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Old 10-25-03, 11:42 PM   #1
kevmetric
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City officials care aless about spending for bike roads and paths in the city

Considering the US Administration is spending 1 billion
USD every week, in foreign lands, in 1 year, I assume
that will amount to over $52 billion USD.

I believe $52 billion USD could surely help roll out
major bicycle paths in major cities across North America,
and the population would actually benefit health-wise
as well as cut by 95% the risk of collisions with automobiles,
buses, motorcycles and tramways.

Otherwise, as I stands now, taxpayers are paying huge
bills, and risking their lives every day, commuting on a bike
to work, and back home afterwards.

Are you ready to die, getting hit by a car, because your
life, as an American or Canadian, is worth less than
someone in a foreign land, because of political struggles
around the globe ?
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Old 10-26-03, 02:46 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevmetric
Otherwise, as I stands now, taxpayers are paying huge
bills, and risking their lives every day, commuting on a bike
to work, and back home afterwards.

Are you ready to die, getting hit by a car, because your
life, as an American or Canadian, is worth less than
someone in a foreign land, because of political struggles
around the globe ?
Perhaps you're being just a little melodramatic. I don't consider cycling to and from work any more dangerous than getting there any other way. Technically I suppose it could be called "risking my life", but the fact is that every moment of our lives is a calculated risk. I can hear thunder outside, I suppose there's a possibility that I could get struck by lightning as I type this out, could that be construed as "taking a risk"?

I know for a fact that most of the so-called "bicycle facilities" around here actually do little (if anything) to enhance safety, and as a consequence I don't use them. If there is a problem here, the solution requires more than just throwing money at it.
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Old 10-26-03, 04:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevmetric
Considering the US Administration is spending 1 billion
USD every week, in foreign lands, in 1 year, I assume
that will amount to over $52 billion USD.

I believe $52 billion USD could surely help roll out
major bicycle paths in major cities across North America,
and the population would actually benefit health-wise
as well as cut by 95% the risk of collisions with automobiles,
buses, motorcycles and tramways.

Otherwise, as I stands now, taxpayers are paying huge
bills, and risking their lives every day, commuting on a bike
to work, and back home afterwards.

Are you ready to die, getting hit by a car, because your
life, as an American or Canadian, is worth less than
someone in a foreign land, because of political struggles
around the globe ?
I asssume this is hyperbole. If not, then this is a perfect example of oranges and apples.
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Old 10-26-03, 06:23 AM   #4
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Having spent the last 20 years in a town with next to no bike lanes, I'm not certain a bunch of bike lanes would do much good. My parent's town, a bucolic University town chock full of bike lanes-- which are constantly occupied by joggers and baby strollers going the wrong way-- has done nothing to convince me of the need for bike lanes in this country. And despite the lack of bike lanes here, I have yet to have a collision with a car. I really don't feel unsafe, as long as I keep my wits about me.
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Old 10-26-03, 09:46 AM   #5
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The point was that making streets safe for bicycles to use as a means of transportation isn't a priority of the government. We may not agree that bicycle paths are the answer, but surely everyone can agree that cities/suburb streets could be made a lot safer for biking. This would encourage more people to drop their autos. In that case, one of the answers would in fact be, "more money thrown at biking" as opposed to throwing money away to foreign countries. I don't think we need $52 billion, but more would definitely be better. This issue has been a recurrent them of the forums, so I'm not sure I have much else to add, except to partially agree with kevmetric.
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Old 10-26-03, 04:36 PM   #6
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Until you realize the significance of the number
of people riding bicycles and motorcycles colliding
with cars and trucks in the densely populated areas,
every week, some dead, some injured, some
recovering .... the issue of safety in commuting
by bike and motorbike will not show its true urgency.
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Old 10-26-03, 05:20 PM   #7
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A small town close to me received a grant to implament a Bike path though town to connect two other bike paths. What the cyclists got was a glorified sidewalk with stop signs at every driveway so the bicyclist/pedestrian/rollerblader must yield to vehicular traffic. I refuse to use the trail along that stretch of road. If I ride 10 feet to the left, on the road, I get right of way. It's really messed up.

Oh yeah, they spent the majority of the grant money on this elaborate stone wall to "welcome" people to our community.

You know what you call a 100 politicians at the bottom of the ocean? A good start.
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Old 10-26-03, 09:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevmetric
Until you realize the significance of the number
of people riding bicycles and motorcycles colliding
with cars and trucks in the densely populated areas,
every week, some dead, some injured, some
recovering .... the issue of safety in commuting
by bike and motorbike will not show its true urgency.
Then let's see a practical solution. As I said in my previous post, most of the so-called "bicycle facilities" around here has done little if anything to actually improve safety. I don't consider cycling on the road to be particularly dangerous, but then, I've been around long enough to learn how to do it properly - can you say the same about all the other people who get killed on the roads? A reasonable number of them possibly, but certainly not all of them.

It is my opinion that some proper education for all road users will be worth far more in the long term than any amount of money spent on "facilities".
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Old 10-26-03, 10:49 PM   #9
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The main obstacle to getting more people to rely on bikes for transportation is accessibility. Most neighborhoods and cities in North America are not bike accessible. Look at your average Joe-SUV suburb in the U.S. The streets, shopping centers, housing, and entertainment centers, and basic infrastructures are built around the automobile. Four lane highways, with busy intersections are dangerous even to people in cars, never mind bikes. Side roads are a little better, but don't provide practical routes for the utility cyclist. As I think others have said, the answer is clearly not a few dollars spend on half-assed bike trails. I agree that these“biking facilities” built buy politicians and ass kissers are not helping people on bikes. I think the answer involves changing the basic infrastructure of populated areas (takes money), and a change of public mindset (which will also take money). This scenario is, of course, fanciful because as Kev says, it’s not a priority of either the government or the public.

So for now, I'll continue to ride with all the cars
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Old 10-27-03, 12:35 PM   #10
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>>>>>>Until you realize the significance of the number
of people riding bicycles and motorcycles colliding
with cars and trucks in the densely populated areas,
every week, some dead, some injured, some
recovering .... the issue of safety in commuting
by bike and motorbike will not show its true urgency.<<<

Jack-Pot. This is never going to happen. Do you know why? Because bicycle accidents are rare!

The bicycle commuter is a rare animal on the streets of America or anywhere for that matter. Every morning, I listen to the radio for the weather and traffic reports. Without fail, whenever it rains or snows the trucks, cars and buses end up banging into each other. All the fatalities and police investigations that occure every day in the New York City Metro is incredible. The motorists are killing themselves by the truckloads.

This is why there is no true urgency in resolving the cycle deaths with the motorists. The real urgency is in trying to resolve why the motorists is killing other motorists. It seems like the race to produce a car with more horse power never seems to end.
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Old 11-22-03, 04:35 PM   #11
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Rather than spend money to build bike paths, politicians can save money by not building wide streets/roads in the first place. The wider the road, the more that people are willing to travel at dangerous speeds, regardless of the atual speed limit. The narrow the road, the more leisurely that people are likely to travel.

In Amsterdam's oldest neighborhoods, bicycles, cars, scooters, and pedestrians share roads that are often about the width of an alley in America. Legally, bicycles, scooters, and pedestrians treat these roads as two-way roads, whereas cars must treat these roads as one-way roads. The roads are pretty sedate, and the entire time that I was on the streets of Amsterdam, I never saw road-rage, reckless driving, altercations, or accidents. I felt very safe on these streets, safer than I feel on, say, a bicycle path/lane on part of a multi-line roadway, in, say, suburban Illinois.
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Old 11-22-03, 07:44 PM   #12
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Rather than spend money to build bike paths, politicians can save money by not building wide streets/roads in the first place. The wider the road, the more that people are willing to travel at dangerous speeds, regardless of the atual speed limit. The narrow the road, the more leisurely that people are likely to travel.
More specifically, a little more enforcement of those speed limits would have a greater effect. A friend of mine recently (i.e. last week) spent a few days in New South Wales, and said he was just amazed at the difference between there and Queensland in terms of the number of people who speed. A few permanent speed cameras and upping the fines a little (or a lot) can make a huge difference.
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Old 11-22-03, 09:12 PM   #13
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FTS -- why spend more money on bike paths? Just buy back everyone's car or truck and give them a bicycle instead. The street infrastructure for bicycling already exists, why build a bunch of new unnecessary paths? Once the dangerous motor vehicles are gone, bicycling and walking will be much more pleasant activities!
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Old 11-23-03, 06:38 AM   #14
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I made a discovery last week. As it turns out, the town where I live repaved the main street which is a two way fairly narrow road. After the work was done, I found the road was actually safer to ride on! WHY? They did not put the dotted line down the middle separating traffic.

I've always held the belief that lines down the street cause the motorists to go faster. If you put a bike line on a busy street, the motorist will zoom past you since he/she expects you to maintain that lane at all costs.

I've found that when there is NO line down the middle of the street, the motorist perception of horizontal distance is lost and thus they go slower! It's true. I think it's because once they see oncoming traffic, they cannot determine where those cars will be and thus go slower as a result to avoid an accident.

How does the cyclist benefit from no line in the middle of the road? The motorists who see a cyclists gives more space instead up staying within the line. A two way steet with a line down the middle forces the motorist to stay within that line at all costs and larger cars will miss you by inches just to remain within that line. It's true. Without the line, the motorist isn't afraid to cross over the oncoming lane if there is no line down the middle of the street, thus giving you more room.

Now that the parking authority put the line back in the middle of the road, I noticed passing cars are a lot closer to me than before. Just my observation.
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Old 11-23-03, 09:11 AM   #15
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More specifically, a little more enforcement of those speed limits would have a greater effect.
Of course, this would mean drastically first lowering the existing speed limits. If the speed limit on a given road is 45mph, and every car is driving the speed limit, pedestrians, cyclists, scooter riders, etc. have a very good chance of ending up seriously injured or dead if hit by one of them. In a neighborhood where cars all travel 25mph or less, a pedestrian has a decent chance of coming out of a colliision alive. Better yet, the drivers have improved reaction time so that they can actually more easily avoid hitting the pedestrian in the first place.
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Old 11-24-03, 02:03 AM   #16
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FTS -- why spend more money on bike paths? Just buy back everyone's car or truck and give them a bicycle instead. The street infrastructure for bicycling already exists, why build a bunch of new unnecessary paths? Once the dangerous motor vehicles are gone, bicycling and walking will be much more pleasant activities!
Maybe in Portland, but the street infrastructure does NOT exist outside of major cities. In modern suburbia, the traffic systems are engineered entirely for the automobile. Traffic signals, exits, entrances, and turn lanes are designed to allow cars to move fast. Lowering the speed limit on this type of road doesn't make sense for cars or bikes.

For example it wouldn't make sense for traffic on a busy four lane local artery to have to wait for a cyclists crossing through the center lane to make a right hand turn. The roads are otherwise designed for fast travel, why would anyone want to lower the speed limit just so a few bicyclists could be convenienced? I don't agree that the current road system in suburbia is suitable for cyclists.
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Old 11-24-03, 03:23 AM   #17
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For example it wouldn't make sense for traffic on a busy four lane local artery to have to wait for a cyclists crossing through the center lane to make a right hand turn. The roads are otherwise designed for fast travel, why would anyone want to lower the speed limit just so a few bicyclists could be convenienced? I don't agree that the current road system in suburbia is suitable for cyclists.
I commute on roads like that everyday. They're fine for cyclists. The problem is that too many people expect cyclists to use those substandard paths that they insist on building at every turn.
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Old 11-24-03, 11:06 PM   #18
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Maybe in Portland, but the street infrastructure does NOT exist outside of major cities. In modern suburbia, the traffic systems are engineered entirely for the automobile. Traffic signals, exits, entrances, and turn lanes are designed to allow cars to move fast. Lowering the speed limit on this type of road doesn't make sense for cars or bikes.

For example it wouldn't make sense for traffic on a busy four lane local artery to have to wait for a cyclists crossing through the center lane to make a right hand turn. The roads are otherwise designed for fast travel, why would anyone want to lower the speed limit just so a few bicyclists could be convenienced? I don't agree that the current road system in suburbia is suitable for cyclists.
So surburbia sucks, that we can all agree on. I grew up in suburban NYC and rode these types of roads on my bicycle all the time as a teenager. The trouble with motorists in the good ol' US of A is that they feel like they are privledged road users, and that cyclists are second class users, and they just refuse to slow down to share the roads safely responsibly with cyclists...this only means that society needs to reeducate the motorists, the sooner the better. I'm sorry, but building more expensive and unnecessary 'off road' path infrastructure for cyclists is not the answer. You personally need to go into a recovery program for your motorist-first attitude.
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Old 11-25-03, 01:51 AM   #19
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So surburbia sucks, that we can all agree on. I grew up in suburban NYC and rode these types of roads on my bicycle all the time as a teenager. The trouble with motorists in the good ol' US of A is that they feel like they are privledged road users, and that cyclists are second class users, and they just refuse to slow down to share the roads safely responsibly with cyclists...this only means that society needs to reeducate the motorists, the sooner the better. I'm sorry, but building more expensive and unnecessary 'off road' path infrastructure for cyclists is not the answer. You personally need to go into a recovery program for your motorist-first attitude.

I'm hearin ya. We need a large-scale attitude change in the US. I think that change in thinking would have to proceed any change in transportation infrastructure (whether you think it’s necessary or not). I'm going home to Northern Virginia this week for TG, god give me strength. Get Joe Twelve Pack out of his F-250, and Jane-YUPPY out of her SUV, and I'll start taking the lane.
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