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-   -   Sometimes it's just too scary for me. (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/872534-sometimes-its-just-too-scary-me.html)

GrouchoWretch 02-13-13 12:48 PM

Yeah, and bailing out isn't easy because the curb is a 6" edge trap.

People pelt down Jones-Maltsberger Road (in my pic) like there's free beer and fried chicken at the end of it.

howsteepisit 02-13-13 12:54 PM

Free beer and chicken, i am on my way.

Doohickie 02-13-13 01:07 PM

The road I showed is Bryant Irvin Road in Fort Worth. Going south from Fort Worth's west side, it crosses a large rail yard, then has a single intersection for a feeder road into apartments, then crosses the river, so for about a half mile there's almost no cross traffic and people treat it like a freeway.

GrouchoWretch 02-13-13 01:22 PM

The road I showed passes right by the police substation about half a mile back of that spot. Patrol cars everywhere, all the time. People still crazy.

kmv2 02-13-13 01:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GrouchoWretch (Post 15269626)
The road I showed passes right by the police substation about half a mile back of that spot. Patrol cars everywhere, all the time. People still crazy.

I walk past the main police station of the city twice a day and its arguably one of the most dangerous places to walk in the downtown part of the city. I blame that more on a poorly designed highway on/off system mixed with the inability for police to stop every single person for hard to give tickets (entering a crosswalk when pedestrians are present*, rolling stop signs, etc)

*sort of related anecdote: during my driving license test I tried to wait for a crosswalk to be clear of pedestrians (an old lady was crossing) and the guy testing me asked why I was waiting. "You're holding up traffic!" "*adenoidal voice* No sir, I'm obeying the law *adjust masking taped glasses and pocket protector*".

Notso_fastLane 02-13-13 01:40 PM

On my commute home, coming off the MUP, there is about 1/2 mile stretch where the sidewalk is the official bike lane. Luckily, it's up about a 4% hill, so I'm not going too much faster than the few pedestrians in the area, anyway. I still have to be very leery of right hooks, and cars coming out of the parking lots (it's one long row of strip malls). There's room to widen the road and put in a bike lane on both sides, but I doubt it will ever happen.

Just take the sidewalk and be aware that you are now the faster moving traffic (mostly), and watch those side streets!

Crazyed..27 02-13-13 01:59 PM

When I approach situations like these...I shoulder check to analyze traffic behind me...then I make my decision to stay in the lane or hop up on the sidewalk.

Keith99 02-13-13 05:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daves_Not_Here (Post 15267921)
Agreeing with everyone here, and it sounds like you already have the answer. You have thousands of miles of commuting experience -- I'd say your gut trumps any contrary advice given here.

As to sidewalks being as dangerous or more so than streets, that opinion is often expressed but I think it's a canard. If a pedestrian can walk safely on a sidewalk, so a cyclist can ride safely, assuming they are willing to slow down and yield to cross traffic like a pedestrian.

That is often a huge if. Few cyclists actually maintina a speed as slow as someone walking. Even at those speeds a bike cannot stop nearly as quickly as a walker.

Many do maintain a speed that is close enough for a sidewalk with decent sightlines.

But there are plenty of sidewalks with really poor sightlines, ones passing small businesses with parking in the rear come to mind. Those are situations where a driver cannot see until half way across the sidewalk. (I can think of one such where to the driver has decent visibility on the left, but on the right the building come to the sidewalk. Oh and this is the exit from the drive through of a Jack-in-the-box).

There is a walking path in Palos Verdes that seems wonderful, until you realize just how many driveways you are crossing and how restricted the sightlines are.

Not at all to say that the sidewalk is always bad, just that sometimes it is quite dangerous and those dangers are often more subtle than the ones on the street.

Keith99 02-13-13 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 15268772)
Correct. A safe cyclist will adjust his/her riding technique, to include speed, to the traffic environment.

A cyclist who wants to prove a sidewalk or sidepath is dangerous will ride using the same speeds and right-of-way that he uses on the roadway, and make no adjustments to adapt to the cycling environment.

One alleged safety expert concluded that the risk rate of sidepath (AKA sidewalk) cycling was at least 1,000 times greater on the sidepath than on the roadway, based on just such a "test" ride. This anecdote of idiotic cycling described as a scientific "test" of sidewalk/sidepath cycling safety has been reported in all the various editions of John Forester's books Effective Cycling and Bicycle Transportation. It is no wonder that so many self proclaimed cycling safety experts repeat the mantra of the dangers of any use of a sidewalk for any kind of cycling.

Chit,

I can't ride a sidepath stupid enough to get up to 1000 times as dangerous. Only section of 'path' I can think of where a sane person would be at even near that risk is the Boardwalk near the Santa Monica Pier. (Boardwalk has the problem with gaps between the boards). And that risk gets big only at night. But I still found that better than fighting through 2 lanes of traffic on a 60mph road with potholes (at night of course).

You are totally right, ride one place in a style appropriate for somewhere else and bad things can happen.

But I can get teh street to be 1,000,000 times more dangerous than the sidewalk doing that. After all if I'm on hte sidewalk I don't even think about stopping without warning to take a drink out of my waterbottle or check a route sheet. Stopping without warning in the street is a good way to die.

Chris516 02-13-13 05:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GrouchoWretch (Post 15269139)
I would rather cut through a parking lot if possible but will take the sidewalk if necessary.

Here is one bridge where I definitely take the sidewalk at night.

http://i.imgur.com/q2iwZP5.jpg

While I recently 'seem to have overcome' my fear of heights and close spaces, I would stay on the road. Because, There is more room to maneuver.

My father even started in on me again today, about riding in traffic. He still doesn't understand.

Doohickie 02-14-13 05:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kmv2 (Post 15269652)
*sort of related anecdote: during my driving license test I tried to wait for a crosswalk to be clear of pedestrians (an old lady was crossing) and the guy testing me asked why I was waiting. "You're holding up traffic!" "*adenoidal voice* No sir, I'm obeying the law *adjust masking taped glasses and pocket protector*".

Some testers do that on purpose to see if you can be flustered into making a bad decision.

kmv2 02-14-13 07:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doohickie (Post 15272350)
Some testers do that on purpose to see if you can be flustered into making a bad decision.

Aw, now you ruined my story.

spare_wheel 02-14-13 10:34 AM

Quote:

has been reported in all the various editions of John Forester
I invoke Godwin.

PS: actual pedestrians in portland have been killed at a far higher rate than cyclists.

thiocyclist 02-14-13 12:01 PM

Well, I tried a new route yesterday. It did a better job of keeping me on streets that felt safe for the majority the trip. Still, there was literally one block I either had to ride in crazy traffic or go sidewalk. I stayed in the road and despite things being bumper-to-bumper and me generally keeping pace for that one block, some guy still made repeated attempts to pass me. Certain streets just have really aggressive mentalities I guess. Plus, there is a crazy hill after this point on the route that badly needs repaved. This is fine uphill, but downhill it really freaks me out, especially because it's still a relatively busy spot. So I may keep my old route, sidewalk and all.

A note about riding on the sidewalk: for my own safety as well as that of pedestrians, I tend to go from 5-8 mph depending on who else is on it. This speed is still relatively fast compared to a pedestrian, but it leaves plenty of room for error. I was telling a friend yesterday about all the wacky things pedestrians do, myself included, because they don't feel as obligated to see what's around them. It's funny how many people don't even walk in a straight line! They zig and zag... rather than risk hitting them I will just coast until I feel good to tell them I'm there and pass with a wide berth. While the pedestrians can be an annoyance (to my being an annoyance), the most dangerous thing is definitely the turning cars solely focused on arriving at their destination and not seeing who is on the sidewalk.

GrouchoWretch 02-14-13 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thiocyclist (Post 15273524)
Well, I tried a new route yesterday. It did a better job of keeping me on streets that felt safe for the majority the trip. Still, there was literally one block I either had to ride in crazy traffic or go sidewalk. I stayed in the road and despite things being bumper-to-bumper and me generally keeping pace for that one block, some guy still made repeated attempts to pass me. Certain streets just have really aggressive mentalities I guess. Plus, there is a crazy hill after this point on the route that badly needs repaved. This is fine uphill, but downhill it really freaks me out, especially because it's still a relatively busy spot. So I may keep my old route, sidewalk and all.

A note about riding on the sidewalk: for my own safety as well as that of pedestrians, I tend to go from 5-8 mph depending on who else is on it. This speed is still relatively fast compared to a pedestrian, but it leaves plenty of room for error. I was telling a friend yesterday about all the wacky things pedestrians do, myself included, because they don't feel as obligated to see what's around them. It's funny how many people don't even walk in a straight line! They zig and zag... rather than risk hitting them I will just coast until I feel good to tell them I'm there and pass with a wide berth. While the pedestrians can be an annoyance (to my being an annoyance), the most dangerous thing is definitely the turning cars solely focused on arriving at their destination and not seeing who is on the sidewalk.

What town in Colorado?

I've spent some time in Ft C, and although it is sprawly, I also get the impression it's trying very hard to be bike-friendly, and churlish motorist antics would be frowned upon.

thiocyclist 02-14-13 02:15 PM

I'm in Denver and I live 5 miles from where I work. In warm weather it's really good riding. I've been doing it in winter too, not as much fun but still better than driving.

Doohickie 02-14-13 09:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kmv2 (Post 15272623)
Aw, now you ruined my story.

I failed my first driving test because of a dipwad like that. Replaying it in my head after getting home, it was obvious he was doing it on purpose.

Chris516 02-14-13 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thiocyclist (Post 15267017)
I'm all behind the idea that cyclists largely belong on the street, not on the sidewalk. Sidewalks present at least equal danger and arguably more variables than the road (in my experience; not citing a study or anything).

...And yet. There are a couple of places in Denver on my commute where I just don't feel safe riding on the street, so I take the sidewalk. I always yield to pedestrians, and I have to be extra mindful of turning vehicles that aren't looking for me. But for this two-tenths of a mile or so I just don't feel good on the street because the drivers are always in a rush hour mentality, save sleepy weekends. There is a even a wide bus lane and that is not very safe, because then I have to jockey between buses and parked cars (and rogue drivers trying to save time by using this lane). It's scary! And I consider myself a competent commuter with several thousand miles of street experience.

What do you do in that situation? Suck it up and just learn to deal with it, or adapt to sidewalk riding for a brief distance like I have? Is there a third way? What is it?

Can you mention the stretch of road you are referring to, that inside the city? What specific portions of the road. I want see it on go on Google Maps to take a look at it.

thiocyclist 02-16-13 11:14 AM

Between 5th and 7th on Broadway. Broadway is one-way with a bus lane. The bus lane can be okay for bikes during slow hours but in busy hours the buses will sometimes push you into parked cars (plus they spew so much exhaust and there are so many of them), or else individual car traffic will merge into that lane to get around some traffic or make a turn.

howsteepisit 02-16-13 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spare_wheel (Post 15273156)
I invoke Godwin.

PS: actual pedestrians in portland have been killed at a far higher rate than cyclists.

NHTSA data reports that pedestrian fatalities in Portland are 1.6 per 100,000, while cyclist deaths are approximately 20 per 100,000. Seems your swag is biased.

Chris516 02-16-13 06:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thiocyclist (Post 15280716)
Between 5th and 7th on Broadway. Broadway is one-way with a bus lane. The bus lane can be okay for bikes during slow hours but in busy hours the buses will sometimes push you into parked cars (plus they spew so much exhaust and there are so many of them), or else individual car traffic will merge into that lane to get around some traffic or make a turn.

Unless the Google Maps street view gives a false impression, it looks relatively tame, compared to the way the people in the DC-Metro region drive. The DC-Metro region is the most congested region, on the road, in the U.S., with speed limits on the main roads', 30-50mph. But with lots of 'traffic control' elements(traffic lights, stop signs, business/personal driveway cutouts)

Are you allowed to ride in the bus lane, since you are uneasy about riding in the main stream of traffic?

Crazyed..27 02-16-13 07:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by howsteepisit (Post 15280852)
NHTSA data reports that pedestrian fatalities in Portland are 1.6 per 100,000, while cyclist deaths are approximately 20 per 100,000. Seems your swag is biased.

Linkage?

howsteepisit 02-16-13 07:30 PM

For the accident rate of cyclist in Portland : http://grist.files.wordpress.com/201...ike-final1.pdf

For the rate of pedestrian fatalities: t4america.org/resources/dangerousbydesign2011

009jim 02-16-13 09:10 PM

Any city which is serious about cycling facilities will permit cycling on the side walk. The alternative would be to have a separate bicycle path in every single street. If you ride to get to work, inevitably you'll get to the end of the available dedicated cycling paths and still have a mile or so to get to your actual work premises. The safest place in many of these situations is on the side walk. If it were safe to be on the road then there wouldn't be any side walk and pedestrians would also walk on the road. You must however ride at a slow speed.

GrouchoWretch 02-16-13 09:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by howsteepisit (Post 15281994)
For the accident rate of cyclist in Portland : http://grist.files.wordpress.com/201...ike-final1.pdf

For the rate of pedestrian fatalities: t4america.org/resources/dangerousbydesign2011

Data not comparable. See p. 34 of Pucher and Buehler for an explanation of why. Briefly, their denominator is only daily bike commuters, while the numerator is all bike fatalities, whether or not the victims were daily bike commuters or even commuting at the time. This inflates the apparent mortality rate, as the authors note. You can't compare this measure with the one you cited for pedestrians. You can only compare their numbers against each other, by city, as they did.


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