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Old 09-30-10, 08:33 PM   #1
kraftwerk
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AAA against bike lanes? yes...

Subject: The American Automobile Association Anti-bike crusade

I NEVER do this, in fact this is the first request I have done, of this sort, the voting sort...
I am asking all of 5 (?) of you to vote YES on whether you like the idea of increased bike lanes in NYC...
Believe it or not some people. ie. the oil industry and AAA are against bike lanes in NYC.
So whether you ride in NYC or not or you know someone who does or you plan on it some day
or if you would just like to send a "WTF?" message to those who are against bike lanes please take moment to vote
"YES"

http://polldaddy.com/poll/3629057/


Thanks..

Please feel to pass this message on and on..


AAA against bike lanes? Yeah like just on that TV show. They are haters!
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Old 09-30-10, 08:44 PM   #2
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How does a public poll show that AAA (I assume NY since the user is AAANY) is against bike lanes? .. since, y'know, it's the public that's voting and not the
AAA corporation. The votes are nearly 65% FOR the lanes btw..

... or am I missing something here? Is this your poll? I don't get it..

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Old 09-30-10, 08:45 PM   #3
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AAA is not thinking this through rationally. Having marked bike lanes is the best way of getting bikes out of the other lanes of traffic, allowing bikes to go slower in bike lanes, without impeding the flow of faster auto and truck traffic in those lanes.
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Old 09-30-10, 08:58 PM   #4
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From Transportation Alternatives latest Streetbeat issue:

Bike Lane DOH! AAA Asks the Wrong Question

The grass is always greener: In Oregon,
AAA offers roadside service to cyclists.
Image courtesy Jonathan Maus
That's gotta smart! AAA New York is hosting a poll about public opinion of NYC's new bike lanes, and as of press time, support for bike lanes had 55 percent of the vote. Ouch!

Not that we read their rag, but T.A. members clued us into an article in last month's issue of AAA New York's member publication Car and Travel. The rant decried what AAA sees as a dangerous excess spent on safety improvements and questioned whether new bike lanes may be bad for New York. Ignoring statistics about how much bike lanes reduce crash rates and the fact that the greatest threat to pedestrians are cars, AAA sensationalized bike lanes as government waste and a potential danger to pedestrians and cyclists alike.

You know what we want you to do. While our friends at AAA leave us exhausted, we hope you have the energy to let them know how you feel about New York City's efforts to increase bike lanes. Vote today!
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Old 09-30-10, 08:58 PM   #5
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AAA is not thinking this through rationally. Having marked bike lanes is the best way of getting bikes out of the other lanes of traffic, allowing bikes to go slower in bike lanes, without impeding the flow of faster auto and truck traffic in those lanes.
You're not understanding bhop's question. Why do you think AAA is against bike lanes?
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Old 09-30-10, 09:02 PM   #6
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You're not understanding bhop's question. Why do you think AAA is against bike lanes?
Not that we read their rag, but T.A. members clued us into an article in last month's issue of AAA New York's member publication Car and Travel. The rant decried what AAA sees as a dangerous excess spent on safety improvements and questioned whether new bike lanes may be bad for New York. Ignoring statistics about how much bike lanes reduce crash rates and the fact that the greatest threat to pedestrians are cars, AAA sensationalized bike lanes as government waste and a potential danger to pedestrians and cyclists alike.
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Old 10-01-10, 02:03 AM   #7
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Believe it or not some people. ie. the oil industry and AAA are against bike lanes
Yes, why is that hard to believe? It's obvious. It cuts down on their sales of oil products, and the larger number of people that ride bikes, the more they loose in sales. They don't care about environment, pollution, or congestion on roads, they care only about profit. And any tactics, really, are fair game for them as long as they meet their profit goal. So this comes as no surprise. It is expected, having in mind the blatant disregard that the oil industry had showed for safety and preventing pollution when producing fuel.
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Old 10-01-10, 06:01 AM   #8
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Here's the full text of the AAA article that the OP is referring to:

NYC DOT Peddles Pet Project
New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) is mounting an aggressive campaign to build 1,800 miles of bike lanes over the next two decades. The campaign is being spearheaded by a DOT hierarchy that is dominated by policy advocates for increased bike use. Yes, cycling is a good thing, but like anything else, this expan- sion of the dedicated bicycle lane network may go from good to bad unless the city DOT addresses questions about the cost and safety of their plan.
For starters, many bike lane segments appear underutilized, and their construction does not seem to justify the expense in terms of dollars spent or the loss of parking spots and closure of traffic lanes. Further, in some locations, the lanes appear to be disrupting not only traffic but also local businesses along the route, because park- ing spots have been lost due to the dedicated lanes.
The expansion is also raising safety issues for pedestrians and cyclists themselves. Many of the bike lanes appear to be shoe horned in on nar- row streets, posing a risk to bikers who may possibly get “doored” by drivers opening car doors alongside the dedicated bike lanes.
New York City has always been a great walking city, but the rise in bikes may create a more challenging environment for walkers mix- ing with bikers. A recent New York Post commentary on the bike lanes was accompanied by vivid photos of someone being struck by a bike while hailing a cab. Further, complaints about bikers ignoring traffic rules appear to be on the rise, begging the question of whether or not the city is taking steps to ensure that cyclists obey the laws.
Advocates of increased bike use, those both within DOT and on the outside, need to take a step back and examine the effects this expansion is having on all of the city’s residents and taxpayers to ensure the public welfare is being well served—including pedestrians and drivers and the city as a whole.
Are you in favor of the city’s efforts to increase bike lanes? Visit AAA.com/Poll and tell us what you think.
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Old 10-01-10, 08:33 AM   #9
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This is not the first time AAA is acting against improvements in pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. I've read stories before. Vote people, vote to show these shortsighted idiots how wrong they are. So far 68% for bike lanes, 32% against.
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Old 10-01-10, 08:37 AM   #10
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I already voted +1 AAA
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Old 10-01-10, 08:41 AM   #11
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I think its because people assume no bike lanes = no bikes on the streets.
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Old 10-01-10, 09:34 AM   #12
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I don't believe AAA is "against" bike lanes per se. After all, bike lanes shunt cyclists out of the way of automobiles and enhance the happy motoring experience (often at the expense of the cyclist's safety). No, it's all about money: AAA is against having to compete with cyclists for shrinking transportation dollars.
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Old 10-01-10, 11:02 AM   #13
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AAA is afterall, the Automobile Association of America; not the Bicycle Association of America. I believe that they are ostensibly acting on behalf of the opinions and wishes of those who make their existence possible.

As for me, I'm still on the fence about bike lanes; it is my opinion that they marginalize the rights of cyclists to be on the road.

I've been nearly snuffed much more often in a bike lane than while taking up my rightful and lawful place within a normal car lane. Bike lanes are magnets for glass and debris that end up ruining my tires. In most communities (including mine) there are "bike lanes to nowhere"; a situation which can cause a very dangerous predicament for someone who is not necessarily a confident cyclist, forcing them into traffic when they thought that they could rely on having their own lane. They also seem to encourage cyclists to ride up along the right side of a turning vehicle, making it more likely that one will get right-hooked.

If a bike lane system was indeed a well thought out true system and was properly maintained, I'd be all for them. So far, that's only something I've seen in Europe. This is my opinion only.
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Old 10-01-10, 11:12 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Kojak View Post
AAA is afterall, the Automobile Association of America; not the Bicycle Association of America. I believe that they are ostensibly acting on behalf of the opinions and wishes of those who make their existence possible.

As for me, I'm still on the fence about bike lanes; it is my opinion that they marginalize the rights of cyclists to be on the road.

I've been nearly snuffed much more often in a bike lane than while taking up my rightful and lawful place within a normal car lane. Bike lanes are magnets for glass and debris that end up ruining my tires. In most communities (including mine) there are "bike lanes to nowhere"; a situation which can cause a very dangerous predicament for someone who is not necessarily a confident cyclist, forcing them into traffic when they thought that they could rely on having their own lane. They also seem to encourage cyclists to ride up along the right side of a turning vehicle, making it more likely that one will get right-hooked.

If a bike lane system was indeed a well thought out true system and was properly maintained, I'd be all for them. So far, that's only something I've seen in Europe. This is my opinion only.

I would agree with this;

Although, ruining your tires I find somewhat funny! (sorry)

The bike lanes to no where is the total truth.
Here in New Orleans, we have the levee MUP.
If it went all the way down town, to the quarter and the CBD, many more people would use it,
as well as allowing us more access to the river that runs thru our city.
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Old 10-01-10, 11:22 AM   #15
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I would agree with this;

Although, ruining your tires I find somewhat funny! (sorry)
Hey JR,

Funny?.... not when it happens. Ironic?.... Absolutely.

The reality is, I rarely ride in bike lanes even when they're available for all of these reasons, and to the extent possible, I ride routes that don't have marked bike lanes so that motorists can't yell at me for not using the lanes that are provided. They will yell at me for other reasons, mostly just for existing in their world.
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Old 10-01-10, 12:30 PM   #16
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I fixed it.

Here's the modifed text of the AAA article:

NYC DOT Peddles Pet Project
New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) is mounting an aggressive campaign to continue to build thousands of miles of motor vehicle traffic lanes compounding problems created over the last hundred years. The campaign is being spearheaded by a DOT hierarchy that is dominated by policy advocates for increased automotive use. Yes, driving is a good thing, but like anything else, this expansion of the dedicated motor vehicle lane network may go from good to bad unless the city DOT addresses questions about the cost and safety of their plan.

For starters, many streets segments appear underutilized, especially the highways late at night, and their construction does not seem to justify the expense in terms of dollars spent for the cost of public parking spots, which subsidizes the storage of private automobiles on valuable land.

Further, in some locations, the lanes appear to be disrupting not only traffic but also local businesses along the route, because traffic stands still as if in parking lots.

The expansion is also raising safety issues for pedestrians and cyclists themselves. Many of the traffic lanes appear to be shoe horned in on narrow streets, posing a risk to humans who may possibly get “hit" by drivers who fail to look for pedestrians crossing these dedicated traffic lanes.

New York City has always been a great walking city, but the rise in cars may create a more challenging environment for walkers and bikers. A recent New York Post commentary on the traffic lanes should have been accompanied by vivid photos of someone being struck by a car while merely crossing the street. Further, complaints about drivers ignoring traffic rules appear to be on the rise, begging the question of whether or not the city is taking steps to ensure that motorists obey the laws.

Advocates of increased automobile use, those both within DOT and on the outside, need to take a step back and examine the effects this expansion is having on all of the city’s residents and taxpayers to ensure the public welfare is being well served—including pedestrians and the city as a whole.

Are you in favor of the city’s efforts to increase motor vehicle traffic lanes?
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Old 10-01-10, 01:14 PM   #17
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Lol
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Old 10-02-10, 09:21 PM   #18
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Thanks for posting the article, annc and thanks for fixing it, genec.
I had read the original article and infuriated, tossed the magazine across the room (magazine version of yelling at the TV) The article includes one photo to illustrate their point of a young jasper tearing along at a terrific speed (in a bike lane) it is really too funny except that this is serious business on the part of AAA they are LOOSING
parking spaces! Horrors! They are loosing whole lanes! where cars used to be and for what what? A maniac on a bike??!!? Why didn't they include a photo of a young parent riding with the helmeted child on a carrier or perhaps tagging along on a tiny bike? It is a very real scene as well, but would not illustrate their scare tactics.


My guess is that the public poll, in which you all took part, will be sent to AAA by the Bicycle advocacy group in New York 'Transportation Alternatives' an organization you might consider joining if you a New York biker they are the originators of the poll. I should have stated all this in the original post.
Thanks for letting me vent.

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Old 10-02-10, 09:56 PM   #19
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Kojak

Have you thought about helping plan bike lanes in your community so they will be a lot more useful for everyone?
True, Europe is better but we must start somewhere.

In NYC if a street is shared with a bike lane the cyclist is required to use it or risk getting a ticket.

You say AAA are "ostensibly acting on behalf of the opinions and wishes of those who make their existence possible. " Hey I am a memeber thats why i get their dumb magazine. But their sentiment is not in my best interest at all. That is like saying " Corporations are just looking out for their best interest" Which is the attitude which has almost ruined the modern world.

Full disclosure : I own two old clunkers but only use them if I need to go further than 25 miles, otherwise I take one of my bicycles which I much prefer.

ps. I love my Schwalbe Stelvios 451 on my folding bike.

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Old 10-03-10, 02:24 AM   #20
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Dont really understand the issue of debris. I ride by two junk yards on my commute and have "learned" to equip my bike with tires and tubes that can handle the debris. Why somone would commute with a tire set that would keep them from riding in bike lanes is beyond me.

Oh, I voted so thanks for the link! Not sure if it was too late.
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Old 10-03-10, 08:09 AM   #21
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Dont really understand the issue of debris. I ride by two junk yards on my commute and have "learned" to equip my bike with tires and tubes that can handle the debris. Why somone would commute with a tire set that would keep them from riding in bike lanes is beyond me.

Oh, I voted so thanks for the link! Not sure if it was too late.
Debris could be anything from sand to glass, to tree limbs, to nails, to parts that have fallen off vehicles. Mostly the bike lanes nearby are maintained pretty well, but I know what Kojak is talking about. Even if your tires have a ton of flat protection, riding over enough glass and other items still cut and will prematurely wear out the tires. Getting a sharp object in a sidewall can do in a tire quickly.
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Old 10-03-10, 08:17 AM   #22
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AAA is afterall, the Automobile Association of America; not the Bicycle Association of America. I believe that they are ostensibly acting on behalf of the opinions and wishes of those who make their existence possible.

As for me, I'm still on the fence about bike lanes; it is my opinion that they marginalize the rights of cyclists to be on the road.

I've been nearly snuffed much more often in a bike lane than while taking up my rightful and lawful place within a normal car lane. Bike lanes are magnets for glass and debris that end up ruining my tires. In most communities (including mine) there are "bike lanes to nowhere"; a situation which can cause a very dangerous predicament for someone who is not necessarily a confident cyclist, forcing them into traffic when they thought that they could rely on having their own lane. They also seem to encourage cyclists to ride up along the right side of a turning vehicle, making it more likely that one will get right-hooked.

If a bike lane system was indeed a well thought out true system and was properly maintained, I'd be all for them. So far, that's only something I've seen in Europe. This is my opinion only.
+1

I have mixed feelings about bike lanes for all the reasons you've stated. My favorite bike lane to nowhere is one that runs down the left side of a 3 lane one way street. About two blocks before the street hits a major intersection, the bike lane just ends. So the novice cyclist suddenly finds themselves in the Left lane of a busy street coming to an intersection with another busy street where the left 2 lanes must turn left. So now to keep going straight, the've got to cut across two lanes of busy traffic.

Anyway, in spite of all that, and the fact that my only collision with a car happened in a bike lane, I'm still mostly in favor of them. Why? Because they make cyclists feel safer and give motorists less reason to hassle them. This puts more cyclists on the road and creates more cycling advocates. More cyclists on the road IMO ultimately leads to better conditions for cyclists if for no other reason than drivers get used to them being there.
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Old 10-03-10, 08:48 AM   #23
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Being against bike lanes does not necessarily equate to being against cyclists. Bike lanes take cyclists out of the main traffic lanes and have been shown to be a contributing factor in many accidents - especially right hooks. So you can be pro-cycling and anti-bike-lane.

There's this notion that bicycle infrastructure is always good for cyclists, but the reality is a bit more complex.

As for AAA, they probably think they're doing automobile drivers a favour by being against bike lanes. They probably don't think much beyond the idea that preventing bike lanes will save money for car-related projects. As such, I think they're looking at the issue too simplistically, which is why I've always voted against AAA when I've seen the issue come up, even though I actually believe that bike lanes are a bad thing for cyclists (and for automobile drivers too).

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Old 10-03-10, 12:44 PM   #24
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Debris could be anything from sand to glass, to tree limbs, to nails, to parts that have fallen off vehicles. Mostly the bike lanes nearby are maintained pretty well, but I know what Kojak is talking about. Even if your tires have a ton of flat protection, riding over enough glass and other items still cut and will prematurely wear out the tires. Getting a sharp object in a sidewall can do in a tire quickly.

Until last year, I was a 70% trail 30% road commuter so I guess my idea of serious route obstruction are >2 ft flooding, geese and unleashed dogs, and the occasional fallen tree that I would have to lift the bike up and over. Stuff like glass, tree limbs, sheesh. My tires are embedded with the stuff to the point where they lengthen the life of the tread.
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Old 10-03-10, 12:47 PM   #25
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+1

I have mixed feelings about bike lanes for all the reasons you've stated. My favorite bike lane to nowhere is one that runs down the left side of a 3 lane one way street. About two blocks before the street hits a major intersection, the bike lane just ends. So the novice cyclist suddenly finds themselves in the Left lane of a busy street coming to an intersection with another busy street where the left 2 lanes must turn left. So now to keep going straight, the've got to cut across two lanes of busy traffic.

Anyway, in spite of all that, and the fact that my only collision with a car happened in a bike lane, I'm still mostly in favor of them. Why? Because they make cyclists feel safer and give motorists less reason to hassle them. This puts more cyclists on the road and creates more cycling advocates. More cyclists on the road IMO ultimately leads to better conditions for cyclists if for no other reason than drivers get used to them being there.
If every cyclist was packing, I bet there would be no drivers so keen on arguing with them. Let's call it evening the odds - on one side there is a couple of tons of metal, on another a ready clip of stored lead to be used if need be. It might sound crude, but the reality is that in that case, we would hear about motorists harassing cyclists once in a blue moon, if that.
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