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Old 05-28-14, 03:04 PM   #76
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My 11 year old daughter can ride a 40 lbs huffy mountain bike with knobby tires faster than 10 mph.
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Old 05-28-14, 03:35 PM   #77
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"Bicycle-friendly" Seattle has reportedly established a 10 mph design speed for its latest "protected bike lane" project, a sidepath along Westlake Avenue, a busy freight and commuter route.
Just an effort to keep the Lance wannabes from showing interest in riding that side-path. Especially if they enforce the lower speed. I venture onto a couple of 10mph paths myself and look forward to a relaxed, stress-free few minutes where I can catch my breath and gather my thoughts without the Lycra(R) hordes buzzing me. I generally roll at around 12mph on those paths and no one cares. I often look forward to those paths actually. Then again, if I am in a rush, I just bypass them and use the street.
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Old 05-28-14, 04:24 PM   #78
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Just an effort to keep the Lance wannabes from showing interest in riding that side-path. Especially if they enforce the lower speed. I venture onto a couple of 10mph paths myself and look forward to a relaxed, stress-free few minutes where I can catch my breath and gather my thoughts without the Lycra(R) hordes buzzing me. I generally roll at around 12mph on those paths and no one cares. I often look forward to those paths actually. Then again, if I am in a rush, I just bypass them and use the street.
That "side-path" is currently used mainly by commuters who may or may not ride fast. They are nothing like the "Lance wannabes," averaging 15-16 MPH as far as I can tell.

The big reason they're working on a cycle track on Westlake is that the street itself isn't very safe for bicycles. That's why many, if not all, of them resort to riding on the current route (i.e. the parking lot next to the street) posing risks for themselves as well as those who park their cars there. If they end up building a cycle track no commuters would use due to the low-speed design, it would not solve the current safety issue.
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Old 05-28-14, 04:31 PM   #79
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...the street itself isn't very safe for bicycles...a cycle track no commuters would use...
................If the first part^^ is true....................then the second part^^ is untrue.

Commuters, with few exceptions, will take the safest route if one exists. Unless Seattle cyclists are incredibly snobby compared to the rest of the world you are worrying for nothing. Although years ago I tried to ride around Greenlake fitness path at 10 mph on a weekend and it was impossible due to no one obeying the directional arrows printed on the tarmac. It was mayhem and I gave up and just rode on the streets.

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Old 05-28-14, 04:46 PM   #80
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................If the first part^^ is true....................then the second part^^ is untrue.
Not necessarily. The proposed cycle track would still leave space for the parking lot. If the commuters feel that the parking lot would let them ride faster than the cycle track, they may actually go there even if it means a little more risk.

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Commuters, with few exceptions, will take the safest route if one exists. Unless Seattle cyclists are incredibly snobby compared to the rest of the world you are worrying for nothing. Although years ago I tried to ride around Greenlake fitness path at 10 mph on a weekend and it was impossible due to no one obeying the directional arrows printed on the tarmac. It was mayhem and I gave up and just rode on the streets.
My point is that with the current design proposal, the cycle track, which is being built to address an issue, may very well not work as intended. That's why some of us locals try to talk to the SDOT to let them know our concerns. If they do take our feedback and decide to raise the reference speed limit to, say, 15 MPH, that will be a win-win for everyone IMO.

As for the Green Lake, I agree with you. Hardly anyone on foot observes the lane discipline on the trail there. I once took my wife there as she wanted to ride slowly and comfortably for relaxation. She ended up going home more frustrated due to all the people she had to avoid.
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Old 05-28-14, 04:57 PM   #81
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The skate boarders are going to love this path. Might as well put in some ramps to make it interesting for BMX and boarding. They can call it, traffic calming, in hopes of maintaining the 10 mph speed limit. At least this way, it will have some real purpose.
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Old 05-28-14, 04:57 PM   #82
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The big reason they're working on a cycle track on Westlake is that the street itself isn't very safe for bicycles. That's why many, if not all, of them resort to riding on the current route (i.e. the parking lot next to the street) posing risks for themselves as well as those who park their cars there. If they end up building a cycle track no commuters would use due to the low-speed design, it would not solve the current safety issue.
It will only be the difference of a minute or two for the average cyclist, possibly less depending on how many cars are encountered in the parking lot route, I doubt it would have a major impact on use.

If the issues can be solved without it becoming a major problem that's great, but at some point the limited resources available could be put to use elsewhere.
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Old 05-28-14, 05:59 PM   #83
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Have to ask a stupid question. If the bicycle design speed is less than, oh, 20 mph, but the Motorized speed limit is 10 mph, what is wrong with the design speed of 10 mph for all vehicles (and presumably pedestrians).

Isn't this the very definition of, *gasp*, Woonerf?


Putting it another way, I just don't get the agita. (Well, John is just on full agita all the time, that I get.)

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Old 05-28-14, 06:22 PM   #84
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Furthermore, they work only with the Dutch societal system, which cannot be imported.
Please explain. What is so different about the Dutch that segregated paths work for them but would not work for us?
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Old 05-28-14, 06:24 PM   #85
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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.
It must not be too impossible since it works quite well in The Netherlands. And in Denmark, Sweden, and elsewhere.
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Old 05-28-14, 07:58 PM   #86
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If the issues can be solved without it becoming a major problem that's great, but at some point the limited resources available could be put to use elsewhere.
Yes, and I just don't see how designing a bike track that can take a higher speed limit would consume any more resources when you design it from the scratch. And the SDOT representative I spoke with did acknowledge that 10 MPH would be "pretty low."
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Old 05-28-14, 08:05 PM   #87
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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.
The Netherlands doesn't have this problem. EVERYONE in The Netherlands operates in the same mode; bicycle rider riding on well designed bicycle paths. Some ride faster and some slower, but that's not a problem since the paths are designed for that.

Why would we want anarchy of people riding bicycles all over the place in all different manner of operation? Some riding on roads as vehicles, some hugging the curb because they are, rightly, scared to death of being killed by a motorist, and some riding on sidewalks (with pedestrians scared to death of being killed by bicyclists and motorists)?
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Old 05-28-14, 08:37 PM   #88
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It must not be too impossible since it works quite well in The Netherlands. And in Denmark, Sweden, and elsewhere.
That's just not correct. There have been plenty of pictures and videos of bad bikeways and slow bicycle traffic in those places. (Well, I haven't seen any for Sweden.)
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Old 05-28-14, 08:39 PM   #89
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The Netherlands doesn't have this problem. EVERYONE in The Netherlands operates in the same mode; bicycle rider riding on well designed bicycle paths. Some ride faster and some slower, but that's not a problem since the paths are designed for that.

Why would we want anarchy of people riding bicycles all over the place in all different manner of operation? Some riding on roads as vehicles, some hugging the curb because they are, rightly, scared to death of being killed by a motorist, and some riding on sidewalks (with pedestrians scared to death of being killed by bicyclists and motorists)?
It appears that your aim is to force all cyclists to use bikeways. That hasn't played well in the USA.
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Old 05-28-14, 08:42 PM   #90
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Please explain. What is so different about the Dutch that segregated paths work for them but would not work for us?
For one thing, their experience of mass motoring was catastrophic, as they say so themselves. There are reasons for that, of course, but one result is that the Dutch regard motoring in a very different way than it is regarded in the USA.
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Old 05-28-14, 09:05 PM   #91
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It appears that your aim is to force all cyclists to use bikeways. That hasn't played well in the USA.
I wonder if that's because we simply don't have good bike infrastructure in the U.S.? If Seattle was as well-equipped with good bike paths as Amsterdam is (I've been there twice), I would probably use them - especially if it is possible to ride faster (as suggested by @CrankyOne) on those paths.
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Old 05-28-14, 09:19 PM   #92
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Just an effort to keep the Lance wannabes from showing interest in riding that side-path.
Yes, those 12-year old BMXers want to be just like Lance... So do the tweed cargo bikers, and the parents with trailers, and all the other existing riders who go faster than 10 mph.

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I venture onto a couple of 10mph paths myself .... I generally roll at around 12mph on those paths and no one cares.
Reckless of you to admit that you routinely ride too fast for conditions. Even if it's true, do you really want your negligence on the record if you ever have an incident?
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Old 05-28-14, 09:23 PM   #93
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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?
That would be a decision for the City Council. Right now, SDOT is legally required to meet adopted standards. Council mandated that, only Council can repeal or modify the requirement.
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Old 05-29-14, 07:57 AM   #94
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None of this is going to matter because a speed limit will not be enforced.
The cops around here wont even bother with petty crime anymore.
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Old 05-29-14, 08:38 AM   #95
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Reckless of you to admit that you routinely ride too fast for conditions. Even if it's true, do you really want your negligence on the record if you ever have an incident?
You be kiddin', right?

Sometimes the 10mph path is totaly clear of other trail users so I go 12mph. If it's packed with other trail users I might go 8mph. Or just use the streets instead. I think 12mph is totally within the parameters of "conditions" when the trail is otherwise vacant, n'est–ce pas?

Funny post. Thanks!
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Old 05-29-14, 09:01 AM   #96
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I wonder if that's because we simply don't have good bike infrastructure in the U.S.? If Seattle was as well-equipped with good bike paths as Amsterdam is (I've been there twice), I would probably use them - especially if it is possible to ride faster (as suggested by @CrankyOne) on those paths.
On average we work much longer hours, live further from where we work, and change jobs more often. Also don't forget the climate and topography of many of our major cities are not as conducive to bike commuting as the European cities often used as examples.

The established bike culture and image of cycling here in the US. is biased towards the athletic enthusiast, not the average person, and the majority of LBS's don't cater to those who want basic, reasonably inexpensive transportation. That forces many to get wal-mart junk assembled by unqualified people which won't make for a positive experience, or encourage new cyclists.
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Old 05-29-14, 09:31 AM   #97
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Gee a 10MPH stretch of path for cyclists... gosh, not like motorists have speed limits in certain areas...
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Old 05-29-14, 12:48 PM   #98
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You be kiddin', right?

Sometimes the 10mph path is totaly clear of other trail users so I go 12mph.
If the facility has a 10 mph design speed, it is by design unsafe at 12 mph when empty.

If you're referring to a speed limit rather than a design speed, that's not what this thread is discussing.
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Old 05-29-14, 12:51 PM   #99
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None of this is going to matter because a speed limit will not be enforced.
Actually, a 10 mph design speed only matters if a 10 mph speed limit is NOT enforced.

The design speed is the speed at which the facility is physically safe to use, not the legal speed limit.

If people are allowed to ride 15 mph on a path with a 10 mph design speed, then, by design, they will not have time or space to avoid collisions with other users.
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Old 05-29-14, 12:58 PM   #100
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Gee a 10MPH stretch of path for cyclists... gosh, not like motorists have speed limits in certain areas...
Of course motorists have speed limits, but this discussion isn't about speed limits, it's about design speed.

Where a street is planned for a 35 mph speed limit, it has longer sight distances than a street designed for a 25 mph speed limit. If you design a street for 25 mph, then post a 35 mph speed limit, you cause accidents.

Seattle does not have a legal speed limit for trails, so riders would be allowed to ride any speed they want on the Westlake path, but it will be designed to be dangerous for riders moving faster than 10 mph.
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