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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 03-05-14, 03:11 PM   #1
Ekdog
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No, protected bike lanes are probably not too expensive for your city to build.

In spite of what the naysayers love to preach in this subforum. Another of their myths bites the dust.

http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/e...xpensive-chart

http://www.sfbike.org/main/biking-by-the-numbers/
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Old 03-05-14, 07:07 PM   #2
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Google and Apple can do it from cash reserves , saved from tax avoidance schemes ..

they are filling the city with well off techies and pushing up rents and so the older residents out,
and so maybe the tax base will be bigger in SF.

\ then they can have that Young techie studded hip city to themselves .

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Old 03-05-14, 07:43 PM   #3
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Glad to read this
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Old 03-05-14, 08:32 PM   #4
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Even the most radical bike advocates never ask for more than five or ten percent of a region's transportation budget. Cars and transit get the other nine-tenths.
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Old 03-05-14, 08:41 PM   #5
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I wonder if protected bike lanes are a actually a good idea. Deciding that seems more important than deciding affordability.
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Old 03-05-14, 10:04 PM   #6
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I wonder if protected bike lanes are a actually a good idea. Deciding that seems more important than deciding affordability.
Good compared to what? And for whom?
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Old 03-06-14, 12:06 AM   #7
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I wonder if protected bike lanes are a actually a good idea. Deciding that seems more important than deciding affordability.
Whether or not they're a good idea is no longer in doubt in my city. Even the right-wing party and small business owners that once opposed them tooth and nail have had to climb down in the face of their widespread popularity and begrudgingly accept them.

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Old 03-06-14, 03:00 AM   #8
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Right out of the gate the chart is BS. If one traffic signal comes in at $280k, then there is no way one mile of protected bike ways can be done for $445k unless the protection is only against the oh-so-rare overtaking motorist between intersections. If the protected bikeway is going to offer anything useful, it's going to have to be signalized at each and every intersection (and have no driveways crossing it). Otherwise, it's just a dangerous trap. (Of course, separate signal phases for the segregated bikeways will slow everyone down significantly, which is kind of annoying.)

The few of these that have been around a while in the U.S. West have shown just that: they create the most dangerous intersections possible. The cyclists are pushed out of the normal scan zone for motorists approaching the intersections and have no way to control or even properly anticipate right hooks and left crosses.

The chart also loads up on notoriously overbudget projects. However, is it fair to call the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge a car project when a segregated bikeway is included as part of it? Why didn't they include the new Devil's Slide Tunnel, which is converting a section of Hwy 1 into a bikeway?

Anyway, the primary reason protected bikeways are not being built is not cost. They are not being built because traffic engineers are loathe to give over road space to bikes (and peds) that could be used to either move or park cars. From my saddle, I'd rather remove the on street parking and get properly wide bike lanes without door zones than fight for segregation. It's the same fight, but one of that involves traffic vs nontraffic rather than pitting one form of traffic against a different and, currently, more popular form. We're on much firmer traffic engineering ground when we argue for traffic over parking on the right of way, so that's a more winnable fight, IMO.

On a related note: I feel that the folks who are pushing for segregation are really doing cyclists a disservice. It implies that the road is too dangerous a place for people to be riding bikes. Good luck making things happen while you are scaring people away from riding.
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Old 03-06-14, 03:12 AM   #9
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I don't have an opinion on whether a protected bike lane is a good idea or not, but I agree with the previous poster - this economic analysis is stupidly contrived and nonsensical.

- Mark
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Old 03-06-14, 03:43 AM   #10
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I don't have an opinion on whether a protected bike lane is a good idea or not, but I agree with the previous poster - this economic analysis is stupidly contrived and nonsensical.

- Mark
Can you provide a link to a better analysis--or at least some reasons to believe that this one is "contrived and nonsensical". I'm not trying to put you on the spot...just wondering the reasons for your strong opinion.
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Old 03-06-14, 05:44 AM   #11
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On a related note: I feel that the folks who are pushing for segregation are really doing cyclists a disservice. It implies that the road is too dangerous a place for people to be riding bikes. Good luck making things happen while you are scaring people away from riding.
Cycling increased tenfold over here after segregated facilities were built.

http://lcc.org.uk/pages/seville-goes-dutch

Nor did cycling become more dangerous. To the contrary, it became much safer.

http://bicicletas.us.es/?p=4215
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Old 03-06-14, 09:32 AM   #12
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On a related note: I feel that the folks who are pushing for segregation are really doing cyclists a disservice. It implies that the road is too dangerous a place for people to be riding bikes.
I agree. So many people say "same road, same rules" and advocate for equal rights and access to the roads; however, many of those same people turn around and demand separate facilities. How one can argue for equal rights only to ask for special treatment is beyond me.
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Old 03-06-14, 12:30 PM   #13
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I agree. So many people say "same road, same rules" and advocate for equal rights and access to the roads; however, many of those same people turn around and demand separate facilities. How one can argue for equal rights only to ask for special treatment is beyond me.
Are pedestrians who want sidewalks "asking for special treatment"?
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Old 03-06-14, 01:49 PM   #14
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Are pedestrians who want sidewalks "asking for special treatment"?
I don't see where you are going with your question. Comparing cyclists to pedestrians is like comparing apples to oranges. Pedestrians don't assert a right to walk down the center of a travel lane. Cyclists generally do assert such a right. It's this assertion of a right to use the travel lane that I find inconsistent with seeking separate lanes for bicycles. If I want equal rights to the travel lane, I want to ride on the travel lane. I don't want to ride on a separate lane.

That said, I don't really feel like arguing about it. I merely wanted to throw my two cents in on the matter. It's quite obvious that you (and others) will never see eye-to-eye with me on this subject, and I'm fine with that.

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Old 03-06-14, 02:30 PM   #15
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I don't see where you are going with your question. Comparing cyclists to pedestrians is like comparing apples to oranges. Pedestrians don't assert a right to walk down the center of a travel lane. Cyclists generally do assert such a right. It's this assertion of a right to use the travel lane that I find inconsistent with seeking separate lanes for bicycles. If I want equal rights to the travel lane, I want to ride on the travel lane. I don't want to ride on a separate lane.

That said, I don't really feel like arguing about it. I merely wanted to throw my two cents in on the matter. It's quite obvious that you (and others) will never see eye-to-eye with me on this subject, and I'm fine with that.
Nice to start something and then announce that you're not going to respond. After all, this is a "discussion" board, and it takes two (or more) viewpoints to have an interesting discussion.

I actually agree with you that I want to have the right to ride down the middle of the busy traffic lane. I agree there's a risk (but not a certainty) that that right will be limited if protected bike lanes become common. OTOH, I think that the vast majority of cyclists want the bike features. Even more important, I think a lot of potential cyclists want these features. I think protected infrastructure is the only way to attract more people to cycling.
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Old 03-06-14, 05:21 PM   #16
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Nice to start something and then announce that you're not going to respond. After all, this is a "discussion" board, and it takes two (or more) viewpoints to have an interesting discussion.
I never said that I would not respond. I said that I wasn't going to argue about it. Civilly discussing a subject is one thing, but anyone who has been reading BikeForums for some time will know that the words "argument" and "discussion" are often thought of as interchangeable.

Also, I never intended to "start" anything. If that is how my original post came off, I apologize.

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I actually agree with you that I want to have the right to ride down the middle of the busy traffic lane. I agree there's a risk (but not a certainty) that that right will be limited if protected bike lanes become common. OTOH, I think that the vast majority of cyclists want the bike features. Even more important, I think a lot of potential cyclists want these features. I think protected infrastructure is the only way to attract more people to cycling.
You and I are definitely in agreement on the issue.
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Old 03-06-14, 05:49 PM   #17
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Are pedestrians who want sidewalks "asking for special treatment"?
+1
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Old 03-06-14, 07:04 PM   #18
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Not too expensive? Where I live, they can't even resurface the asphalt bike lanes once-a-decade... it's like the "gatorbacks" my trail-riding friends talk about. No, I don't like protected bike lanes. I ride on the road most weekdays, for exercise, and I like the focus that being alongside vehicular traffic requires of me. I like saying hello to pedestrians on the sidewalk. I like the abbreviated conversations with drivers or passengers at traffic lights. But that's just me.
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Old 03-06-14, 10:56 PM   #19
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I'm delighted to see protected bike lanes are on the rise in North America. Their time has definitely come.

http://momentummag.com/features/the-...ne/page-2.html

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Old 03-06-14, 11:05 PM   #20
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How are they in Seville? If I recall, they have barrier-separated lanes in parts of Spain...Valencia I think?

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Old 03-06-14, 11:25 PM   #21
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I'm delighte to see protected bike lanes are on the rise in North America. Their time has definitely come.

http://momentummag.com/features/the-...ne/page-2.html
By my house we have a compromise called a buffered bike lane. No barrier, but the bike lane is a full width (11 foot) lane, with diagonal stripes painted in the outer half of the lane as a buffer zone. It isn't great, but it does seem to stop drivers from using the bike lane as a right turn lane.
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Old 03-06-14, 11:35 PM   #22
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How are they in Seville? If I recall, they have barrier-separated lanes in parts of Spain...Valencia I think?

M.
Some are separated by bollards, some by a row of parked cars, some by fences... Here's an article with some nice photographs of some of the different barriers that are being used around the world, including a couple of photos of ours.

http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/e...e-lanes-photos
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Old 03-06-14, 11:37 PM   #23
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By my house we have a compromise called a buffered bike lane. No barrier, but the bike lane is a full width (11 foot) lane, with diagonal stripes painted in the outer half of the lane as a buffer zone. It isn't great, but it does seem to stop drivers from using the bike lane as a right turn lane.
Wow, eleven feet wide! That must be nice.
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Old 03-07-14, 01:21 PM   #24
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Can you provide a link to a better analysis--or at least some reasons to believe that this one is "contrived and nonsensical". I'm not trying to put you on the spot...just wondering the reasons for your strong opinion.
Sorry, I can't provide a better analysis. My comment is more or less a common sense one - if you're going to compare costs of things, they have to be put on somewhat of a common basis - comparing a mile of arterial bridge that essentially keeps a city running can't be equated to a mile of bicycle safety enhancements as the two projects serve entirely different priorities. If you're just wanting to point out how ridiculously expensive some things are, might as well use B2 bombers. Yes, a single B2 bomber costs $2B and a mile of protected bikeway costs $500K. Does this prove that bikeways are "not too expensive?" Of course not.

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Old 03-07-14, 02:18 PM   #25
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Sorry, I can't provide a better analysis. My comment is more or less a common sense one - if you're going to compare costs of things, they have to be put on somewhat of a common basis - comparing a mile of arterial bridge that essentially keeps a city running can't be equated to a mile of bicycle safety enhancements as the two projects serve entirely different priorities. If you're just wanting to point out how ridiculously expensive some things are, might as well use B2 bombers. Yes, a single B2 bomber costs $2B and a mile of protected bikeway costs $500K. Does this prove that bikeways are "not too expensive?" Of course not.

- Mark
Good point. Thanks for explaining it in more detail. I think you're right that one must be very careful when comparing various types of projects. However, if expanded bike infrastructure actually does result in a significant switch from cars to bikes, comparisons can be made. There are currently 15 cities with bike mode shares of 25% or greater, up to 55%. Cost benefits of bike infrastructure at those levels of ridership are surely significant and can be directly compared to costs of car infrastructure.

In many cases, adding more car infrastructure increases traffic gridlock, adding to the problem. And some cities simply don't have the room for more car infrastructure, so ultra-expensive projects are required, such as double deck bridges and Boston's Big Dig. I won't even go into parking issues, economic inequality, public health, and pollution--although these are other factors to be considered when comparing the relative costs of various infrastructures.
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