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  1. #1
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    Copenhamsterdamistas criticize new buffered bike lane in a suburb

    A new buffered bike lane was installed on a critical link in suburban portland and the copenhamsterdamista crowd has a hissy fit.

    New buffered bike lanes for Boones Ferry Road - BikePortland.org

    In the portland area anti-bike lane copenhamsterdamistas are the new anti-bike lane VCers.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  2. #2
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    A new buffered bike lane was installed on a critical link in suburban portland and the copenhamsterdamista crowd has a hissy fit.
    I blew through it pretty quickly, but didn't notice any hissy fits.

    Just for consideration, The Netherlands stopped installing these types of facilities about 18 years ago. They were found to not be nearly as safe as a cycletrack (protected bike lane) or side path and people (Dutch people) did not like riding on them.

    For more: Do we really want bike lanes?

    That said, the new layout does appear much better than the old. The question I'd have is how much of a reconstruction was this and could they have done a proper cycletrack or side path? What is the plan for keeping this path clear of debris thrown in to it by 50mph traffic?

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    It's definitely an improvement from the previous incarnation of that road and should get more people out on bikes. But in the end, it is just paint, and nothing is stopping a distracted motorist from drifting into the bike lane.

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    I guess I would be a little disappointed with it too. They went from a 2 lane road which probably wasn't usable for most cyclists (except the most fearless or clueless) and made a huge 5 lane road out of it. I have more trouble with converting it to 5 lanes than the nature of the bike paths, but it still looks like the kind of place that would be well-served by a separated bike path if the goal was to increase modal share.

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    I prefer to wear my own helmet versus a salad bowl.

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    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    They went from a 2 lane road which probably wasn't usable for most cyclists (except the most fearless or clueless)
    ???

    In semi-rural New England, I couldn't get anywhere without using 2-lane roads with barely any shoulders like the one pictured in the link. They are fine to bike on and most of the people doing so are hardly fearless or clueless.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  7. #7
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    this piece of infrastructure is in the suburbs where most roads have no bike lanes or narrow 4-5 foot bike lanes with debris, glass, and even narrower choke points. it's a massive improvement over the status quo and fixes a major connection deficit. and quite frankly it's a better facility than the majority of facilities in many major usanian cities.

    sure...a raised bed cycle track would be ideal. likewise a speed reduction to 25, traffic calming, road diet and the current buffered bike lane would also be ideal. both of these options have been used extensively in northern europe. but...please...lets remember that this is not urban netherlands -- we in USAnia do not have tens of billions of euros to spend on cycle tracks. this is also not urban germany -- washington county does have the political will to tame and calm the bull. for suburban bike infrastructure in the pdx area this facility is a huge improvement. imo, instead of cr*pping on it with comments like "worse than the status quo" we should be celebrating it.
    Last edited by spare_wheel; 06-18-14 at 01:21 PM.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    it still looks like the kind of place that would be well-served by a separated bike path if the goal was to increase modal share.
    this sentiment has become a mantra for those who support segregation as a default but as far as i can tell it's based on ideology rather than evidence. many cities with high mode share do not rely on separated infrastructure as the default. and even cities like copenhagen make extensive use of bike lanes and raised bed cycle tracks that are not actually separated from traffic. if anything, the kinds of infrastructure that "segregationists" clamor for in north america -- bike lanes separated by cars or a larger physical barrier -- are considered to be dangerous and flawed in denmark and the netherlands.
    Last edited by spare_wheel; 06-18-14 at 01:19 PM.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  9. #9
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    ???

    In semi-rural New England, I couldn't get anywhere without using 2-lane roads with barely any shoulders like the one pictured in the link. They are fine to bike on and most of the people doing so are hardly fearless or clueless.
    Most of the roads I ride look like that, too (but no gravel shoulder) and with 55 speed limits. But my roads have very light traffic and it's usually easy for the motor rigs to pass me. The road in the pictures is a very high volume road. Adding the lanes will probably increase average motorized vehicle speeds, but I think the bike lane looks good and that's a good road for it.

    If that were a separated cycle path, could cyclists still exit the path to merge into the center turn lane and make a left turn?
    Last edited by enigmaT120; 06-18-14 at 02:34 PM. Reason: qestion
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  10. #10
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    It beats the heck out of most of the roads I ride on. I'd love to see something like that painted here, anywhere.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    this sentiment has become a mantra for those who support segregation as a default but as far as i can tell it's based on ideology rather than evidence.
    Given the toxic atmosphere in AnS, I should have added more caveats. I was speculating about the location due to the fact that they made it into a 5 lane highway. They also took a 2 lane road and massively widened the right of way, so there was room for a separated path. I also assumed that there were long distances between intersections. So making it into a 5 lane highway says to me that there is a lot of traffic on it when a commuter might like to ride on it, thus making for a steady stream of conflicts. They made it look like a high-speed arterial, so that means people will be speeding there. Of course, these assumptions may not be true, but I think there is room for forgiveness.

    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    ???

    In semi-rural New England, I couldn't get anywhere without using 2-lane roads with barely any shoulders like the one pictured in the link. They are fine to bike on and most of the people doing so are hardly fearless or clueless.
    ok, let me repeat the thing about the incredibly toxic atmosphere in AnS. I didn't say that 2 lane roads are not usable, I said it looked like " a 2 lane road which probably wasn't usable for most cyclists (except the most fearless or clueless)." See how that works? It's a 2 lane road that almost surely has a high number of conflicts when a cyclist chooses to ride on it. I have ridden on 2 lane shoulderless roads with 55mph bumper to bumper traffic because a ride organizer had a bad case rectal-cranial inversion. It's not the sort of thing that I or anyone else I know would choose to do on a regular basis. I'll ride down a crappy separated bike path instead anytime
    Last edited by unterhausen; 06-18-14 at 04:54 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    Given the toxic atmosphere in AnS, I should have added more caveats.
    calling a debate "toxic" when you are quoting someone is a mild ad hominem. call me out if i'm being demeaning or insulting but there is nothing toxic about having a genuine debate about the direction of cycling infrastructure in the USA.

    I'll ride down a crappy separated bike path instead anytime
    they also installed a brand new curb-separated path that is largely uninterrupted by intersections -- the sidewalk.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  13. #13
    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    calling a debate "toxic" when you are quoting someone is a mild ad hominem. call me out if i'm being demeaning or insulting but there is nothing toxic about having a genuine debate about the direction of cycling infrastructure in the USA..
    sorry I wasn't specific. What you did is to assign a belief to me that I don't hold and then criticize it. As someone who has responsibility for monitoring this place, I feel like that's the way most of the bitter arguments in here start and are continued past reasonableness

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    sorry I wasn't specific. What you did is to assign a belief to me that I don't hold and then criticize it. As someone who has responsibility for monitoring this place, I feel like that's the way most of the bitter arguments in here start and are continued past reasonableness
    unterhausen, i apologize the unintentional strawman but i hope you can see how i might have misinterpreted your comment. i may argue here but i'm never bitter about it. i enjoy a a good argument!
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

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    I like bike lanes just fine. That's the sort of road where they make the ride better, or at least less bad. However, I don't get the current trend towards buffering the left side of the bike lane. They basically took a six foot bike lane and tossed out the leftmost fifteen inches, which just happens to be the portion with the least debris given the cantor of the roadway. That thermoplastic can be a bit slippery when wet or oily, so this buffer just shunts cyclists further into the gutter unnecessarily.

  16. #16
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    I must say it is a bit amusing seeing folks that once demanded bike lanes to get more butts on bikes, and who insisted that VC was bad, dangerous and did nothing for more butts on bikes, now declaring what once was a dream bike lane to them; to be bad, dangerous and does nothing for more butts on bikes.

    It will be interesting to hear their complaints about separated cycle tracks once they get those and they realize the many problems those facilities create.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  17. #17
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    both of these options have been used extensively in northern europe. but...please...lets remember that this is not urban netherlands -- we in USAnia do not have tens of billions of euros to spend on cycle tracks.
    The Dutch reportedly spent about 490 million euros per year (report from 2010). If you take it per capita, then yes, the US would have to spend tens of billions of euros to match the Dutch.

    Let's also remember Netherlands is not Northern Europe.

    Taking the approach of adding bike lanes naturally means they'll run along the roads only. Often that's not the best option. Separated cycle tracks have their drawbacks, but they can be routed independently from existing road network.

    --J
    Last edited by Juha; 06-19-14 at 04:41 AM.
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  18. #18
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    ok, let me repeat the thing about the incredibly toxic atmosphere in AnS. I didn't say that 2 lane roads are not usable, I said it looked like " a 2 lane road which probably wasn't usable for most cyclists (except the most fearless or clueless)." See how that works? It's a 2 lane road that almost surely has a high number of conflicts when a cyclist chooses to ride on it. I have ridden on 2 lane shoulderless roads with 55mph bumper to bumper traffic because a ride organizer had a bad case rectal-cranial inversion. It's not the sort of thing that I or anyone else I know would choose to do on a regular basis. I'll ride down a crappy separated bike path instead anytime
    Let me expand on what I said.

    I think widening the road and including the separate cycle path as pictured is definitely an improvement. I applaud and support the "Complete Streets" approach taken here when redesigning and repaving the road.

    That's not going on everywhere. One of the major cycle routes between two towns I commute between is similar to the 2-lane photo. They recently repaved a long section of it, the faster part at posted 45mph speed limit, and still didn't even expand the shoulder beyond 6-12" to the right of the fog line. I'd have been happy if they'd even done a 2' shoulder with the re-pave, but they did not.

    So I still ride the road, as-is, along with many other cyclists. To my knowledge, there have been no cyclist-driver conflicts due to cyclists use of the road. There are no cycle paths which parallel the route, heck, even the Eastern Trail in the region is routed along similar roads. Alternate routes have lower speed limits but are the same shoulderless 2-lane roads and would add miles to the ride--maybe OK for rec riders, but a PITA for commuters.

    I don't believe my comment was in any way "toxic" and was not meant to be confrontational. I just don't agree with your assessment about the utility of such roads you claim are not "usable for most cyclists (except the most fearless or clueless)" My experience and observation differ from yours.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    I like bike lanes just fine. That's the sort of road where they make the ride better, or at least less bad. However, I don't get the current trend towards buffering the left side of the bike lane. They basically took a six foot bike lane and tossed out the leftmost fifteen inches, which just happens to be the portion with the least debris given the cantor of the roadway. That thermoplastic can be a bit slippery when wet or oily, so this buffer just shunts cyclists further into the gutter unnecessarily.
    A valid criticism. Buffered bike lanes in portland are now being implemented with two thick *paint* stripes and no thermoplastic hatch marks but I'm not sure if this is an intentional design feature or a money saving feature. Thermoplastic may be textured when initially applied but it gets smooth as a baby's butt after years of interaction with the elements and motorists. Colored asphalt or concrete would be ideal but it is more expensive (but perhaps not over the long-term).
    Last edited by spare_wheel; 06-19-14 at 10:47 AM.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  20. #20
    Not quite there yet Matariki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    It's definitely an improvement from the previous incarnation of that road and should get more people out on bikes. But in the end, it is just paint, and nothing is stopping a distracted motorist from drifting into the bike lane.
    My take as well
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