Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Not patrolled at all and not necessarily well lighted. But I prefer them that way.
Part of the reason that I know about the planning process is that I got involved in it. Traffic engineers are, by and large, car people. Most people in the US are. They don't think about bicycles and bicycle facilities because it's just not on their radar. In my experience, it hasn't been a case of active hostility but just plain ignorance. It's up to us to educate them.
One of the reasons that we get bikeways planned into the project is because of the success of the bikeways. The Summit County bike paths bring in enough people during the summer that the ski areas actually have a summer season now. Other towns have copied this model (Leadville, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Aspen, etc) to get people to come there and spend money. Money, especially tourist dollars is a powerful motivator.
I tend to agree. Bikes, as well as peds need to be on their radar. I got involved with a local project due to a bike lane being routed right to a freeway on ramp. I went and talked to the engineer (near by in a construction trailer) and he justified his decisions by stating "it is in the design standards book.") Sure, the standards showed bike lanes near intersections... but failed to include the issue of freeway on ramp.
No doubt it is a matter of innocence (with probably a touch of "I drive..." and "not my job..." but that certainly doesn't make it right.
You are right, we cyclists have to get involved.... that is the only way things are going to change. I like that aspect of tying in tourist dollars... Locally the leaders here still don't understand that cyclists also want the same things as other tourists and good bike paths can also draw more tourists.