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  1. #51
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    But isn't the intent of urban cycling infrastructure, like any other public facility, to serve the average person?
    Strictly speaking, the average person doesn't ride at all. If you're talking about the average person who actually rides in the city today, a good number of them are strong cyclists who ride quickly.

    Maybe you're talking about the imaginary average person who is too concerned and disinterested to ride today, but might hypothetically be coaxed to try riding if we build a couple miles of expensive separated cycletracks and lozenge wrapped, multi-signalized intersections, where they are promised a cozy 10 mph pedal free of all worries including faster cyclists.

    My view: these "interested but concerned" people will try out the mile of new cycletrack, then when they realize they still have to ride on conventional city streets to get to and from their actual destination, they will vanish. There's no bike lanes on those streets, you see. Because the two miles of separated cycletrack consumed all the budget.
    Last edited by jyl; 06-22-14 at 04:41 PM.
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  2. #52
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    Your reply reinforces my suspicion that this sort of cycletrack is designed to SLOW cyclists to someone else's idea of "sane" speeds appropriate for riding in a narrow space between, and always at risk of being encroached by, pedestrians, children, dogs, and people loading/unloading from cars.

    No thanks! I ride to get where I'm going and I enjoy the freedom and joy of riding at whatever speed I can and want to, in whatever lane for which my speed is appropriate. Where I have the legs, lungs and sometimes gravity assist, I'll ride 20-25-30 with the cars; other places I'm comfortable riding on the shoulder or in a conventional bike lane.

    I'm not going to be told to ride like an "interested but concerned" 8-to-80'er on a sensible city bike. If that is the implication of this sort of bike infrastructure, then I'll become an active opponent.
    The "cars" have the same mentality that you are displaying here... so expect "the cars" to take your same selfish attitude when dealing with you; expect them to also "go at whatever speed they can and want to..."

  3. #53
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I agree with many posters - conflicts with pedestrians would be horrible on this design. I'd rather deal with cars than pedestrians. They're far more predictable.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    This design and many others "assume" that you can bike responsibly and sanely... at speeds appropriate for the conditions... the very same demands many cyclists put upon motorists. If you can't bike in a responsible and safe manner for the conditions, why do you expect motorists to drive in a responsible and safe manner?

    ALL SHARED TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE REQUIRES SAFE AND RESPONSIBLE USE BY ALL USERS.

    It really IS that simple.
    It ain't that simple. On most roadways cyclists can ride safely as fast as their physical capacity allows. Why then should government build bikeways which are safe only when used at less than half of the roadway attainable speed? More important still, why should government then require all cyclists to use such facilities, where present? These issues are of importance, but are rarely discussed.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    The "cars" have the same mentality that you are displaying here... so expect "the cars" to take your same selfish attitude when dealing with you; expect them to also "go at whatever speed they can and want to..."
    That's what popped into my head as well - some cyclists with that "I do what I want when I want and if you're going to impose more rules for everyone's safety I'll fight you all the way" attitude.

    If vulnerable road users aren't willing to change their mindset to make the roads safer for all, then why expect drivers to do that when they got far less to lose?

    As usual, I forsee the usual "but motorists are more likely to kill others" excuses. Laws are (supposedly) designed to protect everyone, not just prevent vehicular homicide.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    First, Holland is a region in The Netherlands, not a country. The Netherlands is not at all anti-car nor are many (or any?) of her citizens.
    i could not disagree more. since the 70s there has been a concerted effort in holland to limit car use via taxation, legislation, and urban re-design. this movement has it's roots in the kindermoord and 70s/80s environmental protests. moreover, as one of the nations most threatened by narcissistic single-occupancy vehicle use, environmental sentiment is very strong in holland.


    Germany, Sweden, some cities in Spain, and elsewhere are implementing some form of the Dutch (Netherlands) model, to a greater or lessor degree,
    the german cycling federation has been harshly critical of the dutch model. Multiple studies conducted in germany have reported that dutch-style infrastructure is associated with increased injury risk -- especially at intersections. Based on these studies and a general dissatisfaction with the limited space avaiable in existing cycle paths they have been and continue to be decommissioned throughout germany. (They are typically replaced with in-road bike lanes.)

    (they fear becoming obese Americans).
    almost half of adults in the netherlands are obese or overweight. even more troubling, obesity among dutch children is epidemic.
    Last edited by spare_wheel; 06-22-14 at 09:12 PM.
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  7. #57
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    Can't we all just agree to slow down for a year?

    It's a constant one-up and the losers will inevitably be cyclists.

    Cyclist: "Oh cars are not slowing down so I'm not going to either".

    Motorist: "If he's not slowing down why should I?"

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    40 years developing this type of infrastructure has resulted in The Netherlands having the highest modal share and safest bicycling in the world. 40 years of promoting vehicular cycling has resulted in the U.S. having one of the lowest modal shares and most dangerous bicycling in the developed world. Which is the more succesful?
    except that the netherlands has had *uniquely* high mode share from the victorian era to the present. moreover, mode share increased only a small amount after the dutch spent billions of euros tripling their miles of separated infrastructure starting in the late 80s. if you want an argument for infrastructure inducing an increase in mode share in europe -- look to germany and belgium.

    i'm not a VC advocate at all. in fact, you could say i am an advocate for non-vehicular cycling.
    Last edited by spare_wheel; 06-22-14 at 09:07 PM.
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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyven View Post
    Laws are (supposedly) designed to protect everyone, not just prevent vehicular homicide.
    wow. talk about cognitive dissonance.
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  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    wow. talk about cognitive dissonance.
    Elaborate? I assume you mean laws only exist to prevent motorized vehicles from killing others while the rest should be free to do as they please?

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyven View Post

    As usual, I forsee the usual "but motorists are more likely to kill others" excuses. Laws are (supposedly) designed to protect everyone, not just prevent vehicular homicide.
    Sure, that's why there weren't vehicle codes until cars came on the scene.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyven View Post
    That's what popped into my head as well - some cyclists with that "I do what I want when I want and if you're going to impose more rules for everyone's safety I'll fight you all the way" attitude.

    If vulnerable road users aren't willing to change their mindset to make the roads safer for all, then why expect drivers to do that when they got far less to lose?
    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    The "cars" have the same mentality that you are displaying here... so expect "the cars" to take your same selfish attitude when dealing with you; expect them to also "go at whatever speed they can and want to..."
    Its encouraging that many cyclists do understand the big picture. I agree most roads don't need bicycle infrastructure, but some do. Unfortunately some "advocates" are like spoiled children kicking and screaming when they feel threatened that they might not get to do exactly what they want, whenever and wherever they please, the needs or desires of anyone else be damned, or are so mesmerized by their own fanciful theories they no longer comprehend reality.
    If these "advocates" were really interested in getting more folks to ride for transportation beyond their own neighborhoods, they would wouldn't be so against bicycling infrastructure.

  13. #63
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    Its encouraging that many cyclists do understand the big picture. I agree most roads don't need bicycle infrastructure, but some do. Unfortunately some "advocates" are like spoiled children kicking and screaming when they feel threatened that they might not get to do exactly what they want, whenever and wherever they please, the needs or desires of anyone else be damned, or are so mesmerized by their own fanciful theories they no longer comprehend reality.
    If these "advocates" were really interested in getting more folks to ride for transportation beyond their own neighborhoods, they would wouldn't be so against bicycling infrastructure.
    This is the type of attitude and unsupported claims that causes the divide and always has.
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  14. #64
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    This isn't how you get a Prom date.

    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    Its encouraging that many cyclists do understand the big picture. I agree most roads don't need bicycle infrastructure, but some do. Unfortunately some "advocates" are like spoiled children kicking and screaming when they feel threatened that they might not get to do exactly what they want, whenever and wherever they please, the needs or desires of anyone else be damned, or are so mesmerized by their own fanciful theories they no longer comprehend reality.
    If these "advocates" were really interested in getting more folks to ride for transportation beyond their own neighborhoods, they would wouldn't be so against bicycling infrastructure.
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  15. #65
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    Its encouraging that many cyclists do understand the big picture. I agree most roads don't need bicycle infrastructure, but some do. Unfortunately some "advocates" are like spoiled children kicking and screaming when they feel threatened that they might not get to do exactly what they want, whenever and wherever they please, the needs or desires of anyone else be damned, or are so mesmerized by their own fanciful theories they no longer comprehend reality.
    If these "advocates" were really interested in getting more folks to ride for transportation beyond their own neighborhoods, they would wouldn't be so against bicycling infrastructure.
    I observe another behavior. Advocates of elaborate "Dutch style" bike infrastructure, insistent on gold plated separated cycleways and signals, which are unproven and unaffordable in US cities, who complain at every road improvement that doesn't live up to those supposed gold standards.

    In Portland, an experimental separated cycle way was installed, as a pilot project, for several blocks on NE Multnomah. It is a curbside bike lane, buffered from the traffic lanes by parking and/or big pieces of concrete, merging with the right turn lane at intersections. As far as I can tell from the comments on our local bike blog, the most common reaction from those advocates is - complaining.

    Complaints like:
    The cycle way isn't cleaned enough.
    Pedestrians cross it. They need to keep out.
    Sometimes cars encroach.
    Driveways cross it. How can this thing call itself a real cycle way when cars are driving across it all the time?
    There's no special intersection treatment. Can't be a real cycle way without a protected route for cyclists to cross intersections!
    It doesn't connect to anything. How can we call this a real cycle way if it isn't part of a interconnected network of similar routes?
    In the Netherlands they'd laugh at this pathetic excuse for bike infrastructure.
    Etc etc.

    Meanwhile, we haven't seen large numbers of "interested but concerned" flocking to the NE Multnomah cycle way. Most times I ride there, I'm the only cyclist on the block.

    Why hasn't this separated cycle way drawn out all those "timid but desired"?

    To be clear: I'm in favor of installing a couple more short stretches of separated cycle ways in my city, and then stopping. Stop, install bike counters, and measure the results for a few years. Assess the effectiveness of a dollar spent on separated cycle ways versus a dollar spent on conventional bike lanes, in generating additional bike trips. What sort of infrastructure has the lowest $/additional rider? The lowest accident/rider rate?
    Last edited by jyl; 06-23-14 at 06:18 AM.
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  16. #66
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    It ain't that simple. On most roadways cyclists can ride safely as fast as their physical capacity allows.
    Well John, safely is quite relative though isn't it.

    Someone can indeed ride a bicycle on the road in the U.S. and be relatively safe. Only perhaps 1.2 and 2 times as likely to be killed as someone riding in a car.

    Relative to riding on a segregated path though, it's extremely dangerous. Per mile ridden, a cyclist in the U.S. is about 12 to 50 times as likely to be killed as a bicycle rider in The Netherlands. That is the result of 40 years of promoting vehicular cycling in the U.S. vs 40 years of building a segregated path network in The Netherlands.

    I wonder how many of the 700 people killed riding bicycles in the U.S. every year (or the 34,000 killed riding in cars) wish that they had a safer alternative like the Dutch.
    Last edited by CrankyOne; 06-23-14 at 06:43 AM.

  17. #67
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Why then should government build bikeways which are safe only when used at less than half of the roadway attainable speed?
    What speed is 'roadway attainable speed'? How many average people can ride that fast? Who says that segregated infrastructure is only safe at half of roadway attainable speeds?

    If we only want the fittest, boldest, and most enthusiastic people to ride bicycles then vehicular cycling is fine. That's what we have today. And, way less than 1% modal share.

    Average speed on Dutch infrastructure is about 13 mph. I and many thousands of others have routinely ridden 18-20 mph or faster. Are you seriously suggesting that very many people in the U.S. can maintain 26-40 mph? Really John? If you compare a bunch of bicycle commutes, on segregated paths in NL and on the roads in the U.S., I'd be amazed if people in the U.S. are any faster. Having done a gob in both countries, I'd be surprised if the U.S. even averages 80% as fast as NL.

    The Dutch system has proven much safer, per mile ridden and per capita, than riding on the roads in the U.S., and that is with a good percentage of people riding quite fast on the Dutch system.

  18. #68
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    What speed is 'roadway attainable speed'? How many average people can ride that fast? Who says that segregated infrastructure is only safe at half of roadway attainable speeds?
    Most everything in the USofA is engineered for the "least common denominator" end user. It is possible for a faster cyclist to slow down but impossible for a slower cyclist to speed up. Safety is somewhat enhanced when vehicles are corralled at close to the same speed. Some speed limits are posted assuming top-heavy trucks are using the roads - like hairpin curves marked 10mph when a sports car or motorcycle could easily and safely round that same corner at 30mph. This is just the way traffic engineers do things. Sadly, those same engineers don't post speed limits based on the fact that there MIGHT be a bicycle on the road too.

    "Bike" Lanes have an additional challenge: Pedestrians. Invariably, bike paths and lanes are going to attract pedestrians, joggers, skateboarders, baby strollers, and other users well under the "13mph" average for cyclists. Unregulated, there will be users spread out across the paths/lanes walking at 2mph and some cyclists hammering at 20+mph along with the ones going "13". That is a speed differential of 6x to 10x. No traffic engineer wants to see those numbers, which is why they post MINIMUM speed limits on some roadways. If the max speed is 70mph and the minimum speed is 50mph, the speed differential is still less than 2X even though the MPH difference is 20 mph. Other roads without minimum speed limits are engineered and posted for the slowest, top-heavy-est vehicle on the road. Basically the posted speed limit on those roadways ARE the minimum speed safe for all users. School zones and other areas with dense pedestrian crossings drop the limits even lower. My city is full of streets marked 35mph that look like 50mph would be OK. Those are marked for the least common denominator.

    ^^These are often the people engineering bike lanes and paths in the USofA. They are applying the wrong formulas to bike paths and lanes.
    Last edited by JoeyBike; 06-23-14 at 07:48 AM.
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  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    I observe another behavior. Advocates of elaborate "Dutch style" bike infrastructure, insistent on gold plated separated cycleways and signals, which are unproven and unaffordable in US cities, who complain at every road improvement that doesn't live up to those supposed gold standards.
    IMO, that's exactly the same behavior I criticized, just at the oppisite end of the spectrum of the anti infrastructure "advocates".

    Advocating for building an unobtainable bicycle utopia is as unproductive as advocating doing nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    Most everything in the USofA is engineered for the "least common denominator" end user.
    Actually most roads in the US are engineered to the "85th percentile".

  21. #71
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    It ain't that simple. On most roadways cyclists can ride safely as fast as their physical capacity allows. Why then should government build bikeways which are safe only when used at less than half of the roadway attainable speed? More important still, why should government then require all cyclists to use such facilities, where present? These issues are of importance, but are rarely discussed.
    As you and I have discussed many times before... shared road use works in two circumstances... either the road speeds are low enough that everyone is traveling at human speeds... around 25MPH or so... similar to the conditions you met when you were young and lived in England, or that are shown in that typical 1906 San Francisco video. But when road speeds go up... when the speeds exceed 15MPH over what a cyclist can maintain, then negotiation between motorists and cyclists becomes difficult and cyclists become obstacles to motorists. And while the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles SHOULD allow that all can share the road, the selfish motorists tend to refuse to slow down to the speeds of the other road users moving slowly in front and start to cause grief for human powered vehicle road users. And enough slow road users will slow down the traffic for all road users, even as the motorists weave and dodge the slow road users.

    The second scenario is roads wide enough to share safely... a somewhat ideal situation... but again not done everywhere. And such roads do tend to push cyclists to the far right of the road...

    So either the government builds alternate roads or paths, or slows all traffic down to human speeds or builds wide roads.

    Gas prices will continue to rise as Oil becomes a more and more limited resource; so over time, either alternatives to oil will be used to propel motorized vehicles, in which case the current shared road situation will continue, or more and more people will resort to human powered vehicles, in which case the government will have to respond in some manner by changing laws or building alternatives to high speed narrow roads.

    The current status quo of oil based automobiles will not continue... although it is highly likely that neither you nor I will be around to see the end of the oil based automobile and thus the the changes that will happen.

    Argue all you want, the reign of the oil based automobile is limited. Automobiles have only been around just over 100 years... a tiny blip in the history of man. And the resources to continue the use of the oil based auto are quite limited.
    The World Has 53.3 Years of Oil Left

    I suspect that electric based motor vehicles will then dominate the landscape... powered by nuclear power, solar power, wind power and perhaps even coal. In that situation, the same conditions I spelled out in the first paragraph will still exist between slow human powered vehicles and fast motor powered vehicles. We will still have to share space which leads to conflict.

    Actually, John, I suspect over time Vehicular Cycling will really dominate... (your dream will be fulfilled) as electric motor based self driving vehicles dominate the landscape and the current use model of individual owned oil based automobiles fades away. Where Robot Cars (Robocars) Can Really Take Us The self driving robot cars will strictly obey the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles and thus will obediently give way to slower human powered vehicles, but the public outcry of the delays that this will cause on narrow roads will cause alternatives to be built in areas where heavy traffic exists... in densely populated areas.

    But again, we won't be around to see it. I may see some of it... as I am a couple decades younger than you.. and already I see changes to the driving landscape that you continue to deny... even simple things such as bike lanes in Lemon Grove... which did not exist back when I lived there in the '80s and '90s. But who knows.

  22. #72
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Oh and John and everyone else... to expect Dutch like infrastructure everywhere in the US is well beyond a pipe dream... no it is NOT going to happen...

    What will likely happen is that the highest speed multi-laned roads used for motor traffic may get some alternative, some sort of bikeway... perhaps even a real nice bicycle "freeway" or just an MUP. Denser areas will likely be traffic calmed.

    Bottom line though is that in the 40 years or so that it took to reach the "Dutch like" solution that is now enjoyed in some places in Europe, a new technological change will take place rendering the need for such infrastructure unnecessary. Technology will once again provide the solution to the problems and inconveniences we now face... and no doubt that technology will bring it's own unintended consequences.

    Where Robot Cars (Robocars) Can Really Take Us

    I suspect that even as folks now argue that they will never give up their car, the reality is that over time it is highly likely that legislation, due to the life saving aspects of robot cars, will require human controlled vehicles to be abolished. This will occur just as air bags are now mandatory in all new vehicles, in spite of the fact that said air bags do kill on occasion; they save many more lives than are lost.

    So in essence the US will largely skip over the "Dutch style" system as newer and better technology renders the need for such infrastructure largely useless.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Oh and John and everyone else... to expect Dutch like infrastructure everywhere in the US is well beyond a pipe dream... no it is NOT going to happen...

    What will likely happen is that the highest speed multi-laned roads used for motor traffic may get some alternative, some sort of bikeway... perhaps even a real nice bicycle "freeway" or just an MUP. Denser areas will likely be traffic calmed.
    Exactly, a real world practical compromise between the two extremes that serves the greatest number of potential cyclists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    I observe another behavior. Advocates of elaborate "Dutch style" bike infrastructure, insistent on gold plated separated cycleways and signals, which are unproven and unaffordable in US cities, who complain at every road improvement that doesn't live up to those supposed gold standards.

    In Portland, an experimental separated cycle way was installed, as a pilot project, for several blocks on NE Multnomah. It is a curbside bike lane, buffered from the traffic lanes by parking and/or big pieces of concrete, merging with the right turn lane at intersections. As far as I can tell from the comments on our local bike blog, the most common reaction from those advocates is - complaining.

    Complaints like:
    The cycle way isn't cleaned enough.
    Pedestrians cross it. They need to keep out.
    Sometimes cars encroach.
    Driveways cross it. How can this thing call itself a real cycle way when cars are driving across it all the time?
    There's no special intersection treatment. Can't be a real cycle way without a protected route for cyclists to cross intersections!
    It doesn't connect to anything. How can we call this a real cycle way if it isn't part of a interconnected network of similar routes?
    In the Netherlands they'd laugh at this pathetic excuse for bike infrastructure.
    Etc etc.

    Meanwhile, we haven't seen large numbers of "interested but concerned" flocking to the NE Multnomah cycle way. Most times I ride there, I'm the only cyclist on the block.

    Why hasn't this separated cycle way drawn out all those "timid but desired"?

    To be clear: I'm in favor of installing a couple more short stretches of separated cycle ways in my city, and then stopping. Stop, install bike counters, and measure the results for a few years. Assess the effectiveness of a dollar spent on separated cycle ways versus a dollar spent on conventional bike lanes, in generating additional bike trips. What sort of infrastructure has the lowest $/additional rider? The lowest accident/rider rate?
    The facility that you describe is not a bike lane but a sidepath, now being promoted as a cycletrack. This type of facility is defined as being alongside the roadway and separated from the roadway by an impermeable barrier. The barrier you describe is a line of parked cars. The traffic problems created by this type of facility were described and analyzed forty years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Oh and John and everyone else... to expect Dutch like infrastructure everywhere in the US is well beyond a pipe dream... no it is NOT going to happen...

    What will likely happen is that the highest speed multi-laned roads used for motor traffic may get some alternative, some sort of bikeway... perhaps even a real nice bicycle "freeway" or just an MUP. Denser areas will likely be traffic calmed.

    Bottom line though is that in the 40 years or so that it took to reach the "Dutch like" solution that is now enjoyed in some places in Europe, a new technological change will take place rendering the need for such infrastructure unnecessary. Technology will once again provide the solution to the problems and inconveniences we now face... and no doubt that technology will bring it's own unintended consequences.

    Where Robot Cars (Robocars) Can Really Take Us

    I suspect that even as folks now argue that they will never give up their car, the reality is that over time it is highly likely that legislation, due to the life saving aspects of robot cars, will require human controlled vehicles to be abolished. This will occur just as air bags are now mandatory in all new vehicles, in spite of the fact that said air bags do kill on occasion; they save many more lives than are lost.

    So in essence the US will largely skip over the "Dutch style" system as newer and better technology renders the need for such infrastructure largely useless.
    Being a futurologist is a very problematical and dubious profession. But still, what do we do for today? Today's official policy (if anything can be called an official policy in the topsy-turvey world of American bicycle transportation) is to build a bicycle transportation system suitable for people with no traffic skills whatever. That's what the NACTO designs are for. That doesn't fit with Genec's prediction for the near term. That's why I raised the issue of bikeways that are reasonably safe at low speeds but are unsafe at normally attainable roadway speeds. Those cyclists who obey the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles should be allowed, socially expected, to use the roadways instead.

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