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  1. #1
    BikeForums Founder Joe Gardner's Avatar
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    I just happend onto this unique yet simple BTS website, Would you guys use something like this if it was in your area? I know i would, looks like a great idea.

    http://www.biketrans.com/
    Last edited by Joe Gardner; 03-12-01 at 09:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Mem. & Trail Sage steve33's Avatar
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    Yes that would be a godsend, but what city would actually spend the money nescessary for JUST a bicycle.?? I know asheville would not, they hardly afforded share the road signs, and felt like we should worship them because of that.!!

  3. #3
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Nice idea...

    But I can't seriously see any government organisation spending the money on it. Unfortunately they all seem to obsessed with society's oil obsession. Have you seen the latest carry on over fuel price rises? Looks like our governments will eventually fork out more money on fuel subsidies to buy votes rather than embrace any sensible alternative.

    Chris
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  4. #4
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    It exists in Japan

    Yes, I have seen something similar to this in Japan. Mostly, though, it was limited to bicycle/pedestrian bridges and overpasses rather than the whole bike path being covered like this.

    The longest stretch of bike/pedestrian sheltered path I have seen in Japan was about five city blocks. It was built over automobile traffic streets.

    Mike
    Mike

  5. #5
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    The covered bike/pedestrian bridge in Cambridge (UK) is really cosy in winter, but I can't see covered bikeways as a viable system. It assumes that everyone has the same start and end point.
    I like to be outdoors, even in winter and rain. I think part of the attraction of cycling is being connected with the environment, and noticing all those small things most people miss.

    They do have a point though. Part of the reason cycling transportation is ignored is that it is low-cost. No-one gains kudos for being in charge of a small budget, or engineering a small system. The amounts of money involved is really small change, and are often spent with little thought. No though goes into the important task of maintainance.
    Does any university engineering faculty or government research facility make a serious study of bicycle transportation ?

  6. #6
    aka Sir MaddyX MadCat's Avatar
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    This BTS system came up in conversation tonight with my cycling buddy. He came up with the paranoid idea that this was a way for motorists to round up all the cyclist and gas them all at once. I laughed my *** of in hope that it would conceal my own mild fear that what he hypothisized was true.

  7. #7
    dark and cynical PapeteeBooh's Avatar
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    I think that it sounds like a great idea considering that the cost of such system are a fraction of the cost of any public transportation. If one think of the cities that have a great public transportation system (like: London, Paris, New York, etc.) these are generally really costly and it is unlikely that a city would spent so much on them nowadays. I read that in Southwestern USA, Ford has had historically an active role in sabotaging the public transportation system to promote the car industry (and sadly they managed pretty well ). Also it seems like such system would accommodate with the individualism claimed by some opponent of the public transportation system. True, you won't smell the flowers anymore but then again, you would be protected from the rain and snow.


    I just think that in most places, the number of cyclist is far from enough to create enough interest for this. Perhaps in places like parts of China, where bicycles are really used by a very large % of the population such system would take off. As I remember, there was a great (although limited) subway system built in Cairo. The subway was made by French engineers (in fact the tickets used are the same as that of the French subway) only nobody could afford it. Egypt never managed to completely paid the French for it and few locals use it because tickets are too expensive.
    Last edited by PapeteeBooh; 03-12-01 at 02:58 PM.

  8. #8
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    That's just cool. Could you imagine having access to something like that? I would definitely use it!

  9. #9
    BikeForums Founder Joe Gardner's Avatar
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  10. #10
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Joe,

    Thanks for your input on cycling facilities, you are always finding interesting things to spark our interest.
    Just a brief comment about the covered bike path:

    Such facilities are advertised and constructed by those who seek government contracts from public funds allocated to promote separate facilities for cyclists apart from normal traffic. I believe the money could be better spent on improving existing roadways for cyclists, and for educating motorists on cycling safety. It looks like a pork-barrel project to me. No offense !

  11. #11
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Once again Pete makes a lot of sense. I would prefer they just built roads with a decent shoulder on them, and increased driver licencing standards. Now that I think of it, that would also probably be a hell of a lot cheaper than a lot of this 'pork barrel' stuff that I keep hearing of.

    The thing that really bugs me about off-road paths is that sooner or later, there will come a time where there isn't a path. What are we expected to do then? Walk?

    Chris
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  12. #12
    dark and cynical PapeteeBooh's Avatar
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    I'ld have to disagree. I don't know why many cyclists hate the idea of an off-road bike path (in addition to bike friendly regular roads). In the city where I live there is exactly such a path and it is great! Short of going everywhere I goes from North to south + a few more axis. It if forbidden to motorized vehicles. I love using it. Recently I had to go to another part of town fro training and I could use the path for the near totallity of my commute. Not only do I feel safe on that path but it is also pleaseant not to ride close to traffic and it is also very fast because there is no traffic to worry about. Last but not least it was built flat (although the city isn't completely so).

  13. #13
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    I am not against using bike paths. I am against losing my legal rights.

    There is an old saying: "He who is not faithful in the small things will not be faithful in more important things." Authorities must show me they value my current right to use the road before they promise me a cycling paradise in the form of bike paths. I just don't buy it.

    I wonder how motorists would react if the government promised them a safer transit system by moving them off the freeway, separating them from trucks?

  14. #14
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    I don't hate offroad paths, I DESPISE them with the most bitter of passions. Here is why:

    1. None of them actually go anywhere.

    2. They are generally poorly maintained and covered with broken glass (flats, anyone?)

    3. I don't like having to duck overhanging branches from nearby trees.

    4. They always have stupid little corners in them for no reason whatsoever.

    5. I ride at around 30km/h most of the time and I don't like trying to dodge pedestrians walking in groups of ten or more (who have no more than a dim awareness of their own surroundings) at that speed.

    6. The fact is, there WILL come a point when we have to ride somewhere that there is NO path. I like to update my traffic negotiation skills on a regular basis.

    7. The next step is to ban bikes from roads outright, or at least have police ordering cyclists onto the "bike path" (and I've already heard from people that this has happened to).

    8. They distract governments from the real issues of cycling safety, such as proper driver training (for when there is no path alternative).

    I think that will do for a start. As I have said elsewhere, if I was king of the world (and thank the lord I'm not, sir!), the first thing I would do would be to ban the construction of any more of those things.

    The second thing would be to plough the existing ones underground and give the land back to the farmers (or whoever).

    In short, the taxes I pay, and the benefits the community gets from me cycle-commuting rather than driving entitle me to more than some sub-standard path.

    Chris
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  15. #15
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Ha-kay, Chris-Man, now ya pushed mah button...da gloves ah cummin' off...

    Originally posted by Chris L
    I don't hate offroad paths, I DESPISE them with the most bitter of passions. Here is why:

    1. None of them actually go anywhere.

    Well, no, they don't, actually. But they do provide jobs...

    2. They are generally poorly maintained and covered with broken glass (flats, anyone?)

    But you haven't considered the fun everyone had partying on the path last night, have you?

    3. I don't like having to duck overhanging branches from nearby trees.

    Trees are our friends! You are showing that you are not at all "green"!

    4. They always have stupid little corners in them for no reason whatsoever.

    As I explained in another post, those "stupid little corners" are put there to slow you down for the benefit of equal rights of dogs, who need to bite a cyclist once in a while to get over the separation anxiety that they develop when alone at home (lonely dogs chew up everything in sight: shoes, couches, carpets...)

    5. I ride at around 30km/h most of the time and I don't like trying to dodge pedestrians walking in groups of ten or more (who have no more than a dim awareness of their own surroundings) at that speed.

    Get off your bike and walk! Maybe you'll convince them to try walking with bikes, too. Don't you have any sense of community spirit?

    6. The fact is, there WILL come a point when we have to ride somewhere that there is NO path. I like to update my traffic negotiation skills on a regular basis.

    Huh? There will always be a path! This is a civilized society, and we will have paths where ever we need them. If there isn't a path, we don't need to go there!
    We need to learn to trust the experts that design our road systems.

    7. The next step is to ban bikes from roads outright, or at least have police ordering cyclists onto the "bike path" (and I've already heard from people that this has happened to).

    Shame on you for suggesting we interfere with an officer of the law as he is fulfilling his sworn duty! Why, I'm just shocked! If the government built us a path, we have a duty to use it. I sometimes use the path even if it takes me several miles out of the way, just to set an example.

    8. They distract governments from the real issues of cycling safety, such as proper driver training (for when there is no path alternative).

    How can you suggest that drivers are not properly trained? This implies that our own government is also not perfect. Now, as for cycling safety and path alternatives, the only alternative for cyclist safety is to stay on the path.
    Now, we can all feel better since that's been settled.

    (PapeteeBooh--just kiddin' buddy!)
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 04-02-01 at 10:56 PM.

  16. #16
    dark and cynical PapeteeBooh's Avatar
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    Well, sorry folks but I'll have to disagree. I understand the fear that one day main road would be declared for motorized vehicles only (at which point we might have to add a symbolic motor to the bike).

    It so happen that where I live the bike path does actually go somewhere and is therefore very useful (even though it does not necessarily goes all the way.

    As for the condition of the bike path, there are some goat heads which are a hassle but overall it is much more tire-friendly than main road (or worse bike path on main road) that are full of glass.

    There are a few jogger but overall I can go a lot faster all the way than going through traffic and stopping at red lights, etc.

    And it is safer.

    So although I do agree that off-road bike paths in themselves are not enough and that there should also be bike lanes, awareness campaign for drivers, etc ,etc. Off-road bike paths are actually really nice.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jramsey's Avatar
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    These are very good insights and I heartily agree with the sentiments - positive and negative. There are bad bike paths and good bike paths. Here, in the Kansas City area, there are many bike-hike paths. There are also many bike lanes - although we need more. The cities in this area have promised even more bike-friendly road enhancements. Some are slow in coming, but so are the improvements promised to motorists.

    I'm not certain I detest the particular product that started this thread - at least not for the reasons argued, which apply more to "park/recreation" type bike paths. It is not meant to remove cyclists from the roadways. It is meant to augment the public transit system - or allow a transit system in cities that cannot afford them. This product, like light rail, would allow users to get from one "station" to another, then exit to street level and continue to the local destination, necessarily on the streets. It's not the same as a "bike path". It's a replacement for the train for people who might take the light rail with their bikes. Many of us do that now.

    This solution would not have a direct effect on the city's need to improve existing roadways for bike traffic - it would neither keep them from fixing these problems, nor make them. This is a solution for cities looking for public transit solutions, not for cities looking for excuses to ignore bicycle transportation advocates.

    That said, I haven't studied it enough to understand the magnitude of its merits. Yeah, it's cheaper. You need to create a constant airflow. I don't know how much cheaper or environmentally beneficial that is than buses or trains - even electric ones. Maintenance would be simpler, as long as it had multiple fans at every location for redundancy.

    Jonathan
    Playing and singing the music of Ireland
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  18. #18
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Welcome, Jonathan!

    Well, I guess you already know my views, so I will not turn you off with a "rant" about paths or alternate bike facilities. I'd prefer to know what we have in common!


  19. #19
    Senior Member jramsey's Avatar
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    Thank, Pete.

    It looks to me like we agree on most of these things - if not all.

    I'd like to live in a world where I can walk out my front door, and, using my own power, go to work or the store. I think we, in America, have let our open spaces lure us into filling every space we can in urban/suburban areas. We let the notion that we "can" do something lead us into believing that we "should" do it. With our combination of economic and natural resources, we need to plan more carefully than we have. We tend to think of one piece at a time, forgetting the whole. The dream of living in suburbia and working in town in the past half-century has lead to catastrophic growth of urban sprawl and transportation problems. We've grown too dependent on autos and mass transit. Although I am a staunch supporter of mass transit, I believe human powered transit is far superior.

    As for paths, I believe they are the result of a "bike as sport" not viable tranportation mentality. The roads were for bikes long before cars. The car was once the interloper on the highways. Horses, wagons, pedestrians, and bicycles ruled the roadways.

    So, now *I'm* ranting.

    Well, btw, has any city implemented this crazy biketrans thing? I see one big problem with this. It's supposed to be a boon for cities that can't afford a "real" transit system. If a city is that small, how will it have space for such a structure? In a smaller city, a structure such as this will be considered an eyesore, would it not? It's one thing to build one in NYC, Toronto, or Houston. It's quite another to build it in Dayton or Tulsa. In some ways, I think this an interesting idea, but I wonder about issues like this.

    Jonathan
    Playing and singing the music of Ireland
    http://www.jonathanramsey.com

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