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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-07-11, 03:50 PM   #1
jdswitters
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Do you like your bike lanes?

I like mine. People for bikes is lobbying representatives and senators to keep the federal funding for bicycle related projects in the next transportation bill. This includes funding for safe routes for school. I don't know how much the kids around here use the special signal cross walks and bike lanes but I benefit greatly as a commuter because I live next to a junior high and pass close to a high school before getting on the MUP (paid for by lottery money)

http://www.peopleforbikes.org/page/s...is-in-jeopardy

I am not associated with them other than I signed up about a year ago. Just a foot soldier in the army of bicycle commuters.

thank you for reading this post.
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Old 07-07-11, 04:12 PM   #2
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As much as I like bike lanes, I recognize that they are a luxury. If it comes down to funding bike lanes or grandma's medical treatment, guess which one is going to win?

The country is broke and will be broke for a long time. Don't expect much out of DC as far as handouts for special projects.
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Old 07-07-11, 04:22 PM   #3
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It's a Policy Problem. plenty of money to occupy 700 military bases
in other peoples countries.
and escort Oil tankers with Aircraft carrier battle Groups.
you pay for that Exxon-Mobil doesn't.

NL and Denmark have better Bike Infrastructure , their choice..
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Old 07-07-11, 04:58 PM   #4
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In general, I'd much rather ride on a low-traffic side street with no bike lane than an arterial road with a bike lane. Unfortunately, our suburbs are so broken up with cul-de-sacs that it's hard to get anywhere without an arterial road. I'd much rather have funding spent to cut MUPs through the suburbs to connect the low-traffic streets.
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Old 07-07-11, 05:12 PM   #5
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In general, I'd much rather ride on a low-traffic side street with no bike lane than an arterial road with a bike lane. Unfortunately, our suburbs are so broken up with cul-de-sacs that it's hard to get anywhere without an arterial road. I'd much rather have funding spent to cut MUPs through the suburbs to connect the low-traffic streets.
Government money for roads is to allow for transportation - with a cul-de-sac, it turns what could have been transportation infrastructure into what is essentially a shared driveway for a group of homes. If I were in charge, no public money would be used to build or maintain any road which is not a through road. I suspect that suburban cul-de-sacs would become far less popular if people had to pay for them themselves, rather than expecting the people that they are excluding from their neighborhood to support it.

BTW, I feel similarly about 'free' on street parking.
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Old 07-07-11, 05:14 PM   #6
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Many of the bike lanes in Minneapolis are pretty nice. They just repainted Franklin Ave west of the River down to two auto lanes and two bike lanes (rather than 4 regular traffic lanes). Coupled with a bike box at a busy intersection across the river, it makes my commute a little more cushy.

We have such good cycling facilities in MPLS that it annoys me sometimes when roadies opt for the road instead of the perfectly smooth and adequate MUP next to it.
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Old 07-07-11, 05:31 PM   #7
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Considering out deficit/debt, I can live without bike lanes and f22 fighters.
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Old 07-07-11, 06:32 PM   #8
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It's a Policy Problem. plenty of money to occupy 700 military bases
in other peoples countries.
But... But... Oil! We need the oil! Wait, that's not why we're there. We're securing freedom and democracy! Or something.

The Burlington Vermont area has done okay with their bike lanes. We even have bike lanes that allow us to ride both directions on one-way-to-cars streets, with cyclists on the outsides and cages in the middle. It's not bad. Well signed, and painted to make it obvious.

There are some places around here with "bike lanes" that I'd try to avoid, but for for most part they've thought it out more or less acceptably. Here's the one place that scares me. It's a charlie-foxtrot for cyclists.
Route 2 and Interstate 89
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Old 07-07-11, 07:49 PM   #9
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LOL. Typical delusional thinking. No matter what your political leanings, the fact is that the money has already been spent. You can argue about who spent it and where it was spent all you want. That is as productive as arguing with your wife over your credit card bill. Even if you cut up the card and never get another one, you still have to pay the bill.

But our "leaders" can't stop using the credit card. And people want their goodies like bike lanes. So long after I'm dead, my children and grandchildren will still be paying for a nice bike lane somewhere.
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Old 07-07-11, 08:00 PM   #10
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I'm fortunate to live in a fairly "bikey" area, so most of my 11 mile commute is MUPs.

I feel much safer there, because i'm usually panting too hard to keep an eye out for cars...
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Old 07-07-11, 11:17 PM   #11
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Government money for roads is to allow for transportation - with a cul-de-sac, it turns what could have been transportation infrastructure into what is essentially a shared driveway for a group of homes. If I were in charge, no public money would be used to build or maintain any road which is not a through road. I suspect that suburban cul-de-sacs would become far less popular if people had to pay for them themselves, rather than expecting the people that they are excluding from their neighborhood to support it.
Good luck with that. I've been trying to get some support for the same treatment for "county roads" that dead end at a driveway. Nobody else gains any benefit from the road, yet it's maintained at taxpayer expense.
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Old 07-07-11, 11:43 PM   #12
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FYI, roads and all other infrastructure in a residential (or other type) of development is initially paid for by the developer. Who maintains them afterwards depends on if they are privately owned or publicly owned. If you are in a gated community, then the roads are generally private roads.

Most roads are maintained by tax money but not that many in a city are built with tax money. Rural areas are different depending on the kind of area. Some rural areas have public roads are the main arteries and all the capillaries are private. Others are almost all public.

Generally, you can tell if a road is private or public by the street signs. If they are owned by the city or county, the street sign will state the city or county in small lettering above or below the street name. Private road street signs won't have that.
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Old 07-08-11, 12:09 AM   #13
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My 4 to 5 mile commute only involves about 600 ft of bike lane, if that. More than anything else, it's a false sense of security as I've noticed automobiles will pass much closer than on roads without that white stripe. The bike lane also puts me closer to the parked vehicles than I would otherwise ride, that is the outer 1/3 or so of the bike lane. However, since autos now pass closer due to the white stripe, I'm not in a very good situation. Add to that the road is stripped double yellow and the auto lane is quite narrow, motorists can't/won't move over any more.

As far as the bike carets, I'm not sure what those are for.

My commute is mostly residential streets so traffic volume is low in about 3/4 of the commute. That doesn't make it any safer necessarily though since residential area also means schools and driveways. Motorists are going to be entering the roadway blind because cars parked on either side of the driveway limit their ability to see traffic on the street.

Last edited by jsdavis; 07-08-11 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 07-08-11, 07:28 AM   #14
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Depends on the bike lane. Some of them are so full of crap and busted pavement that there isn't any point to them. Others are on relatively high speed arterial roads that are seriously unpleasant to ride on. I agree with Andy K in that I much prefer to ride on low traffic residential streets sans bike lanes.
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Old 07-08-11, 08:11 AM   #15
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Considering out deficit/debt, I can live without bike lanes and f22 fighters.
Unfortunately, I don't think this is the trade off. This isn't about the government not spending any money for stuff; it is about prioritizing where the cuts go. Biking infrastructure is a fairly tiny portion of the overall spending on transportation (less than 2%) but it will face disproportionate cutting unless cyclists use the power of their political voice. This is really a choice about whether there is funding for bike infrastructure projects instead of funding to repave the same stretch of public street for the third time in 5 years (whether it needs it or not). Bike infrastructure tends to be low cost, high impact, and long lived, unlike many road projects and other transportation initiatives.

I too participated at http://www.peopleforbikes.org/ and I would urge you to do so also. It isn't that I want the government to spend frivolously, but I do want the cutting to be done fairly and with some regard for the long term impact on our nation.
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Old 07-08-11, 09:14 AM   #16
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A town, in NL, a Bedroom community, made from reclaimed Zuiderzee area
some what recently, built all the houses on Cul de Sacs,
very indirect routes to the main motorway , back to Amsterdam

but the bike-paths are direct and efficient .
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Old 07-09-11, 12:28 PM   #17
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I like mine. People for bikes is lobbying representatives and senators to keep the federal funding for bicycle related projects in the next transportation bill. This includes funding for safe routes for school. I don't know how much the kids around here use the special signal cross walks and bike lanes but I benefit greatly as a commuter because I live next to a junior high and pass close to a high school before getting on the MUP (paid for by lottery money)

http://www.peopleforbikes.org/page/s...is-in-jeopardy

I am not associated with them other than I signed up about a year ago. Just a foot soldier in the army of bicycle commuters.

thank you for reading this post.
Yes, I like bike-lanes and I appreciate their presence particularly on heavily-used roads. No, I don't appreciate bull-**** lanes in the form of one stripe of white paint running two inches from a line of parked cars (facing the direction of the cyclist's travel), and another running beneath the tires of buses, trucks, cars, and taxi-cabs.

Bike-lanes, like anything, work well when they're designed well. If you're going to construct lanes as anything but an "earth-friendly 'accomplishment'" to cite when running for re-election, you'd better build them next to the sidewalk and physically isolate them from traffic. Of course, this model, too, can be screwed up by thoughtlessness, as it is when one chooses to separate the lane from traffic with benches that welcome pedestrians to usurp everything from sidewalk to bench as quasi-park territory.
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Old 07-09-11, 01:37 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jdswitters View Post
I like mine. People for bikes is lobbying representatives and senators to keep the federal funding for bicycle related projects in the next transportation bill. This includes funding for safe routes for school. I don't know how much the kids around here use the special signal cross walks and bike lanes but I benefit greatly as a commuter because I live next to a junior high and pass close to a high school before getting on the MUP (paid for by lottery money)

http://www.peopleforbikes.org/page/s...is-in-jeopardy

I am not associated with them other than I signed up about a year ago. Just a foot soldier in the army of bicycle commuters.

thank you for reading this post.
Overall, I'd have to say that I am not very happy with the bike lanes that I have around me. As they either go around curves (curves that I've seen cars drift into as they also make the curve), or they're in the door zone, or they're full of debris, or have cracked and missing pavement. They're also "shoehorned" into roads as an afterthought to appease the cycling community. With the shoulder being redesignated as a bike lane. And a lot of the time these are shoulders that are only a foot or two wide. In some cases (though I think that they are being corrected) the bike lane is routed on the right side of right turn lanes.

The safest way to add a bike lane to a road is to design the road from the ground up to include a bike lane. Don't redesignate the shoulder as a bike lane, make sure that the bike lane is not in the door zone, route it so that it goes to the left of right turn lanes. And also do not place it to the extreme right edge of the road with little to no buffer between the cyclist and anything that might come at us from our right.
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Old 07-09-11, 01:40 PM   #19
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Why do the bike lanes stick way up into middle of the street?
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Old 07-09-11, 01:42 PM   #20
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I'm fortunate to live in a fairly "bikey" area, so most of my 11 mile commute is MUPs.

I feel much safer there, because i'm usually panting too hard to keep an eye out for cars...
There in Champlin, Mn, are the MUPs a true part of the bicycle infrastructure, or are they liner parks that are only open from sunrise to sunset? Here in St. Pete the Pinellas Trial is only open from sunrise to sunset. So anyone who works after the sun goes down is screwed, as they can't use the trial as part of their commute.
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Old 07-09-11, 02:38 PM   #21
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In general, I'd much rather ride on a low-traffic side street with no bike lane than an arterial road with a bike lane. Unfortunately, our suburbs are so broken up with cul-de-sacs that it's hard to get anywhere without an arterial road. I'd much rather have funding spent to cut MUPs through the suburbs to connect the low-traffic streets.
While I'd prefer to ride on a low-traffic side street, I'd much rather travel using a arterial (or otherwise straight running) road. It's easy to get sick of traveling an 80% longer distance on winding side streets.

Of course, I'm referring to arterial roads with no bike lane, since bike lanes don't really exist in Erie PA. I know of only one bike lane, and that exists solely to service Presque Isle (recreational) traffic.
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Old 07-10-11, 08:47 AM   #22
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Bike lanes would be nice but I'll take a generous shoulder any day. I have a twisty section of road that is heavily wooded. If I "take the lane" I'm asking to be hit. Drivers are looking left to avoid hitting cars cutting the corners and crossing into their lane. I do it myself when I drive that road.

Wouldn't it be great to have those European bike paths ... no traffic lights ... no cars ... ahhhhh.
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Old 07-10-11, 09:02 AM   #23
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Bike lanes would be nice but I'll take a generous shoulder any day. I have a twisty section of road that is heavily wooded. If I "take the lane" I'm asking to be hit. Drivers are looking left to avoid hitting cars cutting the corners and crossing into their lane. I do it myself when I drive that road.

Wouldn't it be great to have those European bike paths ... no traffic lights ... no cars ... ahhhhh.
One day. All of us need to do our part and fight for them, and not expect someone else to do it for us.
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Old 07-11-11, 08:30 AM   #24
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I watched Global Trekker Saturday night, where the lady showed her tour of The Netherlands. That bike path looked nice and went all over the country.
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Old 07-11-11, 03:38 PM   #25
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My small town in indiana is putting in a new bike path that will be a great benifit to me cuz it will go right to my work. It follows some old railroad tracks that use to go throught the city also goes by 2 huge run down buildings. which i have no idea what they were. I should be able to bike my entire 5.41 mile ride to work and use the path the entire way. I will probley bike something like 7 or 8 miles when I take the path but it will be worth not haveing to ride with traffic and haveing to stop all the time plus I wont have to cross the highway the path will go under it yay!!! I cant wait till its done. I kinda what to see how far they have gotten. I plan on getting pictures or video of it.
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