Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 9 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 205

Thread: 55 mph+++ roads

  1. #1
    Waiting for the sun
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    55 mph+++ roads

    A year ago, riding a bike down the side of the road would have seemed like a very insane idea to me, but with spring creeping up on me, it seems like it be a great time. Lot better than hitchhiking, and slower than driving. Ride for a while, stop at a stream, catch some fish, read a book, sleep, and wake up. All the zen of the driving nowhere, without the rush, and all the limitation of hitching, without the nutjob rides.

    So I've been watching the shoulders of roads, and the drivers on the road. Theres a lot of nice wide roads around here, all two lanes, and a fair amout of traffic on them. Theres a bike trail on the side of the road that connects the two cities, about 12 miles apart. The bike path scares me. Seems like a damn good way to get clipped by a car, either turning in or pulling out. The path's ashphalt connects to the highway when theres a road entering the highway, and the road painters put a big white stripe to indicate drivers should stop in front of the bike path, but paint means little here. I would feel safer on the side of the road.

    Riding on the road raises other issues. Us Alaskans have a interesting behavior when ot comes to cars turning left. I never understood why there were signs in the lower 48 states saying "NO PASSING ON THE RIGHT" You see, in Alaska, it is normal, when aproching a car turning left on a road, to pass them on the right. If the shoulder is wide enough, you dont slow down. If its not wide enough, you slow down a litttle, and drop the left tires off the road and pass. This applies everywhere. If your at a light, and want to turn right, you squeeze between the cars going straight and the guardrail/ditch/lightpole. It took me a few months of living in Washington to realize that this is not normal behavior.

    So, if Im pedaling around locally. I have three choices. 1. avoid the roads with bike paths and ride on the side roads(a side road being simply a road that doesnt have a bike path.) 2.ride the bike path and be invisable to traffic. 3.ride the shoulder of roads with bike paths, incure the wrath of drivers, and have cars wizzing by me at 60 mph.

    Now if im not pedaling locally, I'll be going up the highway. To do some camping/fishing/no i cant come to work riding. Another two lane road, nice wide shoulders, with most people going 65. Not a lot of side roads, so wont have to worry about passing on the right. A lot of people going a lot faster than 65 though.

    So a lot of scary sheet when you stop and look at the physics of my rear end and someones grill. So Im thinking mirrors on my bike would at least be a good idea. And a helmet. I see cyclists with a mirror attached to their helmets, is that better or worse than a mirror on the handlebars? I've also got a few crazy ideas. i think im going to mount a small digital camera to my handlebars, and when I get buzzed/flipped off/honked at/stuff thrown at me/ shot with paintballs, I can snap a pic of the plate, get there address and send them VC propoganda, or report them. Also thinking about attaching a cb whip antenna, cut at 2 foot long, with a big red flag tied to the end, just to buy me a bit of space.

    Anyway, any advice on high speed highways with crazy drivers?

  2. #2
    Yes that's Me lamajo25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Payson AZ
    Posts
    260
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Check your local laws about highways and freeways and whether you can enter them with your bike. Here in AZ you cannot go on freeways/expressways but can on highways (though mostly very unsafe to do so). Definately melon protector. You should have a helmet. What little they protect it's worth the effort. To save you some money, don't take a picture. Let's just say you don't want to take a spill and destroy a camera. Purchase a small pocket digital recorder. You can say the license plate into your lapel microphone and be able to recall it later. A camera if you are shook up from a close call you will probably not get a very good picture if you are still riding. As for your passing on the right concern. Most states actually allow to pass on the right when overtaking a vehicle turning left if there is enough shoulder or space to do so safely. The overtaking on the right pertains to people who can't seem to be patient and have a lead foot. There is a concern there just watch yourself. All in all watch yourself and protect yourself.
    If you don't know. Don't say anything.

    And for God sakes Quit hating on Police Officers.

  3. #3
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Towson, MD
    My Bikes
    2001 Look KG 241, 1989 Specialized Stump Jumper Comp, 1986 Gatane Performanc
    Posts
    4,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In MD bicycles are not allowed even on the shoulder of roads with a posted speed limit of over 50 MPH.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Montreal
    My Bikes
    Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid
    Posts
    6,521
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get a helmet or eye glass mounted mirror because it allows you to see a wide area behind you by moving your head. Bar mounted mirrors cant see the traffic if there is a curve in the road. You dont have to worry about cars passing on the right if there are no cars turning left. If you are about to pass a car making a left turn, use your mirror.

    The flag, reflective gear and flashing lights all help, but are no substitute for keeping alert to whats going on around you. Ride in a manner that wont give any motorist a surprise - 99.9% of the motorists are not out to get you, and there isnt much you can do about the others. Good luck

  5. #5
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    AZ
    My Bikes
    Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
    Posts
    13,957
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by lamajo25
    Here in AZ you cannot go on freeways/expressways but can on highways
    This is not true, see:
    http://www.azbikeclub.com/interst.html

    Al

  6. #6
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
    My Bikes
    1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;
    Posts
    15,005
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    In MD bicycles are not allowed even on the shoulder of roads with a posted speed limit of over 50 MPH.
    That sounds like a blatant violation of one's fundamental right to mobility. I work in a business park which is linked to the coast via 55mph Palomar Airport Road, which fortunately has a decent Class II bike lane on each side.

    What are the restrictions on pedestrians?

    What about situations in which there is no reasonable alternate route? Do they provide bike lanes or paths parallel to such roads?

    Such a law would be a huge problem in San Diego County, where neighborhoods are linked only by prime arterials and freeways.
    Last edited by John E; 03-15-05 at 08:23 AM.
    "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

  7. #7
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
    My Bikes
    1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;
    Posts
    15,005
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by LakeHouse
    ... So I've been watching the shoulders of roads, and the drivers on the road. Theres a lot of nice wide roads around here, all two lanes, and a fair amout of traffic on them. Theres a bike trail on the side of the road that connects the two cities, about 12 miles apart. The bike path scares me. Seems like a damn good way to get clipped by a car, either turning in or pulling out. The path's ashphalt connects to the highway when theres a road entering the highway, and the road painters put a big white stripe to indicate drivers should stop in front of the bike path, but paint means little here. I would feel safer on the side of the road. ...
    This is, of course, one of the (many) major problems with separate bike paths and one of several reasons I generally prefer road shoulders or on-road (Calfornia "Class II") bike lanes over dedicated multiuse trails (Class I).

    On vacation about 4 years ago, I tried the two-way multiuse path in the Squaw Valley / Lake Tahoe area, and found every intersection to be just as awkward and scary as I would have imagined it to be. Fortunately, local motorists seemed attuned to the presence of the path, but I worried about all of the tourists and visitors.
    "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

  8. #8
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Arizona, USA
    My Bikes
    Mercier Corvus (commuter), Fila Taos (MTB), Trek 660(Got frame for free and put my LeMans Centurian components on it)
    Posts
    2,601
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by lamajo25
    Check your local laws about highways and freeways and whether you can enter them with your bike. Here in AZ you cannot go on freeways/expressways but can on highways (though mostly very unsafe to do so). .
    Actually according to the most recent ADOT bicycling map the only highways/freeways which don't allow bicycles are the metro freeways in Phoenix and the section of I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson and just south of Tucson. Incidentally if you request one from azbikeped.org they will send you one for free.
    Sunrise saturday,
    I was biking the backroads,
    lost in the moment.

  9. #9
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    western new england
    My Bikes
    Fuji touring
    Posts
    3,008
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by LakeHouse

    So, if Im pedaling around locally. I have three choices. 1. avoid the roads with bike paths and ride on the side roads(a side road being simply a road that doesnt have a bike path.) 2.ride the bike path and be invisable to traffic. 3.ride the shoulder of roads with bike paths, incure the wrath of drivers, and have cars wizzing by me at 60 mph.

    Well, I would let the shoulder be your guide. The wider the shoulder, the better!

    I did alot of riding in Alaska at the beginning of my world tour, and found lots of side roads, main roads with great shoulders, and a few bike paths here and there. I alwasy used my rear view mirror to avoid, as much as possible, the situation you refer to: a car passing a left-turning vehicle by swerving to the right. By being proactive you can often speed up/or slow down to avoid this.

    roughstuff
    Electric car sales are on fire! :)

  10. #10
    genec genec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    san diego
    My Bikes
    custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
    Posts
    22,734
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    In MD bicycles are not allowed even on the shoulder of roads with a posted speed limit of over 50 MPH.
    Seems kinda dumb to me too.

    And yet in San Diego we have this...

  11. #11
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,029
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by LakeHouse
    So I've been watching the shoulders of roads, and the drivers on the road.
    Watching traffic move along a roadway is one thing.
    Watching traffic move along a roadway when there is a cyclist riding on the shoulder is another.
    Watching traffic move along a roadway when there is a cyclist riding vehicularly positioned properly in a traffic lane is something else again.

    It's very easy to look at a high-speed roadway, look for a space for cycling, and not see it. But that's because you're looking at a roadway where no cyclist is claiming any space. Fill a jar with clear marbles and try to find a space for a red one - you can't ... the jar is full. But traffic is moving; marbles are just sitting there. If you move the marbles around, you can find space for the red marble. Similarly, you can move traffic around - or have drivers in traffic move themselves around - to create space for a cyclist. Particularly considering there is a lot more extra space for moving around on a roadway than there is in a jar chock full of marbles.

    If the lane is wide enough, and the shoulder is wide, you can ride to the left of the fog line. If the lane is too narrow, and you want motorists to slow down and move at least partially into the adjacent lane when they pass you, then you need to ride further to the left. I would only do this with a mirror, and be prepared to bail in the unlikely event that a motorist does not see you at all (I'm always ready for this, but never had to do it). You can get very good with mirror monitoring such that you will know in plenty of time whether a given motorist is aware of you or not. If you're used to riding in shoulders and bike lanes this may be hard to believe, because when you cycle like that motorists typically treat you as if you are not there. But as soon as you claim your right-of-way in their lane, their behavior changes markedly. Most importantly, they slow down when they see you up ahead, and they adjust their lateral lane position. When you see them do this in your mirror, you know they see you.


    Theres a lot of nice wide roads around here, all two lanes, and a fair amout of traffic on them.
    For those of you who brought up freeways, I'm not sure why. He's talking about 2 lane highways in Alaska...


    Theres a bike trail on the side of the road that connects the two cities, about 12 miles apart. The bike path scares me. Seems like a damn good way to get clipped by a car, either turning in or pulling out. The path's ashphalt connects to the highway when theres a road entering the highway, and the road painters put a big white stripe to indicate drivers should stop in front of the bike path, but paint means little here. I would feel safer on the side of the road.
    If you have not studied nor been trained in vehicular cycling, it's quite understandable that you would feel safer on the side of the road. That's how I still felt after almost 30 years of cycling experience, until I studied the book Effective Cycling, and practiced riding according the principles and techniques explained in the book (just reading it doesn't do much - you have to think about it, and apply it to your riding to really get it).


    Us Alaskans have a interesting behavior when ot comes to cars turning left. I never understood why there were signs in the lower 48 states saying "NO PASSING ON THE RIGHT" You see, in Alaska, it is normal, when aproching a car turning left on a road, to pass them on the right. If the shoulder is wide enough, you dont slow down.
    This is legal and appropriate in all 50 states, and in all right-side-driving countries in the world (in England, Australia and other left-side-driving countries, it's really the same too, only opposite).

    The "NO PASSING ON THE RIGHT" never applies when someone is stopped or slowing to turn left. It is always legal to pass a left-turner on the right, as long as it is done safely. Again, I think you're watching them do it and imagining you're there on the bicycle, and, apparently, that you're invisible and they will not adjust their behavior in response to your presence. That's simply not the case.


    If its not wide enough, you slow down a litttle, and drop the left tires off the road and pass. This applies everywhere. If your at a light, and want to turn right, you squeeze between the cars going straight and the guardrail/ditch/lightpole. It took me a few months of living in Washington to realize that this is not normal behavior.
    The "normality" of the behavior may vary from region to region based on the need and acceptance of it. But it's legal. In a region where most busy intersections have left turn lanes, then there is little opportunity to practice passing them on the left, and, so on the rare occasions when an opportunity presents itself drivers may not be accustomed to doing it. In another region where left turn only lanes are rare, and drivers are accustomed to passing left turners on the right all the time, they probably don't think twice when they do it.


    So, if Im pedaling around locally. I have three choices. 1. avoid the roads with bike paths and ride on the side roads(a side road being simply a road that doesnt have a bike path.) 2.ride the bike path and be invisable to traffic. 3.ride the shoulder of roads with bike paths, incure the wrath of drivers, and have cars wizzing by me at 60 mph.
    What about Option 4? Generally, ride to the left of the shoulder stripe, about in the left tire track, to make sure motorists coming from behind you (and those on side roads and in oncoming lanes who may potentially turn into your path) see you. Use a mirror. When a car is approaching from the rear, wait until they acknowledge your presence (by slowing down and/or adjusting their lateral lane position). Then move aside, if there is room and it is safe, into the shoulder to let them pass. They will appreciate this gesture (as it's appropriate for any driver of any slow vehicle to pull over temporarily to let faster drivers pass). Many times you won't have to move into the shoulder as they will move far enough into the adjacent lane to pass you, and pass you with a safe passing distance. But if there is traffic in that adjacent lane, then you definitely should pull over to let them pass. Even then, your lane position should encourage them to pass you slowly and carefully. Once they pass, and you see no more cars coming (don't rely just on your mirror, always look over your left shoulder before merging left), merge back into the lane to the left of the shoulder stripe. You're more visible there than you are in the shoulder, and you're less likely to run into crash and puncture causing debris.


    So a lot of scary sheet when you stop and look at the physics of my rear end and someones grill. So Im thinking mirrors on my bike would at least be a good idea. And a helmet. I see cyclists with a mirror attached to their helmets, is that better or worse than a mirror on the handlebars? I've also got a few crazy ideas. i think im going to mount a small digital camera to my handlebars, and when I get buzzed/flipped off/honked at/stuff thrown at me/ shot with paintballs, I can snap a pic of the plate, get there address and send them VC propoganda, or report them. Also thinking about attaching a cb whip antenna, cut at 2 foot long, with a big red flag tied to the end, just to buy me a bit of space.
    I use a Take-A-Look mirror (rei.com) attached to my glasses. These (and those attached to helmets) vibrate less than bike-attached mirrors. Definitely wear a helmet. Pick up, read and study the book Effective Cycling by John Forester. You can get it on Amazon (read the reviews). Carrying a camera could be useful, but don't get too obsessed with the idea that the motorist is the enemy. Work with them, and they will work with you. You'll be fine.


    Anyway, any advice on high speed highways with crazy drivers?
    See above.

  12. #12
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    western new england
    My Bikes
    Fuji touring
    Posts
    3,008
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Serge *******
    ... You'll be fine....
    See above.

    Its too bad it takes so many words to decsribe alot of the aspect of vehicular cycling, but thtas the nature of the beast. Nice post Serge.

    roughstuff
    Electric car sales are on fire! :)

  13. #13
    Bent_Rider
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    SF Bay area
    My Bikes
    Bacchetta Aero, BikeE, Bruce Gordon Rock n Road
    Posts
    1,248
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by John E
    This is, of course, one of the (many) major problems with separate bike paths and one of several reasons I generally prefer road shoulders or on-road (Calfornia "Class II") bike lanes over dedicated multiuse trails (Class I).

    On vacation about 4 years ago, I tried the two-way multiuse path in the Squaw Valley / Lake Tahoe area, and found every intersection to be just as awkward and scary as I would have imagined it to be. Fortunately, local motorists seemed attuned to the presence of the path, but I worried about all of the tourists and visitors.
    I lived in Squaw valley for years, and I can tell you that that bike path is the most poorly designed piece of crap ever. The part from Squaw to Tahoe City is OK because it crosses only a few seldom used driveways, and follows the Truckee river, but the rest of it from Tahoe City to Homewood is absolute crap. It crosses the road several times, goes through parking lots, has some short steep grades, poles in the middle, sharp blind turns, sand on the trail. I would always ride on Hwy 89 at speed but would catch some grief from time to time.

  14. #14
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,029
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I was on vacation in Tahoe Vista (down the road from Tahoe City) last summer, and eschewed that God-forsaken path in favor of riding on the highway, with my child in tow behind my mountain bike or road tandem. No issues or problems whatsoever.

    Serge

  15. #15
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Towson, MD
    My Bikes
    2001 Look KG 241, 1989 Specialized Stump Jumper Comp, 1986 Gatane Performanc
    Posts
    4,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by John E
    That sounds like a blatant violation of one's fundamental right to mobility. I work in a business park which is linked to the coast via 55mph Palomar Airport Road, which fortunately has a decent Class II bike lane on each side.

    What are the restrictions on pedestrians?

    What about situations in which there is no reasonable alternate route? Do they provide bike lanes or paths parallel to such roads?

    Such a law would be a huge problem in San Diego County, where neighborhoods are linked only by prime arterials and freeways.
    In Maryland the reality is cyclists and pedestrians are banned from the interstate system. They are just about the only roads with a speed limit over 50 MPH, excepting just a few State roads like Rte. 50/301 which crosses the Chesapeake Bay Bridge (no bikes allowed, but you can call ahead and get a lift across). You can walk or ride on any other road.

  16. #16
    coasterbrakelockup lz4005's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    parts unknown
    My Bikes
    surly steamroller w/coaster brake, electra single speed cruiser, specialized rockhopper commuter, no-name single speed folder, 700c ultimate wheel, 24" unicycle, specialized bmx lsd, single seat single speed huffy tandem, pink upsidedown parade bike
    Posts
    825
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    In Maryland the reality is cyclists and pedestrians are banned from the interstate system.
    I think most states have laws like that. Here in KY anything that can't maintain a speed of 45 MPH isn't allowed on limited access highways. That includes bicycles, pedestrians, mopeds, tractors, horses, etc. They actually have signs with the list at on-ramps. (it is Kentucky after all)

  17. #17
    1.9lb/in pseudobrit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Susquehanna shoreline
    My Bikes
    LeMond, CAAD9/1
    Posts
    1,360
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by LakeHouse
    Riding on the road raises other issues. Us Alaskans have a interesting behavior when ot comes to cars turning left. I never understood why there were signs in the lower 48 states saying "NO PASSING ON THE RIGHT" You see, in Alaska, it is normal, when aproching a car turning left on a road, to pass them on the right. If the shoulder is wide enough, you dont slow down. If its not wide enough, you slow down a litttle, and drop the left tires off the road and pass. This applies everywhere. If your at a light, and want to turn right, you squeeze between the cars going straight and the guardrail/ditch/lightpole. It took me a few months of living in Washington to realize that this is not normal behavior.
    I can tell you it's perfectly normal here in my area of Pennsylvania.

    I was taken aback that the drivers in New Orleans stop and yield to pedestrians approaching crosswalks. In Pennsylvania, the de facto law is that an automobile has the right of way and the pedestrian can wait.

  18. #18
    Mike Powell
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Putney London
    My Bikes
    Giant TCR, Klein Quantum Pro, Crosshair Cyclocross
    Posts
    118
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am baffled by this. Can someone explain why cycling in the cycle lane is so bad. I used to live in San Fran and the cycle lane was always a good option.

    Is their something wrong with the cycle lane design on these roads.

    Cycling in a line of traffic doing 50mph seems somewhat on the dangerous side if they have to brake and move out round you into a different lane.
    Mike

  19. #19
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,029
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bigmikepowell
    Cycling in a line of traffic doing 50mph seems somewhat on the dangerous side if they have to brake and move out round you into a different lane.
    And you think a motorist traveling 50 mph passing a cyclist separated only by a painted stripe and maybe a few inches, without slowing down and moving laterally to increase the passing distance, is safer?

    Thanks, but no thanks. I prefer the motorists who are passing me to see me, become aware of me, and accomodate me, both by slowing down and by moving laterally, perhaps moving into the adjacent lane if that's what's necessary, perhaps slowing down to my speed if that's not immediately possible, and waiting until it is. Yes, I prefer that to them passing by me as if I'm not even there (going just as fast and in the same lane position as they would if I wasn't there - which is exactly what happens most of the time when motorists pass cyclists who are riding in bike lanes).

    But my issue really isn't with bike lanes per se, it's really about integration versus separatism.
    In the South there used to be laws separating blacks and whites with respect to water fountain use. I don't mean to trivialize the horror of racism, but to a point the analogy works. Back then the courts accepted the argument that such separatism was not violating anyone's rights, because no one was being prevented access to water. Blacks had water, and so did whites. So whose rights were being violated? For these people who accepted this view, the insidious nature of the separatism was not obvious. The problem of course was the underlying assumption that blacks and whites should be separated, and the effect it had on the thinking of people about each other, and their respective roles in society.

    This is essentially my problem with bike lanes: the underlying assumption that cyclists should be separated from drivers of vehicles. It is the insidious nature of this underlying separatist assumption of bike lanes that is my greatest concern, and the effect it has on the thinking of cyclists and the public at large with respect to what proper cycling in traffic should be.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Arizona, USA
    My Bikes
    Mercier Corvus (commuter), Fila Taos (MTB), Trek 660(Got frame for free and put my LeMans Centurian components on it)
    Posts
    2,601
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Serge *******


    But my issue really isn't with bike lanes per se, it's really about integration versus separatism.
    In the South there used to be laws separating blacks and whites with respect to water fountain use. I don't mean to trivialize the horror of racism, but to a point the analogy works. Back then the courts accepted the argument that such separatism was not violating anyone's rights, because no one was being prevented access to water. Blacks had water, and so did whites. So whose rights were being violated? For these people who accepted this view, the insidious nature of the separatism was not obvious. The problem of course was the underlying assumption that blacks and whites should be separated, and the effect it had on the thinking of people about each other, and their respective roles in society.

    This is essentially my problem with bike lanes: the underlying assumption that cyclists should be separated from drivers of vehicles. It is the insidious nature of this underlying separatist assumption of bike lanes that is my greatest concern, and the effect it has on the thinking of cyclists and the public at large with respect to what proper cycling in traffic should be.
    Umm, OK, Devil's advocate here. Bicycles are inherently slower than cars in 90% of situations. Black people and white people are basically the same apart from skin color so I disagree with your analogy. What makes a bicycle lane any different from a slower vehicle lane on a big hill for cars? From a transportation engineer's perspective bike lanes make a lot of sense as it lets faster traffic move unobstructed and also allows the slower traffic a space on the road (not that I am a traffic engineer but that is what I would think if someone asked me how to solve the problem of bicycles slowing down traffic). Anyway, sometimes we need to remember that there are more users on the road than just bicyclists too. If a vehicular cyclists causes a traffic jam, then that poses a problem. Granted, if the road had been designed correctly with a wide outer lane and drivers were smart enough to pass correctly without overdoing it or coming to close, it wouldn't be a problem. Then again, do they have special lanes for model t's, horse carriages, and tractors (which are also allowed to use the road as slow moving vehicles)? Then again, how many Model t's, horse carriages, and tractors do you see in your city (assuming it is not rural)?

    I have a question for you Serge. If you were forced to ride a section of Interstate for some reason (it is legal most places here in Arizona), would you ride to the left of the white line or the right of it (we will assume traffic is moving 75+)?

    For the record I ride highways with 55 mph speed limits with no shoulder fairly regularly and have been buzzed by angry dorks trying to prove a point, but mostly have not had problems. The key is bright clothes and making sure the road has enough visiblity for drivers to see you in time (curvy roads with those speed limits are a very bad idea imho).
    Last edited by Paul L.; 03-15-05 at 03:33 PM.
    Sunrise saturday,
    I was biking the backroads,
    lost in the moment.

  21. #21
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,029
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L.
    Umm, OK, Devil's advocate here. Bicycles are inherently slower than cars in 90% of situations. Black people and white people are basically the same apart from skin color so I disagree with your analogy.
    Which is why the analogy only works to a point. First of all, the main thing is that I reject the notion that cyclists are slower than motorists in 90% of situations. If nothing else, at every intersection their speeds are comparable. It's a lot, but not 90%. Secondly, difference alone does not justify separatism: the difference must be significant and must warrant the separatism. Even then, you have to be careful. Don't forget that many Southerners believed (unfortunately probably many still do) the black/white difference was significant and warranted the separatism.

    It is the separatism belief in and of itself that is the core problem. For blacks, it meant that they were treated separately and unfairly in many aspects of society. To a large extent the analogy works here, because the warranted separatism implied by bike lanes affects the treatment of cyclists in many situations where separatism is not warranted, not only with respect to how cyclists are treated, but in how cyclists act (like second-class users of the roadway).


    What makes a bicycle lane any different from a slower vehicle lane on a big hill for cars?
    Let's count the ways...
    1. Slow vehicle lanes (SVLs) are restricted to certain sections of intersectionless roadway. Bike lanes (BLs) are not. In this respect, if BLs were like SVLs we would only see them on occasional long stretches of high speed/high volume intersectionless roadway (like a freeway).
    2. Slow vehicle lanes probably collect debris too, but probably not as much as bike lanes do.
    3. Vehicles in slow vehicle lanes are not affected by whatever debris is collected in the slow vehicle lane; cyclists are affected. In particular, cyclists tend to ride on or near the edge stripe to avoid the debris; vehicles in slow vehicle lanes are not.
    4. Slow vehicle lanes are wide; bike lanes are not. Yes, cyclists are narrow, but they still require more space than most people realize (including most cyclists), particularly in BLs considering cyclists' tendency to ride on or near the stripe because of the debris issue. So BLs encourage unsafe/near passing in a way that SVLs do not.
    5. Etc. (let me know if you are not yet convinced that BLs are significantly different from SVLs)



    From a transportation engineer's perspective bike lanes make a lot of sense as it lets faster traffic move unobstructed and also allows the slower traffic a space on the road (not that I am a traffic engineer but that is what I would think if someone asked me how to solve the problem of bicycles slowing down traffic).
    Now you're talking about the main purpose of bike lanes: to get cyclists out of the way of motorists. Kind of like the main reason for separate water fountains... This insidious separatism underlying bike lanes makes effective integration in traffic for cyclists that much less accepted and respected, and that much more difficult and challenging.


    Anyway, sometimes we need to remember that there are more users to the road than just bicyclists too. If a vehicular cyclists causes a traffic jam, then that poses a problem.
    That's a big and unsubstantiated IF. I ride vehicularly all the time, and I can assure you I never cause a traffic jam. (please do not confuse vehicular cycling with Critical Mass!) Sure, I might delay someone for a few seconds, maybe a minute or two if they end up catching a red that they would have gone through on green were it not for me, but that certainly does not amount to causing a traffic jam, and I don't think it warrants supporting the idea that cyclists must be separated from vehicular traffic, particularly considering that they must integrate with traffic at every intersection.


    Granted, if the road had been designed correctly with a wide outer lane and drivers were smart enough to pass correctly without overdoing it or coming to close, it wouldn't be a problem.
    Actually, without the stripe the cyclist has the right-of-way in the lane, and the motorist tends to pass slowly and with care. When the motorist and cyclist are separated by a BL stripe, the cyclist does not have the right-of-way in the motorist's lane, and the motorist passes him as if he is not there.

    Cyclist/motorist separatism causes more problems than it solves.


    Then again, do they have special lanes for model t's, horse carriages, and tractors (which are also allowed to use the road as slow moving vehicles)? Then again, how many Model t's, horse carriages, and tractors do you see in your city (assuming it is not rural)?
    Are there enough cyclists to cause a real problem? Only during a Critical Mass, which I do not advocate.

  22. #22
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,029
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L
    I have a question for you Serge. If you were forced to ride a section of Interstate for some reason (it is legal most places here in Arizona), would you ride to the left of the white line or the right of it (we will assume traffic is moving 75+)?
    Both. There is a fairly long (5 miles?) section of an east/west freeway with the shoulder/BL open to cyclists in San Diego. On weekends when traffic is light (and drifting by motorists into the shoulder is more likely), I will (WITH MY MIRROR) move to the left of the stripe to enhance awareness of my presence to motorists coming from behind. Sight lines on freeways are great. Long before it's too late, I move into the shoulder to allow someone to pass, then, when it's clear again, I merge (with a check over my left shoulder - never rely on the mirror) back into the lane.

    In busy/constant traffic with little danger of drifting motorists, I just stay in the shoulder.


    For the record I ride highways with 55 mph speed limits with no shoulder fairly regularly and have been buzzed by angry dorks trying to prove a point, but mostly have not had problems. The key is bright clothes and making sure the road has enough visiblity for drivers to see you in time (curvy roads with those speed limits are a very bad idea imho).
    On a shoulderless highway with lanes too narrow to be safely shared (at those speeds it would have to be at least 15 or 16 feet, which is very rare) I believe the other key is to ride far enough left to make it clear to passing motorists that they cannot and should not try to pass without at least partially moving into the adjacent lane. Yes, that may mean they have to slow down to my speed before they can pass. I'm not going to sacrifice my safety in order to avoid delaying a motorist by a few seconds.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Arizona, USA
    My Bikes
    Mercier Corvus (commuter), Fila Taos (MTB), Trek 660(Got frame for free and put my LeMans Centurian components on it)
    Posts
    2,601
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Many passing lanes around here are narrow and leave no room for a car and a bicycle to co-exist.

    It seems most of your arguments have to do with debris, something a traffic engineer should take into account but I suspect they don't plan cheapskate city managers/tax payers (who won't budget appropriate street cleaning schedules for bike lanes) into the bargain and from their view Bike lanes are a totally viable option. I find a bike lane without debris a nice option myself all arguments aside. I do know of many a cluttered lane though so I suppose that is a point that could be argued ad nauseum. As long as cars are in the majority I think traffic engineers will continue to see the bike lane as the utopian solution though as it will make the drivers happier having cyclists out of their way, and elected officials will tend to side with the majority.

    The freeway question was one to see if you were really a fanatic about this and I am pleased to see you are not.
    Sunrise saturday,
    I was biking the backroads,
    lost in the moment.

  24. #24
    1.9lb/in pseudobrit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Susquehanna shoreline
    My Bikes
    LeMond, CAAD9/1
    Posts
    1,360
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    'round my area, there are signs on the onramps to all freeways (aka restricted access highways) that say "Motorized Vehicles Only"

    Keeps the Amish buggies off the Interstates. For good reason.

  25. #25
    Mike Powell
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Putney London
    My Bikes
    Giant TCR, Klein Quantum Pro, Crosshair Cyclocross
    Posts
    118
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Not an extremist. Hell how mad do you have to be to count as an extremist round here.

    Simple. Bike average speed 20mph, into a head wind 15mph, up an incline with a head wind could easily be less than 10mph, even if you are a fast cyclist. I know we can all hit 30mph but get real guy's not for very long if you are cycling on your own.

    Average car speed on a dual carridgeway 55mph, lets get real 65mph, ok not in the commute time 70mph.In the UK quite easily 80 and with a significant percentage 90mph but lets ignore these and assume 70mph is the real upper limit, you are cycling in the right hand most lane where in the US the slower traffic is supposed to yield to.

    Closing speed car to cyclist 35-55mph.

    Driver makes a mistake at this speed and hits you, your going to be dead.

    Braking distance for 35-55mph 100-1200 foot. That's reaction time and braking time of the drivers coming up to you and shedding the speed differential, which might happen if they can't merge lanes once they have spotted you. (Haven't worked it out for trucks but it is a lot more)

    Now add in inattentive drivers, rain, dusk, night time or rain, nighttime and inattentive drivers, you can triple it, at least.

    Steve my friend if you really ride like this I will be writing you obituary sometime soon.

    Seggragation is there for a good reason, to keep you alive, and also to speed up the flow of faster traffic. Campaigning to keep cars traveling in all circumstances at 20 to 15mph is not going to fly.

    You analogy of racial divide is a good on as it is emotive, a bad one as it misses the salient point the fact that in an accident as a cyclist you are more likely to die, a real and rather important distinction.

    Bike lanes not wide enough. Yep this can be a problem but a bike needs something like 3 foot and most bike lanes I have ever seen have this.

    And Serge. No on is stupid enough to think that the white line designating a bike lane will physicaly stop a car hitting you, you are mixing up your logic again with emotive statements.

    The purpose of the white line is to indicate to cyclist and drivers that one type of traffic, slow moving bikes are likely to be one side of it, the other side are likely to be fast moving cars, Both be on the look out and both stay either side of the line and you're paths will not cross and no one gets hurt.

    I cycle down the A14 a 3 lane carridge way that is heavily used with average speed that varries from 0 to 80mph. There are also roads A23 I cycle down with out a bike lane or shoulder and I wish there was either. I have only done it a few time and I now judge it to unsafe so I detour.

    OK I used the emotive statement that I beleive these is an increased risk of people dying but Serge my friend you are a cyclist and there are few enough of us already.


    PS is this the general belief behind antagonism to bike lanes or is their something else?




    Your beef, Bike lanes arn't big enough. Agree that is a problem but if the cars path doesn't cross my tajectory it isn't going to hit me. And don't be silly no one thinks a white line is going to stop a vehicle
    Mike

Page 1 of 9 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •