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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    You say that as if it is a bad thing. It's not. If a thread is sent to P&R it means that it is available to be discussed by those who care about P&R issues, in whatever way they wish to discuss it.
    No, it isn't a bad thing, it is sort of interesting over there. However most of the threads involve everything but cycling. Furthermore, you have to apply to the forum administrator to go there, and some issues that that involve cycling and politics are unavailable to the average poster in this forum, for example.

    But to get back to this thread, I'm still not clear what thr OP means by "backlash" except for remarks by certain political commentators and politicians criticizing cyclists, and the removal of bike lanes in Toronto.

  2. #27
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    That would be unfortunate. The discussion tone on P&R is mostly snide, cynical, and poorly informed. In this forum, we are having a reasonable discussion, and several people have put a lot of time and effort into it. Obviously they (we) have an interest in the topic, and it is relevant to our understanding of carfree cycling.

    If this topic is not interesting to you, Machka, I suggest that you could quite simply exit to another thread. It's just as easy as changing the channel on your TV set to find a program you prefer.
    +1.
    Smug, car-bashing cyclist and public transport user.

  3. #28
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
    No, it isn't a bad thing, it is sort of interesting over there. However most of the threads involve everything but cycling. Furthermore, you have to apply to the forum administrator to go there, and some issues that that involve cycling and politics are unavailable to the average poster in this forum, for example.

    But to get back to this thread, I'm still not clear what thr OP means by "backlash" except for remarks by certain political commentators and politicians criticizing cyclists, and the removal of bike lanes in Toronto.
    I think the OP was referring to a pushback against cycling that's been noted by various bloggers and bike activists over the last few years, mostly related to public or private complaints about "scofflaw" cyclists and new bike infrastructure that they feel will make roads more congested for cars (although this almost never really happens). You do see a LOT of this in comment sections and at city meetings, for example. Some cyclists also say they get more honking and harassing from motorists when they're riding.

    Maybe the concern about backlash is overstated, maybe not. It's hard to know....it's based on observation with no practical way to quantify the amount of backlash....

    I take it you haven't personally observed any backlash in your community or in the media that you follow?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  4. #29
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    ..... Maybe the concern about backlash is overstated, maybe not. It's hard to know....it's based on observation with no practical way to quantify the amount of backlash....
    I think you've put your finger on the problem! I know I hear different experiences from people I know that ride virtually the same routes I ride. What is the calculation used to determine the safety/danger/risk of any traffic situation? (rhetorical question only)

    I know from riding with some other cyclist friends.... the areas/situations we consider as risky vary a lot. I haven't discovered any accident/injury/death reports that would relate to these attitudes ether.

    One small neighborhood that has had two cycling deaths in recent years (about half of all local cycling deaths) isn't considered dangerous by anyone I know. And I ride through that same area virtually dozens of times a year myself. Yet another area that is highly trafficked by both cars and bicycles... is considered very dangerous by most. Although in 20+ years... I can't recall even one accident involving a cyclist. And to honest... I pretty much avoid that area... as do many of my [cyclists] friends.

    Apparently.... much of the dangers are emotion or "observation" based.

  5. #30
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    Don't assume you are on the side of the angels
    Don't assume there is something wrong-psychologically or culturally- with folks who disagree with you.

    It is always the ATTITUDE- that brings the response.
    Small front is right in that respect.
    Maybe you get a negative response because you come off as a holier than thou whiner??

  6. #31
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    I think you are missing the phenomena known as the suburbs. West coast, it's all about the suburbs. The cities are where you go to party or work if you are unlucky, the burbs are where you live. The burbs are car heaven, and the SUV is king. I don't know any family with just one car, most own 3 or 4. Talking car free to the burbs is utter nonsense. The is no other transportation infrastructure, and no one wants one. Mass transit is for poor people, bike commuters are oddballs. Sure, cities are becoming more bike friendly and car free, but business has been fleeing cities and moving to less developed areas for decades, cities are becoming more homey neighborhoods - and less relevant in economic terms. Cities may become a new type of suburb, unique communities with a sense of self sustaining practices, but they are going to be viewed as some weird, alternative lifestyle choice for a long, long time. Get off my lawn!

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    I agree..... any backlash against cyclists or cycling... I think would be felt by all of us, me included. NOT just the passionate advocates. I think what the OP sees as backlash is simply the heartbreak of unfulfilled advocacy.

    Automobiles saved American cities.

    Now... in todays new decentralized world... cities are losing their value. The centralized lifestyles that were needed for human survival in previous centuries... is no longer required. No one needs to go to the city to shop as we did when I was a kid. Walmart and other big box stores saw a need and forever changed that.
    I don't think so, automobiles destroyed most american cities, and only now are they beginning to heal. The introduction of high speed autoroutes into the cities destroyed neighborhood life; Public transportation was neglected. Suburbs drew the middle class out of the cities etc.Perhaps the greatest destroyer of cities was Robert Moses of NYC. Read Robert Caro's biography of him.

    I also think you are completely out of touch with what is happenning in many cities not only in the US but other countries. In my area the cities, Boston and Cambridge , and the close in suburbs are seeing real estate values; while the outer suburbs see dropping value. A book that makes this point is "The Great Inversion and theFuture of the American City" by Allen Ehrenhalt, Random House. People want to live in cities; One reason is that the burbs are dull,dull,dull. There is a lot more to city life than shopping.

  8. #33
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    Post #2 and #3 hit the nail on head for how I feel.

  9. #34
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
    I don't think so, automobiles destroyed most american cities, and only now are they beginning to heal. The introduction of high speed autoroutes into the cities destroyed neighborhood life; Public transportation was neglected. Suburbs drew the middle class out of the cities etc.Perhaps the greatest destroyer of cities was Robert Moses of NYC. Read Robert Caro's biography of him.
    Robert Moses.... or steel? Wide-spread cities grew taller... because they could and because taller provided value. The filth of animal provided transportation was killing the populations of cities. Cars didn't come without penalty! Everything is a trade-off. But animal power could never have supported modern cities. Did the suburbs really draw people as much as people fled? I was even alive for the flight from the cities.... we weren't "drawn".

    Quote Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
    I also think you are completely out of touch with what is happenning in many cities not only in the US but other countries. ...................... People want to live in cities; One reason is that the burbs are dull,dull,dull. There is a lot more to city life than shopping.
    I don't think I am out of touch. I am well traveled and well read.... with a good understanding of history as well. And my life's experiences have trained me to keep my emotions separate from prevailing perspectives. I can read in your posting that you LOVE your city (cities)! And there isn't anything wrong with that. And you are not alone!

    Cities have a lot to offer! Very few people don't like at least some aspects of city life. What I've mentioned is value. You are the one that mentions higher/rising city prices as compared the prices in the burbs. And... yet you seem to miss how that is my very point. High costs/prices negate value... lower/falling prices add/equal value.

    The technologies that made cities possible are centuries old. The technologies that allowed city's to become the modern livable spaces they became.... are slightly over a century old. The technologies that have negated the value of a modern city is only a couple decades old..... and very much still in development.

    There are only a handful of American cities in a death spiral now. And no adult alive today will live long enough to see the demise of all city's. And... without a crystal ball.... who really knows what the future will bring to our beloved city's? I don't know or own the future. If I knew what was going to happen in the short term.... I'd have every penny I owned in the proper place at the proper time.

    But looking at today.... as a point on the known timeline..... city's have a problem. When looking at any contemporary project... large city's tend to have a problem with value. I am pretty sure that isn't news to ANYONE. The problem isn't because of change. Change is a given. The problem is no one has a clue as to what a solution might be. Turning a blind eye to new and developing problems isn't new.... it's human nature.

  10. #35
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    Some cities decline and never recover, some recover in completely different ways. I'm citing Boston because I'm familiar with it. It declined during the forties and fifties, then stabilized and right now is prospering with new innovative businesses. New York was on the ropes in the seventies, and now is back. One feature both Boston and New York share is that they have adequate public transportation and are walkable.

    Detroit is dying. It was once one of the richest cities in the world. Live by the car, die by the car.

  11. #36
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    I think you've put your finger on the problem! I know I hear different experiences from people I know that ride virtually the same routes I ride. What is the calculation used to determine the safety/danger/risk of any traffic situation? (rhetorical question only)

    I know from riding with some other cyclist friends.... the areas/situations we consider as risky vary a lot. I haven't discovered any accident/injury/death reports that would relate to these attitudes ether.

    One small neighborhood that has had two cycling deaths in recent years (about half of all local cycling deaths) isn't considered dangerous by anyone I know. And I ride through that same area virtually dozens of times a year myself. Yet another area that is highly trafficked by both cars and bicycles... is considered very dangerous by most. Although in 20+ years... I can't recall even one accident involving a cyclist. And to honest... I pretty much avoid that area... as do many of my [cyclists] friends.

    Apparently.... much of the dangers are emotion or "observation" based.
    The route that's perceived as safe attracts more cyclists, meaning there will be more accidents. The "dangerous" route is avoided by cyclists so there's nobody there to have an accident.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  12. #37
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
    Some cities decline and never recover, some recover in completely different ways. I'm citing Boston because I'm familiar with it. It declined during the forties and fifties, then stabilized and right now is prospering with new innovative businesses. New York was on the ropes in the seventies, and now is back. One feature both Boston and New York share is that they have adequate public transportation and are walkable.

    Detroit is dying. It was once one of the richest cities in the world. Live by the car, die by the car.
    Interesting perspectives! I have to admit... I am completely unaware of Boston's "new innovative businesses" you mention (please share). I know both NYC and Boston have developed as globally popular tourist sites. And that NYC is reaping in VAST amounts of federal dollars... keeping it going... unlike ever before in the city's history. Never before in history has NYC been dependent on federal dollars.... instead of contributing to the federal tax base.

    Detroit is being demolished street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood. Detroit lost it's value... and no longer can attract businesses or residents. The "burbs" didn't draw people from the city.... people fled Detroit's exciting bright lights, cultural centers, fine restaurants, and lake views. Most people left the state as well. This is also happening up and down the left coast.

    There is expensive cycling infrastructure built in Detroit... and more is being added... even today! But without value.... no one (except government) invests in an area (city/state/nation). Decades ago... it became cheaper to make automobiles in other places. Other cities, other states, other nations. People and business naturally gravitate to value.

    I believe all cities... (Detroit and the 21 other American cities like Detroit).... can still be saved. But not with old fashioned decline-stabilize ideas. Countless numbers of cities have collapsed. And most cities will fail.... sooner or later. Everything has a lifecycle... even a beloved city. I see no trends that are/will save NYC, Boston, or Detroit.

    We need NEW ideas that add value to traditional city's.... or the city's will disappear. Until city's learn to exploit what they do have... they won't be anything more than the pricey alterative.

  13. #38
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    I haven't read the whole thread yet. This is just a reply to the original question. Individuals are either interested in bicycles or they're not. That's all there is to it. Self interest will win out almost all of the time. Most people don't care about the environment enough to do anything about it if it causes them an inconvenience. It is that simple

    Politicians for the most part side with the car drivers. I doubt many of them care about the economic issues of automobile production and the trickle down effect of that money being spent on the whole industry. They just don't want to anger constituents who want to get to work in their cars.

    We as cyclists have demonstrated that we can survive without cars. Our friends and families have witnessed this. They know it can be done. They know about the money we save. They know about the health benefits. They might know about the environmental effects of less pollution too. What do they do? They drive their cars.

    To make a change there will need to be a shift in consciousness of the American public. There will need to be a certain amount of people switching to bicycles, public transit, and walking, before anything will change. Only a disaster or shortage of fuel will force the issue.

    Anybody pushing back against pro-cycling legislation, public transit, or pedestrian infrastructure is just someone who prefers to drive their car and doesn't want to be inconvenienced by anything else on the road. Logic doesn't enter into it. Until the cycling and public transit promoters can show the car drivers that our programs benefit them in a big way they will always oppose them. It is that simple.

    I learned something vital regarding education a long time ago. Here it is; you can't persuade, train, or educate anybody if they already have a preconceived notion or false data about something in their minds. The only way to change their mind is to do what is called False Data Stripping. To do that one must first find the key belief they have about the subject. Once that is confirmed then one can go about locating all of the true data about that subject. Then show it to the person. Is what is true different from the thing they already believe? If it is, this true data can help them to release their false and incorrect beliefs. Once they see that they were incorrect and now know the truth AND ACCEPT IT, then more logic and truth can be built upon the new true data.

    Good luck trying to do false data stripping on a nation of car lovers. Logic is only one part of it. Love and pleasure are a component that can't be changed. Only showing car drivers that they will benefit from changing their ways will they ever consider altering their transportation methods.
    Smallwheels

    Take my stuff, please. I have way too much. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit onto a large bicycle trailer. Really.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
    Some cities decline and never recover, some recover in completely different ways. I'm citing Boston because I'm familiar with it. It declined during the forties and fifties, then stabilized and right now is prospering with new innovative businesses. New York was on the ropes in the seventies, and now is back. One feature both Boston and New York share is that they have adequate public transportation and are walkable.

    Detroit is dying. It was once one of the richest cities in the world. Live by the car, die by the car.
    you think Detroit died by the car ?

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    Robert Moses.... or steel? Wide-spread cities grew taller... because they could and because taller provided value. The filth of animal provided transportation was killing the populations of cities. Cars didn't come without penalty! Everything is a trade-off. But animal power could never have supported modern cities. Did the suburbs really draw people as much as people fled? I was even alive for the flight from the cities.... we weren't "drawn".
    My family left the city of Oakland, CA when an interstate (I-580) was put right down the middle of our neighborhood. I guess you could say that this massive subsidy to car-bound commuters from the suburbs directly caused my parents to become... commuters from the suburbs.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    There are only a handful of American cities in a death spiral now. And no adult alive today will live long enough to see the demise of all city's. And... without a crystal ball.... who really knows what the future will bring to our beloved city's? I don't know or own the future. If I knew what was going to happen in the short term.... I'd have every penny I owned in the proper place at the proper time.

    But looking at today.... as a point on the known timeline..... city's have a problem. When looking at any contemporary project... large city's tend to have a problem with value. I am pretty sure that isn't news to ANYONE. The problem isn't because of change. Change is a given. The problem is no one has a clue as to what a solution might be. Turning a blind eye to new and developing problems isn't new.... it's human nature.
    There are also a large number of suburban tracts that are desolate and abandoned. The "value" of being locked into a long car-only commute with the likely prospect of increasing fuel prices was lost on some people.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    That would be unfortunate. The discussion tone on P&R is mostly snide, cynical, and poorly informed. In this forum, we are having a reasonable discussion, and several people have put a lot of time and effort into it. Obviously they (we) have an interest in the topic, and it is relevant to our understanding of carfree cycling.
    Hmm, I wonder if there are those members here on BF that have the same opinion about LCF as you do about P & R??

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

    As to the topic of the thread... I think LCF isn't something to advocate- either do it or don't. Live it without preaching about it and let people make up their own minds on whether LCF is something that will work for them in the here and now.

  17. #42
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GetOuttaMyWay View Post
    I think LCF isn't something to advocate- either do it or don't. Live it without preaching about it and let people make up their own minds on whether LCF is something that will work for them in the here and now.
    Why shouldn't those of us who are enthusiastic about it discuss the merits of this way of life, especially in a sub-forum that was set up precisely for that purpose? Is the car-centric lifestyle beyond reproach for some reason? Is this your only sacred cow or are there other topics we're supposed to keep quiet about so as not to offend your sensibilities?
    Smug, car-bashing cyclist and public transport user.

  18. #43
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GetOuttaMyWay View Post
    Hmm, I wonder if there are those members here on BF that have the same opinion about LCF as you do about P & R??

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

    As to the topic of the thread... I think LCF isn't something to advocate- either do it or don't. Live it without preaching about it and let people make up their own minds on whether LCF is something that will work for them in the here and now.
    +1


  19. #44
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GetOuttaMyWay View Post
    As to the topic of the thread... I think LCF isn't something to advocate- either do it or don't. Live it without preaching about it and let people make up their own minds on whether LCF is something that will work for them in the here and now.
    Thats fine. Nobody has to advocate if they don't want to. Still, the next time you're riding on a bike lane or cycle path, at least be aware that that facility didn't just magically appear, and it wasn't installed due to some government's unsolicited generosity.

    Every facility was installed because some cyclists advocated to get it put in there. Somebody did the grunt work of going to meetings, raising money, doing media campaign legwork, or at least writing a small check to help defray expenses. I'm guessing that somebody wasn't you?
    Last edited by Roody; 01-13-14 at 04:41 AM.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  20. #45
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    +1

    This response surprises me, since I have always considered you to be a tireless advocate for cycling for many years now. Oh well, sometimes our heroes do surprise us.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  21. #46
    Member rogertc1's Avatar
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    I'd say live how you want to or can. I live alone with my pups in a modest house. I have a corn field in my back yard. I have a bunch of bikes and lots of motor vehicles in my collection. I live in a rather large population area for Iowa. The public transportation is almost non existent and it is not bike friendly. Unlike a compressed population in an inner city we are spread out. Then you can discuss the 12 inches of snow and -10 below zero we have been having without the wind chill. I love my 4WD's.
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  22. #47
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GetOuttaMyWay View Post
    As to the topic of the thread... I think LCF isn't something to advocate- either do it or don't. Live it without preaching about it and let people make up their own minds on whether LCF is something that will work for them in the here and now.
    How convenient for proponents of the status quo! Anyone speaking out in favor of car-free living is "preaching" and should shut up (or be censored?), while motoring advocates should feel free to praise to high heavens the wonders of the motor car. Does "GetOuttaMyWay" describe your driving style, your attitude toward those you disagree with or both?
    Smug, car-bashing cyclist and public transport user.

  23. #48
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    This response surprises me, since I have always considered you to be a tireless advocate for cycling for many years now. Oh well, sometimes our heroes do surprise us.
    Me? An advocate??? Goodness no!

    I attempted a short period of advocacy (about 1 year) within a transportation program in a previous city back in the late-1990s ... and through that process I learned that advocacy is a rather pointless business. I haven't been involved in advocacy since.

    I cycle. I cycle lots. I don't advocate. I don't have time to advocate ... I'm too busy working, cycling, travelling, being active.

  24. #49
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Me? An advocate??? Goodness no!

    I attempted a short period of advocacy (about 1 year) within a transportation program in a previous city back in the late-1990s ... and through that process I learned that advocacy is a rather pointless business. I haven't been involved in advocacy since.

    I cycle. I cycle lots. I don't advocate. I don't have time to advocate ... I'm too busy working, cycling, travelling, being active.
    You've also worked hard to maintain an active website/social media presence and you've written thousands of posts about cycling on BF. Conveying useful information and a positive attitude about cycling is one of the main goals of advocacy.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  25. #50
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    You've also worked hard to maintain an active website/social media presence and you've written thousands of posts about cycling on BF. Conveying useful information and a positive attitude about cycling is one of the main goals of advocacy.
    If that's the case, then it has been an accidental advocacy ... not intentional.

    I just ride ... and by just riding, occasionally people ask me for cycling advice, or tell me that they're going to start cycling too. And I'm happy to help, but I certainly don't push it ... it's up to them what they want to do.

    I'm of the opinion that each person has to decide what type of fitness activity will suit them the best ... it might be cycling, it might be walking, it might be weightlifting or swimming or kickboxing. It's all good.

    Personally, cycling is probably my favourite sport/fitness activity ... followed fairly closely by walking. But I also enjoy hiking, canoeing, spin classes at the gym, weightlifting, yoga, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, swimming (or my attempt at that), bodyboarding, and the occasional attempt at a round of golf.

    This year, I'm hoping to try my hand at archery, rock climbing, pilates ... and maybe kayaking and sailing. I've even been entertaining the idea of learning to surf ... I enjoying donning the wetsuit and going out bodyboarding, but I'm not quite sure if I'm ready for the step to surfing.

    Sports Photos.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-...7625952974730/


    Remember ... I'm into the car-free/car-light lifestyle for fitness first. Walking or cycling or using other human powered transport is a good way to get from Point A to Point B and get some exercise at the same time.

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