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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 02-24-14, 12:24 PM   #26
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But lanes -segregated bike lanes-waaaaay too expensive for most cities ,so.....
No, they're a great bargain. Carrying on with car-centric infrastructure is what will eventually break the bank.
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Old 02-24-14, 12:40 PM   #27
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No, they're a great bargain. Carrying on with car-centric infrastructure is what will eventually break the bank.
i love bike lanes.I only get to use them when we occasionally drive to Flagstaff AZ- and I love them.
In the long run perhaps they are cheaper.
But in the short run you have to convince a cash strapped city to "steal" street -and since bikes are seem as a "Progressive issue" you now have built in resistance from Republicans-roughly 49% of the electorate- and the dominant force in the majority of states.
Bike lanes are a tough sell in much of the USA-
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Old 02-24-14, 01:13 PM   #28
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Well, my bike is my transportation, so I ride around my area nearly every day. I see cyclists of all ages from teens to white-haired elders, and their ages appear to be pretty evenly spread across the spectrum. Many ride cheap bikes. Most look like they ride for commuting or basic transportation.

As for the perception that bike lanes are safer, it doesn't appear that many people believe that. About half of the adult cyclists I see are riding on the sidewalk, even when there is a good bike lane right beside it. Those who do use the bike lanes are people who would likely ride in the road if there were no bike lanes....
It's very similar here, 2300 miles away. Most transportation cyclists ride cheap bikes while wearing normal street clothes. They ride almost exclusively on the sidewalk or on our very nice MUPs. There is a subset--most appear to be 30- to 60-something--who ride nicer bikes and wear at least helmets, if not other conservative cycling apparel. This group mostly rides in the bike lane or vehicularly.

One time I was riding in a bike lane. I passed an older lady riding (a two-wheeler) at a pretty good pace on the sidewalk. She yelled at me to get out of the road. I slowed down to ask her why she wanted me out of the road. "Because you'll get killed, you fool!"
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Old 02-24-14, 01:48 PM   #29
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I'm car-lite, 51 yrs old.

I leave early in the morning (usually before 5am) to ride 15~ miles to work. I usually go multi-modal OR take a different route (17+ miles) to avoid riding on a couple of streets in the afternoons. If I need to go to the grocery store, about a mile away from my house (in the opposite direction of the office), in the afternoon/evenings I drive the car.
I would rather ride the bike but the driver attitudes toward cyclist and the lack of any infrastructure other than a busy two lane road with no shoulder and a 40mph speed suggestion is prohibitive.
I've tried it on several occasions, the close 'punish passes', horn honking, and yelling just sucks all of the joy out of it.

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Old 02-24-14, 01:50 PM   #30
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...there may be a bit of groupthink going on here.
On this list; ya think?
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Old 02-24-14, 03:13 PM   #31
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i love bike lanes.I only get to use them when we occasionally drive to Flagstaff AZ- and I love them.
In the long run perhaps they are cheaper.
But in the short run you have to convince a cash strapped city to "steal" street -and since bikes are seem as a "Progressive issue" you now have built in resistance from Republicans-roughly 49% of the electorate- and the dominant force in the majority of states.
Bike lanes are a tough sell in much of the USA-
We're not supposed to discuss party politics here.
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Old 02-24-14, 03:24 PM   #32
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As for the perception that bike lanes are safer, it doesn't appear that many people believe that. About half of the adult cyclists I see are riding on the sidewalk, even when there is a good bike lane right beside it. Those who do use the bike lanes are people who would likely ride in the road if there were no bike lanes. (Use of bike lanes, where they exist, is mandatory in California. Sidewalk riding is legal in my city but I don't ride there.) Our local bike lanes range in quality from flawed but mostly acceptable to excellent. Since the area is primarily suburban, cars tend to remain parked in one place for extended periods and the door zone is less hazardous than it would be in dense urban traffic. Fortunately, our downtown area does not have bike lanes, so you can just take the lane.
It sounds like your bike lanes are nothing more than painted lines. If that's the case, I'm not surprised to hear that many cylists use the sidewalks. In my city, our bike paths are separated from motorized traffic by either bollards, a curb or a row of parked cars. It's rare to see anyone cycling on the sidewalk.
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Old 02-24-14, 04:09 PM   #33
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It's very similar here, 2300 miles away. Most transportation cyclists ride cheap bikes while wearing normal street clothes. They ride almost exclusively on the sidewalk or on our very nice MUPs. There is a subset--most appear to be 30- to 60-something--who ride nicer bikes and wear at least helmets, if not other conservative cycling apparel. This group mostly rides in the bike lane or vehicularly.

One time I was riding in a bike lane. I passed an older lady riding (a two-wheeler) at a pretty good pace on the sidewalk. She yelled at me to get out of the road. I slowed down to ask her why she wanted me out of the road. "Because you'll get killed, you fool!"
Wow-older ladies on bikes scream at you? Order you off the road-call you a fool?? Lansing....rough town!

What happened to mind your own business?
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Old 02-24-14, 04:16 PM   #34
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We're not supposed to discuss party politics here.
Didn't know that-
just brought it up because money for bike lanes and taking a car lane would certainly be another litmus test for both sides
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Old 02-24-14, 04:22 PM   #35
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Didn't know that-
just brought it up because money for bike lanes and taking a car lane would certainly be another litmus test for both sides
Yeah, if politics creep in, the mods will swoop in and close down the thread or send it to the Politics and Religion subforum, so it's best to avoid the temptation.
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Old 02-24-14, 04:45 PM   #36
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Wow-older ladies on bikes scream at you? Order you off the road-call you a fool?? Lansing....rough town!

What happened to mind your own business?
This is the Midwest. We're friendly here. (She wasn't trying to insult me, she was trying to save my life.)
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Old 02-24-14, 05:47 PM   #37
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Yeah, if politics creep in, the mods will swoop in and close down the thread or send it to the Politics and Religion subforum, so it's best to avoid the temptation.
Good point-we get enough full contact forum-ing when we devolve into FRAP vs Lane Controlling
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Old 02-24-14, 05:58 PM   #38
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This is the Midwest. We're friendly here. (She wasn't trying to insult me, she was trying to save my life.)
Well it must have worked-since you are still here!!

So legal to ride on sidewalks?
Not sure what the law on that is in Jefferson parish-metro NOLA- my guess is it is legal, but that is a pure guess.
I have to admit-I occasionally-well several times a week-spend a little time- 50 yards or so-on the sidewalk
If it is rush hour and I see a long line of cars coming-when I pull onto the main drag I ride down(Sauve Rd) I will pull all the way across
ride 100 yards or so on the empty sidewalk
then get on the shoulder less road once the big line of cars have passed.
Speed limit it 25-but they are all doing 35 mph-all in a hurry-so the sidewalk is a better option than testing their depth perception or judgement.
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Old 02-24-14, 10:54 PM   #39
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So legal to ride on sidewalks?
.
Yes, except in the downtown area.

About five years ago I was living in an apartment in the inner city that had a good view of the intersection of two fairly busy streets. For giggles, I sporadically recorded my observations of cyclist behavior at the intersection for a couple weeks. Out of 103 cyclists, only 6 rode through the intersection in the actual street. Seven others approached in the street, but went up on the sidewalk to cross the street. The other 90 cyclists rode only on the sidewalk.

BTW, this was an intersection that I crossed in the street only, never on the sidewalk. It was an extremely easy and safe process.

My conclusion is that it wouldn't be easy to get cyclists off the sidewalks in Lansing, MI...if anybody ever wanted to.
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Old 02-24-14, 11:22 PM   #40
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Of course the real problem with bike lanes in cities is cost and space.
So bike lanes are a pipe dream in all but affluent cities or neighborhoods that are aiming for that Euro "human scale" appeal-which only the affluent can afford-rents go up as appeal goes up. Manhattan -San Francisco etc
But lanes -segregated bike lanes-waaaaay too expensive for most cities ,so.....
Only too expensive if the city has too few riders to justify cutting back on car space. Its sort of a chicken and egg problem.
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Old 02-25-14, 01:47 AM   #41
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It sounds like your bike lanes are nothing more than painted lines. If that's the case, I'm not surprised to hear that many cylists use the sidewalks. In my city, our bike paths are separated from motorized traffic by either bollards, a curb or a row of parked cars. It's rare to see anyone cycling on the sidewalk.
We do have some fully separated infrastructure, but most of it is bridges over freeways. (I'm not counting the MUPs that exist primarily for recreation in this.) Most of our local bike lanes are painted lines, although the newest ones are pretty elaborate painted lines.
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Old 02-25-14, 07:01 AM   #42
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Only too expensive if the city has too few riders to justify cutting back on car space. Its sort of a chicken and egg problem.
Yes that is it.In many cities if you put them in they will get used.Of course they have to make sense-meaning entire commutes from areas folks will ride from to where folks want to ride too.

What do you think of trikes for oldsters and over weight folks? Standard trikes-of all types-are nice and stable-huge plus for older folks and for over weight folks-and for folks with osteoporosis(older females head that list-but older males also)?
I have never actually owned one-but I had to sell and ship one post katrina(very nice one-used went for $2000-forget brand dual front wheels,orange-shimano components). It was fun and comfortable. But it was kinda LOW- I wasn't accustomed to not having the good view of road that a STANDARD bike with upright riding posture provides(drop bar bikes-sorta negate that)
Bulk and weight might mean they just aren't practical-
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Old 02-25-14, 07:28 AM   #43
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Yes, except in the downtown area.

About five years ago I was living in an apartment in the inner city that had a good view of the intersection of two fairly busy streets. For giggles, I sporadically recorded my observations of cyclist behavior at the intersection for a couple weeks. Out of 103 cyclists, only 6 rode through the intersection in the actual street. Seven others approached in the street, but went up on the sidewalk to cross the street. The other 90 cyclists rode only on the sidewalk.

BTW, this was an intersection that I crossed in the street only, never on the sidewalk. It was an extremely easy and safe process.

My conclusion is that it wouldn't be easy to get cyclists off the sidewalks in Lansing, MI...if anybody ever wanted to.
So almost 90% ride the sidewalks in Lansing-wow- -no wonder the older lady schooled you You Fool!!

I can see the temptation of the sidewalks. Where I live the sidewalks are empty during the working day-and not used much ever.
Nice empty sidewalk just calling to me!
Downside is a few bumps lifted concrete - plus at least 1 driveway per 100 yards-hedges obscuring driveways and obscuring the 6 streets it crosses and cars are turning off Sauve- so the Sidewalk is slower and requires you be much more alert.
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Old 02-25-14, 10:02 AM   #44
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So almost 90% ride the sidewalks in Lansing-wow- -no wonder the older lady schooled you You Fool!!

I can see the temptation of the sidewalks. Where I live the sidewalks are empty during the working day-and not used much ever.
Nice empty sidewalk just calling to me!
Downside is a few bumps lifted concrete - plus at least 1 driveway per 100 yards-hedges obscuring driveways and obscuring the 6 streets it crosses and cars are turning off Sauve- so the Sidewalk is slower and requires you be much more alert.
Here we have driveways every thirty feet. Lots of trees mean that most sidewalks are uneven. Snow removal from sidewalks is unreliable, and snow piles obstruct vision for one-third of the year.

Yet people prefer riding on sidewalks to streets! (Although a lot more ride in the streets when the snow cover is deep.)

And what about the teenagers? They walk in the middle of the street and ride their BMX bikes on the sidewalk!
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Old 02-25-14, 11:39 AM   #45
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Yes-here and in NOLA proper-lots of trees-sidewalks are in bad shape.Guessing I'm almost twice as fast on the street-stopping looking cross streets-hedges-bumpy sidewalk-

Yes it is odd that folks in Lansing-adults- prefer the sidewalks.Just the "so much slower" aspect would put me on the streets.
I wonder if that is the case anywhere else?

Yeah the early teen boys-ride EVERYWHERE- wrong way on streets-sidewalks-they have no idea what the "rules" are.
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Old 02-25-14, 01:10 PM   #46
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What do you think of trikes for oldsters and over weight folks?
Trikes are a good idea for people are are really getting old and fragile, but who want to manage getting around and shopping themselves. My favorite trike company makes a model with an extra-small front "cargo drum" and extra-low standover height for that market. However I don't think anyone is going to go for a "fat mans trike"...
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Old 02-25-14, 01:20 PM   #47
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However I don't think anyone is going to go for a "fat mans trike"...
Least of all fat men (or women) who aren't already used to riding some sort of bicycle.
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Old 02-25-14, 02:56 PM   #48
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Yes-here and in NOLA proper-lots of trees-sidewalks are in bad shape.Guessing I'm almost twice as fast on the street-stopping looking cross streets-hedges-bumpy sidewalk-

Yes it is odd that folks in Lansing-adults- prefer the sidewalks.Just the "so much slower" aspect would put me on the streets.
I wonder if that is the case anywhere else?

Yeah the early teen boys-ride EVERYWHERE- wrong way on streets-sidewalks-they have no idea what the "rules" are.
As slowly as they ride on the sidewalks, they're still going faster than if they were walking. I think that's their reference point.

I've been walking when an older person on a bike passed me with a wave and an "excuse me". It seems like they're going so slow they have to wobble to stay upright--6 or 8 mph at most. Still, when I look up a couple minutes later, the slow sidewalk cyclist is far ahead of me, like a dot on the horizon.

And remember, even if they are old or fat:
  • they are exerting less energy than if they were walking,
  • but still getting some exercise.
  • They are sitting down,
  • they are having fun,
  • they are arriving at their destination faster--in half their walking time,
  • and they're saving money compared to car or bus.
  • Plus they're independent--not waiting around for a son or daughter to pick them up.


Actually, I think that list is how you "sell cycling" to an older person!
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Old 02-26-14, 06:21 AM   #49
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Trikes are a good idea for people are are really getting old and fragile, but who want to manage getting around and shopping themselves. My favorite trike company makes a model with an extra-small front "cargo drum" and extra-low standover height for that market. However I don't think anyone is going to go for a "fat mans trike"...
Trike guy-my guess is these aren't cheap-no Walmart $100 equivalent-say $150 TRIKES.
Just how much is a "good light" upright trike $800-$1000- more? The somewhat recumbent Trike I sold was $2800 new-Chrome Moly frame-decent shimano road bike drivetrain-can't remember brakes-whatever was "very good" 2005
Do any Trikes have retractable wheels-liftable-to make them easier to get thru doorways-and store?
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Old 02-26-14, 06:33 AM   #50
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Trike guy-my guess is these aren't cheap-no Walmart $100 equivalent-say $150 TRIKES.
Just how much is a "good light" upright trike $800-$1000- more?
Its not going to happen. Small market, expensive, stigmatized.

For what its worth, my two cargo trikes are at least $2500 each, and I doubt there are many quality options for much less.
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