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-   -   How bike friendly is your city or area? (http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/923160-how-bike-friendly-your-city-area.html)

tdsherman325 11-24-13 09:22 PM

I live in Abilene, TX, which might be best described as actively cycling-hostile. We have no bike lanes, no bike racks, and a grand total of two bike shops, one of which is absolutely terrible, and both of which are on the far outskirts of town. One is legally required to ride as far to the right as possible and allow cars to pass, and police are likely to pull one over and issue a citation if one is caught 'taking the lane'.

The city government did make a cynical attempt at a "bike trail" a few years back. It consists of a sidewalk with "Bike trail" signs that goes down a single street on the edge of town, connecting ACU (which has (a) a healthy population of cyclists and (b) some pull with the city government) with the zoo/park complex 3 miles away. That's it. Oh, and it has huge bollards in the middle of it every twenty feet or so, ostensibly to prevent cars from using it.

There was some talk last year of creating cycling infrastucture after a couple of high-profile accidents where cyclists were hit on major streets but it was quietly dropped as soon as the local media lost interest. They've rebuilt several streets since then and the promised lanes never materialized.

AusTexMurf 11-24-13 09:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spare_wheel (Post 16274625)
nice additions. although some of that is aspirational -- with the exception of the school bike train program.

one of the most confusing aspects of this cycling debate is the complete disconnect between mode share stats in yurp and the usa.

*in the usa if you use your bike in a multimodal commute you are not counted as a bike commuter in mode share stats.
*if you use your bike for 49% of your commutes you are not counted as a bike commuter in mode share stats.
*if you commute by bike to school/secondary school/college/unisversity your trip does not count in mode share stats.
*if you ride by bike to the store/restaurant/shop/park/movie theater/mall/bank/ your trip does not show up in mode share stats.

i really have no idea what pdx's 6-7% mode share stat is in european terms -- except that is much, much, much higher.

Agreed.
Underlying multi-mode issue you brought up….

*PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION options to make the environment work !!! Networked light rail and bus priority, citywide, would certainly be nice…

Fortunate that I was able to attend a Nov 12th morning presentation in our city council chambers featuring Jon Orcutt of NY and Roger Geller of PDX. Geller touched on many of your points in his portion of The Economic Case for Investing in Bicycle Infrastructure presentation at Austin city hall and later that evening in Get On Your Bike And Ride presentation with Orcutt and Nathan Roseberry of Chicago.
Good information for me and many others present, there…
I also really like how your pedestrian signals are timed contra-flow to the 12-16mph range of auto traffic, calmed via signaling as you stated, in DT area.
Also, the economic positive impact of removing auto parking in favor of bicycle racks and corrals in pedestrian/bicycle/civic/local business dense zones.

WalksOn2Wheels 11-24-13 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tdsherman325 (Post 16275361)
I live in Abilene, TX, which might be best described as actively cycling-hostile. We have no bike lanes, no bike racks, and a grand total of two bike shops, one of which is absolutely terrible, and both of which are on the far outskirts of town. One is legally required to ride as far to the right as possible and allow cars to pass, and police are likely to pull one over and issue a citation if one is caught 'taking the lane'.

The city government did make a cynical attempt at a "bike trail" a few years back. It consists of a sidewalk with "Bike trail" signs that goes down a single street on the edge of town, connecting ACU (which has (a) a healthy population of cyclists and (b) some pull with the city government) with the zoo/park complex 3 miles away. That's it. Oh, and it has huge bollards in the middle of it every twenty feet or so, ostensibly to prevent cars from using it.

There was some talk last year of creating cycling infrastucture after a couple of high-profile accidents where cyclists were hit on major streets but it was quietly dropped as soon as the local media lost interest. They've rebuilt several streets since then and the promised lanes never materialized.

1) In my description of Arlington, I forgot to mention the lack of good shops. There is one, Bicycles Inc, but it's so far on the southwest edge, it's practically Fort Worth. I've actually never been there, and currently work at a shop in Dallas. There is a small shop near downtown/UTA called Front and Center Cyclery, conveniently located on Front and Center streets. I'm actually good friends with the owner, and worked for her when UTA tried to run a student bike shop. It's definitely geared towards getting all sorts of folks on 2 wheels, and definitely not a full on shop with trek/specialized or anything like that. It's great, and relatively low cost if you don't have a car and just need basic work done, but don't expect a hydraulic brake bleed. And then you have Sun and Ski Sports, but I wouldn't rely on that one in terms of quality.

2) Regarding "taking the lane," Texas state law has a very different opinion of what I guess the police there told you. If I were in the unfortunate situation of living there, I would just take the lane and have a printed copy of the state law on hand for when I did get pulled over. To my admittedly limited knowledge, state law should trump any local ordinance. At least, that is what I would think...

AusTexMurf 11-25-13 07:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels (Post 16275567)
2) Regarding "taking the lane," Texas state law has a very different opinion of what I guess the police there told you. If I were in the unfortunate situation of living there, I would just take the lane and have a printed copy of the state law on hand for when I did get pulled over. To my admittedly limited knowledge, state law should trump any local ordinance. At least, that is what I would think...

All info reposted from bicycleaustin.info


Sec. 551.103. Operation on Roadway. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than the other traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, unless: (1) the person is passing another vehicle moving in the same direction; [or]
(2) the person is preparing to turn left at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway; [or] (3) a condition on or of the roadway, including a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or surface hazard prevents the person from safely riding next to the right curb or edge of the roadway; or
(4) the person is operating a bicycle in an outside lane that ishttp://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...lies/frown.gifA) less than 14 feet in width and does not have a designated bicycle lane adjacent to that lane; or(B) too narrow for a bicycle and a motor vehicle to safely travel side by side.
(b) A person operating a bicycle on a one-way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near as practicable to the left curb or edge of the roadway. (c) Persons operating bicycles on a roadway may ride two abreast. Persons riding two abreast on a laned roadway shall ride in a single lane. Persons riding two abreast may not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic on the roadway. Persons may not ride more than two abreast unless they are riding on a part of a roadway set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.
[back to list of TX laws] Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1085, Sec. 10, 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

  • Where in the lane to ride. (Sec. 551.103) You have to ride as far to the right as is "practicable". Of course, many of us feel that cars whizzing by us in the same lane is dangerous and thus it's more "practicable" to take the whole lane in such cases, but that's for the court to decide if you use that defense. There are exceptions when you don't have to ride to the right:
    • when the outside lane is too small to fit a car and bike side by side, or is less than 14 feet wide (4)
    • when there are hazards in your way (dead animals, potholes, etc.) (3)
    • when you're passing a slower-moving vehicle (1)
    • when you're going at least as fast as surrounding traffic (a)
    • when you're preparing to make a left-hand turn (2)
    • when you're on a one-way street (in that case, you can ride to the far left instead of the far right) (b)

It's perfectly fine to ride on a paved shoulder. (Sec. 545.058)

  • Two-abreast OK. You can ride two-abreast as long as you don't "impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic", and as long as both bikes are in the same lane. Otherwise, you're expected to ride single-file. (Sec. 551.103)

tdsherman325 11-25-13 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels (Post 16275567)
1) In my description of Arlington, I forgot to mention the lack of good shops. There is one, Bicycles Inc, but it's so far on the southwest edge, it's practically Fort Worth. I've actually never been there, and currently work at a shop in Dallas. There is a small shop near downtown/UTA called Front and Center Cyclery, conveniently located on Front and Center streets. I'm actually good friends with the owner, and worked for her when UTA tried to run a student bike shop. It's definitely geared towards getting all sorts of folks on 2 wheels, and definitely not a full on shop with trek/specialized or anything like that. It's great, and relatively low cost if you don't have a car and just need basic work done, but don't expect a hydraulic brake bleed. And then you have Sun and Ski Sports, but I wouldn't rely on that one in terms of quality.

2) Regarding "taking the lane," Texas state law has a very different opinion of what I guess the police there told you. If I were in the unfortunate situation of living there, I would just take the lane and have a printed copy of the state law on hand for when I did get pulled over. To my admittedly limited knowledge, state law should trump any local ordinance. At least, that is what I would think...

I should have said that it's 'de facto' illegal rather than illegal, as obviously Abilene cannot override state law. The local police acknowledge one's right to take the lane, but will issue a citation for 'obstructing traffic' if one cannot keep up with the speed of cars whilst doing so. Which is, of course, impossible. They told me they'd do the same thing to a motor vehicle traveling significantly below the speed limit, and that it wasn't specific to bicycles, for what that's worth.

In my case I was taking the lane to prepare for a left turn a block ahead and a police cruiser came up behind me. I got pulled over almost instantly. I pointed out the state law allowing cyclists to take the lane and he was aware of it, but told me that if I wanted to do that then I should be prepared to keep up with the flow of traffic, and that what I was doing was dangerous because he "had to slam on [his] brakes" and I "could have caused an accident".

I'm not the only one, either. I complained about it on facebook and heard from a few other folks in Abilene that had had similar experiences.

I'm not a lawyer, but I'm guessing that unless the take the lane statute contains language allowing 'obstructing traffic' or vice versa, the whole thing would have to be taken to court to establish which statute takes precedence over the other. I also highly suspect that it's less a matter of enforcing the law and more a matter of cops angry at cyclists for getting in their way and finding something to charge them with.

It's important to remember that Abilene doesn't really have any kind of cycling culture and although there are many cyclists those seen riding in public are almost universally those too poor to afford a car or too drunk to keep their license, so riding a bicycle is generally seen as something unfortunate. The reaction I usually get from people when I tell them I ride a bicycle to work is along the lines of "Oh, I'm sorry. That sucks." When I inform them that I do, in fact, own a car and ride because I enjoy it I get looked at like I'm some kind of alien.

On a positive note, I'd like to plug our good shop, VT Bike Stuff. They're very friendly and have great service and reasonable prices. If they don't have something you're looking for they will find it and get it for you. Tom, the owner, always remembers your name & what you ride and gives great advice.

Edit: didn't see AusTexMurf's post. Apparently it is state law that we have to ride 'as far to the right as practicable' and can only take the lane in limited circumstances.

spivonious 11-25-13 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AusTexMurf (Post 16276047)
You have to ride as far to the right as is "practicable". Of course, many of us feel that cars whizzing by us in the same lane is dangerous and thus it's more "practicable" to take the whole lane in such cases

That is misunderstanding the definition of practicable. It does not mean the same as practical. Practicable is essentially a synonym for possible, "capable of being done". That's why they specifically include the exception for narrow lanes.

AusTexMurf 11-25-13 11:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spivonious (Post 16276595)
That is misunderstanding the definition of practicable. It does not mean the same as practical. Practicable is essentially a synonym for possible, "capable of being done". That's why they specifically include the exception for narrow lanes.

For the courts to decide, then…
I do what I do…
My interpretation of hazard, safety, practicable when actually cycling on real ground is what I am going with.
YMMV

And that's why austin is much more bike friendly than other places in texas.
We are creating it forward, that way.
And, at least we have a district judge that is a car light if not free cyclist in our system.
And cycling specific attorneys, to boot.

Austin seems to have some momentum in developing wide public awareness/empathy/demand, cycling facilities, elected officials, city staff, and beyond, working on issues such as mentioned in spare_wheel's post. I hope that it continues to fruition in our local area. We have a local city council/mayoral election pending. Bit of a make it or break it opportunity for our community, for a while.
And spreads somehow, someway state wide via TxDOT.

Roody 11-25-13 12:10 PM

I live in a smallish city (Lansing, MI) so traffic is light and well-mannered on all but a few arterial streets. The terrain is flat but the weather could be better. As a backup, the bus system is better than most US cities but still needs much improvement.

On the plus side for cycling: new buffered bike lanes are slowly going in, a bike share just started, city planners seem to have a genuine interest in transportation cycling, the MUP system is generally useful and expanding, transportation cycling is steadily becoming more popular, public opposition to bikes has declined a lot.

On the negative side: police have wrongly ticketed commuters for obstructing traffic (incl. the lobbying head of a statewide bike advocacy group), most cyclists ride on the sidewalk even alongside a bike lane, networking of bike infrastructure is still poor, people think you're weird if you don't drive a car.

But, considering that automobile manufacturing is the major industry in this town, we're not doing that badly.

mstraus 11-25-13 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brennan (Post 16270551)
I'm happy to say that Oakland has really been stepping up the bike infrastructure. Thanks in large part to hard work by the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, I've been seeing new bike lanes and sharrows going in on key routes, and of course there is the crown jewel which is the bike path on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, along with a push to complete it all the way to San Francisco. Bike racks are generally pretty easy to find. Neighboring SF and Berkeley are also good on bike infrastructure and improving. BART, our regional rail system, has just revised their policy and now allows bikes on their trains at all times. (Previously, non-folding bikes were not allowed on certain trains during commute hours.) There has also been an increase in cycling as a percentage of all vehicle traffic. We are now in the top 5 US cities on that measure (I've seen us pegged at #2 and #4 ) and I always see other cyclists, even during short rides. Oakland recently hosted the California Bike Summit, and the mayor gave the opening speech. So, things are looking up in Oaktown. :)

Glad to hear that Oakland is doing so much! Would be very interesting if they completed a bike path all the way across the Bay Bridge. Seems like they would have to remove a lane on the western span to do this, or is there some other proposal?

Brennan 11-26-13 06:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mstraus (Post 16276877)
Would be very interesting if they completed a bike path all the way across the Bay Bridge. Seems like they would have to remove a lane on the western span to do this, or is there some other proposal?

There is a proposal for a "hanging" bike path that would attach to the side of the bridge. One article described it this way:

Quote:

The plan envisions a pair of pathways that would be cantilevered off both sides of the upper deck of the bridge. One path would be set aside for pedalers and pedestrians; the other would be reserved for Caltrans maintenance vehicles. But both paths could be shared.
I think the "maintenance" angle will help as a selling point. I've also seen it suggested that the paths could be used for emergency access, which would be very useful considering how often the bridge is clogged with bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Another selling point is that the bike path on the new eastern span is already very popular, even though it is incomplete. At this point, the path doesn't even make it to Yerba Buena Island, which connects the east and west spans. The problem is the new eastern span squeezes right next to the old eastern span at the end that meets the island. In other words, the old span is literally in the way, so it has to be dismantled before the path can be completed. This is predicted to take another 1-2 years. But that hasn't stopped people from riding the new path. This was so great to see, especially after years of hearing/reading naysayers proclaim that "nobody" would use the path and that it was a waste of money. Such objections seem to have fallen silent ever since this article came out:

Cyclists, pedestrians jam new Bay Bridge path

If the path has proven this popular in its current state as the "world's longest pier," imagine how much more popular it will be when it reaches the island, and how much more popular still if it's continued all the way to SF!

mstraus 11-26-13 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brennan (Post 16278963)
There is a proposal for a "hanging" bike path that would attach to the side of the bridge. One article described it this way:



I think the "maintenance" angle will help as a selling point. I've also seen it suggested that the paths could be used for emergency access, which would be very useful considering how often the bridge is clogged with bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Another selling point is that the bike path on the new eastern span is already very popular, even though it is incomplete. At this point, the path doesn't even make it to Yerba Buena Island, which connects the east and west spans. The problem is the new eastern span squeezes right next to the old eastern span at the end that meets the island. In other words, the old span is literally in the way, so it has to be dismantled before the path can be completed. This is predicted to take another 1-2 years. But that hasn't stopped people from riding the new path. This was so great to see, especially after years of hearing/reading naysayers proclaim that "nobody" would use the path and that it was a waste of money. Such objections seemed to have fallen silent ever since this article came out:

Cyclists, pedestrians jam new Bay Bridge path

If the path has proven this popular in its current state as the "world's longest pier," imagine how much more popular it will be when it reaches the island, and how much more popular still if it's continued all the way to SF!

Very interesting. I hope this is successful. I can see many people, residents and visitors, enjoying a full bike path over the bay bridge. Clearly the golden gate gets a ton of bike and foot traffic, and not just for tourists, but residents like myself commuting back and fourth.

smellincoffee 11-26-13 12:44 PM

Although my city is not bike friendly, properly speaking, its large impoverished population makes the situation cloudy. A great many people use bicycles downtown because they don't have the resources or perhaps the requirement for a bike, some not having a job to go to. When I biked to a downtown church, people were shocked because they see bicycles the transportation of the long-term poor. They asked if something had happened. There are enough quiet streets in the downtown area that someone could navigate on the street without resorting to the sidewalk, though most commercial designations are on a big six-lane strip that few who try to tackle on a cycle. There are a few useful stores downtown, like a grocer, so I think a carfree person could get by. Also, a lot of the stores on the strip can be accessed from smaller lanes that have residential cyclists: essentially roads run north from downtown to the strip, so one side of the strip is accessible considering a lot of the stores share those huge parking lot oceans. I've even seen kids run across the strip on their cycles. It'd be much harder to time with baggage..

partykingwes 11-26-13 03:40 PM

i live in southern new jersey, but my favorite riding is in Philly. New Jersey sucks for bike commuting, though I do it. Too much traffic, drivers think they're royalty that should never be inconvenienced, lots of punk kids in tuners messing with you on purpose, trucks, bike lanes consist of shoulders with a diamond painted on it and they dissapear when you/drivers need their guidance the most (at intersections).

But NJ is great for recreational riding. The trail system in Voorhees and other parts of Camden County aren't particularly useful, but they're fun, and they give me alot of options for little lunch time leisure rides. Alot are paved. There are fun places to take un-paved trails. There are the pine barrens - a big stretch of wilderness that separates NY influenced North Jersey from Philly cultured South Jersey. And the rural southern counties are nice and flat with lots of interesting agriculture to look at - cows and goats and what not. And you have the shore - a long, flat, and very scenic place to ride with lots of bike shops, lots of hot girls in swimwear to distract you, and lots of places to stop and get some refreshment.

Philly is an awesome place to ride a bike. I can't compare it with other cities because I don't travel far and wide like some people here, but I love it. I've had bad experiences coming from University City to Center City via Chestnut St during rush hour - its like an insane suicide run - but otherwise, I love zipping through the city. The bike lane from the art museum to city hall is functional, well thought out. Other bike lanes are more of the door zone type, but cars are pretty much conditioned to bikes in the main lane - even if it annoys cabs and others (though note my experience on Chestnut Street - its a bit over the top). There's an awesome trail that goes along the schukill river that's fit for road cycling on the fringes (too much mixed traffic in between), a trail out in Germantown (called Forbidden Lane) with a nice gravel ride and lots of trails branching off for mountain bikers. Flat on the east side of the city, steep hills on the west side if you you want them. Other cyclists are always decent to me. Tons of bike shops - and a thing called Neighborhood Bike Works, which is essentially a community resource for kids and adults that want to buy parts and work on their bike or build a bike up with some help. Center city and other hot spots like Manyunk or Northern Liberties have useful racks everywhere. Tons of bars, brew pubs, and coffee shops. Some bars even have air for your tires because they're right off a major bike route and want bike traffic - like the bars in Manyunk or East Falls. Great vegetarian options, which is great for me. Tons of cute hipster girls - many of whom are riding bikes, too - so hot. I love Philly, and I absolutely love riding my bike in Philly.

brita 04-15-14 10:12 PM

My current city has a surprising number of bikes sitting at any given bike rack considering, to me, how disconnected the MUP trail system is. A rich tapestry of most every kind of bike from svelte road bikes to beaters to luxurious roadsters. Don't get me wrong - Anchorage has many miles of MUPs and trails. Anyone not from the area might look at a map of the trails and become quite envious.

And it's lovely for doodling about in the more residential and low-traffic areas OR commuting from said residential areas into midtown...but if you were looking to safely run errands, commute to work, or do pretty much anything within the civic/job centers in an efficient or effective manner along the main travel corridors, you'll have to bring your mental and physical armor. Anchorage is fond of its freeway-style arterial roads, with posted speed limits typically 35MPH and up. The driver in me appreciates it; the cyclist in me dreads it.

The thing is, if you looked at the city's proposed bike plan and the map of proposed dedicated/shared bike/ped facilities, the city is full of promise. The culture here is blooming with physically active folks of all stripes (running, walking, skiing, snoeshoeing, bicycling, etc.) Even so, giving the primacy of cars here (being a city built up during the oil boom and the reliance on SUVs and pick-up trucks), I don't see giving up a single inch of 4-lane arterial roadway without a big fight.

I see many a brave soul bicycling here, either taking the lanes or trundling along the sidewalk...I can't help but think how much better it would be for this outdoorsy people to have that bike (and ped! the sidewalks are nothing to write home about, either) infrastructure.

sportsfan266 04-15-14 10:48 PM

I live in Wilmington, NC and while there are a good number of multi-use paths/bike lanes for a city in the South, it's still not very friendly for bikes. I think part of the reason is that neighborhoods are so separated from each other (subdivisions) so there are few shortcuts/lower traffic roads forcing you to have to bike on major roads which makes it dangerous. Also people here swear by their cars and there aren't many bikers so they don't know how to deal with them. I've also noticed that many of the bikers around here aren't aware of the proper rules - I saw somebody today biking the wrong way down a major urban street! (again it's a car-driven society around here) I work for the DOT but I don't have any say in the design of some of these roads or planning - wish I did but for now I'm just figuring out asphalt calculations :)

Northwestrider 04-15-14 11:14 PM

Tacoma WA. is ok, but not particularly friendly to bikes. a few lanes is about it. A couple of MUPS.

FBinNY 04-15-14 11:41 PM

A question.

Apparently cities are rated for bike friendliness based on the amount of bike specific infrastructure. So if they then pass laws that cyclists must use that infrastructure in lieu of the main roadway, is that also a friendly act?

I ask because there's widespread support for infrastructure, but seems to be opposition to must use laws. I don't have a problem with that and see the dichotomy, but have a strong feeling that the two are or will be linked in the minds of those who write laws, and the first will inexorably lead to the second.

TransitBiker 04-16-14 02:02 AM

Not at all. You really gotta be very assertive on the road around here, because people don't know how to drive on top of the area not being bike friendly.

I've been involved in efforts to create complete streets, and cyclist awareness, but people are addicted to their cars.

- Andy

WestPablo 04-16-14 08:21 AM

The Greater Cleveland area is just plain awful! :(

The motorists are very ignorant about a cyclist's rights and they simply refuse to share the road equally!

Besides that, the streets are totally crappy! Cleveland is Pothole City! :mad:

work4bike 04-16-14 10:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 16675068)
A question.

Apparently cities are rated for bike friendliness based on the amount of bike specific infrastructure. So if they then pass laws that cyclists must use that infrastructure in lieu of the main roadway, is that also a friendly act?

I ask because there's widespread support for infrastructure, but seems to be opposition to must use laws. I don't have a problem with that and see the dichotomy, but have a strong feeling that the two are or will be linked in the minds of those who write laws, and the first will inexorably lead to the second.

Yes, be careful of what you wish for, i.e. separated bike infrastructure.

Here's an interesting article from London London's Plan to Move Cyclists to Side Streets - Feargus O'Sullivan - The Atlantic Cities

Excerpt:

"But is it enough? Probably not. There’s a worrying trend in "new" concepts for London cycling. Whether they hide bikes away in back alleys or give them the Robert Moses treatment on elevated "skyways," they’re all about ceding the lion’s share of the current road network to cars. Londoners are losing confidence in the current bike lane network – their naming as “superhighways” seeming increasingly ludicrous – after a series of recent deaths. But Mayor Boris Johnson seems unwilling to antagonize the road lobby by creating the sort of lane segregation that real safety requires."

mstraus 04-16-14 11:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WestPablo (Post 16675681)
The Greater Cleveland area is just plain awful! :(

The motorists are very ignorant about a cyclist's rights and they simply refuse to share the road equally!

Besides that, the streets are totally crappy! Cleveland is Pothole City! :mad:

Interesting - this article, What Are the Worst Outdoor Cities in America? | Travel Agent | OutsideOnline.com just rated Cleveland one of the worst outdoorsy cities in the US. One measurement seems to be bike shops per person, which it was poor at.

Hope that things are able to turn around. Is there a bike coalition or similar fighting for cyclist's rights and safety?

Pliny the Elder 04-16-14 02:49 PM

Long Beach is good. We have the beach path, LA river and more and more streets are adding designated bike lanes. Some of the main streets with a lot if traffic are kind of gnarly but that's expected. I work and Carson and it's a lot worse there. People look at you like your an alien for riding on the street.

assembly 04-16-14 07:23 PM

Calgary, Canada here. For recreational biking our city is great - it has the most extensive bike path system in N America at about 700-some kilometres (~435 miles). Most of it is in parks and/or along the river. If you live and work along the paths, it makes for a lovely, if not slightly longer, commute.

Otherwise, it's pretty hit-or-miss. The current city council and the mayor are trying to piece together a bike lane system in the downtown (where most people work), but there has been a lot of bickering in both ways. The biggest achievement was a recent two-way bike lane in downtown, and while it seems to be doing quite well, one lane is not a bike system. They also have a whole revitalization plan for a horrible stroad that leads into downtown, but they won't have those plans finalized until 2020 at the earliest.

I've also been noticing that they have been putting "shared bike lane" signs everywhere lately, especially in residential areas, but they don't even put in sharrows when they do this so I'm not sure what the point of it is.

As far as attitude goes - man, this is variable. I find that drivers USUALLY give respect on the roads. If you're on a main drag during rush hour though, or you don't look serious and look like you're just puttering around, people get impatient and pass you too closely and whatnot. Once I was in "normal" clothes and I got yelled at by some guy in a red sportscar to get on the sidewalk. This happens occasionally from what I hear from others as well.

Still, I find it refreshing that there are as many people who bike here as they do. Once I saw two people lined up (!) at a red light downtown when it was -20 degrees out. I kid you not.

I really hope that they go ahead with the bike lane program, but it's be difficult because people get so angry about it. And while I think most people don't like bikes on the roads, they give you a greater benefit of a doubt if you "look" serious and know what you're doing. There are people who love their cars here and are threatened and angry at bicycles taking away car lanes. Plus it's a city built on oil companies (even though they seem to support bikes too).

Anyway, that's my 0.02$ :)

darkadams00 04-16-14 08:10 PM

Cary, NC - Not a cyclist's heaven but commuting, shopping, and other forms of utility riding are possible on all but the busiest five or six streets (possible by teens and inexperienced riders that is...some folks will ride anywhere). My teen son rides all over town including shopping, barber shop, restaurants, and his part-time job. He put in over 30 applications by bike last summer and landed a job at the absolute closest business to our house--0.2 miles. Bikeability was one of his three criteria. My wife started riding last year, but she has adapted to most streets and will ride with me almost anywhere. By herself she rides the routes she is more comfortable riding, still managing to cover about 50% of town. This summer she will probably expand her comfort zone further.


I do wish there were fewer cul de sacs in the residential areas. That would expand the bikeability faster than more bike lanes and sharrows.

Cyclosaurus 04-16-14 08:56 PM

Didn't see anyone mention Chicago, so I'll go. The city itself has instituted quite a lot of new bike lanes and even bike-specific traffic signals downtown. It very much feels like bike culture is taken a firm hold, at least downtown and on the North Side. In the suburbs it's more spotty. Arterial roads can be harrowing to travel on, but the good news is that you really can get just about anywhere with a little bit of planning by taking side streets. I would put the majority of drivers as "bike-neutral". They aren't hostile to cyclists, but they aren't especially courteous. Being the midwest, there is a smaller but significant contingent of drivers who are actively friendly, especially toward families. Riding with my wife and son, people often wave us ahead at intersections and make a point of waiting patiently for a safe moment to pass.

I ride through the West Side on my commute when I bike all the way in, and that's a different story. I can't count the number of near-doorings, right hooks, people blindly exiting parking lots, children dashing madly into busy streets (I actually have very good reflexes which has saved me from running over multiple kids), etc. If you're going to ride on the west side, bring your defensive cycling in full or else.


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