Bike Forums

Bike Forums (http://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php)
-   Advocacy & Safety (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/)
-   -   10 mph design speed for Westlake cycletrack in Seattle (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/949930-10-mph-design-speed-westlake-cycletrack-seattle.html)

daihard 05-26-14 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coolkat (Post 16792468)
I went to the SDOT design plan open house last week, and, yes, it was fairly explicitly stated that this was the case.

I'm a little shocked to hear that. If that's the SDOT's plan, I'm afraid the bike track will not solve much of the current problem, if at all.

John Forester 05-26-14 04:34 PM

http://www.bikeforums.net/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by coolkat http://www.bikeforums.net/images/but...post-right.png
Just wanted to quickly add--the Westlake Path is designed for granny and the kids. Dexter is the route for faster, more experienced cyclists.



Quote:

Originally Posted by daihard (Post 16792263)
Is it spelt out anywhere in the Bike Master Plan document or anywhere else? I've been somewhat following the project, but I don't recall the SDOT specifically stating that the Westlake bike track will be for the "slower" riders.

Whenever a bikeway plan describes the population whom it is intended to serve, which most appear to do, the most frequently appearing description is for "bicyclists of all ages and abilities." Here in San Diego a few weeks ago we had a governmental presentation on Complete Streets, at which the bikeway expert was a former president of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. I forced him to admit (he seemed to be a bit puzzled about this) that he was designing for people whose only bicycling skill was being able to stay up.

There's an American belief that getting on a bicycle destroys all one's traffic sense, even if one carries a long qualification as a motorist. There's another one that becoming a grandmother also destroys all one's traffic sense. All I can say about that is that those cyclists whom I have known who have become grandmothers still keep their traffic-cycling skills.

Look, the official American policy for bicycle transportation is based on incompetent cycling on bikeways. Those of you who don't want to become limited by this policy had better recognize it now and start working to preserve your right to obey the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles. That's it, no Far-to-the-Right laws, no Mandatory-Bikeway laws; those were forced on cyclists by motordom's political power for the convenience of motorists. Stand up and fight for your rights or you'll lose them.

kickstart 05-27-14 01:54 PM

Roads and walkways aren't all built to one standard to accommodate the advanced user, why must all bike facilities be built to accommodate the fittest most skilled user? Those who choose may still use the roadway. Where there are good bike facilities virtually all riders use them even though there's no requirement to do so, how is this a bad thing?
I'm not a child or elderly, but there are some roads and traffic conditions I'm not comfortable riding in, same as many other cyclists, why should we be denied cycling facilities that address some of these situations just because an incredibly small minority don't want them?

IMO, overall Seattle is doing a great job with its cycling program, why throw out the baby with the bathwater, especially when the bathwater, like mandatory use, is somewhere else?

CrankyOne 05-27-14 04:02 PM

From a quick look at sat images it doesn't seem like it should be difficult to build a normal segregated bicycle path that can safely support 18+ mph speeds. Dutch, Swedes, Danes, Fins, and many others can do it, are Seattle traffic engineers that much less competent?

The parking lots would be safer for all users if they are one-way angled back-in. This will also buy several feet of ROW for a wider bicycle path.

The bicycle path should have the same ROW as adjacent motor traffic lanes. Where the path crosses drives, parking lot entrances, or minor roads the motor vehicles should have sharks teeth to indicate that the bicycle path has ROW. The path should also be consistent material, color, and grade with crossings rising or lowering to meet the path which also helps insure that drivers are aware of it and provide appropriate ROW.

How wide are the vehicle lanes? Can they be narrowed to buy more path width?

spare_wheel 05-27-14 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jputnam (Post 16790881)
I suspect they've overestimated the size of that population, and won't get nearly the increased usage they expect out of these sidepaths, but I don't see the paths as a threat to my continued riding in the street.

Quote:

the Westlake Path is designed for granny and the kids. Dexter is the route for faster, more experienced cyclists.
Riding on a bike sidewalk with a designed speed of 10 mph is no fun for cyclists of any ability. This facility is another sad example of how bike advocates in the USA get separation completely wrong. Bike facilities in the netherlands and denmark are not built *only* for 8 year olds and 80s year olds -- they are designed for cyclists of varying ability and speed.

CrankyOne 05-27-14 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coolkat (Post 16791811)
Just wanted to quickly add--the Westlake Path is designed for granny and the kids. Dexter is the route for faster, more experienced cyclists.

Designing for granny and the kids shouldn't be a problem. The problem is that we expect too little of our kids and granny's. Kids and granny's all over The Netherlands ride their bicycles on The Netherlands segregated path network without problems. They stay to the right or move to the right if riding side by side. Faster bicyclists pass them. No problem. It's safe and works for everyone from 7-year-old kids riding on their own to school to folks riding 20+ mph to work. It also works for 5-year-olds riding with their mum and disabled doing 20 mph in their mobility scooter.

What doesn't work for everyone is sharing space with 3000 lb motor vehicles. This works for maybe 2% of the population. It's discriminatory against many disabled, most women (sorry Dufus, but most women dislike riding with traffic far more than most men), most kids under about 15 (and exceptionally dangerous for those over 15), and all elderly.

Seattle can and should build a facility along here that serves all of these users. If their engineers aren't capable I know some Dutch engineering students who'd be happy to come show them how.

spare_wheel 05-27-14 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daihard (Post 16793156)
I'm a little shocked to hear that. If that's the SDOT's plan, I'm afraid the bike track will not solve much of the current problem, if at all.

disconnected stretches of path that make cycling slow and inconvenient will not help increase mode share. and a dramatic increase in mode share is the only way to achieve the kind of consensus required to fund *connected* 8/80 facilities.

spare_wheel 05-27-14 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrankyOne (Post 16796709)
Designing for granny and the kids shouldn't be a problem. The problem is that we expect too little of our kids and granny's. Kids and granny's all over The Netherlands ride their bicycles on The Netherlands segregated path network without problems. They stay to the right or move to the right if riding side by side. Faster bicyclists pass them. No problem. It's safe and works for everyone from 7-year-old kids riding on their own to school to folks riding 20+ mph to work. It also works for 5-year-olds riding with their mum and disabled doing 20 mph in their mobility scooter.

What doesn't work for everyone is sharing space with 3000 lb motor vehicles. This works for maybe 2% of the population. It's discriminatory against many disabled, most women (sorry Dufus, but most women dislike riding with traffic far more than most men), most kids under about 15 (and exceptionally dangerous for those over 15), and all elderly.

Seattle can and should build a facility along here that serves all of these users. If their engineers aren't capable I know some Dutch engineering students who'd be happy to come show them how.


frittering away limited active tranport funding on a mile or two of "demonstration" facility is pointless when connectivity is lacking. moreover, "monorail, monorail" protected bike lanes are akin to pissing into the gale force wind of automotive convenience. imo, until 'murrican cities wage war on low occupancy vehicles use, we won't see much progress in the usa.

kickstart 05-27-14 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrankyOne (Post 16796679)
From a quick look at sat images it doesn't seem like it should be difficult to build a normal segregated bicycle path that can safely support 18+ mph speeds. Dutch, Swedes, Danes, Fins, and many others can do it, are Seattle traffic engineers that much less competent?

There's plenty of room and it could be done easily, but its the only parking in the area for the local businesses and retailers, plus its one of the few places to park for recreational access of Lake Union.

Reducing Westlake to two lanes with a center turn lane, and bike lanes would probably be best, but......

John Forester 05-27-14 05:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrankyOne (Post 16796709)
Designing for granny and the kids shouldn't be a problem. The problem is that we expect too little of our kids and granny's. Kids and granny's all over The Netherlands ride their bicycles on The Netherlands segregated path network without problems. They stay to the right or move to the right if riding side by side. Faster bicyclists pass them. No problem. It's safe and works for everyone from 7-year-old kids riding on their own to school to folks riding 20+ mph to work. It also works for 5-year-olds riding with their mum and disabled doing 20 mph in their mobility scooter.

What doesn't work for everyone is sharing space with 3000 lb motor vehicles. This works for maybe 2% of the population. It's discriminatory against many disabled, most women (sorry Dufus, but most women dislike riding with traffic far more than most men), most kids under about 15 (and exceptionally dangerous for those over 15), and all elderly.

Seattle can and should build a facility along here that serves all of these users. If their engineers aren't capable I know some Dutch engineering students who'd be happy to come show them how.

CrankyOne is just one of those making unsubstantiated comments in this discussion. One foolish argument is that importing Dutch designs will solve the American problem. The designs can't be worked into existing American street patterns, and they don't work without also importing the Dutch society, which can't be done. The idea that Dutch bikeways are wonderful just ain't so. Some are, many are not, because of the restraints upon their implementation. And Dutch cycling speeds are high only where there aren't many cyclists.

As I have been writing, the official (as official as these things ever get) policy about bicycle transportation is that it should be done by traffic-incompetent cyclists using bikeways. I say, without real opposition, that any system designed for traffic-incompetent cyclists is going to be unsatisfactory for those cyclists with traffic competence. But America has laws that insist that all cyclists are traffic-incompetent, like the Far-to-the-Right laws in almost all states, and laws with similar effect. Since America has chosen to implement the system for cyclists without traffic competence, a system invented by motordom and imposed on cyclists by motordom for the obvious reason that motorists think it makes motoring more convenient, then America should return to those cyclists who prefer obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles the full right to do so, without that being made unlawful by FTR laws and the like.

daihard 05-27-14 08:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spare_wheel (Post 16796700)
Riding on a bike sidewalk with a designed speed of 10 mph is no fun for cyclists of any ability. This facility is another sad example of how bike advocates in the USA get separation completely wrong. Bike facilities in the netherlands and denmark are not built *only* for 8 year olds and 80s year olds -- they are designed for cyclists of varying ability and speed.

I went to one of the SDOT bike/walk discussion sessions this evening and had the luxury of talking one-on-one with their community manager who was at the open house last week. I brought up my concern regarding the lane design centred around a proposed 10 MPH speed limit and its negative impact on the future of the cycle track. She told me that they'd gotten a lot of feedback about the concept after the open house, including concerns like mine, saying they still haven't decided on the concrete numbers yet and will definitely take those opinions into considerations. I hope they will be true to those words.

CrankyOne 05-27-14 08:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Forester (Post 16796945)
CrankyOne is just one of those making unsubstantiated comments in this discussion.

The results of 40 years of building segregated facilities in The Netherlands vs 40 years of vehicular cycling here seems pretty good substantiation to me. Unless having as few people ride bicycles as possible and having one of the highest fatality rates of all developed countries is considered success.

CrankyOne 05-27-14 08:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Forester (Post 16796945)
One foolish argument is that importing Dutch designs will solve the American problem. The designs can't be worked into existing American street patterns, and they don't work without also importing the Dutch society, which can't be done.

Please explain why Dutch designs can't work in the U.S. and what you propose as a better alternative.

daihard 05-27-14 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kickstart (Post 16796799)
Reducing Westlake to two lanes with a center turn lane, and bike lanes would probably be best, but......

I agree that it would be a competitive idea to turn Westlake into a total of two lanes with a centre turn lane, or a centre lane that changes the direction depending upon the time of day. The "road diet" work has proven to work on other streets, such as Dexter Ave N and NE 125th St.

daihard 05-27-14 09:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrankyOne (Post 16796679)
The parking lots would be safer for all users if they are one-way angled back-in. This will also buy several feet of ROW for a wider bicycle path.

That's what the SDOT representative I spoke with today said they were considering implementing. One-way, angled back-in parking would allow the aisles between the parking spots to be narrower and allow the drivers to pay more attention to the surroundings.

spare_wheel 05-27-14 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrankyOne (Post 16797460)
Please explain why Dutch designs can't work in the U.S. and what you propose as a better alternative.

i look to germany and sweden for inspiration because they have managed to increase mode share far more percentage-wise than the dutch of danes (who have had high mode share since the victorian era).

jputnam 05-27-14 11:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coolkat (Post 16791811)
Just wanted to quickly add--the Westlake Path is designed for granny and the kids. Dexter is the route for faster, more experienced cyclists.

This, of course, raises the prospect that hundreds of riders who currently use the Westlake parking lot and sidewalk will continue to do so if the facility built for them is designed for others.

Dexter has slopes that many existing Westlake riders can't or won't ride. There's quite a gap between fast, athletic riders and 10 mph trail dawdlers, and most of Westlake's existing users fall in that gap.

daihard 05-27-14 11:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jputnam (Post 16797809)
This, of course, raises the prospect that hundreds of riders who currently use the Westlake parking lot and sidewalk will continue to do so if the facility built for them is designed for others.

Exactly. That's one of the concerns I raised while taking with Dawn (from the SDOT) this evening. I told her that designing a cycle track with a 10-MPH speed limit in mind would cause most, if not all, the current commuters to NOT use the track.

Quote:

Dexter has slopes that many existing Westlake riders can't or won't ride. There's quite a gap between fast, athletic riders and 10 mph trail dawdlers, and most of Westlake's existing users fall in that gap.
Agreed.

jputnam 05-27-14 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kickstart (Post 16796238)
Roads and walkways aren't all built to one standard to accommodate the advanced user, why must all bike facilities be built to accommodate the fittest most skilled user?

Nobody said anything about designing Westlake for the fittest and most skilled... even AASHTO standards say they'll stay on the street no matter what separated facilities you build.

The question is whether the path should be designed to accommodate casual, non-enthusiast adults, middle-school kids on BMX bikes, and others who routinely exceed 10 mph on level ground.

If the path is built with a design speed so low that pre-teens can easily ride too fast for conditions, what level of enforcement will it require to make it safe for children and the elderly?

jputnam 05-27-14 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daihard (Post 16797332)
I brought up my concern regarding the lane design centred around a proposed 10 MPH speed limit and its negative impact on the future of the cycle track. She told me that they'd gotten a lot of feedback about the concept after the open house, including concerns like mine, saying they still haven't decided on the concrete numbers yet and will definitely take those opinions into considerations. I hope they will be true to those words.

I'm glad to hear they've had enough push-back that they're at least sounding more flexible. Earlier presentations really gave the impression that the 10 mph design speed was set in stone.

kickstart 05-28-14 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jputnam (Post 16797833)
Nobody said anything about designing Westlake for the fittest and most skilled... even AASHTO standards say they'll stay on the street no matter what separated facilities you build.

The question is whether the path should be designed to accommodate casual, non-enthusiast adults, middle-school kids on BMX bikes, and others who routinely exceed 10 mph on level ground.

If the path is built with a design speed so low that pre-teens can easily ride too fast for conditions, what level of enforcement will it require to make it safe for children and the elderly?

It would be great if they can build it to a higher standard than 10 mph, but considering the section in question is only slightly over a mile, would some compromise be that detrimental if it avoids the project becoming a major drain on resources? Is any flexibility out of the question?

John Forester 05-28-14 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrankyOne (Post 16797460)
Please explain why Dutch designs can't work in the U.S. and what you propose as a better alternative.

The good Dutch intersection designs require more area than we have available. Furthermore, they work only with the Dutch societal system, which cannot be imported.

America's very difficult bicycle transportation problem has been produced by a multitude of factors, but the specifically bicycling parts of the problem have been produced by motordom's insistence that bicyclists must be prohibited from obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles because they are unable to obey those rules. The result is that all facilities specially designated for bicycles are supposed to be designed for all cyclists, as is frequently stated "for all ages and abilities", even though that is practically impossible. Another result is that the American bicycling population operates in at least three modes: as drivers, as curb-huggers, and as rolling pedestrians. The best solution for America is to formally allow all three modes. To allow all three modes requires repeal of the laws prohibiting cyclists from obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles. Since the American program for bicycle transportation builds facilities for curb-huggers and rolling pedestrians, there's no need for a change in that.

CB HI 05-28-14 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kickstart (Post 16798545)
It would be great if they can build it to a higher standard than 10 mph, but considering the section in question is only slightly over a mile, would some compromise be that detrimental if it avoids the project becoming a major drain on resources? Is any flexibility out of the question?

Bad design and build only encourages more bad design and build.

genec 05-28-14 02:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Forester (Post 16799255)
The good Dutch intersection designs require more area than we have available. Furthermore, they work only with the Dutch societal system, which cannot be imported.

America's very difficult bicycle transportation problem has been produced by a multitude of factors, but the specifically bicycling parts of the problem have been produced by motordom's insistence that bicyclists must be prohibited from obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles because they are unable to obey those rules. The result is that all facilities specially designated for bicycles are supposed to be designed for all cyclists, as is frequently stated "for all ages and abilities", even though that is practically impossible. Another result is that the American bicycling population operates in at least three modes: as drivers, as curb-huggers, and as rolling pedestrians. The best solution for America is to formally allow all three modes. To allow all three modes requires repeal of the laws prohibiting cyclists from obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles. Since the American program for bicycle transportation builds facilities for curb-huggers and rolling pedestrians, there's no need for a change in that.

How can a Dutch design "take more room than we have available" when so often you remind us that the space on European roads is limited largely due to pre-automotive street designs.

So either they have narrow roads that pre-date the auto or they don't... You can't have it both ways.

kickstart 05-28-14 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CB HI (Post 16800027)
Bad design and build only encourages more bad design and build.

Agreed, but from what I've seen its not "bad" like some examples you have shown in other threads, its just not suitable for higher speeds.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:02 AM.