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  1. #1
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    Is your city a "good" palce to cycle?

    I suppose if the premise is to improve, being merely "good" isn’t as mediocre as it sounds. I love biking in Pittsburgh for many reasons, I won’t bore you all of the reasons, but here are a few. Please if you feel so inclined, post about what makes your “good” city good and what can make it better. Here’s the list from “GOOD” magazine.


    Albuquerque, NM
    Austin, TX
    Miami
    Minneapolis
    Montreal
    Pittsburgh


    Don’t forget to check out the links--

    1) Bike culture, is growing in Pittsburgh. I see more people than ever on their bikes. Alleycats, CM, and bike stores are all flourishing. Despite the sometimes rocky relationship with some officers, the Pittsburgh police and cycling community aren’t enemies . Pittsburgh even has a banked cycle track!
    2) Under 30 minute commute to town from anywhere in the city. This is mostly due to downtown being at the bottom of a valley.
    3) Growing support from the city They’ve recently cut the red tape needed to install a bike rack outside your business. They also painted more bike lanes, and are prohibiting car parking where it has caused problems for cyclists.
    4) New bridge projects improve the ped/bike lane.
    5) 37 miles of bike lanes on the scenic Ohio, Mon and Allegheny Rivers, much of which can also be used by commuters.
    6) 319 car free miles to DC!. I think that there are less than 15 miles on road with cars to get from Pittsburgh to DC.
    7) There are lots of mountain bike trails in Frick and Schenley parks.

    Things that could improve—

    1) Lots of cars run red lights, stops and no right on reds. City officials need to “bite the big one” and install traffic cameras.
    2) Some big projects are not so bike friendly – the new casino messes up the riverfront bike trails and the West End Bridge could be easier for bikes.
    3) Since Pittsburgh is hilly as heck, (we have a 37% grade hill!). There could be some planning taking this into thought. Though we will never get the bike tow thing, like they have in Norway, we could find ways to get more new commuters going, by telling them about how to take their bikes on the inclines and buses. Who knows maybe when the recession is over; they’ll even add a cable car.
    4) The PAT Bus drivers and “Access drivers” seem to hate cyclists. They need some job counseling about respecting the organic road units.

  2. #2
    uke
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    it's easy if you let it. uke's Avatar
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    My town has an MUP that runs close to campus, which lets me use it for the majority of my 2-mile ride to class. There are also lots of sidewalks, which can sometimes be used when the road isn't a viable option. Overall, I'd rate it as higher than my hometown, but not as highly as Cambridge, where I used to live. However, I never rode a bike when living in Cambridge, so where I live now is automatically better.

    JesseDuncan:I just love how "cars will be forced to cross the double yellow lines on dangerous limited visibility roads".

    I don't want to have a head on but oh god, I HAVE to fling myself into oncoming traffic to pass, theres no alternative!!!

  3. #3
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    No Portland, but Miami. Huh ?!?!?!?
    Miami / S.FL. = The highest murder rate of cyclists in the country !
    I cant take this article seriously.

    I Pittsburgh !
    Go Blue Devils

  4. #4
    On the road to health. Griffin2020's Avatar
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    Austin has some strange rules in regards to bike lanes. There are several areas where the only on street parking is in the bike lane. Also, garbage bins are required to be left in the bike lane.
    And cyclists are prohibited from riding outside the bike lanes. Which in turn means that cyclists must ride over (or through cars and garbage bins).

    The people of Austin are more bike-friendly than any other place in Texas that I have ridden, but some of the laws has gots to change.

    Where I live (Arlington, TX) is not "officially" bike friendly, but there is a great bike plan that is in process and they are trying to integrate the major cities in the are to be more cycling friendly.

  5. #5
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uke View Post
    My town has an MUP that runs close to campus, which lets me use it for the majority of my 2-mile ride to class. There are also lots of sidewalks, which can sometimes be used when the road isn't a viable option. Overall, I'd rate it as higher than my hometown, but not as highly as Cambridge, where I used to live. However, I never rode a bike when living in Cambridge, so where I live now is automatically better.
    A few years back I was walking in Cambridge and I heard a gaaa-thummp just behind me, I turned to see a bread truck taking out a sidewalk cyclist. The cyclist was ok, but ouch. He should have been on the road there. On the other hand some of the bike lanes in Cambridge are right in the door zone! Anyway what city are you in now?

    and -8--:
    Yahh. Miami seems like a suprisingly bad place to ride, except for the year round weather and flatness. I think that the idea behind the magazine is a bit odd. I lived in Gainesville in central florida and there was some decent bike activity there around UF. But there is a lot of motorist ignorance and general motor head mentality. I think that the combo of few sidewalks and lots of 75 year old + drivers helps earn florida the easiest place to die on your bike or walking "honnor".

    Who really cares about the "good" things? Dont we all really want to know about the best things? I guess the magazine is trying to bring about a better world or something. Portland gets a lot of bike-kudos in the media. Somethimes I wonder if that is so the rest of the US can say, "If you want to ride your bike all the time, we've got a city called Portland-- why dont you move up there"!

    I'm just glad to see a tiny bit of recognition ven in a tiny magazine.

  6. #6
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    Fallbrook, CA - Meh not so much, ruralness seems to be a poor setting for riding sometimes.
    Encinitas, CA (work) - Cyclist heaven it seems, I see cyclists everywhere while I'm working, makes me jealous, need to get my bike ready to ride again.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bendico's Avatar
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    Here is another reason why the PittsBurgh and the area around it is so great for biking. Check out this link to some funding that is coming to the area for bike trails.
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_620350.html

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...sgO/weight.png



    Take life one day at a time and live well each day..
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    2009 Trek 7300 (hers)

  8. #8
    L T X B O M P F A N S R apricissimus's Avatar
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    Boston, Cambridge, and surrounding areas are an excellent place to ride a bicycle (in my opinion). It's relatively flat, everything is close, and the traffic is congested so it's easy to keep up.

    Boston drivers (and cyclists) are aggressive, but predictably so. There's only about one mile's worth of bike lanes in the entire city of Boston, but who needs 'em? One can get by just fine without them (though I understand that bike lanes might be useful in other locales).

    I also think that since the streets are not laid out in a grid (except for Southie and parts of the Back Bay), it makes it more interesting to travel around the city. Every street and every intersection is unique.

    Boston has a worse reputation than it deserves.

  9. #9
    Team Fat Boy SeattleShaun's Avatar
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    Boston has a worse reputation than it deserves.

    I would agree with this. I grew up riding in and around Boston years ago - I could get almost anyplace within the metro area faster by bike than by car - while riding safely.

    I've lived in Seattle for the last 15 years. Seattle is generally a good place to ride as well. The drivers tend to be much less agressive, but also much more clueless and unpredictable...

    We have a Bicycle Master Plan being implemented now with wildly variable success - most bike lanes and sharrows are being poorly implemented in door zones. I remain cautiously optimistic that these problems will ultimately be addressed.

    There are a number of MUPs here, that vary from excellent to barely useable depending on the time of day and the weather...

  10. #10
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    I live in Surlyville USA. The plan is to put 700 miles of bike lanes and trail in the Minneapolis city/suburbs. I'd like to see that happen before I die.

  11. #11
    www.chipsea.blogspot.com ChipSeal's Avatar
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    Texas is great for cyclists! They have bicycle facilities that go to almost every destination from nearly any starting point. Around here we call them public streets. Car drivers have all the rights and all the duties afforded to bicyclists, except for those that by their nature do not apply. (Sec 551.001)
    Vehicular cycling techniques have not been tried and found difficult. They have been presumed difficult and not tried.

  12. #12
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    NO Iam close to Detroit and riding here well stinks thou they are doing some things in a few citys ! To kina inprove things BUT it a really be slow here in S E Michigan . The metro parks have some nice bike paths thou .

  13. #13
    Senior Member Rex G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin2020 View Post
    Austin has some strange rules in regards to bike lanes. There are several areas where the only on street parking is in the bike lane. Also, garbage bins are required to be left in the bike lane.
    And cyclists are prohibited from riding outside the bike lanes. Which in turn means that cyclists must ride over (or through cars and garbage bins).

    The people of Austin are more bike-friendly than any other place in Texas that I have ridden, but some of the laws has gots to change.

    Where I live (Arlington, TX) is not "officially" bike friendly, but there is a great bike plan that is in process and they are trying to integrate the major cities in the are to be more cycling friendly.
    Houston has some bike lanes where parked cars and garbage containers are legally allowed to clutter the lane, but at least Houston does not require cyclists to use those bike lanes.

    Really, I generally feel safer riding in traffic than in the bike lanes, anyway, and have noticed that some bike lanes have disappeared, replaced with signs on which a bicycle symbol is painted, along with a "Share the Road" statement.

    As for abuse from motorists, I have noticed that I get almost as much while driving my Honda Civic as when cycling, far more than when I am driving a Jeep Wrangler. Few motorists are brave enough to tangle with a Jeep driver, presumably.
    Last edited by Rex G; 04-14-09 at 12:05 PM. Reason: typos
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  14. #14
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    The article in Good magazine was absurd, IMO. They rated how "bikeable" a city is by the number of Alley Cat races and average attendance at Critical Mass rides.

    My city is pretty good for riding even though we don't have any Alley Cats and only a half dozen riders show up for most CMs. Mainly I like that motor traffic congestion isn't bad and there aren't too many hipster doofuses hotrodding on their fixed gear bikes.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  15. #15
    biking and fighting!
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    I would think Miami would be okay, as the entire city is laid out on a grid. Grids are a cyclist's best friend. Are the drivers just aggressive?

  16. #16
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
    Boston, Cambridge, and surrounding areas are an excellent place to ride a bicycle (in my opinion). It's relatively flat, everything is close, and the traffic is congested so it's easy to keep up.

    Boston drivers (and cyclists) are aggressive, but predictably so. There's only about one mile's worth of bike lanes in the entire city of Boston, but who needs 'em? One can get by just fine without them (though I understand that bike lanes might be useful in other locales).

    I also think that since the streets are not laid out in a grid (except for Southie and parts of the Back Bay), it makes it more interesting to travel around the city. Every street and every intersection is unique.

    Boston has a worse reputation than it deserves.
    100+. Also bicycles are allowed on the subways and commuter rail at certain times of week-day (off peak hours) and virtually all weekend.

  17. #17
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    I've posted something similar before, but I will gladly post it again. The area I live, 20 miles or so East of Dayton, feels to me like it's the MUP capital of the world. From just outside my backdoor, there are well over 300 miles of connected, paved bike trails that go in every possible direction. Xenia, the town located 10 miles to my south, is the hub.

    Heading South and I can ride a trail all the way down to Cincinnati for a nice 125 mile r/t. Head North and I can take one of several trails either heading up to a nice lake or over through some hills and dales. Going East, I also have two trails, the longest of which is slated to eventually head all the way up to Cleveland and the Lake Erie region, but for now makes for a nice century r/t. And, heading West is my commute which goes into Dayton.

    Dayton and Cinci also have a slew of trails that go every which way. I would not be surprised if, all told, this part of Ohio had 1000 miles of paved trail, not all connected --- at least, not yet.

  18. #18
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    San Diego has incredible weather, rides along the ocean, or climbs to 6000 feet above sea level such as the Mount Palomar stage of the recent TOC, an 333m outdoor velodrome, bike lanes, and about a zillion triathletes live around here. Even some decent mountain bike riding locations. I've ridden here for almost 30 years.

  19. #19
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    The article in Good magazine was absurd, IMO. They rated how "bikeable" a city is by the number of Alley Cat races and average attendance at Critical Mass rides.
    Those are some interesting metrics. Why do you think that mattered to them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    My city is pretty good for riding even though we don't have any Alley Cats and only a half dozen riders show up for most CMs. Mainly I like that motor traffic congestion isn't bad and there aren't too many hipster doofuses hotrodding on their fixed gear bikes.
    Given the small population of Lansing, it seems that in addition to civil servants, CPAs and blue collar workers, you might have your share of fixies and CMers too!

    baron von trail-- Xena might make the perfect bike only town. Housing is cheap, it's flat, and acording to wikipedia, "Xenia calls itself the "Bicycle Capital of the Midwest." Maybe we could get 30000 Portlanders to take over and outlaw cars.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by slagjumper View Post
    Those are some interesting metrics. Why do you think that mattered to them?


    Given the small population of Lansing, it seems that in addition to civil servants, CPAs and blue collar workers, you might have your share of fixies and CMers too!

    baron von trail-- Xena might make the perfect bike only town. Housing is cheap, it's flat, and acording to wikipedia, "Xenia calls itself the "Bicycle Capital of the Midwest." Maybe we could get 30000 Portlanders to take over and outlaw cars.
    I bet that would be news to about 90% of the Xenia residents. Most of them never use the trail system. I live in Yellow Springs for a reason.

    YS is to Portland what Xenia is to Boise.

  21. #21
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baron von trail View Post
    I bet that would be news to about 90% of the Xenia residents. Most of them never use the trail system. I live in Yellow Springs for a reason.

    YS is to Portland what Xenia is to Boise.
    Hmm, I see. I just looked at Wikipedia for YS and see that it might be more suitable for bike only. Not that that would ever happen. Two things make me think that. One is that it is home to Antioch College and two is the tiny population of only 3800! Are there any good sites for MUPs of the area? Also isnt there a bike museam down there somewhere?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by slagjumper View Post
    Hmm, I see. I just looked at Wikipedia for YS and see that it might be more suitable for bike only. Not that that would ever happen. Two things make me think that. One is that it is home to Antioch College and two is the tiny population of only 3800! Are there any good sites for MUPs of the area? Also isnt there a bike museam down there somewhere?
    Area MUP's: http://www.co.greene.oh.us/parks/multi-use-trails.htm For an even bigger pix, just Google "Rails to Trails Ohio.

    The bike museum is in Dayton somewhere and has something to do with the Wright Bros. They developed their plane in this area and were originally bike shop dudes.

    YS is a pretty cool little town. Tie-Die and Dreads capital of Ohio. But, we are/have been stuck with a Rethug representitive for a long time. We are pretty much the only community in the district that never voted for Bush, and (unless I am mistaken) the only one that didn't go McSame-Palin. Obama got about 90% of the YS vote.

    The only serious downside to YS is that its slowly aging. There are still quite a few younger folks about, but the average age has slowly been creeping up. Young straight families typically do not move to YS. If you're living here as a young straight, you tend to be different, like GF and I, who are into alternative health, organic foods, being left alone -- basically anyone who can't stand the cookie cutter BS seen thoughout most of this area.

    Unlike you all out West, most young people in the Midwest grow up to be either corporate drones or Wall Street wannabees. Not much free thinking going on around here. It's sort of sad.
    Last edited by baron von trail; 04-15-09 at 06:37 AM. Reason: fixed link

  23. #23
    Senior Member Fast Cloud's Avatar
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    Jackson sucks for cycling. The surrounding suburbs are fantastic...bike paths everywhere. Also, there's the Mule Jail Trail for mountain bikes they just opened. It used to be the Mule Jail Hunting Club but the sprawl from Jackson has caught up with it so it's no longer safe. I don't have a mountain bike, but there's some great woods back there so it's probably pretty nice. For roadies the Natchez Trace is hard to beat...tons of wildlife and zero developement.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    The middle and southern part of Orange County, CA is better for cycling than most metros with population of 3+ million. Most main artery streets (over 1000 miles worth) have a 4' or 5' right shoulder or bike lane. I can go in most any direction from where I live or work and find a good bike route to get there. Many of the main artery streets prohibit on street parking which of course cuts the risk of open door collisions. The middle part of the county is mostly flat and the southern part has a tame mix of rolling hills, valleys, ridge tops and flat areas. You have to look hard to find streets with tough hills like SF or Pittsburgh. There a few hundred miles of MUPs, a mix of recreation MUPS like along the sands of Huntington Beach and cross town travel MUPs like those all around Irvine. I use a few of the MUPs occasionally, but 95+ percent of my travel is along the city streets. Most of southern cal has a well deserved rap as car centric, but much of OC is pretty bike friendly. Of course mild weather most of the year makes it even better to be out pedaling around.

  25. #25
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin55 View Post
    San Diego has incredible weather, rides along the ocean, or climbs to 6000 feet above sea level such as the Mount Palomar stage of the recent TOC, an 333m outdoor velodrome, bike lanes, and about a zillion triathletes live around here. Even some decent mountain bike riding locations. I've ridden here for almost 30 years.
    While yes! yes! yes! to all the above, we also have a lot of car culture here in So Cal, and sometimes it gets pretty darn extreme.

    For the wonderful weather we have, this should be the bike capitol of the US... but the 50MPH+ arterial roads mean that you better be darned skilled for some locations.

    Personally I love the back country roads and climbs. I am just not too thrilled by certain commuting aspects. And yeah, I've been "doing it" here since the early '70s.

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