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Old 04-07-09, 12:57 PM   #1
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Cyclists: Vehicles or Accelerated Pedestrians?

The current facilities movement is trying to reclassify bicyclists from vehicles to accelerated pedestrians, and force them to ride in dangerous sidepaths located between the curb and parked cars. The new Portland Master Plan Maps are full of proposed examples of this.

The thing is, the current growth of cycling in Portland itself provides ample testimony that these dangerous sidepaths are not required for 'encouragement', the last two sunny spring days has brought all sorts of cyclists, young and old, skilled and unskilled, out into the streets and parks, and they're doing just fine without the proposed cycle tracks.

Integration, not segregation is going to be the key to the success of cycling in the US; you can't just take a Dutch design and plop it down in a US city and expect it to work, hell, they don't even work that good in Holland, right hooks and difficult intersections are still a problem there.
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Old 04-07-09, 01:06 PM   #2
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The current facilities movement is trying to reclassify bicyclists from vehicles to accelerated pedestrians, ......

Randya, has portland gone weird, or something? What is in the water out there! What the hell is an accelerated pedestrian? If I am hitting my brakes, am I a decelerated pedestrian? Cyclists travel on smooth wheels, so we could be called continuous pedestrians (in the calculus sense of the word); which makes walkers digital pedestrians, and runners (who leave the surface of the earth briefly) intermittent pedestrians.

Bicycles are not 'vehicles,' to me. That is used for motorized transport which includes safety devices, warning lights and signals, etc. If a bike is not a vehicle...what is it? IT is a ......drum roll please... a bike!

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Old 04-07-09, 01:24 PM   #3
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Well the worlds fastest pedestrians can move faster than the average cyclist usually does
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Old 04-07-09, 02:50 PM   #4
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Well the worlds fastest pedestrians can move faster than the average cyclist usually does
But the worlds fastest cyclist moves faster than the average car does
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Old 04-07-09, 03:12 PM   #5
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Cyclists aren't vehicles... they're people who drive vehicles, or at least have all the rights and responsibilities of someone who drives a vehicle. Not all states consider bicycles to be vehicles in their legal definitions of such, but all grant cyclists the same rights and responsibilities as any other drivers. That's state law in all 50 states, DC, and the territories.

The whole cyclist-inferiority thing (mandatory bike lane or side path rules, as well as the FRAP rule in certain places) comes from the ability of a community to write and enforce more stringent rules against certain types of vehicles...
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Old 04-07-09, 03:22 PM   #6
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Bicycles are pretty versatile. They are low-speed vehicles, best suited for streets with a 25-30 mph speed limit. They can adapt to being accelerated pedestrians on sidewalks and crowded MUPs. They are not very well-suited for expressways or highways -- I won't tell people not to ride on them, but I don't think many would choose to if they had other options.
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Old 04-07-09, 03:44 PM   #7
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But the worlds fastest cyclist moves faster than the average car does
And the world's fastest car is faster than a helicopter.
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Old 04-07-09, 04:00 PM   #8
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A bicyclist moving at walking or jogging speed on a sidewalk or road shoulder is arguably an accelerated pedestrian riding a velocipede. However, a bicyclist moving at a slow to moderate motor vehicle speed on a roadway is a vehicle driver. We are indeed in our own category, and one of the beauties of bicycling is this ability to quick-change between pedestrian and vehicular behavior, as conditions of the moment demand.

The crucial issue in the integration/segregation debate is the defense of our fundamental right to use public roads in a vehicular fashion. If a given bicyclist wants to use a cycletrack or other sidepath and to function essentially as a stop-look-and-listen pedestrian at every intersection or driveway, so be it, but please do not expect me to do the same in all circumstances, because if I am going 15 to 20 mph, I am generally better off taking the right lane than setting myself up for a right hook.

In its consistently anti-pedestrian and anti-bicyclist wisdom, CalTrans has just completed the new Solana Beach Lomas Santa Fe / I-5 underpass, complete with dedicated cycletracks and sidewalks which move bicyclists and pedestrians along the far/invisible side of the bridge columns and then promptly dump them into the inside corners of the freeway's fast, sweeping onramps.
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Old 04-07-09, 04:04 PM   #9
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My proposal to the powers that be is: if the city wants to experiment with cycle tracks, a non-MUTCD approved design treatment, they should exempt the cycle tracks and all of their experimental designs (including the already-installed bike boxes) from required compliance with ORS 814.420, the mandatory bike lane/sidepath statute. Even better, the city should be actively lobbying for repeal of ORS 814.420 at the state level, and should not install any cycle tracks until such time as the repeal is effective.
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Old 04-07-09, 05:57 PM   #10
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Seems in the past, that I remember the ChainGuard Crowd and ardent VCers warning that government, motorist and even many cyclist would some day attempt exactly this foolishness.

I guess that day has most definitely come.
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Old 04-07-09, 06:08 PM   #11
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Seems in the past, that I remember the ChainGuard Crowd and ardent VCers warning that government, motorist and even many cyclist would some day attempt exactly this foolishness.

I guess that day has most definitely come.
well then you better polish up your best civic speechifying voice and send in your comments. Don't be a rude dick like John Forester if you want them to listen to you.
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Old 04-07-09, 06:50 PM   #12
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And the world's fastest car is faster than a helicopter.
and Superman is faster than a speeding bullet...especially when he ain't had any in a while.




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Old 04-07-09, 06:53 PM   #13
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I always thought an accelerated pedestrian was one who just got hit by a car.

If you guys let them reclassify bikes into something other than vehicles, you realize you are pretty much screwed and Portland will quickly transform from a cycling utopia to a cycling laughing stock.
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Old 04-07-09, 07:47 PM   #14
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If you guys let them reclassify bikes into something other than vehicles, you realize you are pretty much screwed and Portland will quickly transform from a cycling utopia to a cycling laughing stock.
PM me if you want to know who to send your comments to
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Old 04-08-09, 09:22 AM   #15
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No worries, Portland will probably run out of money before it completes most of the lame **** it has planned
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Old 04-11-09, 10:06 PM   #16
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well then you better polish up your best civic speechifying voice and send in your comments. Don't be a rude dick like John Forester if you want them to listen to you.
If you want to keep up the venom against Forester, then you have already lost your battle.
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Old 04-11-09, 10:08 PM   #17
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Are Portland cycling advocates losing sight of the big picture?

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Old 04-11-09, 10:40 PM   #18
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If you want to keep up the venom against Forester, then you have already lost your battle.
Forester is his own worst enemy. He needs lessons in public relations. He would have more allies if he didn't have such a disagreeable personality.
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Old 04-11-09, 10:41 PM   #19
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Are Portland cycling advocates losing sight of the big picture?

hey, we've already got that, without having a bunch of poorly designed segregated facilities shoved down our throats.

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Old 04-12-09, 04:17 AM   #20
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Forester is his own worst enemy. He needs lessons in public relations. He would have more allies if he didn't have such a disagreeable personality.
You preach, but you do not listen. As there have been similar comments about you here in BFs.
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Old 04-12-09, 07:55 AM   #21
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If we are talking about acceleration and not velocity/speed, then I think one would be hard pressed to find an everyday vehicle that could out-accelerate a pedestrian. Pretty low top-end, I suppose but that super-low torque drivetrain makes for pretty damn quick changes in speed. Up or down, for that matter.

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Old 04-12-09, 08:43 AM   #22
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Integration, not segregation is going to be the key to the success of cycling in the US; you can't just take a Dutch design and plop it down in a US city and expect it to work, hell, they don't even work that good in Holland, right hooks and difficult intersections are still a problem there.
Right hooks and difficult intersections are a problem no matter where you go. You're not going to solve them without making separate elevated ramps for pedestrians, bicycles, and motor vehicles (and while we're at it, why not separate roadways for emergency vehicles?).

One of the better layouts I've experienced was in Heidelberg, Germany, and even though I've been told it's not very good by German standards, it fundamentally doesn't appear to be too much different from the Dutch principles. Peds, bikes, and cars all have their separate facilities. The bike-specific lanes are often technically on the sidewalk but are heavily marked as being for bikes, even with a flush line of brick as a separator and different, or painted, pavement. At intersections, cars, peds, and bikes each have their own signals; in some cases, both cars and bikes are made to wait for pedestrians.

I really don't see what the problem is with such a setup. Everyone gets to where they're going and does so in a reasonable amount of safety. I'm good at negotiating busy traffic here, but I never had to do it over there.
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Old 04-12-09, 11:00 AM   #23
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Right hooks and difficult intersections are a problem no matter where you go. You're not going to solve them without making separate elevated ramps for pedestrians, bicycles, and motor vehicles (and while we're at it, why not separate roadways for emergency vehicles?).

One of the better layouts I've experienced was in Heidelberg, Germany, and even though I've been told it's not very good by German standards, it fundamentally doesn't appear to be too much different from the Dutch principles. Peds, bikes, and cars all have their separate facilities. The bike-specific lanes are often technically on the sidewalk but are heavily marked as being for bikes, even with a flush line of brick as a separator and different, or painted, pavement. At intersections, cars, peds, and bikes each have their own signals; in some cases, both cars and bikes are made to wait for pedestrians.

I really don't see what the problem is with such a setup. Everyone gets to where they're going and does so in a reasonable amount of safety. I'm good at negotiating busy traffic here, but I never had to do it over there.
The problem with such a setup is that it depends on motorists paying attention. In Germany and other European countries, motorists have an automatic responsibility with regard to "vulnerable road users" that does not exist in America. Here in the US, the motorist feels they are king of the road and that their car is their rolling castle. That mentality allows for the distraction of everything from cell phones to DVD players with little recourse in the event of motorist misbehavior.
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Old 04-12-09, 11:02 AM   #24
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You preach, but you do not listen. As there have been similar comments about you here in BFs.
Yeah, but Randya hardly is a public figure representing cycling.

Forester does as much to ruin the public image of cycling as he does to promote it.
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Old 04-12-09, 11:27 AM   #25
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The current facilities movement is trying to reclassify bicyclists from vehicles to accelerated pedestrians, and force them to ride in dangerous sidepaths located between the curb and parked cars. The new Portland Master Plan Maps are full of proposed examples of this.
Randya, I looked at your cited references and saw no use of the phrase "accelerated pedestrians" or any verbiage that inferred such a proposed "reclassified" status for bicyclists. Is that your own $50 fightin' phrase/battle cry or someone else's?
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