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Old 11-29-07, 09:18 AM   #1
tate65
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How is your city/area doing for commuters

I live in the DFW area and see some cities doing a lot for cyclist and commuters, some having lots of lip service, and some apparently don't care. I know FT Worth for example is actually doing a lot, they have passed rules that require all new roads have WOL's and are adding a lot of signes and routes for cyclist, Addison is adding a lot of new trails and updating their on-street routes. But Dallas keeps talking about changes, and adding a mile or 2 of new trails, but don't seem to want to do any really work on helping the bicycle commuter, especially the on-road routes. They haven't updated their velo plan since 1990. And Irving where I live has done nothing and when approached they "don't see a current need."


So how is your city or area doing?
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Old 11-29-07, 09:23 AM   #2
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All of the main streets where I live are wide. It has always been the law that construction takes into account bicycle traffic. The right lanes of two lane streets are four feet wider than the left lane. The fog line adds another two feet which in an emergency can be used as a bail out.
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Old 11-29-07, 09:34 AM   #3
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There's been a couple of half-assed initiatives in Calgary, but nothing really groundbreaking. The city has surveyed the cycling populace, asking what they want for a bike plan. When push comes to shove, bikes take a back seat to all other forms of transportation.
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Old 11-29-07, 09:45 AM   #4
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Well tate, since I commute on a virtual inverse route that you ride, we're kind of in the same boat.
Sometimes I miss the bike lane that used to cross White Rock Lake on the Mockingbird bridge.
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Old 11-29-07, 10:18 AM   #5
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I'd give Lawrenceville, NJ, a 0 (zero) on a 1 to 10 scale, and even that's being generous.
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Old 11-29-07, 10:31 AM   #6
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How about Dublin, Ireland, where they allow JC Decaux to erect hundreds of ugly billboards around the city in return for some rubbish bike rental scheme. Then they don't even bother to put in the facilities (bike lanes) so that people can use these bikes.
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Old 11-29-07, 10:33 AM   #7
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Well Flower Mound is supposed to be putting a nice big MUP loop around town. Whether that will help or hurt commuters is to be determined as far as I'm concerned.
On my commute from Double Oak down to Irving I don't see anything positive for commuters. Constructions projects seem to take no consideration for bicycles. The current 121 work on the service roads north of DFW Airport took the nice two lane plus wide shoulder and turned it into one thin lane with a concrete barrier. Well I'm not going that way with 55mph cars trying to sneak through there. So 2 miles out of my way I go
Double Oak tickets bikers now so we are being treated equally as valid users of the road I should get a ticket just so I can show it to motorists telling me to get off the road. See here I'm allowed to be on the road I got a ticket for running a stop sign
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Old 11-29-07, 11:34 AM   #8
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I'd give Lawrenceville, NJ, a 0 (zero) on a 1 to 10 scale, and even that's being generous.
Same for Baltimore. Not sure how to score "less than squat" on a numeric scale.
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Old 11-29-07, 11:41 AM   #9
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Toronto just cancelled the funding for the remaining Bike Plan I believe. They're doing less and spending more, so our bike lanes and initiatives get thrown in the poop.

Driving standards here are horrendous, so riding here can be off-putting, there's a lot of traffic at peak times and the city really needs to embrace cycling - there's still a fair number of people I see on bikes even at these colder times, but it could be way more and a little more accessible if they put some thought/effort into it.
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Old 11-29-07, 12:00 PM   #10
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Most of the towns in northern Colorado are fantastic for bicycling. I've moved around a lot, and this is the best place that I have ever lived for bicyclists. You can't drive anywhere in town without seeing at least a few bicyclists tooling around town, even late at night. There will always be friction with some people and drivers, but it keeps getting better and better here as bicycling is seen more often as a form of transportation, and not just a recreational activity.
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Old 11-29-07, 02:13 PM   #11
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Not much..... on my side of town at least. The closer you get to the Johnson Space Center, the more is being done. But then again, the closer to JSC, the closer you get to the "financially better off" voters are.
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Old 11-29-07, 03:40 PM   #12
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Olympia/Lacey Washington... 9 out of a possible 10. Excellent bike lanes and MUP's. There are plans for more as well as improvements to the existing MUP's. My only complaint is that they could be maintained/swept more often. The bike lanes have lots of road debris and the MUP's can have a pretty dense accumulation of wet leaves and pine needles. The facilities for biking though, are excellent.
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Old 11-29-07, 03:57 PM   #13
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I'm going to say that my area of Portland, MAINE (not that other Portland) is pretty good, but maybe for slightly different reasons than some of you are commenting about. Infrastructure-wise, bike lanes and paths, we are pretty far behind a lot of other places. There are very few of them. OTOH, our Public Works department has recently become very committed to doing more, and indeed has been doing more just in the last few months. So that's a good sign, if you are a fan of bike lanes and paths.

However, apart from infrastructure, this seems to be a pretty good place for integrated cycling, for two reasons. Being a very small city, we don't have near the level of traffic of some of your larger cities. Secondly, I think on the whole people are more laid back here, and I don't experience the level of road rage I've heard some of you talk about. Probably the second is at least partially a result of the first.

So, riding vehicularly and sharing lanes with cars, I've had very little trouble. There are usually gaps in traffic to move left into, and most of the drivers seem pretty tolerant to a cyclist sharing the general travel lanes visibly and predictably. There's always the occasional jerk, but in 5 years of commuting, I've had very few close calls or incidents of harassment.

Plus, we have a rockin' statewide advocacy organization!
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Old 11-29-07, 06:19 PM   #14
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Toronto just cancelled the funding for the remaining Bike Plan I believe. They're doing less and spending more, so our bike lanes and initiatives get thrown in the poop.

Driving standards here are horrendous, so riding here can be off-putting, there's a lot of traffic at peak times and the city really needs to embrace cycling - there's still a fair number of people I see on bikes even at these colder times, but it could be way more and a little more accessible if they put some thought/effort into it.
Have to agree with that. Outside the downtown area, there is nothing bike friendly about the city. Fortunately i have very little problems with drivers.
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Old 11-29-07, 06:55 PM   #15
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I'd say that Seattle is mostly lip service. To be fair, though, the city was built without bikes in mind, so the streets just aren't wide enough in most areas. OTOH, the cops and most of the drivers seem to be pretty bike-aware and cautious around me. I've never been harassed by a cop here, and only get a couple of cars a day buzzing me.
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Old 11-29-07, 09:13 PM   #16
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My city does extremely well. Cyclists are completely integrated into normal traffic as is appropriate under the law. Motor vehicles generally pass well, barring the rare impatient SUV or pickup driver. We have no bike lanes, bike paths, or "special" features for the poor defenseless cyclists. We're just part of traffic. I like it that way.
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Old 11-29-07, 09:24 PM   #17
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Some of San Antonio TX sucks big nasty... well, it just sucks. There are bikelanes in some areas of town, but mostly is CYA riding.
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Old 11-29-07, 10:30 PM   #18
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Newer roads here have wide outside lanes, which I'm a big fan of. I suppose there's a number of those ridiculous "share the road" signs plastered about.

Considering I have chosen (for the time being) to live in the suburbs of a car-centric city I can't complain too much. I commute on roads that my roadie coworkers wouldn't be caught dead on, but I'm used to it at this point.

I wouldn't welcome the idea of bike lanes, and would probably be actively against it.

[edit] Overall though, Raleigh is probably a pretty bad place to be a cycle commuter.
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Old 11-29-07, 11:06 PM   #19
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Have to agree with that. Outside the downtown area, there is nothing bike friendly about the city. Fortunately i have very little problems with drivers.
Outside the core, its pretty bad. You can get some routes out of the city that are reasonable; Weston road is one. Scarborough is a death trap, though.
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Old 11-29-07, 11:10 PM   #20
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Have to agree with that. Outside the downtown area, there is nothing bike friendly about the city. Fortunately i have very little problems with drivers.

I'm in Mississauga.... we have done nothing for cyclists. In fact, our mayor is hostile to bikes
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Old 11-30-07, 01:09 AM   #21
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I do agree that Dallas is not doing much to encourage cycling. However, I do have to give a tip of the hat to whoever is in charge of keeping the White Rock Creek trail clean. On numerous occasions I've ridden through before dawn, after a night of rain and the path is covered with dead leaves, debris and mud. By the time I get out of the office and head home, the path has been completely cleared.
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Old 11-30-07, 03:07 AM   #22
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San Jose's governing body seems to make a token effort under the presumption of reducing congestion and pollution- forging a "green" city. It is indeed only a token effort, though. The bike lanes in South San Jose look like an afterthought in that they're basically incorporated into shoulders where people can't park anyway or, if they aren't on shoulders, they're adjacent to cars parked on shoulders, i.e. right in the door zone. I think said bike lanes were incorporated by traffic engineers who have never even ridden on the street- or thought of doing so- and whose perception of cycling is something that is done on MUP's.

The "green vision" that our city's planners have seem to be to encourage pedestrian traffic by narrowing roadways and expanding sidewalks but I think such will be to the detriment of cyclists as we will lose the shoulders and other road width which make cycling comfortably possible. Again, the city planners' perception of cycling seems to be something that you do on a MUP- after you've driven your bike to the MUP parking lot.
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Old 11-30-07, 06:31 AM   #23
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They are enforcing traffic laws, and keeping the roads paved. There is nothing else needed.
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Old 11-30-07, 06:51 AM   #24
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San Jose's governing body seems to make a token effort under the presumption of reducing congestion and pollution- forging a "green" city. It is indeed only a token effort, though. The bike lanes in South San Jose look like an afterthought in that they're basically incorporated into shoulders where people can't park anyway or, if they aren't on shoulders, they're adjacent to cars parked on shoulders, i.e. right in the door zone. I think said bike lanes were incorporated by traffic engineers who have never even ridden on the street- or thought of doing so- and whose perception of cycling is something that is done on MUPs.

The "green vision" that our city's planners have seem to be to encourage pedestrian traffic by narrowing roadways and expanding sidewalks but I think such will be to the detriment of cyclists as we will lose the shoulders and other road width which make cycling comfortably possible. Again, the city planners' perception of cycling seems to be something that you do on a MUP- after you've driven your bike to the MUP parking lot.


Shhh! Narrow lanes mean that the entire lane is a "bike lane"!

Most of the multi-lane streets around here have narrow right lanes. I like to think of them as 10' bike lanes.
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Old 12-01-07, 09:33 AM   #25
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Same for Baltimore. Not sure how to score "less than squat" on a numeric scale.
Baltimore has applied for the League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly City designation at the Cardboard level. Ok seriously Baltimore has had a bike/ped coordinator since April of this year and in that time we got the Ducks (amphibious bus tours) out of the Trolley Lane (used as a bike blvd around the Inner Harbor) got bikes allowed on the Promenade in the mornings, bike racks are going up all over the city, phase one of bike lanes contract got awarded (put you canít apply thermoplastic when its cold), all MTA buses should have bike racks in a year, storm grates are being replaced, a Baltimore Bike Map may become a reality next year and we are smoothing out procedures to get all major resurfacing/streetscapes projects will be including implementing the bike master plan, Baltimoreís portion of the East Cost Greenway (connecting NCR trail with the BWI trail) is all in some sort phase of planning/funding/implementation.

Things are changing.
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