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Old 07-19-09, 08:17 AM   #1
folder fanatic
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No Love For Folding Bikes On Trains

http://londonist.com/2008/05/no_love_for_fol.php

No Love For Folding Bikes On Trains

I never thought that I would see an article like this especially from the UK.

The critical point here is “.....But, tiny though they are, they (folding bikes) still take up space on a train that could be occupied by a person.....”

When any of you ever have a chance to visit Los Angeles, do make a point to use our heavy duty diesel fueled passenger trains or light rail electric powered trains with or without a bike with you. You will be blown away by the sheer “wild west” clogging of regular sized bikes 99% of the time everywhere you can cram them: bikes in handicapped & senior sections, bikes in aisles, bikes wobbling in time with the motion of the train, bikes in places where I would not even stand myself-even during supposely prohibited rush hours. And the bikes are usually accompanied by a surly, nasty tempered cyclist to boot. I welcome folding bikes myself-after all, I own 3 at present. Especially ones that are bagged or covered no matter how crowded the train is. At least I don't have to be tire marked or look at the mostly sneering superior bike displaying cyclists populating the trains presently. Or bother someone else with my own bikes marking them with their tire impressions or grease/oil/road grime. I don't envy the train personnel trying to control or at least herd these ever growing non socialized bike population.

You see, in Southern California, most people own cars and drive everywhere for many years. Public transportation existed as a spotty, limited service for the extreme poor and students since the dismantling of the electric street car trolley system many years ago. That means most people under the age of 70 have no recollection of how to behave on public transit of any type. People lost the ability to be crammed in a public place for very long. For the most part, they behave like they are still in their cars-because they can do anything they want in their cars. So the lessons of London is simply both a warning and a prophecy for us here.

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Old 07-19-09, 08:41 AM   #2
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Quit the cynical attitude dude and just enjoy your bike/bimodal transportation over there.
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Old 07-19-09, 12:47 PM   #3
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Or perhaps it's that, because california is so sprawling and car-centric, bikes are necessary for most people to cover the significant distances that they may live from the nearest transit station. Unlike the situation in England, many people live 10+ miles from the nearest station and need to commute daily.

Combine that with the fact that full-sized bikes suitable for long-distance commuting are easier to come by and cheaper than their folding counterparts, and it's a no-brainer that so many full-sizes will find their way onto commuter trains. It's only good policy to allow this, encouraging as many people as possible to use transit.
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Old 07-20-09, 06:20 AM   #4
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In June, I visited my sister in Irvine, CA, and was encouraged by how bikable Orange County is. I arrived on Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner and it had bike racks on each car, and I'm told that Metrolink commuter rail has the same. It would be easy to bike to the station (about 2-3 miles from my sister) and ride with your bike, even if the bike doesn't fold. Earlier in the trip, I'd been to San Jose - also VERY bikable, and also with similar racks on the light rail. Nice racks too - you hang the bike on its wheels and three or four (to be honest, I didn't count) bikes hang very much out of the way of the other passengers. I'd have to go in non-rush to bring a full-size bike on DC's Metro - which is one reason I have a folder.
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Old 07-21-09, 10:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
http://londonist.com/2008/05/no_love_for_fol.php

No Love For Folding Bikes On Trains

I never thought that I would see an article like this especially from the UK.

The critical point here is .....But, tiny though they are, they (folding bikes) still take up space on a train that could be occupied by a person.....
...............
Luckily our man in London, Boris, is a keen cyclist :-)

TFL sent me this link today - hope you find it interesting Folder Fanatic:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycl...witcher#beware

John
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Old 07-21-09, 11:31 AM   #6
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Here is the Portland solution - Bike Boxes.
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008...bike_boxes.php

Portland's problem is "right hooks", based upon driving on the other side of the road.

While they talk about 'protecting cyclists from cars', the real impetus for this solution came as the result of two accidents where large trucks making right turns ran over bike riders.

--------------------------------------

Just a bit of a response to FF orig post: I not 70 yet, but I do remember L.A. in the late 40's and early 50's and riding the Big Red Cars, too.

Three points about those times:
1) People took the street car to go "downtown" (downtown L.A.) to shop and they dressed-up to do so - very different than today with malls everywhere and our VERY casual dress...and population density was rather low compared to today.
2) L.A. was a 2nd class city back then. Everything of meaning came out of NY or Chicago.
3) You never saw an adult riding a bike. (I did recently find a picture of my dad sitting on my mother's Schwinn single-speed. He had bought it for her to ride to the local grocery store (which I never saw her do), since like most families, we had only one car.
There's more I could add, but you likely get the idea - L.A. was a very different place back then.

Lou

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Old 07-21-09, 01:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldable Two View Post
Here is the Portland solution - Bike Boxes.
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008...bike_boxes.php

Portland's problem is "right hooks", based upon driving on the other side of the road.

While they talk about 'protecting cyclists from cars', the real impetus for this solution came as the result of two accidents where large trucks making right turns ran over a bike riders.
<<snipped>>
Lou
We have those too Lou - certainly many junctions in my city have them. Of course, ours are the other way around as we drive on the left, and sadly, numbers of cyclists are crushed by left turning trucks and buses which swing in and drag them under as careless drivers turn left over cyclists on the inside. This problem in London at least has accounted for several cycling deaths a year in recent times, mostly of women riders who may be less bold about getting out in front of large vehicles and sitting in front of them. Obviously, it is dangerous to generalise, but most of these kinds of tragedies affect women. Maybe being less aggressive in general, they stand at lights and wait patiently. Whatever the reason, it is a very dangerous thing to do.

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Old 07-21-09, 09:04 PM   #8
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EvilV,

Of the two Portland accidents I mentioned, one involved a woman waiting for the light to turn green and was run over by a truck turning right as she started up, while the other was an overly aggressive male who was riding downhill and never thought that cement truck he was about to pass on the right side might turn right.

I'm sure there have been others as there are white bikes in many locations - the Portland mourning symbol for dead cyclists.

Just riding a bike seems to be the common link.

Lou
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Old 07-21-09, 10:03 PM   #9
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A similar article appeared for those living in the UK with similar sentiment. Everywhere you go, the cyclist is considered a menace who does not belong and it does not matter if it's a folder or full size bike. There will always be that 15% that does not want any folders at all on trains.
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Old 07-22-09, 03:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldable Two View Post
EvilV,

Of the two Portland accidents I mentioned, one involved a woman waiting for the light to turn green and was run over by a truck turning right as she started up, while the other was an overly aggressive male who was riding downhill and never thought that cement truck he was about to pass on the right side might turn right.

I'm sure there have been others as there are white bikes in many locations - the Portland mourning symbol for dead cyclists.

Just riding a bike seems to be the common link.

Lou
Yes Lou - I'm sure you're right. Good idea to have the 'Ghost Bikes' fastened to railings and lamp posts where these things happen. There are a few in London, I understand. Part of the trouble is that many drivers just don't pay attention. You see them going along sending text messages, fiddling with entertainment systems, or coo cooing to babies in child seats in the front. That one really pi**es me off. Run someone else's kid over because you can't stop gurgling at your own. I'd ban all these transgressors from driving on public roads. We sort of assume people have a 'right' to drive irresepective of whether they take any care or not. Meanwhile, people die when inattentive fools ride over them. It seems 'My right to drive a two tonne vehicle while acting like I'm sitting on the couch at home, trumps your right not to have your bones smashed by my vehicle smashing you to the ground and trundling over you.'
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Old 07-22-09, 07:20 AM   #11
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OTOH, how many times have I seen bikes ridden through stop signs and red lights? One guy recently ran a stop light, and was seen by a school crossing guard who yelled at him. He flashed a rude gesture and rode on. I'm not immune to stupidity either, but at least I acknowledge my mistake, apologize if I can, and try to learn to do better. If we don't obey the law ourselves, we can't expect others to do so.
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Old 07-25-09, 08:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclistjohn View Post
Luckily our man in London, Boris, is a keen cyclist :-)

TFL sent me this link today - hope you find it interesting Folder Fanatic:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycl...witcher#beware

John

I do & have saved it on my own computer's hard drive for future reference. When I do get a chance to visit the UK (especially London), I will sure to contact them for my need to get acquainted with riding properly in the UK. I do not want to be a “know-it-all” and thereby endanger some poor innocent driver(s) or cyclist(s) while I am there. Thank you, Cyclist John!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldable Two View Post

Just a bit of a response to FF orig post: I not 70 yet, but I do remember L.A. in the late 40's and early 50's and riding the Big Red Cars, too.

Three points about those times:
1) People took the street car to go "downtown" (downtown L.A.) to shop and they dressed-up to do so - very different than today with malls everywhere and our VERY casual dress...and population density was rather low compared to today.
2) L.A. was a 2nd class city back then. Everything of meaning came out of NY or Chicago.
3) You never saw an adult riding a bike. (I did recently find a picture of my dad sitting on my mother's Schwinn single-speed. He had bought it for her to ride to the local grocery store (which I never saw her do), since like most families, we had only one car.
There's more I could add, but you likely get the idea - L.A. was a very different place back then.

Lou
My 80 year old mother agrees with you. Although my deceased father would probably say that L.A. was not really a traditional city back then; more like a series of neighborhoods, districts, and smaller cities strung together-interconnected, but never really connecting with the red car and the yellow car running through these same places. By the time I was born (late 1950s), the trolleys were dying, suburbia had it's summoning siren call for the middle class to come live there, and the freeway system finished killing the old established neighborhoods that were as diverse and unique as anything before. I experienced a bit of the actual old Los Angeles with riding the real Angel's Flight (not that fake tourist trap imitation rebuilt poorly much later) on it's last day of operation (1969), the rapid building of any vacant lots with housing of all sorts, and my parents not choosing to runaway to suburbia. Now there is mostly nothing left of the Los Angeles of the mid-20th century-not even most of the people who lived here or even most of their descendants.

For more information on Angel's Flight (both older and newer versions) see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels_Flight

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Old 07-31-09, 06:29 AM   #13
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I call BS on this! The article linked to is over a year old, but that's better for me, because I was folder-commuting into London at the time, and I never felt resentment. If other passengers thought about it, they probably would realise that every folder is one less person continuing their journey on the Underground. (The Waterloo and City Line, a one stop service from to the City, is so busy it can take 5 or 6 trains before you shuffle onto the platform).

The problem is when there was a train into Waterloo is cancelled, or even reduced in length, then subsequent services become so crowded that no one can board ( http://andrewgray.smugmug.com/photos..._r6F2i-M-1.jpg without the pushers), then you may get some resentment from the people who can't board for the bicycle that is taking up the standing room of two people, but equally there is resentment for the people midway between doors, nicely spaced out.

The real problem is there is not enough trains for the number of tickets sold, which is a nice little earner for the train company, though I believe they can't schedule more trains as London Waterloo would need more platforms to handle them.
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