    I don't see this as being 'bicycle preferential', as cars are still allowed on these roads - reducing a speed limit doesn't exactly strike me as discriminatory. It seems they mostly added lots of large, screaming 'hey, motorist! Pay attention, bicycles use this road!' signage. Which I really, really wish were plastered all over my fair city.
    Many of the bike boulevards are also blocked to auto traffic every few blocks (with bikes permitted through). This helps get neighborhood buy-in, because it keeps the high speed "short cutters" out of the neighborhoods.

    IMO, the bike boulevard concept (with appropriate signage, and streets periodically blocked to through auto traffic), is brilliant. It's a good way to encourage cycling through quiet neighborhoods (as opposed to trying to mingle with cars on crowded high-speed arterials), and is cheap to implement. I'm on my city's bike planning committee, and have suggested they look into this approach where it can be implemented.
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    I commute through Berkeley every day and have found the "bicycle blvds" very helpful. There is hardly any traffic through those streets. The grid is quite extensive as well. When I make up a new route, I often find myself on a "bike blvd" without having planned on it. As soon as I cross the Berkeley/Oakland border heading into Oakland, these very same streets get much more crowded because the road blocks disappear.

    They are also very effective at diverting traffic to the main arteries, however, should you ever be in your car in Berkeley during rush hour you'll be in hell.

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    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooljunkie2 View Post
    I commute through Berkeley every day and have found the "bicycle blvds" very helpful. There is hardly any traffic through those streets. The grid is quite extensive as well. When I make up a new route, I often find myself on a "bike blvd" without having planned on it. As soon as I cross the Berkeley/Oakland border heading into Oakland, these very same streets get much more crowded because the road blocks disappear.

    They are also very effective at diverting traffic to the main arteries, however, should you ever be in your car in Berkeley during rush hour you'll be in hell.
    Oh yeah, I can attest to that. Those blvds are nice. They usually run parallel to main streets, so they provide nice alternative. Although a bit too many stop signs if I remember correctly.
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    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    There's a bike blvd in Palo Alto, but the system there isn't as extensive as Berkeley. The stop signs are on all the cross streets. With one or two spots where bikes only can get through, there's only local traffic on it. It's a nice ride. I think it's called the Ellen Fletcher Bike Blvd, after a long time member of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.
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    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    We had a discussion in San Diego about making some bike boulevards... and frankly they were routes that cyclists use now to avoid more congested routes. BFD. Now take a route that has problems and improve it... that is reason for cheer.
    That is a general complaint about many -- not all -- accommodations. Count me as another passenger on this boat/train.

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    Looks like an interesting idea. One thing is that they show mostly bikes using them on the video, but that doesn't really tell you what the bike/car ratio is- especially when there are cars parked all up and down the streets; it's obvious this is not a "mostly biking' neighborhood.

    The lump of curb in the middle of a passageway may be a good way to keep cars out, but looks like a real bike hazard as well.

    I notice right near the first of the video, it shows two bikes racing up to a stop sign and then edits out- presumably they just blew right through the stop sign. Then at 5:52 or so, they show a guy just riding through a stop sign. So it seems their bike-specific signs are fairly pointless if people don't follow them anyway.
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  11. #11
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    bike boulevards in Portland also have sections that are now closed off for thru automobiles, but allow thru passage of bicyclists-

    this is what I meant by 'preferential' treatment.... the cities take a street and make it more conducive to bikes while making it less conducive for motorists.

    the fact they may be placed on streets already used by bikes seems like a very weak complaint- bicyclists generally choose lower travelled streets, this is a street treatment to encourage even MORE bicyclists...and pedestrians..

    it's part of the NEW ROAD ORDER.


    ps Gene, bike boulevards as part of a high speed arterial is counter to the concept. that's a 'bike lane'

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    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    the fact they may be placed on streets already used by bikes seems like a very weak complaint- bicyclists generally choose lower travelled streets, this is a street treatment to encourage even MORE bicyclists...and pedestrians..
    I understand Bek. But where it (potentially) falls short is getting people to where they want and need to go, as well as, getting people from point A to B in a short time. In other words, the reason why people drive on these arterials is that they are often the best connectors and have the shops, work places, and so on. For instance, in Arlington, the arterials are the roads that bypass the Pentagon, Arlington Cemetary, I-66, I-395, Rte 50, and so on. So unless you travel circuitous routes, one needs to travel these roads to do utility cycling/commuting unless one is lucky. To my judgement, that seems like a fairly practical and relevant complaint.

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    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    I'm not quite getting it.

    In cities with developed bike boulevards, you feel the lack of bike accomodations on arterials belies the value of the boulevard concept?

    AGAIN, there's a treatment for arterials, invisiblehand....it's called a BIKE LANE.

    Check with AASHTO and the MUTCD for design standards to better accomodate bicyclists along arterial routes.

    And a complaint about potential discontinuity in Arlington VA? I THINK THOU DOST PROTEST TOO MUCH. I don't think its relevant at all.

    did you look at a Berkeley bike map????] http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/transpo...Boulevard.html

    you understand the concept of a transportation grid utilizing different types of road treatments to handle automobile traffic? Similar vetting criterea applies to bike boulevards, these are part of a system of varied road treatments that consider bicyclists.

    a bike boulevard system does not substitute for arterial bike accommodation, it supplements them and adds value to neighborhoods. the complete streets concept. Bike boulevard implementation follows FEDERAL design mandates to consider automobiles secondary to peds and bikes on local, neighborhood streets. These bike boulevards encourage better participation cycling to schools and transportational cycling in urban areas. Anecdotally, the bike boulevards in Portland (and likely anywhere) increase property values along them as calmed streets are much more desirable to homeowners than streets motorists rip down at 35MPH.

    suburbia needs different treatments, bro.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 06-05-08 at 09:04 AM.

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    Of all places, Miami Florida, (road rage capital of the US and by far the most bicycle unfriendly city I have ever been in) has a similar system, but not because they intended to make the bicycle friendly paths or streets.

    Many residential neighborhoods were up in arms that their quiet streets were being used as raceways during rush hour traffic as alternatives to large multi lane arterials that were close by.

    So residents petitioned the cities to put up traffic circles at every intersection. These are very narrow two lane residential streets so to get around the traffic circles in a car you have to go very slowly, Hummers have to make a two point turn to get around them.

    Its great for bicycles. No one drives a car on the main roads anymore and its really easy to get around the cirle with car traffic going so slowly.

    Thank you rich b@stards and your "not in my back yard" selfish attitude.
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  15. #15
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    I'm not quite getting it.

    In cities with developed bike boulevards, you feel the lack of bike accomodations on arterials belies the value of the boulevard concept?

    AGAIN, there's a treatment for arterials, invisiblehand....it's called a BIKE LANE.

    Check with AASHTO and the MUTCD for design standards to better accomodate bicyclists along arterial routes.

    And a complaint about potential discontinuity in Arlington VA? I THINK THOU DOST PROTEST TOO MUCH. I don't think its relevant at all.

    did you look at a Berkeley bike map????] http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/transpo...Boulevard.html

    you understand the concept of a transportation grid utilizing different types of road treatments to handle automobile traffic? Similar vetting criterea applies to bike boulevards, these are part of a system of varied road treatments that consider bicyclists.

    a bike boulevard system does not substitute for arterial bike accommodation, it supplements them and adds value to neighborhoods. the complete streets concept. Bike boulevard implementation follows FEDERAL design mandates to consider automobiles secondary to peds and bikes on local, neighborhood streets. These bike boulevards encourage better participation cycling to schools and transportational cycling in urban areas. Anecdotally, the bike boulevards in Portland (and likely anywhere) increase property values along them as calmed streets are much more desirable to homeowners than streets motorists rip down at 35MPH.

    suburbia needs different treatments, bro.
    Well, I can't necessarily help your understanding. Either a grid can get one where he/she needs and wants to go safely/quickly or not. Slapping down -- even properly built from an engineering perspective -- accomodations without addressing the fundamental purpose of transportation is poor advocacy, IMO. If I understand Gene's point, we feel that this type of advocacy is a solution in search of a problem.

    Given the criteria of getting people from point A to B with reasonable safety and speed, I can't tell whether the Berkeley program is successful or not from what was presented. Alternatively, if the purpose is not transportation, say instead it is supposed to be akin to a recreational park, then we could come to a stronger conclusion. I just think one needs to know more about Berkeley and experience it more -- or be given more evidence -- before making any strong conclusions. If the clip's only point is to say that traffic calming works, then congratulations on answering a question no one asked.

    The Arlington example is just that. It applies elsewhere. Definitely applies to the DC area, Albuquerque, and NYC. From other posts on bikeforums, I would gather that my observations are shared elsewhere. The point being that making accommodations that fail to address the principle constraints to transportation/utility cycling is not helping most people use cycling as a mode of transportation.

    EDIT in this font.
    Last edited by invisiblehand; 06-05-08 at 12:02 PM.

  16. #16
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    again, bike boulevards are part of a coordinated approach to better accomodating communities for cycling. Bike lanes, bike boulevards, wide lanes, unaccomodated streets, MUPs, etc all working in concert to enhance the environment.

    i really, honestly think you are overlooking the incredible value these types of modifications to public space can have to bicycling.. to argue semantics and language.

    lets see if i can frame your concerns concisely...... "Arlington VA has a lot of arterial roads, therefore the Berkeley bike boulevards fail to solve autocentric road planning in my locale"


    Varied street improvements like bike lanes and bike boulevards all act in concert to enhance the transportation grid for bicyclists.

    DIDJYA LOOK AT THE BERKELEY BIKE MAP, invisiblehand????


    it's reality, on the ground results. listen to the cyclists in the video, look at the comments from riders in Berkeley in this thread, look at the bike routes map.

    tell me there is not a bonifide improvement to berkeley cycling.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 06-05-08 at 12:22 PM.

  17. #17
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    again, bike boulevards are part of a coordinated approach to better accomodating communities for cycling.

    bike lanes, bike boulevards, wide lanes, unaccomodated streets, MUPs, etc.


    all acting in concert to enhance the transportation grid for bicyclists.

    DIDJYA LOOK AT THE BERKELEY BIKE MAP, invisiblehand????

    i really, honestly think you are overlooking the incredible value these types of modifications to public space can have to bicycling.. to argue semantics and language.


    it's reality, on the ground results. listen to the cyclists in the video, look at the comments from riders in Berkeley in this thread, look at the bike routes map.

    tell me there is not a bonifide improvement to berkeley cycling.
    I peeked at the map. But I don't know enough about Berkeley to tell you whether it addresses the principle concern of transportation. Similarly, a lot of people look at the Arlington bike map and think it is the greatest thing since the wheel. Mind you, I am not saying that there are no positive aspects of accommodations in Arlington. I am saying that it really fails to tell much of the story and it conveys less information than is commonly thought.

    Why is my argment about semantics and/or language?

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    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    yeah! more semantics!

    There are city officials and transportation planners being quoted in that video, bro.


    I'm about done, and will let invisible hand vent his semantic arguments and concerns about arlington VA's lack of bike boulevardable streets unabated.

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    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    lets see if i can frame your concerns concisely...... "Arlington VA has a lot of arterial roads, therefore the Berkeley bike boulevards fail to solve autocentric road planning in my locale"
    Try again.

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    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    yeah! more semantics!
    Instead of addressing the poster, please answer my question.

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    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    invisible hand, I just ran this statement thru the Babelfish's new semantics translator...

    "I am not saying that there are no positive aspects of accommodations in Arlington. I am saying that it really fails to tell much of the story and it conveys less information than is commonly thought"

    translated...

    "There are positive aspects to bike accommodations in Arlington but the video of Berkeley isn't about my city"

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    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    yeah! more semantics!

    There are city officials and transportation planners being quoted in that video, bro.


    I'm about done, and will let invisible hand vent his semantic arguments and concerns about arlington VA's lack of bike boulevardable streets unabated.


    Nice edit after the fact. I'm sure that bikeforum members are confident that their city officials -- what was the name of that Lieutenant of the Portland PD? -- and transportation planners are unbiased.

    I suspect that you are done because you have no answer to my simple question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    again, bike boulevards are part of a coordinated approach to better accomodating communities for cycling. Bike lanes, bike boulevards, wide lanes, unaccomodated streets, MUPs, etc all working in concert to enhance the environment.

    i really, honestly think you are overlooking the incredible value these types of modifications to public space can have to bicycling.. to argue semantics and language.

    lets see if i can frame your concerns concisely...... "Arlington VA has a lot of arterial roads, therefore the Berkeley bike boulevards have no value" or "Albequerque has a lot of high speed arterials, therefore the Berkeley bike boulevards have no value"



    Varied street improvements like bike lanes and bike boulevards all act in concert to enhance the transportation grid for bicyclists.

    DIDJYA LOOK AT THE BERKELEY BIKE MAP, invisiblehand????


    it's reality, on the ground results. listen to the cyclists in the video, look at the comments from riders in Berkeley in this thread, look at the bike routes map.

    tell me there is not a bonifide improvement to berkeley cycling.
    +1

    The city of Berkely's intent is to provide safe and convenient access for cyclists to get around in town. It's a brilliant concept that also has the benefit of calming traffic in neighborhoods, and discouraging cars from using neighborhood streets to short-cut crowded arterials.

    To disparage them because they may also encourage "recreational" cyclists is simply ridiculous. Unlike MUP's and park trails, the Berkeley bike boulevards have been well thought out, with the needs of transportational cyclists in mind.

    There may still be some rough edges in terms of design (e.g., the use of bollards where streets are blocked to auto traffic), but the overall intent and implementation has been a resounding success for all involved.

    For those interested, the city's Bicycle Boulevard's Home Page provides a wealth of information on the history of the concept, it's current state, and future plans.
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  24. #24
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    invisible hand, I just ran this statement thru the Babelfish's new semantics translator...

    "I am not saying that there are no positive aspects of accommodations in Arlington. I am saying that it really fails to tell much of the story and it conveys less information than is commonly thought"

    translated...

    "There are positive aspects to bike accommodations in Arlington but the video of Berkeley isn't about my city"
    Perhaps you should try it with the rest of the paragraph you omitted. Just answer the question instead of addressing the poster.

  25. #25
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP View Post
    To disparage them because they may also encourage "recreational" cyclists is simply ridiculous. Unlike MUP's and park trails, the Berkeley bike boulevards have been well thought out, with the needs of transportational cyclists in mind.
    Who wrote that?

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