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  1. #26
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    ...

    Put this to the test. Grab a copy of Portland's bike map. Without applying any of your local knowledge, plot a route from the north end of the city to the south side using the designated streets highlighted on the map as your guide. Would you ride that route? Would you do it with an eight-year-old? Would you do it on a tandem with road shoes and five other cyclists who are just trying to get out of town? Don't just compare it to what it was twenty years ago, compare it to what it should be if we built things in a non-autocentric way.
    Not too terribly difficult, actually. The eight year olds are probably still excluded, alas.
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  2. #27
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    And this is where many cities, including Portland and SF, really fail us. Designating something as a bike corridor, and putting it on a bike map, doesn't make it work as a route for cyclists. From what I've seen, most of what PDX designates as these are simply residential streets with stop signs every other block (or more) where cross traffic has the right of way, sight lines are restricted and the streets are narrowed to nearly nothing by the excessively permissive on street parking policy. In other words, cyclists are being encouraged to ride on these routes merely to get them out of the way of motorists.
    ...
    I was skeptical as well when they were first installed. Experience shows your concerns aren't really relevant. Yes, there are stop signs. Yes, these are installed on quiet streets. Yes, they are a little slower than the main drags. But no, these bike corridors are actually well thought out and allow easy access for cyclists to get around. Most chiefly, it allows cyclists an easy entry to vehicular style riding. It is an easier transition than simply getting thrown in the deep end and trying to execute a vehicular left turn on a fast, busy street.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  3. #28
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    Different people have different thresholds of risk, for cycling or for cross country traveling. Let's call them "risk bins". The first bin are the (in the cycling world) hardcore cyclists who will ride regardless of road conditions. These people ride with no infrastructure. People from the second bin see the first bin people riding and take up riding themselves. They learn vehicular cycling methods but don't see them as a be-all and end-all of cycling. They advocate for infrastructure accommodation. The city gives them a little, and the third bin people are willing to come out. These people, along with the second bin people advocate for more infrastructure, allowing people in the fourth risk bin to venture out. And so on.

    This is how you solve the problem of which came first: the riders or the bike lanes. The answer is it is more complex. Not all cyclists have the same risk thresholds, and their are pioneers and then there are the people who follow the pioneers. In the cross-country travel analogy, Lewis and Clark were pioneers for a route to the west coast from the east. They cut their own trails. Then came the traders who were willing to take risks who expanded the trails, then the traders who were less willing to take risks who turned these trails to roads. Only then did we get the first "civilian" travelers. Just a trickle at first. Then as roads got better, more people follow. Fast forward a couple hundred years and we now have interstates and literally anyone can travel from one side of the country to the other with minimal risk.

    In Portland and surrounding areas, for your typical 5-10 mile commute, you can usually string together a route using bike lanes, paths and/or quiet streets. The ease of this varies in specific locations (some areas, to do this is still fairly convoluted or impossible), but this has only been possible in the last five years. Fifteen years ago, when I first came to live in this area, this was not possible. Commuting to work is usually the entry - a person who has a low risk threshold but wants to ride will start riding once they can find a "safe" (by their personal definition) route to work. And this is where infrastructure such as bike lanes (on main drags), paths, and bike "corridors" (usually residential streets marked specifically as bike routes) come in to play.
    +1000 grand explanation... I only considered "2 bins," and no doubt the real situation is that there are many more finer subdivisions.... and further, indeed the situation is complex. But to deny that any sort of facilities have no impact is a fools errand.

    The fact is that there are always the first and brave... whether it is to cross a country or a river... and eventually there are resources put in place to encourage the others, and then more come and finally what was seen as unique and scary is seen as normal and everyday.

    Yeah, there may not be a magic silver bullet to getting more people to use bikes for transportation... as it is a complex issue, but when nothing is provided, what we have seen is that the numbers tend to remain quite flat... and let's face it, if the words "brave," "fast," "assertive" and "road sneak" are part of your bike plan, well that is going to tend to leave a lot of folks at home.

  4. #29
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    . . . Most chiefly, it allows cyclists an easy entry to vehicular style riding. It is an easier transition than simply getting thrown in the deep end and trying to execute a vehicular left turn on a fast, busy street.
    Can't argue with that logic. First time I got up the guts to take the lane after several too close passes that resulted in actual contact and injury (thankfully not too sever and being younger back then I bounced a lot better) was on residential streets and I gradually worked my way up learning along the way that if there isn't enough width there just isn't enough width so its actually safer to take the lane. First time I did it, it was out of utter frustration and anger and I just thought "well if they are going to hit me then I'm going to make sure they know what they are doing and have to hit me right on" and I was surprised to find that the vast majority of them slowed and waited to pass until it was safe to do so and swung nice and wide giving me plenty of room. It was like discovering something I never knew was there and I worked my way up from those first quite streets to now when I know the road ain't wide enough to FRAP then I take the lane something I never used to do and almost got myself killed more then once by hugging the edge and encouraging too close passes a couple of which made actual contact as I said.

  5. #30
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    It all sounds nice. But it is not reality. Please draw a 4 mile Point A (home) to Point B (work) as a crow flies, reasonable route with all bike lanes in your famous Portland example. Even better show one in SF as well, since that is the claim for change.
    You are looking for a "complete highway" in the metaphorical 1955 of urban cycling, before the Interstate Highway Act. Try to imagine driving across the country today and compare it to the roads of the early '50's where there were large gaps in what we would consider a highway today.

    If the country looked at things with your logic, we'd still be driving across country on a 2 lane route 66.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    I am curious, has cycling really tripled in Honolulu? The increases in SF and Portland are well documented with studies and bike counts. Is there similar data collected in Honolulu? Also, in general, most of the cyclists in Portland, and probably SF as well, are transportational rather than recreational cyclists. They are people, for the most part, coming and going from work. They might be recreational cyclists also, but the bike counts are done across the bridges during the commute times.

    I have the same question. And it is an increase in recreational cyclists- and not on bike paths or in bike lanes but on the road.

    Here in Boston, when I first joined BF in 2005, there were 60 yards of bike lanes. In 2007 they started to add bike lanes to the point of more 60 miles of bike lanes in the city. I moved to this city in 1980 and had ridden here daily without the bike lanes but expressed my enthusiasm for the new lanes on BF at the time.

    My posts were met with a good share of skepticism and a fair share of vitriol. Many opponents of bike lanes said there would be no increase in ridership, that bike lanes and numbers of bike riders were not related. By 2009 bicycle ridership had more than doubled and has continued to increase since that time. The addition of the Hubway bike share system 2 1/2 years ago has contributed to the number of people on bikes in Boston.

    All of this is easily documented by surveys and bike counts. And bicycling remains relatively safe in the city, although there have been occasional spikes in accidents the overall accident rate has been dropping and the city is moving towards a 50% reduction in the accident rate for cyclists.

    Springfield and Worcester, two of Massachusetts' other large urban centers, have not seen a concurrent increase in cyclists but they are now just beginning to implement added infrastructure, like lanes and bike paths, it will be interesting to watch as ridership rises along with the addition of bike lanes.

    To deny, at this point, that bike lanes and bike infrastructure increases ridership while keeping biking relatively safe or making it safer is simply throwing the blinders of bias on in the face of fact.

  7. #32
    Senior Member curbtender's Avatar
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    If you've ever ridden SF and know the bike paths/shortcuts through the city, bikes are as fast or a quicker way to navigate the city. Plus, if you have a place for safe parking, it saves you quite a bit. It's so expensive to rent in the inner city that many of the local workers live out past the Mission district. Makes perfect sense that these areas have created a larger biking culture.
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  8. #33
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    Folks, believe me or don't, but people can mostly get around riding mostly on infrastructure or quiet streets. I am not really interested in utopian fantasies; reality dictates we must build using mostly the roads already in place. I've already stated that there are some risk bins for which cycling is still nonaccessible, including that carrying the 8 year olds of the city.

    I am curious, has cycling really tripled in Honolulu? The increases in SF and Portland are well documented with studies and bike counts. Is there similar data collected in Honolulu? Also, in general, most of the cyclists in Portland, and probably SF as well, are transportational rather than recreational cyclists. They are people, for the most part, coming and going from work. They might be recreational cyclists also, but the bike counts are done across the bridges during the commute times.
    Perhaps Honolulu is bucking the trend... but then again according to CBHI they actually teach vehicular cycling in schools... or at least that is what I thought he said a couple of years ago.

    Interestingly cycling is also taught as a regular part of the curriculum in Copenhagen.

    But yes, I am curious about the numbers too.

  9. #34
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    http://www.hbl.org/bikecount-results

    Most interesting fact: roughly half the bicyclists counted were on the sidewalk!!

  10. #35
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    http://www.hbl.org/bikecount-results

    Most interesting fact: roughly half the bicyclists counted were on the sidewalk!!
    Guess no cycling facilities are needed in Honolulu, eh?

    Kapahulu and **** had the most riders over the 3 day count. 68.6% of the riders on Kapahulu were on the sidewalk. Almost all the riders were counted on Kapahulu, not ****.
    Wow guess you can't say P*A*K*I on BF... odd.

  11. #36
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Guess no cycling facilities are needed in Honolulu, eh?
    Not to mention the effectiveness of teaching Vehicular Cycling in the schools.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    I was skeptical as well when they were first installed. Experience shows your concerns aren't really relevant. Yes, there are stop signs. Yes, these are installed on quiet streets. Yes, they are a little slower than the main drags. But no, these bike corridors are actually well thought out and allow easy access for cyclists to get around. Most chiefly, it allows cyclists an easy entry to vehicular style riding. It is an easier transition than simply getting thrown in the deep end and trying to execute a vehicular left turn on a fast, busy street.
    I'm not sold. Having to cross high-traffic roads when there are limited sight-lines and the cross traffic has no traffic control is not what I consider safe for an entry-level cyclist. It simply takes them too long to get across relative to how far they can see down the road. We found it to be problematic on our tandem, and we're far from entry-level. We made the mistake of giving some of those bike routes a go when we were riding a new tandem back from its point of manufacture. After watching a person get doored and dealing with the sight-line issue, we tossed the map in the bin and just went by feel, which worked out much better.

    I do support quality infrastructure. Place a higher priority on cyclists than on storing parked cars and I'm ecstatic. Make the bike lanes adequately wide (OR state law is insufficient and even that low standard is ignored) and I'm happy. Make the connections work rather than just doing a shoe-horn job and I think the person responsible is a saint. I just don't care for city officials who oversell their goods and I'm none too happy with so-called advocates who think something labeled bikey, no matter how flawed, is better than nothing. All too often, the infrastructure that gets put in adds to my risk rather than reducing it, all in the name of "bike friendly".

  13. #38
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    I am curious, has cycling really tripled in Honolulu? Is there similar data collected in Honolulu?
    No official counts. I have been riding in the central Oahu and Honolulu areas a very long time and my observations are reasonable. Central Oahu recreational riding has increased by about 4 times, I used 3X to not overstate. Commuting has gone up and down, mostly depending on gas prices, overcrowded parking and a transit walkout. The average number of commuters that I have seen on my route has gone up about 3X. Homeless riders have remained about the same.

    I have seen the same 3 to 4X increase in recreational riders in LA. No clue on LA commuters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    They might be recreational cyclists also, but the bike counts are done across the bridges during the commute times.
    And the Portland bridge counts ignore the steady or even drop in commuter cyclist from Beaverton. Portland commuter numbers across the bridges has increased due to significant population increase across the river with no increase in bridges, increased gas prices, Portland's intentional decrease in auto parking and to their credit - educational efforts. The Hawthorne bridge count even showed a drop in count numbers during the painting of bike lanes approaching the bridge and feeder roads (there is an old thread where I was able to prove this using the bike lane peoples own data).


    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    Also, in general, most of the cyclists in Portland, and probably SF as well, are transportational rather than recreational cyclists. They are people, for the most part, coming and going from work.
    Easily accounted for with increases in gas prices, increases in road congestion, increases in parking congestion and prices, and less discretionary spending for our younger adults (meaning less money for a car, insurance and gas).
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  14. #39
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    +1000 grand explanation... I only considered "2 bins," and no doubt the real situation is that there are many more finer subdivisions.... and further, indeed the situation is complex. But to deny that any sort of facilities have no impact is a fools errand.

    The fact is that there are always the first and brave... whether it is to cross a country or a river... and eventually there are resources put in place to encourage the others, and then more come and finally what was seen as unique and scary is seen as normal and everyday.
    How odd then, that we do not see similar increases in skydiving, if such claims are true.
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  15. #40
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    You are looking for a "complete highway" in the metaphorical 1955 of urban cycling, before the Interstate Highway Act. Try to imagine driving across the country today and compare it to the roads of the early '50's where there were large gaps in what we would consider a highway today.

    If the country looked at things with your logic, we'd still be driving across country on a 2 lane route 66.
    You act as if the reason for the interstate highway system was for motoring. It was for military purposes. The increase in numbers again, can be accounted for with our very large population increases. Some seem to have never heard the team baby boomers.
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  16. #41
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    I have the same question. And it is an increase in recreational cyclists- and not on bike paths or in bike lanes but on the road.
    Pearl Harbor Bike Path numbers have actually gone down, while the number of cyclist on roads have gone up. The drop is most likely due to more homeless living along the bike path and path surface damage due to tree roots, slowing cyclist speed and creating a much rougher ride. The path surface damage has just been repaired, so we will see if commuter use goes back up on the path.
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  17. #42
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    http://www.hbl.org/bikecount-results

    Most interesting fact: roughly half the bicyclists counted were on the sidewalk!!
    No dispute that DOWNTOWN there are a large number of sidewalk riders, many of them are beach goers and local utility who only ride a hand full of blocks. I have not included them in any of my information.

    And yes Genec, Oahu has a fourth grade BikeEd education run and taught with cyclist hired by Hawaii Bicycle League. Genec, guess who flew out and helped set up the training program - your buddy John.

    I do believe education is part of the increases to ridership, contrary to the claims that it is all about the bike lanes.
    Last edited by CB HI; 12-14-13 at 01:19 PM.
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  18. #43
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Kapahulu is pure motorist grid lock all day long - the sidewalk is 10 times faster (and that is no joke), so the only surprise here is that 30% of cyclist are willing to sit in the grid lock. **** is tourist and recreational riders on a park path that also serves as a sidewalk.

    Sometimes it actually helps to look at why the numbers are actually that way rather than just throwing out your unsupported bike lane claims.
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  19. #44
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    See how the bike lane guys pile on when you do not buy into their false bike lane paradigm.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    See how the bike lane guys pile on when you do not buy into their false bike lane paradigm.
    I don't think that it's a pile of "bike lane guys" but a pile of people looking at something other than personal observation, which I think is useful, but personal observations supported by other evidence like surveys, bike counts and other objectively collected data.

    For example, my personal observation was that there was about a threefold increase of cyclists on my street route into Boston when the bike lanes and sharrows were added. Bike counts by the city and bike organizations showed an increase of 122 % from the time bike lanes were added to 2009. Since then there are now Hubway (Bike Share) bikes added to the mix. The 122% increase is based on a citywide count, not just on roads with bike lanes but throughout the city. The larger share of the increase is on the roads with the added infrastructure. Since 122% is double the number of riders plus another .22% I would be less than exact to say it had "doubled"on my route. A "threefold increase" may not be exact but certainly it has more than doubled and since the bike share program was added after 2009 and has added substantially to these numbers I feel really confident that my observations are accurate.

    I see nothing in your claims of a threefold increase in evidence by the 2013 bike count I linked. Nor do I see evidence that supports your claim of larger numbers of recreational riders on the road in the area. In fact, a quick search of Google about bicycling in the Honolulu area brought up a large number of links citing the poor quality of road riding in that area. Many sites bemoaned the fact that despite Hawaii's ideal weather, excellent scenery and "vacation life style" it is not exactly a bike rider's paradise.

    Why, for example, does a city like Minneapolis have such a substantial share of bike riders if not due to their emphasis on added infrastructure? It sure ain't the accommodating year round ideal weather.

  21. #46
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    All of it adds up to nothing more that correlation = causation claims. There are no normalized double blind studies that show bike lanes increase ridership. There are way too many other and more plausible reasons for ridership increases.

    With all the money spent on bike lanes, you would think that such a study would have been performed. But no, just continued claims that correlation = causation.
    Last edited by CB HI; 12-14-13 at 03:11 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    All of it adds up to nothing more that correlation = causation claims. There are no normalized double blind studies that show bike lanes increase ridership. There are way too many other and more plausible reasons for ridership increases.

    With all the money spent on bike lanes, you would think that such a study would have been performed. But no, just continued claims that correlation = causation.

    I give up.

    A double blind study is not needed because it's so obvious to all but the most biased of observers.

    Why would people like me, who has ridden on the same roads since 1980 with or without bike lanes, have anything to gain by claiming that it makes my ride better, makes it safer and increases the number of riders if, in fact, it did no such thing? If they took the bike lanes away tomorrow I would still ride the same route but it would not be as pleasant, not as safe and I am sure there would not be as many riders sharing that route with me.

    Gas prices have some effect on the decision to ride but think about it- the average bike commute is less than 10 miles RT, how much gas money does that represent? If gas prices have climbed roughly $1.10 since 2005 and my car gets only 20 miles to the gallon I'm saving .55 cents a day- is that enough to sway bike share? Not that economic factors are not at play here- overall cost of car ownership may effect the numbers. But you claimed gas prices- I don't think so. I think it is a number of factors. And one major catalyst to riding a bike during times of low economic growth is added infrastructure without it, they'll take the bus, walk or car pool.

  23. #48
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    A double blind study is not needed because it's so obvious to all but the most biased of observers.
    Of course it is not needed for the true believers, was not needed way back when and is still not needed.

    For far too many, bike lanes are an item of faith.
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  24. #49
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    No official counts. ...
    You seem to be holding a double standard here. Look, rationalize the data how you want, it's not really my business. As far as I can tell, you lack the data to demonstrate any of the claims you state. Pure assertion as far as I am concerned.

    A word about Portland vs. Beaverton. There is a small mountain range in between, and there is a pretty good light rail link. It's also about a 10 mile ride by roads that aren't the divided highway. As long as we are rationalizing data, I'll just go ahead and point this out. Also, according to google, since 1990, the population of Portland has increased by about 20%. In the same time period, the cycling mode share went from 1.5% to 6%. I don't see a corresponding 4x increase in population that would justify these numbers.

    You are reaching pretty hard right now. Sorry if providing a bit of data feels like we are ganging up on you .
    Last edited by Brian Ratliff; 12-14-13 at 04:14 PM.
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  25. #50
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    You seem to be holding a double standard here. Look, rationalize the data how you want, it's not really my business.

    A word about Portland vs. Beaverton. There is a small mountain range in between, and there is a pretty good light rail link. As long as we are rationalizing data, I'll just go ahead and point this out. Also, according to google, since 1990, the population of Portland has increased by about 20%. In the same time period, the cycling mode share went from 1.5% to 6%. I don't see a corresponding 4x increase in population in these numbers.

    You are reaching pretty hard right now. Sorry if providing a bit of data feels like we are ganging up on you .
    I posted an accumulative list of factors, and you then falsely focus in on only one factor to declare my position to be impossible and far reaching. Try addressing the full picture next time.

    Portland commuter numbers across the bridges has increased due to significant population increase across the river with no increase in bridges, increased gas prices, Portland's intentional decrease in auto parking and to their credit - educational efforts.
    If bike lanes are the magical pill you claim them to be, then the Beaverton numbers should have increased as well, not decreased. But maybe I am wrong, maybe the mountains were put in after bike lanes. I also thought Portland put in rail to the east as well, so that claim of rail by you is odd. We are still talking about people commuting into the magical bike lane town of Portland.

    http://trimet.org/pdfs/pm/Portland-Milwaukie_Map.pdf

    You should understand that population increases are more dynamic when considering commuting. Larger populations cause more grid lock since our roadways are no longer keeping pace with the population increase. So it is not a straight across number comparative, it is a synergistic affect getting more people willing to choose cycling and mass transit.
    Last edited by CB HI; 12-14-13 at 04:32 PM.
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