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Old 05-29-14, 01:41 PM   #101
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That trail doesn't sound very useful to me. 10 mph is a running speed. Even I can still run that fast (6 minute miles) though usually only when I'm being stung by yellow jackets.
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Old 05-29-14, 01:48 PM   #102
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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.
To add to @jputnam's comment, a design speed doesn't necessarily equal the maximum speed limit. As far as I know, the speed limit is set at or below the design speed. Imagine what it would be like if Seattle somehow decided to impose a speed limit on this trail.
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Old 05-29-14, 02:05 PM   #103
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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.
From what I understand this 10 MPH area is less than a mile long... is this really going to cause local cyclists massive delay and inconvenience, considering at 10 MPH they will be on it for about all of 6 minutes, at most? I mean, after all, a stoplight might take 2 minutes...

No, ultimately this is NOT the best solution... but no doubt the compromises made to put this trail in, led to the decisions made. 6 minutes. Is it really a huge issue?
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Old 05-29-14, 04:19 PM   #104
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From what I understand this 10 MPH area is less than a mile long... is this really going to cause local cyclists massive delay and inconvenience, considering at 10 MPH they will be on it for about all of 6 minutes, at most? I mean, after all, a stoplight might take 2 minutes...

No, ultimately this is NOT the best solution... but no doubt the compromises made to put this trail in, led to the decisions made. 6 minutes. Is it really a huge issue?
there is a 4 lane arterial road 50 feet away from the path now if someone is in a hurry
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Old 05-29-14, 04:34 PM   #105
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there is a 4 lane arterial road 50 feet away from the path now if someone is in a hurry
If only Westlake Ave was a safer street to bike on...
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Old 05-29-14, 04:48 PM   #106
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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.)
How often have you ridden in The Netherlands? I'm there at least once and often numerous times every year for about two decades now. I use a bicycle for transportation when I'm there. I'm a fast rider and it works extremely well nearly all of the time. Sure, just as there is occasional congestion on motorways there is occasional congestion on bikeways but this is extremely rare. I experience much less delay on my bicycle in Amsterdam than in my car in Minneapolis.
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Old 05-29-14, 04:54 PM   #107
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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 don't think we need to force them nor should we. If we simply build safe segregated bicycle facilities correctly then almost every bicycle rider will choose them.

On the other hand, it appears your aim is anarchy with bicycle riders all over the place, including many more in the morgue.

Why do you John Forester want to take something extremely safe, bicycling, and put it in to an environment that is extremely unsafe, motor traffic?

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Old 05-29-14, 05:03 PM   #108
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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.
Can you please explain this further. I find this particularly interesting since people are killed on our roadways at three times the rate as The Netherlands roadways.
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Old 05-29-14, 06:10 PM   #109
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Can you please explain this further. I find this particularly interesting since people are killed on our roadways at three times the rate as The Netherlands roadways.
I don't know how serious you are. There has been much discussion of these issues, much of it in this group. And I think, though I have not mastered them, there are ways to search the records of this group for given subjects. But if all you want is a short answer about the initial Dutch experience with mass motoring, there is a video available under the title How the Dutch Got Their Bikeways.
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Old 05-29-14, 08:40 PM   #110
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I don't think we need to force them nor should we. If we simply build safe segregated bicycle facilities correctly then almost every bicycle rider will choose them.

On the other hand, it appears your aim is anarchy with bicycle riders all over the place, including many more in the morgue.

Why do you John Forester want to take something extremely safe, bicycling, and put it in to an environment that is extremely unsafe, motor traffic?
I consider the present condition, how it became what it is, and what can be expected from it. You advocate some utopian bikeway system that supersedes road use. Where is such? Not even the Dutch have managed that. And America is a particularly unlikely place for such to develop. We have to live with what we have and what improvements we can make to it. American policy for bicycle transportation has been against it for seventy years. One can quite handily name the political powers in highway matters as "motordom". As a result of motordom's activity we once had a law that gave cyclists the rights and duties of drivers of vehicles (RRDV). Then motordom got a law to prohibit such cycling, by limiting cycling to the edge of the roadway(FTR law, 1944). Then, in 1976, when the effects of the FTR law were examined for the first time, even the California Legislature discovered that FTR cycling was often more dangerous than RRDV cycling, so now the laws in most states combine the right to use the RRDV, the prohibition against doing so, and finally some examples of when, possibly, under some circumstances, cyclists may be allowed to obey the RRDV. Utterly confusing. The first adopted bikeway standards, the AASHTO designs, were forced onto cyclists by motordom, to make motoring more convenient, against cyclists' opposition, without regard for cyclists' safety or convenience. The current generation of bikeway designs, the NACTO designs, are specifically designed for use by a population of cyclists without any traffic skills whatever.

The result is that the American cycling population displays four different styles of cycling: obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles, hugging the curb, sidewalk and path riding, and an undescribable mix of unlawful movements.

Neither of the last two traffic laws nor any of the bikeway designs were designed to make cycling safer by using the scientific knowledge we have of car-bike collisions. The evidence is quite strong that cyclists who obey the RRDV do far better than the general cycling population, no matter to what extent they use bikeways. That is why I have spent forty years advocating that cyclists obey the RRDV, and training them to do so. That style of cycling is the best that is available in America. That does not mean that cyclists should never use bikeways; quite often bikeway cycling and RRDV cycling coincide, but that is by coincidence rather than by design. RRDV cycling will continue to be the best available until the utopian bikeway system appears. However, the probability that America will produce such a system is substantially zero, in my opinion, based on American history.

Despite the fact that RRDV cycling is the best available, it is politically impossible to impose it on American cyclists and American bicycle advocates. They won't allow it. So, there we are, having deliberately, by policy, produced a lawless cycling population, and that is a fact that we have to live with when considering what possible forms American bicycle transportation can take. I don't like this lawless population, so don't accuse me of advocating it. All that I advocate is what I think can be best produced from the situation in which we now exist.
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Old 05-29-14, 08:54 PM   #111
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A cyclist isn't a motorist or a pedestrian, they are a hybrid of the two, to say a cyclist should behave exactly like either is idiocy defined.
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Old 05-29-14, 09:27 PM   #112
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The result is that the American cycling population displays four different styles of cycling: obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles, hugging the curb, sidewalk and path riding, and an undescribable mix of unlawful movements.

Neither of the last two traffic laws nor any of the bikeway designs were designed to make cycling safer by using the scientific knowledge we have of car-bike collisions. The evidence is quite strong that cyclists who obey the RRDV do far better than the general cycling population, no matter to what extent they use bikeways. That is why I have spent forty years advocating that cyclists obey the RRDV, and training them to do so. That style of cycling is the best that is available in America. That does not mean that cyclists should never use bikeways; quite often bikeway cycling and RRDV cycling coincide, but that is by coincidence rather than by design. RRDV cycling will continue to be the best available until the utopian bikeway system appears. However, the probability that America will produce such a system is substantially zero, in my opinion, based on American history.

Despite the fact that RRDV cycling is the best available, it is politically impossible to impose it on American cyclists and American bicycle advocates. They won't allow it. So, there we are, having deliberately, by policy, produced a lawless cycling population, and that is a fact that we have to live with when considering what possible forms American bicycle transportation can take. I don't like this lawless population, so don't accuse me of advocating it. All that I advocate is what I think can be best produced from the situation in which we now exist.
I may not be following you here. What exactly are you suggesting here with regard to the proposed Westlake cycle track?

Although I'm a relatively new rider, I'm pretty comfortable riding in the traffic. I obey the traffic laws, at least to the same extent that I do when I drive. I don't mind taking the lane when it's necessary for my safety. In fact, I do that on Stewart Street every morning.

On the other hand, I'd welcome a well-designed bike path anywhere, including but not limited to my usual routes. So my personal opinion is that the SDOT should try and build one on Westlake Ave that will cater to both commuters (i.e. faster riders) and more recreational riders.
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Old 05-29-14, 09:50 PM   #113
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I may not be following you here. What exactly are you suggesting here with regard to the proposed Westlake cycle track?

Although I'm a relatively new rider, I'm pretty comfortable riding in the traffic. I obey the traffic laws, at least to the same extent that I do when I drive. I don't mind taking the lane when it's necessary for my safety. In fact, I do that on Stewart Street every morning.
According to the VC theory, the "same rights and duties" is twisted to mean the same rules and laws, and that cyclists should use the road in the same way motorists do, ergo bicycle infrastructure is unnecessary and demeaning.

VC advocates tend to be like politicians, and rarely offer practical answers to direct questions.

It has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

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Old 05-29-14, 10:10 PM   #114
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According to the VC theory, the "same rights and duties" is twisted to mean the same rules and laws, and that cyclists should use the road in the same way motorists do, ergo bicycle infrastructure is unnecessary and demeaning.

VC advocates tend to be like politicians, and rarely offer practical answers to direct questions.
If I understand correctly, VC advocates believe the segregated bike paths are unsafe, rather than demeaning. First, I don't always agree with VC, but without adequate bike infrastructure, I do believe that riding in the traffic is the best option available to us. Second, I also agree to an extent that segregated bike paths aren't always safe - or not as safe as they are perceived to be. I've had one major car-bike accident since I started cycling last summer. It happened in a protected bike lane, on a section painted green (indicating cars that go through that area must yield to bicycles).
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Old 05-29-14, 10:31 PM   #115
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From what I understand this 10 MPH area is less than a mile long... is this really going to cause local cyclists massive delay and inconvenience, considering at 10 MPH they will be on it for about all of 6 minutes, at most? I mean, after all, a stoplight might take 2 minutes...
There's no sign it will actually cause cyclists any delay, only injuries -- so far there's no proposal to make cyclists slow down, only a plan to make a facility that's designed to be dangerous if they ride the speed they should be expected to ride.
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Old 05-29-14, 10:37 PM   #116
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If I understand correctly, VC advocates believe the segregated bike paths are unsafe, rather than demeaning. First, I don't always agree with VC, but without adequate bike infrastructure, I do believe that riding in the traffic is the best option available to us. Second, I also agree to an extent that segregated bike paths aren't always safe - or not as safe as they are perceived to be. I've had one major car-bike accident since I started cycling last summer. It happened in a protected bike lane, on a section painted green (indicating cars that go through that area must yield to bicycles).
More often than not, riding in traffic is simply the only option as in my daily commute, I agree its best to respect the intent of the rules and laws of the road, I also recognize many roads and conditions don't justify separate facilities............but some do.

To say separate facilities are universally unproductive and dangerous is ridiculous, but that's what some ardent VC advocates claim. Separate bike facilities may not have a statistical safety advantage on a spread sheet, but there is absolutely no question that they significantly improve my overall cycling experience in the real world.

Whether the Westlake path ends up being built to meed the desired standards, or the compromised standard, I would still prefer it to Westlake ave.
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Old 05-30-14, 09:06 AM   #117
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A cyclist isn't a motorist or a pedestrian, they are a hybrid of the two, to say a cyclist should behave exactly like either is idiocy defined.
Nobody requires any particular cyclist to operate as either a driver or a pedestrian. The obvious point is that the cyclist has the choice of doing either at any time, which is not at all the same idea.
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Old 05-30-14, 09:31 AM   #118
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There's no sign it will actually cause cyclists any delay, only injuries -- so far there's no proposal to make cyclists slow down, only a plan to make a facility that's designed to be dangerous if they ride the speed they should be expected to ride.
Ah so no advisory signage that says 10MPH? Just blind curves and narrow ways?
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Old 05-30-14, 09:33 AM   #119
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I may not be following you here. What exactly are you suggesting here with regard to the proposed Westlake cycle track?

Although I'm a relatively new rider, I'm pretty comfortable riding in the traffic. I obey the traffic laws, at least to the same extent that I do when I drive. I don't mind taking the lane when it's necessary for my safety. In fact, I do that on Stewart Street every morning.

On the other hand, I'd welcome a well-designed bike path anywhere, including but not limited to my usual routes. So my personal opinion is that the SDOT should try and build one on Westlake Ave that will cater to both commuters (i.e. faster riders) and more recreational riders.
What do you mean by a "well-designed bike path"? Now let us assume that you have created the specifications for such a path. The next issue, planning shall we call it, concerns the extent to which this design can be implemented into the existing urban area. People with better training than you probably have have failed in this task for forty years.

The trouble with the proposed Westlake Ave path is that it runs through a parking lot that serves many businesses. As I wrote some days ago, this gives the designers the choice between running across much turning and crossing motor traffic or running across much pedestrian traffic. Neither of these functions is compatible with what anyone would consider to be a "well-designed bike path", by anybody's definition, especially not your hypothetical one.

Consider the Burke-Gilman trail in Seattle, running along the roadbed of a waterfront railroad without significant cross traffic (only a few lakefront residences). Nothing could be more like your hypothetical wonderful bike path, yet cycling along it at normal road speed is acutely dangerous, so dangerous that there are speed limit signs along it. My normal road-speed cycling along the Burke-Gilman trail, so highly praised for safety, aroused the ire of the LAB's board of directors in 1971: "You should never ride so dangerously!" Their own command proved the dangerous nature of the Burke-Gilman trail for experienced cyclists.

So, considering America's cycling population, the best facility that can be practical for Westlake is a path for slow cyclists and the roadway for faster cyclists.
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Old 05-30-14, 09:35 AM   #120
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There's no sign it will actually cause cyclists any delay, only injuries -- so far there's no proposal to make cyclists slow down, only a plan to make a facility that's designed to be dangerous if they ride the speed they should be expected to ride.
Well then, Putnam, produce a practical design that allows safe cycling at normal road speeds. Put up or shut up.
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Old 05-30-14, 09:40 AM   #121
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Well then, Putnam, produce a practical design that allows safe cycling at normal road speeds. Put up or shut up.
There's a novel approach... don't ask government agencies to obey the law, just do their work for them...
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Old 05-30-14, 09:55 AM   #122
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Posted by daihard:
Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Anderson

That's exactly the attitude and policy of America's motordom, saying that we require bikeways to control unlawful cyclists. Which is exactly the design policy for the original AASHTO bikeway standards. I was there at the creation; I knew what was being done. But then, that policy of needing bikeways to control unlawful cyclists was the logical result of motordom's prior policy of prohibiting cyclists from operating lawfully through the use of Far-to-the-Right laws and Mandatory-Path-Laws. By prohibiting cyclists from operating safely and lawfully, America's motordom (and that means a substantial majority of Americans) made proper cycling unlawful, with the natural result of producing a cycling population that knowingly and willingly disobeys the laws. Those who believe that often write to this discussion group. But there were always some who had discovered the benefits of obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles; their opposition was to the laws making proper cycling unlawful while advocating that the method by which cyclists disobey American society should be by obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles. Ironic, isn't it, that disobedience to society involved obeying the rules by which society regulated its own traffic.
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Old 05-30-14, 10:07 AM   #123
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There's a novel approach... don't ask government agencies to obey the law, just do their work for them...
Your attitude is equivalent to that of some Mid-Western legislatures who declared that in their state pi=3.0. No matter what the statute says, it cannot be carried out. In the same way, American thought about bicycle transportation, largely created by American motordom and expressed in statutes and policies, is so tangled that nobody understands what it is and is so contradictory that it just cannot be carried out. The sooner that you learn these facts, the sooner you will be able to do something useful in bicycle transportation.
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Old 05-30-14, 11:34 AM   #124
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Your attitude is equivalent to that of some Mid-Western legislatures who declared that in their state pi=3.0. No matter what the statute says, it cannot be carried out.
A right-of-way large enough to land a 737 doesn't have room for a bicycle path with a design speed of 18 mph?

I don't know what the value of pi is in your world, but it must be phenomenally large.
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Old 05-30-14, 11:43 AM   #125
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Consider the Burke-Gilman trail in Seattle, running along the roadbed of a waterfront railroad without significant cross traffic (only a few lakefront residences). Nothing could be more like your hypothetical wonderful bike path, yet cycling along it at normal road speed is acutely dangerous, so dangerous that there are speed limit signs along it.
There is no speed limit on the Burke Gilman Trail in Seattle, and no speed limit signs.

Outside city limits, the trail is covered by King County's blanket 15 mph speed limit for trails, a limit entirely unrelated to design speed -- if you closed I-90 to cars, it would have the same 15 mph speed limit for cyclists riding a six-lane freeway.

King County's design speed for the BGT is a minimum of 20 mph, even where congestion requires a lower speed limit (e.g., a section of the BGT in Lake Forest Park with a 10 mph speed limit). When pressed to lower the design speed in congested areas, King County's response has been, “The only real effect of a lower design speed is to reduce sight distance cones, potentially making the trail less safe for all.”
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