Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-08-09, 10:49 PM   #1
pannierpacker
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 80
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If bikes were allowed to use freeways, would that give cycling culture a boost?

There are some urban areas where the freeway is the only direct route to get through certain barriers such as railroad yards, culdesaacy suburban developments, over other freeways, and over railyard areas.

Freeways are also the most well known routes and people site them constantly when giving directions to places. They are usually the simplest way to get from one big city to another.

They are also the fastest route to get through any area and sometimes can be safer than congested arterial streets with no bike lanes.

If pedestrians and cyclists were all of a sudden allowed to use the America's freeway system in every state and city, what affect would that have on bike culture? Would pedestrians and cyclists not be able to handle it and get killed left and right when trying to use these facilities? Would they even choose to use these facilities? Would there be numerous pileups?

It seems interesting that America believes so much in freedom, and this was one of our founding principles back when the nation was first created, but now we've made it so hard to get places that it essentially requires us to use a car, drivers licenses, and license plates to do so.

Cars are basically treated as higher respected transportation over bicycles when they are given these special free-flowing facilities to get anywhere in the U.S. whereas bicycles are not given this.

I personally believe that allowing pedestrians and bikes to legally use all freeways would create a huge boost for cycling culture and it would really help kill car culture. I know more people would die as a result of it from accidents, but think of how much healthier our nation would be if biking was seen as fully supported by the state and cyclists were allowed to use every road? It would also encourage the states to build safer freeways and lower the speed limits on freeways if they knew that pedestrians and cyclists were allowed to use them.

Thoughts?
pannierpacker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-09, 11:05 PM   #2
Sledbikes
Senior Member
 
Sledbikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 539
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
youre more than welcome to just dont go *****ing to the government when you get nailed with one of these from a truck doing 70mph
Sledbikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-09, 11:11 PM   #3
umd
Banned
 
umd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL2, Specialized Tarmac SL, Giant TCR Composite, Specialized StumpJumper Expert HT
Posts: 28,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Bikes are allowed on many freeways around here...
umd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-09, 11:16 PM   #4
CB HI
Cycle Year Round
 
CB HI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Bikes:
Posts: 11,947
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 187 Post(s)
Why do you assume that freeways would be deadly to cyclist. several western states have sections of freeways open to cyclist without the huge imagined death rates .

Hawaii only has three short freeways (all on Oahu) opening 2 well designed freeways to cyclist would only improve cycling safety in Hawaii. The original freeway was poorly designed, even for motor traffic and would detract from cyclist safety.
CB HI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-09, 11:31 PM   #5
GodsBassist
Senior Member
 
GodsBassist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Odenton, MD
Bikes:
Posts: 660
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think so, but not because of safety.

If you live outside a major metropolitan area, traffic is going to be pretty quick, 60-80 miles an hour depending on the location of the country. That would turn 10 minutes of driving into 50 minutes of biking. Most people wouldn't turn to biking as a legitimate form of transportation under those circumstances.

If you live inside a major metropolitan area, chances are that bike infrastructure exists, and legalizing the freeway use would be moot. (Excluding, of course, Atlanta which seems to have no infrastructure =P) For instance I could bike the freeway here to church... but the bike trail runs parallel to it.

I don't have experience riding on freeways so I can't comment on their safety. I'm sure they vary widely in that regard, though.
GodsBassist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 12:37 AM   #6
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Bikes:
Posts: 23,524
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 121 Post(s)
I wouldn't mind riding on rural freeways, but I wouldn't do an urban one. Merges are just too frequent and congested on urban freeways for my comfort.

Curious--what do you do if there's a stopped car blocking the breakdown lane on a freeway?
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 01:09 AM   #7
wheel
Senior Member
 
wheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Crystal MN
Bikes:
Posts: 2,147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I wouldn't mind riding on rural freeways, but I wouldn't do an urban one. Merges are just too frequent and congested on urban freeways for my comfort.

Curious--what do you do if there's a stopped car blocking the breakdown lane on a freeway?
In Arizona we use Interstates because that is the only route. Really sucks when there is construction. Take the lane and use a mirror or pick the bike up and walk around the blockage.

Urban Freeways will never work as the on/off ramps would require you to go up and back down. Of course stopping for the light your going to get. Merging through the ramps on a rural interstate is hard enough with traffic going 75 mph. Very good lesson how fast one approaches you though.
wheel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 01:16 AM   #8
Skones MickLoud
This steel horse I ride
 
Skones MickLoud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Warshington DC
Bikes: 1980something Schwinn Tempo
Posts: 187
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GodsBassist View Post
If you live outside a major metropolitan area, traffic is going to be pretty quick, 60-80 miles an hour depending on the location of the country. That would turn 10 minutes of driving into 50 minutes of biking. Most people wouldn't turn to biking as a legitimate form of transportation under those circumstances.
Are you in Arlington, Va? If so, I'd say that those figures are reversed. Anywhere that you can get to in 10 minutes by bicycle will take you 50 by car in Northern Virginia.
Skones MickLoud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 06:38 AM   #9
GodsBassist
Senior Member
 
GodsBassist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Odenton, MD
Bikes:
Posts: 660
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skones MickLoud View Post
Are you in Arlington, Va? If so, I'd say that those figures are reversed. Anywhere that you can get to in 10 minutes by bicycle will take you 50 by car in Northern Virginia.
Which is why I said outside a major metropolitan area.

I was thinking rural America or even some really for outlying suburbs.
GodsBassist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 08:32 AM   #10
John E
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Bikes: 1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;
Posts: 17,046
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
I routinely (legally) use the shoulder of I-5 between Gilman and Roselle, because that is the only direct route from Sorrento Valley to UCSD. I enter on one ramp and exit on the next ramp, without having to deal with any admittedly very dangerous weaves, merges, or diverges on the freeway itself. The shoulder is 8 feet wide, marked by a fog line, and well-maintained.

I have long argued that we should open a parallel stretch of I-805, from Mira Mesa Bl. to La Jolla Village Dr., because that is the only direct route between Sorrento Mesa and University Towne Center. I would propose restricting bicycles to enter on the last available southbound ramp and to exit at the first available opportunity -- likewise for northbound cyclists. Again, this would eliminate the one big safety issue, having to deal with merges, diverges, and weaves.

Bicyclists also have the right to use the I-5 shoulder enroute between San Diego and Orange Counties, because the only alternate route, an arguably far more pleasant ride through Camp Pendleton, is not always open for us.

My first choice is a physically separate bicycle freeway parallel to the restricted access motorway, such as we have parallel to SR-56 in Carmel Valley (the one in the northern portion of the City of San Diego, not the one on the south side of the Monterey Peninsula), but these are expensive to build, and the right-of-way simply is not always there. My second choice is to open all of the shoulders / breakdown lanes, even with the requirement that we exit and re-enter at each offramp.

To me, the greatest single access issue is the typical freeway bridge over a bay or river, such as the Coronado bridge or the various trans-bay bridges in the greater San Francisco area. There are no direct alternate routes for these.
__________________
"Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
John E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 08:41 AM   #11
urbanknight
In beaurocratic limbo
 
urbanknight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Bikes: Specialized Allez, K2 Razorback
Posts: 22,456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by umd View Post
Bikes are allowed on many freeways around here...
Yeah, and it creeps me out. On the other hand, it's good for training because I find myself riding rather fast just so I can get the hell off sooner!
__________________
"Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)
urbanknight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 09:02 AM   #12
tadawdy
Faster than yesterday
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Evanston, IL
Bikes:
Posts: 1,510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't know if I'm ever going to want to spend much time on a freeway. I think I'll just live in places with good cycling infrastructure.
tadawdy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 10:01 AM   #13
Chaco
Senior Member
 
Chaco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Encinitas CA
Bikes: Scott CR1 Team
Posts: 833
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
You can go on a pretty long stretch of freeway in the Camp Pendleton area north of San Diego, if you don't want to go through the base. I don't think it's any less safe where I bike on La Costa Avenue, where the speed limit is 50, but just about everyone is going 65, and there is barely a 3 foot wide bike lane.
Chaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 11:04 AM   #14
gcottay
Senior Member
 
gcottay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Green Valley AZ
Bikes: Trice Q; Volae Century; TT 3.4
Posts: 3,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tadawdy View Post
i don't know if i'm ever going to want to spend much time on a freeway. I think i'll just live in places with good cycling infrastructure.
+1
gcottay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 12:59 PM   #15
tntyz
Senior Member
 
tntyz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Nabob, WI
Bikes: '03 Trek 7500, '08 Madone 4.5
Posts: 1,176
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No desire to ride them around here. Shoulder is strewn with debris and many have rumble strips cut all the way across the shoulder.
tntyz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 01:48 PM   #16
geo8rge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 2,012
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It seems interesting that America believes so much in freedom

1) While technically public, most people your behavior on a freeway can be limited by the operator, usually the government. Presence on a freeway is considered some combination of a right and a privilege.

2) If absolute freedom is what you really want then the highways should be privately owned and operated without those silly government rules.

3) Any nation that tolerates no fly lists does not believe in "freedom".
__________________
2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
1996 Birdy, Recommend.
Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.
geo8rge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 05:43 PM   #17
hairnet
Fresh Garbage
 
hairnet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Bikes:
Posts: 12,471
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
If you want to ride on the freeways in your area then get a group of people and start doing it.
hairnet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 05:51 PM   #18
Metzinger
Primate
 
Metzinger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: gone
Bikes: Concorde Columbus SL, Rocky Mountain Edge, Sparta stadfiets
Posts: 2,582
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
$10/gal gas will be a boost for cycling culture.
The freeways will have more room then.
When fuel prices drop, cycling culture takes a hit.
Metzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 07:20 PM   #19
John E
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Bikes: 1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;
Posts: 17,046
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
No desire to ride them around here. Shoulder is strewn with debris and many have rumble strips cut all the way across the shoulder.
Shoulder rumble strips are a huge problem on many non-freeway roads, as well.
__________________
"Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
John E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 07:21 PM   #20
John E
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Bikes: 1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;
Posts: 17,046
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaco View Post
... I don't think it's any less safe where I bike on La Costa Avenue, where the speed limit is 50, but just about everyone is going 65, and there is barely a 3 foot wide bike lane.
We're nearly neighbors, Chaco. PM me if you want to ride sometime -- I have been cycling with the YMCA's MasterFit group on Wednesday and Saturday mornings and with various MeetUp groups at other times.
__________________
"Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
John E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 09:36 PM   #21
zeppinger
Senior Member
 
zeppinger's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Bikes: Giant FCR3, Surly LHT
Posts: 1,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by John E View Post
I routinely (legally) use the shoulder of I-5 between Gilman and Roselle, because that is the only direct route from Sorrento Valley to UCSD. I enter on one ramp and exit on the next ramp, without having to deal with any admittedly very dangerous weaves, merges, or diverges on the freeway itself. The shoulder is 8 feet wide, marked by a fog line, and well-maintained.

I have long argued that we should open a parallel stretch of I-805, from Mira Mesa Bl. to La Jolla Village Dr., because that is the only direct route between Sorrento Mesa and University Towne Center. I would propose restricting bicycles to enter on the last available southbound ramp and to exit at the first available opportunity -- likewise for northbound cyclists. Again, this would eliminate the one big safety issue, having to deal with merges, diverges, and weaves.

Bicyclists also have the right to use the I-5 shoulder enroute between San Diego and Orange Counties, because the only alternate route, an arguably far more pleasant ride through Camp Pendleton, is not always open for us.

My first choice is a physically separate bicycle freeway parallel to the restricted access motorway, such as we have parallel to SR-56 in Carmel Valley (the one in the northern portion of the City of San Diego, not the one on the south side of the Monterey Peninsula), but these are expensive to build, and the right-of-way simply is not always there. My second choice is to open all of the shoulders / breakdown lanes, even with the requirement that we exit and re-enter at each offramp.

To me, the greatest single access issue is the typical freeway bridge over a bay or river, such as the Coronado bridge or the various trans-bay bridges in the greater San Francisco area. There are no direct alternate routes for these.
I just finished up at UCSD last August and used all of the routes you mentioned at one point or another. I would rather have some sort of elevated or otherwise protected bicycle highway but I would use the freeways if I was allowed to in come places.
zeppinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 10:08 PM   #22
Pezzle
Bad Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ewing, NJ
Bikes: Raleigh Detour 4.0 [beautiful cobalt blue]
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would never. Ever. EVER ride my bike on I-95 here in good old central NJ, where people swerve in and out of merges with a cell phone in one hand and a coffee in another. The general flow of traffic is around 85 mph, though the posted speed limit is 60 mph
Pezzle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 10:40 PM   #23
wheel
Senior Member
 
wheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Crystal MN
Bikes:
Posts: 2,147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/22/p1030472rqr.jpg
I80 outside Rocksprings, WY Eastbound

Perfect road. (earplugs)

I15 northbound Cedar City Utah

Last edited by wheel; 08-09-09 at 10:45 PM.
wheel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 10:46 PM   #24
dynodonn 
Senior Member
 
dynodonn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 7,313
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
In my part of Cali, all roads, including freeways, are open to bicycle traffic. Speeding traffic is not a huge concerning factor since our local highway patrol is thick as a den of thieves, thanks to extra monies allotted to patrol our area.
dynodonn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-09, 10:50 PM   #25
Pezzle
Bad Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ewing, NJ
Bikes: Raleigh Detour 4.0 [beautiful cobalt blue]
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sorry when I think of Freeway, I think of...




I'm barely caught dead driving on that god forsaken road, much less cycling, rofl

cuz I'd totally ride on what you posted, wheel.
Pezzle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:53 PM.