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Old 04-04-01, 12:22 PM   #1
LittleBigMan
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What is the best, most modern, safest, cheapest cycling transportation system that could be built? Such a system would:

1) reduce trip times;

2) reach the most destinations;

3) reduce conficts with cars;

4) cost the least;

5) be easy to use;

6) be safe;

7) be easy to maintain;

8) reduce construction efforts;

9) use the least amount of land.

So, what is the best design for such a system? The roads we have. All we need are few basic standards for roadway design to accomodate cyclists. This is the best, safest and cheapest system possible.

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Old 04-04-01, 03:35 PM   #2
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Believe it or not, I think it's very, very simple. Just build roads that have a standard width of shoulder (say, 2 metres). That would provide more than enough space for all but the most erratic cyclists, and would be a hell of a lot cheaper than some of the stupid bike paths that they build.

Of course, there will always be some motoring primates who will resent us being on the road at all, but big deal, there are things in the world that upset me, too. Life isn't perfect, but I just think this is the best system.

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Old 04-04-01, 08:27 PM   #3
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Chris
I have a few roads with wide shoulders (paved), and it is the fastest and I think safest route for me to take on my bike. However, the shoulders that I think are so nice are ALWAYS full of all types of crap that I'm sure will tear a hole in my tire someday. Sometimes I would rather ride at a slower speed than have to navigate through rocks, nut and bolts, etc. Do you have this problem in Australia?
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Old 04-04-01, 10:46 PM   #4
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Yep, we do have a similar problem in Australia. However, foot/bike paths are worse in that respect as there is generally less room to avoid the objects that are there. What a pity some people have nothing better to do with their time than smash bottles eh?

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Old 04-05-01, 03:55 AM   #5
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A European medieaval city layout is ideal for cycling, lots of narow winding lanes, small blocks, shortcuts etc. Car speed < 20mph is enforced by thr road rather than the law.

Outside of city centres, a network of narrow country lanes works well.
2m shoulders! around here some of the roads are barely 2m wide from curb to curb.

The logical way to get from A to B is by a straight line, like our old Roman Roads, but after the Romans gave up and went back to taking long siestas, we reverted to the old network of winding cart tracks. These evolved into the modern road network. Most people seem to prefer to take a winding path to a straight one. Do you ?
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Old 04-05-01, 07:17 AM   #6
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The roads here in SC have shoulders, but they cut chunks out of them so when a driver goes off the road it makes this loud BBBBBBBBBBRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAPPPPPPP. For bikers, it knocks teeth loose.
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Old 04-05-01, 11:48 AM   #7
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Some practical ideas are just at our finger-tips.

One would be to convert old railroad lines to bike paths WITHIN THE CITY. Rails to Trails is converting a lot of defunct railroad beds to bike paths in rural areas, but there are many cities with defunct railroads within the city that actually go to the city centers. That would work well.

Another idea would be to promote bicycle use for people who come in from the suburbs. I know a lot of people who live in the suburbs and cannot consider a bicycle commute. Buses take too long with transfers and never get them close enough to where they want to go.

It would be good to have bus pick-up/drop-off points with locker style bike shelters. This way, commuters could ride a bike to the bus pick-up station, ride the bus into town, and then have another bike at their destination drop-off point so when they get off the bus, they can get off their bike and head straight to work.
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Old 04-05-01, 01:52 PM   #8
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I like the idea of converting old rail beds, also if we could convince the gov't to add a couple of feet to the width of roads and highways, especially if they're redoing them anyway. In Winnipeg here, they do have some curb lanes designated for buses and bicycles, but only during certain hours. They are signed, and marked by diamonds painted on the asphalt, although cars can use them for a right turning lane. Another thing they are experimenting with is buses with bike carriers on them, which fits in with Mike's suggestion for commuters from the 'burbs. Secure bike lockups would certainly be a good idea, I know some places such as the UBC campus have them. Stores downtown would benefit if they had bike parking areas set aside which were relatively secure, as security is a big concern about using bikes for shopping, business etc. when you get to your destination and have to leave them for a period of time.
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Old 04-05-01, 02:32 PM   #9
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I prefer raibeds to be used for their intended purpose, urban railways. You cycle to the station, take the train to the city centre, and walk into work. Around here you can take your bike free on most trains out of commuting hours.
Maybe we should be ripping up 6lane highways.
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Old 04-06-01, 09:05 AM   #10
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In the Philly suburbs, the roads are so narrow most do not have a strip on the edge and no one will give up 6 feet of land to create a shoulder. Also, public transportation just raised the fair again that put us again in the most expensive city in the USA.

Unfornutaley, people think open space is someone elses problem. The best way to get support is to hit them where it hurts (read money) and make gas prices comprable to Canada and europe. Yes I will end up paying more too but I would be safer cycling if more cars were off of the road.
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Old 04-06-01, 10:04 AM   #11
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You know, TriBob, it is a fun fantasy for bicyclists to imagine gas prices going through the roof and forcing more people to bicycle. Suddenly, the experienced cyclist would become a wise sage to the new cyclists.

We would have the numbers and the power to get the road space and facilities we need.

The world would be grand.

However, the USA economy is so dependant on low-price petrolium that a sudden increase to European petro prices would cripple the USA economy. Our rail system is antiquated and has been disassembled over the years. Our cities have been decentralized so that goods and people have to be transported inefficiently. The USA simply has no practical alternative than the heavy use of petro and the automobile society.

Let us not forget that most of the businesses to which we bicycle commute every morning are dependant on cheap fuel.
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Old 04-06-01, 12:43 PM   #12
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Quit spending money on bike paths, they're THE most dangerous place to ride by far, based on statistics from the National Safety Council, ( if memory serves).
We need 12 foot lanes and wider shoulders, better driver and Police education and tougher laws.
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Old 04-06-01, 01:54 PM   #13
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Yep, I agree. :thumbup:
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Old 04-07-01, 09:52 AM   #14
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I certainly endorse creating more room for bikes, and promoting public transit, however I agree with Mike that we still must remember how dependent we are on cars, trucks etc for most of our livelihoods. Somewhere there is a compromise between gas burning transportation and a bike friendly environment, where we can exist together. Not everyone can necessarily commute, shop etc by riding a bike, there are people who must use private vehicles in their work for various reasons, and there are still all those deliveries of goods that can't be accomplished any other way. By the way Canadian fuel prices vary greatly, but in my area are approximately $2.40 per U.S. gallon.
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Old 04-07-01, 01:34 PM   #15
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In North America, densely populated cities contrast vast expanses of open territory. No single transportation solution would fit all our needs.

In many cities, more people are finding living in revitalized intown neighborhoods, close to work and shopping, is better than suburban living with its motorized gridlock.

As urban sprawl continues to gobble up townships and meld cities together, excessive motor traffic becomes a quality of life issue. Automobiles in these areas are the chief contributor to smog. Driving time increases as driving quality decreases.

Cycling as transportation is a choice I have made because I enjoy it. I encourage others to do the same for the increased quality of life it brings. I also support
a return to shorter travel distances and I am against the problems caused by suburban sprawl.

But I do not see bikes replacing cars. I see bikes and cars on the road together.
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Old 04-15-01, 06:47 PM   #16
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Re: fuel prices.

Here in Australia fuel prices tend to vary. It's about 75-80 cents/litre in urban areas and about $1.00/litre in rural areas (some of which are 400km+ from the nearest town). Now where is the sense in that?

Personally I would favour some kind of "urban tax" on fuel prices to subisidise those who really need it, and make those who don't get off their fat *sses and do something.

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