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Old 12-16-10, 08:33 AM   #1
JeremyLC
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Guess some people never learned to share...

Huh, I guess some people never learned to share as children...

http://www.sosarlingtonstreets.com/

Apparently the streets around here only belong to folks in cars. Of course, I don't care one way or the other. Even after being hit I still don't care if I have to ride in traffic. Bike-lane or not, I'm still going to ride to work. It is, slightly, amusing to see how upset these folks are over a little paint on the asphalt, though.

(the only bike lanes I've seen in this city are too narrow to ride on anyway. They're literally a stripe painted, maybe, 8-10 inches off the concrete gutter)
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Old 12-16-10, 08:50 AM   #2
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Huh, I guess some people never learned to share as children...
http://www.sosarlingtonstreets.com/
Depending on the traffic patterns, as a cyclist I'd rather drive on a four-lane road with cars than on a two-lane road with bike paths. Speaking as someone who rides primarily on two-lane roads with no shoulder.

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(the only bike lanes I've seen in this city are too narrow to ride on anyway. They're literally a stripe painted, maybe, 8-10 inches off the concrete gutter)
See above comment. I normally ride between the fog line and the edge of the pavement which for virtually all my commute is 6" or less.
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Old 12-16-10, 08:59 AM   #3
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Now that Arlington is no longer the largest city in the US with no public transportation, they want to look proactive on bicycling. Their public transportation consists of 2 park-and-ride lots with service to the downtown Fort Worth ITC. Arlington is a prime example of what happens when a city grows faster than it plans and has all its infrastructure built around cars. There are thousands of other cities with the same problem. In fact, most major cities in the US. I'm not sure how much help the bike lanes really are, but it's interesting to see this reaction.
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Old 12-16-10, 09:12 AM   #4
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Its also what you get when a town's mayor for 26 yrs also runs one of the largest auto dealer groups in America. One of the mayors that followed Vandergriff also was an owner in the business. Needless to say, the town has never seen a need to give people an alternative to cars...

I agree about bike lanes though. I can take them or leave them. What's shocking about this is how up in arms people get about making them. These are often the same people that get angry when they see a bike in the road. Something about people riding a bike around town gets people really upset for some reason.
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Old 12-16-10, 09:14 AM   #5
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Now that Arlington is no longer the largest city in the US with no public transportation, they want to look proactive on bicycling. Their public transportation consists of 2 park-and-ride lots with service to the downtown Fort Worth ITC. Arlington is a prime example of what happens when a city grows faster than it plans and has all its infrastructure built around cars. There are thousands of other cities with the same problem. In fact, most major cities in the US. I'm not sure how much help the bike lanes really are, but it's interesting to see this reaction.
I think the biggest impediment to public transit out here is how non-centralized everything is. Even if they wanted to run buses, where would they run to?

Biking is doable if you live in central part of the city - between the interstates. If you live south of I-20 or north of I-30 (I used to), you're stuck with only 3-4 crossing points to get into the city, and they're all major streets with a lot of car traffic. (read: dangerous)

My biggest complaint, however, is the sidewalk infrastructure. If I want to walk from home to, say, Target (random example), the sidewalk, which is only on one side of the street anyway, starts and stops about 4-5 times (in less than .8 miles!). I really feel bad for the folks (I've encountered some) who must walk (or, use a motorized chair) to get anywhere. In this city they're stuck walking/rolling IN THE STREET in far too many places.

Last edited by JeremyLC; 12-16-10 at 09:18 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 12-16-10, 09:25 AM   #6
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Man, I hate riding in Arlington. We took a Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride route through there earlier this year and it was a nightmare because of the drivers. Even with signage and (extremely spotty) police protection.

Dallas, Grand Prairie and Fort Worth were awesome by comparison.

The movement against cycling concessions doesn't surprise me, because traffic blows goats everywhere you go in Arlington. If I were a non-rider, and saw this happening, I'd probably rail against it as well.

If it can be proven to the haters/city council that their driving situation will be noticeably improved by the addition of cycling concessions, some might be turned. Failing that, it's gonna be a straight majority vote and a lot of resentment, whichever side loses. I don't think Arlington has the spirit or impetus to change yet.
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Old 12-16-10, 09:38 AM   #7
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If it can be proven to the haters/city council that their driving situation will be noticeably improved by the addition of cycling concessions, some might be turned. Failing that, it's gonna be a straight majority vote and a lot of resentment, whichever side loses. I don't think Arlington has the spirit or impetus to change yet.
I don't think they are interested. They want cyclists gone. Not on the street, not in a bike lane. They want them on racks on the back of cars on their way to a park and no more.
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Old 12-16-10, 09:41 AM   #8
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One goal is to improve the environment by encouraging citizens to give up their cars and switch to bicycles. However, our analysis suggests that just the opposite will happen. Due to added traffic congestion (which city planners do not dispute) during the first 15 years of this plan, the citizens of Arlington could pay $561.7 million or more in additional gasoline costs and spend 12,000 extra hours per day in their cars due to a reduction in their ability to drive from place to place in Arlington.
Makes me think of football games, when I'm sometimes the only cyclist weaving through a jammed pile of cars on one street; but they're obviously happier because I don't get the benefit of air conditioning and surround sound. As much as I feel for their fears, I really hope the efforts of "SOS" are fruitless; someday only the rich will be able to drive, then these same people will be petitioning for bike lanes.

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Old 12-16-10, 03:49 PM   #9
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I love stats in articles that are either for or against something without citing their source. Plus I thought you all rode horses. Perhaps I watch to many ol' west movies (joking).

Most people are against change to begin with. In time you adapt to it.
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Old 12-16-10, 04:01 PM   #10
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Holy cow, this is just insane.

I commute to UTA about 7 miles one way. I live just southeast of the 360/30 interchange. My ride goes from industrial to residential and 90% of the roads are CRAP. I mean SERIOUSLY terrible. I almost feel bad about spending so much money on my rear wheel build. We'll see. But Arlington really does seem like a crappy place to ride a bike. For weekend rides, I go down to Grand Prairie or Cedar Hill.

The only bike lane I even know of is pecan street on the east side of the university. It's tiny. Just like Jeremy said, maybe 8-10 inches and then concrete gutter/curb combo. I tend to avoid that street completely because when I do, I never use the bike lane because it's tiny. And usually, I'm going 20 mph which is the limit. Dumbest placement of a bike lane in history.

These people (website Jeremy linked) really do piss me off on so many levels. I did get a huge kick out of the update where they met up with the Tea party. Huge surprise there. Its some good reading:

http://www.sosarlingtonstreets.com/update015.htm
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Old 12-16-10, 04:05 PM   #11
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I should also mention that in the post I linked, he specifically mentions Abram St. I rode my bicycle on that street for maybe 2 miles the other day. I was instantly honked at at every light. And the road was just as horrible as all the other ones I ride on. Honestly, it wouldn't make sense to cut that street from 4 lanes to two. it gets busy and the bike lanes would hardly be used. If anything, they need to just flat out repave them and widen the whole shebang for proper bike lanes.

EDIT: More specifically, the whole plan (as described by the sos website) does sound horrible. It's just an ill-conceived idea. I think repairing streets in general should be first on the list. If they have to widen some in order to add bike lanes, I don't think people would be as pissed as long as they don't reduce car lanes.

Last edited by WalksOn2Wheels; 12-16-10 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Sanity check.
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Old 12-16-10, 04:28 PM   #12
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Ugh, the more I read this website, the more I want to show up to a meeting on my bike.

Clearly reducing lanes on busy streets is a bad idea. Clearly. I can get behind that. But the site further reveals that this particular individual is straight up anti-bike. He likes to play it off by insisting that "recreational bicycling" is the majority of bike riders. Seemingly with the idea that recreational=not on streets. But he's basically a used car salesman who at every opportunity insists that "utilitarian" biking will never increase, ever, and that people will always choose cars as primary modes of transportation. He sells it every chance he gets.

I am so close to calling the number he lists and chatting him up as politely as possible to let him know he doesn't need to be jealous just because his little legs can barely get him from the car to the front door much less a mile down the road on a bicycle.
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Old 12-16-10, 04:55 PM   #13
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Just FYI, the plan, as proposed by the company contracted by the city to research it, can be found here

http://www.greenways.com/arlington.html
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Old 12-16-10, 05:31 PM   #14
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Wow, just wow. Not only are they anti-bike cage dewllers, but they're flat out over simplifying the plan. According to the map I downloaded, maybe half a mile to a mile, max, of Abram would be restriped through the downtown area. The rest of it would be new construction. They way they tell it, every last mile of road in Arlington will be restriped.

This guy is clearly taking cues from Glen Beck.
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Old 12-17-10, 09:41 AM   #15
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Ugh, the more I read this website, the more I want to show up to a meeting on my bike.

Clearly reducing lanes on busy streets is a bad idea. Clearly. I can get behind that. But the site further reveals that this particular individual is straight up anti-bike. He likes to play it off by insisting that "recreational bicycling" is the majority of bike riders. Seemingly with the idea that recreational=not on streets. But he's basically a used car salesman who at every opportunity insists that "utilitarian" biking will never increase, ever, and that people will always choose cars as primary modes of transportation. He sells it every chance he gets.

I am so close to calling the number he lists and chatting him up as politely as possible to let him know he doesn't need to be jealous just because his little legs can barely get him from the car to the front door much less a mile down the road on a bicycle.
Antagonism won't accomplish anything. I doubt he cares whether he could ride anywhere or not, he probably just has the same short-sighted impatience most drivers have on the road. Also, if, like some of the home owners on Davis Dr. with signs in their yards, he has a home that may directly affected by the proposed changes he my fear for his property value, or that it may be partially taken by the city. The signs I see are, generally, in the very shallow yards where the houses are almost on the edge of their lots.
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Old 12-17-10, 12:38 PM   #16
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Honestly, at the end of the day, I find myself pretty indifferent. The roads suck in the first place, I get by on my commute, I'm not far away from nice weekend rides, I can take or leave bike lanes. I'm not even sure I would use them that much to be honest. Unless there was a good road I could take to UTA from the east.

But what I am not indifferent about is people who are straight up anti-bike. If he had built a whole website about the impact it would have on traffic (that is is half the stuff he spews about reducing lanes is true or not) then I would probably be fine with it. It's just when he has to crap all over bicycles to sell his point that I begin to get annoyed.
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Old 12-17-10, 01:40 PM   #17
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Honestly, at the end of the day, I find myself pretty indifferent. The roads suck in the first place, I get by on my commute, I'm not far away from nice weekend rides, I can take or leave bike lanes. I'm not even sure I would use them that much to be honest. Unless there was a good road I could take to UTA from the east.

But what I am not indifferent about is people who are straight up anti-bike. If he had built a whole website about the impact it would have on traffic (that is is half the stuff he spews about reducing lanes is true or not) then I would probably be fine with it. It's just when he has to crap all over bicycles to sell his point that I begin to get annoyed.
That sounds about right. I don't care that there are opponents to the bike lanes, I only if they're dishonest in their opposition. Incidentally, have you tried Mitchell? It ends just east of Susan Dr. on the GP side of 360, but it connects the whole way across to UTA. (some parts are a little torn up, but still ridable) (Heh, Google thinks Randol Mill is a good bike route. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do that one regularly.)
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Old 12-17-10, 03:36 PM   #18
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Yeah, google maps is hilarious like that.

Incidentally, Mitchell is my route. I have to make quite a few turns from my place to get there, but it's the best option so far. Residential with some school zones, but overall the pavement is really horrible. The huge plus, though, is that when I get to 360, it's residential on either side with a bridge going over 360. And no gas stations, etc. so it's just a couple of stop signs and hardly anyone exits there.
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Old 01-20-11, 01:31 PM   #19
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Ok, sorry for the zombie-thread action here, but I had to post this somewhere and it fit best within the context of the original post.

Yesterday, people put fliers on bicycles here at UTA to attend the meeting that would be held regarding the decision on the plan. I had a class that started the same time as the town hall meeting, so I couldn't go. Which was a bummer and I wish I could have.

Today, I pick up the Shorthorn (UTA school paper) and see that the decision was held off for early February. I also saw mention of a "representative of" save our streets, Buddy Saunders. It happened to mention that he was the founder of Lone Star Comics. I checked the website and sure enough, the guy I was ranting about not too long ago is the founder and owner of Lone Star Comics. I called the head office just to ask if he still owned the business or had sold it off perhaps. He indeed was still there.

I had to let them know that I had seen the SOS website, half agreed with him and did not appreciate the militant anti-bike talk. I also informed them that I, as of last week, went to the cooper street store once a week to buy comics. No more.

It really sucks as I generally like the store and the employees, but I just can't justify bankrolling this guy on an all too direct level.
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Old 01-20-11, 02:27 PM   #20
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Arlington is a prime example of what happens when a city grows faster than it plans and has all its infrastructure built around cars. There are thousands of other cities with the same problem. In fact, most major cities in the US. I'm not sure how much help the bike lanes really are, but it's interesting to see this reaction.
Nailed it right here.
I'm a big proponent of bike friendly infrastructure, but renovating existing infrastructure to accommodate bikes is immediately at odds with the prevailing momentum (towards more car-friendly infrastructure).
Fear is a tremendous motivator - just look at our wacked out, spin-happy "news" media (left and right) with what they've been doing for the past decade. I won't take that one any further....
My point is the SOS site is absolutely saturated with fear. Hell, just the name "SOS" illicits a fearful response by association.

I presently commute on marked, double-stripe, 6' bike lanes for the majority of my 7 mile route (one way) and I really like the lanes. The last mile of my ride is on a modestly busy 6 lane plus center turn lane street. I time my sprint along that road with the lights to avoid getting swallowed by cars.
At no time have I seen traffic congestion on this road. This very road is being re-done to allow a westward extension of the SLC light rail system to the airport, and the traffic will be reduced to two lanes in each direction, with a parking lane, and a 6' bike lane. I'm really excited about it (if I don't move again before the project is complete), and feel that the road will be just fine - perhaps not as wide open as now, but certainly not bumper to bumper either.
If this were being proposed on a perpetually busy street with congestion problems, I'd oppose it.
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Old 01-20-11, 02:34 PM   #21
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Wow, reminds me how glad I am that I moved from Arlington to Crowley last year. My wife just refused to ride the streets there, always driving to the Joe Pool dam to ride, unless we were on the tandem. She loves riding from home now.

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Old 01-20-11, 02:52 PM   #22
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I particularly liked the estimate of $561m for putting in the bike lanes.
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Old 01-21-11, 01:10 AM   #23
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I particularly liked the estimate of $561m for putting in the bike lanes.
Had to go and see what you were talking about. This guy is out of his mind. He keeps throwing out these numbers and quoting absolutely zero sources. hardly a vote for credibility.

Oh and the part killed me the most, did you catch this little nugget?

Note: added emphasis, in bold, is mine.

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One of the more troubling mandates in the bike plan is a requirement for “changing stations,” facilities with personal lockers, showers, sinks, benches, etc. where bicycle riders can change from their sweaty street Spandex to ordinary work clothes before walking the remaining few blocks to work.
You know, I just keep wanting to tell myself that he's just a concerned citizen who is passionate about his opinion, but then you get little Freudian slips like this and you just know he has something against cyclists.

Oh and these also cost *Dr. Evil* "One Million Dollars!" *end Dr. Evil* a piece with no linked source or rationale. And he wants us to believe that the plan requires one every two miles or something insane.
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Old 01-21-11, 09:46 AM   #24
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Clearly reducing lanes on busy streets is a bad idea. Clearly. I can get behind that. But the site further reveals that this particular individual is straight up anti-bike. He likes to play it off by insisting that "recreational bicycling" is the majority of bike riders. Seemingly with the idea that recreational=not on streets. But he's basically a used car salesman who at every opportunity insists that "utilitarian" biking will never increase, ever, and that people will always choose cars as primary modes of transportation. He sells it every chance he gets.
Au contraire! Traffic is an incredibly unintuitive phenomenon that is studied by engineers, mathematicians, physicists, and so on, occasionally using resources like some of the world's biggest supercomputers to create detailed models. for example, it's possible to widen a highway and get more congestion. It's also possible to narrow a busy road and get less. The latter case is called "traffic evaporation." A google search will turn up many references and discussions. For some detail on the mathematics involved, try: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braess'_Paradox
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Old 01-21-11, 12:45 PM   #25
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I saw that Lonestar was funding the website when I did a WHOIS lookup. I didn't realize it was the owner directly. I haven't really spent money with him, guess I won't either.
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