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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 06-09-14, 01:56 PM   #26
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How come?
Well the shortest route part is because I'm lazy.

The major roads over minor roads is due mostly to expected driver behavior. In slower traffic/residential areas, you tend to have more sidewalks, traffic devices, driveways, side streets, and other forms of merging traffic. On a major road, I know most cars are going straight, most cars joining traffic are coming from well defined intersections or parking lot entrances, and if I'm on the major road I have a lot less traffic lights and stop signs. If I'm on the side streets, there are more stop signs, and lights that aren't timed for the side streets, plus a lot of driveways and other side streets where I need to watch for right hooks and people pulling out a lot more. Then you also have random pedestrians doing pedestrian things because they're less worried about crossing a side street than a 2 lane each way road. And, cars turning onto the side streets are used to less and slower traffic and seem to do more rolling stops, while when turning onto the busier streets they tend to re-verify before merging in due to the higher speed of cars and the heaver traffic.
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Old 06-09-14, 01:57 PM   #27
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It's always a matter of choosing one or the other. The other might not be pavement. It might be schools, police, or higher taxes, but every dollar spent here, is one not spent elsewhere. There hasn't been manna from heaven since we left Egypt.
I'm simply stating which of the two hypothetical choices I would make as a cyclist. Is there any point of bringing in other, non-cycling-related issues here?
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Old 06-09-14, 02:16 PM   #28
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I'm simply stating which of the two hypothetical choices I would make as a cyclist. Is there any point of bringing in other, non-cycling-related issues here?
I wouldn't have said anything if you hadn't added the IF I had to choose. There's competition for every dollar, so it's always a matter of choosing one of the other, though some might say they want both instead of something else, which would be equally valid, if they can point at what to sacrifice.

In any case, it's not that we're offered the direct choice, but we do have limited input based on who we put into office, and through public meetings.
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Old 06-09-14, 02:28 PM   #29
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I wouldn't have said anything if you hadn't added the IF I had to choose. There's competition for every dollar, so it's always a matter of choosing one of the other, though some might say they want both instead of something else, which would be equally valid, if they can point at what to sacrifice.
I added the IF part because that was my premise. If I could take both, I would, and I wanted to be clear what premise I made my statement on.
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Old 06-09-14, 02:51 PM   #30
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I added the IF part because that was my premise. If I could take both, I would, and I wanted to be clear what premise I made my statement on.
Yes, and I'd like to eat unlimited amounts of pizzas without gaining weight. But neither of us will get our wishes.

However you and I agree that better roads in general are a higher priority than bike infrastructure.
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Old 06-09-14, 03:14 PM   #31
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These were some that I posted in a thread in the commuting section, but I can't find that thread now.

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Old 06-09-14, 03:28 PM   #32
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I rather enjoy this street. Nice old buildings, lower traffic, 25 MPH speed limit. One way with two lanes.
https://www.google.com/maps/search/s...77caa629e5b512
Is the parking always on the left? That adds to bicycle safety, although I'm not sure what it does for pedestrians and people getting out of parked cars. Maybe they're more at risk, from drivers edging left as they pass bikes.
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Old 06-09-14, 03:36 PM   #33
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That is a nice street. It's like a lot of streets in my neighborhood with nice old buildings, shade trees, and lots of variety in the scenery. No need for a bike lane that I can see! If a street like that gets busy, everybody slows way down.
Around rush hour it gets busy, it's right downtown and by a college but in general everyone behaves. Plus I have the Mary Poppins effect going on most of the time, LOL.

This kind of road does not need a bike lane, yes. Now the one I ride the side walk to get here.. that one does. Couldn't pay me to ride that one. Busy two way, narrow lanes and parking to the right. I've seen way too many accidents on that road to ride in that mess.

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Is the parking always on the left? That adds to bicycle safety, although I'm not sure what it does for pedestrians and people getting out of parked cars. Maybe they're more at risk, from drivers edging left as they pass bikes.
Yeah, for most of the road it is to the left. There is some to the right up further but not much. It's an old narrow one way but two lane road with a low speed limit. It's about as safe as it gets.
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Old 06-09-14, 03:43 PM   #34
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Is the parking always on the left? That adds to bicycle safety, although I'm not sure what it does for pedestrians and people getting out of parked cars. Maybe they're more at risk, from drivers edging left as they pass bikes.
Parking on left is safer for everybody because is reduces the frequency of doors opened into the street side. All cars have drivers, but most don't have passengers.

There's some thinking that drivers are smarter about opening doors into traffic then passengers, but IME there are more dumb drivers than there are total passengers, so parking on left makes sense to me.
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Old 06-09-14, 03:50 PM   #35
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I like to ride on local 4- and 6-lane roads (which mainly run east-west), with or without bike lanes. Although the traffic moves at 40-50mph and can be heavy, there are no stop signs and the distance between traffic light-controlled intersections makes riding more enjoyable for me. 2-, 4-, or 6-lane roads connect between the east-west routes, and enable me to plan fixed-distance workout routes in advance, as well as change them spontaneously. Good exercise is, literally, no more than a stone's-throw away from my front door.
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Old 06-09-14, 06:24 PM   #36
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Gorgeous view... but.. um rumble strips!
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Old 06-09-14, 06:31 PM   #37
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My driveway: https://flic.kr/p/f4Q7un

Some gravel: https://flic.kr/p/f4PZ4V

Some pavement: https://flic.kr/p/f4Q1DX

These were some that I posted in a thread in the commuting section, but I can't find that thread now.
How do I get my Flikr photos to show in a forum post any more? I used to copy the url from the photo's properties and use the Image forum button, but now Flikr has my pictures in a slide show format and that doesn't work any more.
Sheez... flickr really makes it hard! I would be tempted to post it to Facebook, then do a right-click, copy URL.

Edit... you can also right click on the flickr image and you'll see a menu. One of them lets you select photos in different sizes. Click on one, then right click and copy Image Url.


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Old 06-09-14, 06:36 PM   #38
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Yes, and I'd like to eat unlimited amounts of pizzas without gaining weight. But neither of us will get our wishes.
Well, it is impossible to eat an unlimited amount of pizzas to begin with, but I see your point.

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However you and I agree that better roads in general are a higher priority than bike infrastructure.
Yes!
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Old 06-09-14, 07:48 PM   #39
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Well the shortest route part is because I'm lazy.

The major roads over minor roads is due mostly to expected driver behavior. In slower traffic/residential areas, you tend to have more sidewalks, traffic devices, driveways, side streets, and other forms of merging traffic. On a major road, I know most cars are going straight, most cars joining traffic are coming from well defined intersections or parking lot entrances, and if I'm on the major road I have a lot less traffic lights and stop signs. If I'm on the side streets, there are more stop signs, and lights that aren't timed for the side streets, plus a lot of driveways and other side streets where I need to watch for right hooks and people pulling out a lot more. Then you also have random pedestrians doing pedestrian things because they're less worried about crossing a side street than a 2 lane each way road. And, cars turning onto the side streets are used to less and slower traffic and seem to do more rolling stops, while when turning onto the busier streets they tend to re-verify before merging in due to the higher speed of cars and the heaver traffic.
Good points. I prefer big roads if I'm in a hurry. But whenever possible, I'll leave a couple minutes earlier and take a parallel route...if there is one. I think it's smart of you to recognize the hazards of residential areas. We probably have a higher likelihood of accident on a small street, for all the reasons you mentioned. I imagine the consequences of an accident on a side street would be less severe, however.
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Old 06-09-14, 08:20 PM   #40
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Gorgeous view... but.. um rumble strips!
The rumble strip is only about 1 foot wide, and right next to the white line. That leaves about 4-6 feet of smooth, beautiful pavement to cycle on between the rumble strip and the ditch.


Incidentally, that road is Hwy 11 in Alberta between Saskatchewan River Crossing and Red Deer, the photograph was taken closer to the Saskatchewan River Crossing end. The shoulders are really good most of the way. They get a bit narrower in places between Rocky Mountain House and Red Deer, but still quite manageable.

Rowan and I have cycled from Red Deer all the way out to Saskatchewan River Crossing (260 km), and then down to Banff, on a tour. And I have cycled various parts of that highway many times with Rowan, my father, and other cyclists.


After having travelled and cycled in many parts of the world, that highway (especially the part between Saskatchewan River Crossing and Nordegg) is my favourite road for cycling. The best road I have encountered so far ... smoothest, cleanest, nicest shoulder ... light traffic ... gorgeous scenery ... varying terrain ... It is a joy to ride.
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Old 06-09-14, 09:20 PM   #41
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The rumble strip is only about 1 foot wide, and right next to the white line. That leaves about 4-6 feet of smooth, beautiful pavement to cycle on between the rumble strip and the ditch.


Incidentally, that road is Hwy 11 in Alberta between Saskatchewan River Crossing and Red Deer, the photograph was taken closer to the Saskatchewan River Crossing end. The shoulders are really good most of the way. They get a bit narrower in places between Rocky Mountain House and Red Deer, but still quite manageable.

Rowan and I have cycled from Red Deer all the way out to Saskatchewan River Crossing (260 km), and then down to Banff, on a tour. And I have cycled various parts of that highway many times with Rowan, my father, and other cyclists.


After having travelled and cycled in many parts of the world, that highway (especially the part between Saskatchewan River Crossing and Nordegg) is my favourite road for cycling. The best road I have encountered so far ... smoothest, cleanest, nicest shoulder ... light traffic ... gorgeous scenery ... varying terrain ... It is a joy to ride.
Thanks - the western end is not too far from the TransCanada at Kicking Horse Pass - do you think many people incorporate Highway 11 into a cross-Canada tour? (Or maybe they would if they knew about it?). Did you encounter them on your rides?

At Kenora, you see everybody coming through, as there is no other road.

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Old 06-09-14, 09:37 PM   #42
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Plus I have the Mary Poppins effect going on most of the time, LOL.
I don't get it. You fly over? No, seriously, I don't get it.
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Parking on left is safer for everybody because is reduces the frequency of doors opened into the street side. All cars have drivers, but most don't have passengers.

There's some thinking that drivers are smarter about opening doors into traffic then passengers, but IME there are more dumb drivers than there are total passengers, so parking on left makes sense to me.
Good points, although when I'm driving a car on a narrow street, especially a one-way street, I prefer parking to be on the right. I feel I can see around the parked cars better from my left side seat, because I'm not too close to them, and I can drift towards the left to give parked cars and bikes plenty of room, while still seeing everything to my left as the view isn't blocked. As a cyclist I could go either way. if the parking is on the right and some car is passing you, you still have to avoid the door zone. If it is on the left, overtaking cars might crowd you as they will feel nervous driving so close to left side cars, while sitting on the left and not having a good view around the front of the cars.

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Old 06-09-14, 09:39 PM   #43
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Thanks - the western end is not too far from the TransCanada at Kicking Horse Pass - do you think many people incorporate Highway 11 into a cross-country ride? (Or maybe they would if they knew about it?)
Not very many people know about it. The popular touring route is between Jasper and Banff on the Icefield Parkway. Saskatchewan River Crossing is on the intersection of the Icefield Parkway and Hwy 11, but most people don't venture out there. If they did, they'd go from the relatively heavy traffic of the Icefield Parkway, and the somewhat bumpy shoulders (erosion from freezing and thawing + traffic) of the Icefield Parkway onto the delightfully smooth, quiet and remote Hwy 11.

There are campgrounds along Hwy 11 (Rowan and I have stayed in a couple of them) and the David Thompson Lodge. As you get closer to Nordegg there are a few more small lodge-type things and a HI Hostel just outside Nordegg (where we've also stayed a couple times). So there is accommodation. And you can get food and a few supplies at the David Thompson Lodge, at a little convenience shop in the middle of nowhere, and at Nordegg. However, I wouldn't guarantee mobile phone coverage.

There is a good chance you'll spot wildlife along here. We've seen bear (grizzly and black), wolves (beautiful silver), and mountain goats ... and there are rumours of mountain lions.


If someone were doing a cross Canada tour, I would recommend going up the Icefield Parkway (it is beautiful), then perhaps back down to SRC and out Hwy 11 to Red Deer, then meander down to Drumheller and take in the badlands, museum, etc. But you would have to enjoy solitude and quiet.


The Edmonton Bicycle Club sometimes does rides from Nordegg out to SRC and back as a day-tour or hub-and-spoke tour. I rode with them once, and a group of us did a hike at Siffleur Falls, mid-ride.

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Old 06-09-14, 10:01 PM   #44
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I don't get it. You fly over? No, seriously, I don't get it.Good points, although when I'm driving a car on a narrow street, especially a one-way street, I prefer parking to be on the right. ....
NYC has had alternate side parking for street cleaning for decades, so NYC drivers tend to decent parkers on either side. I actually prefer when parking is on the right of one-ways, so I can ride the left side door free. It's also been SOP in New York for bicycles to ride the left side of all one way avenues (parking on both sides), which reduces doorings for the reasons I mentioned earlier, and keeps bikes and buses on opposite sides. A continuation of that philosophy is why avenue bike lanes are on the left.

Bikes keep left on one ways makes good sense all the way around because drivers tend to have better vision and judgments toward the left.
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Old 06-09-14, 10:06 PM   #45
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This is Hwy 93 between Castle Mountain and Radium Hotsprings.

Castle Mountain is on the intersection of the Bow Valley Parkway (1A) and Hwy 93. This highway crosses a bridge, goes over the TransCanada Highway, and then starts to climb. You climb for the next 8 km or so, with steep bits going up to 8% ... then you descend a bit, and bottom out on the valley floor where you follow the river for some time. You climb again toward the end, and then you are treated to a terrifying curvy 11% descent into Radium Hotsprings.

That photo was taken partway up that first 8 km climb.

This road is about 100 km long and remote. You can get supplies at Castle Mountain ... then again halfway along at Vermillion ... and finally at Radium. There is no phone service along the road ... no land lines, no mobile. So if you're going to ride it, you do need to plan ahead. I have never seen that road busy, but some people say they have ... all in the timing, I guess.

I've cycled it twice as Day 1 of the Golden Triangle Tour put on by Calgary's Elbow Valley Cycle Club (an excellent tour ... highly recommended), and several times as part of randonnees, including one night journey from Radium back to Castle Mountain.
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Old 06-09-14, 10:26 PM   #46
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We just had an interesting thread about protected bike lanes. But most of us are stuck with plain old streets and highways--or even prefer them.

So I was wondering, what kind of streets do you all like to ride on? What are examples of highways that are shared nicely by cars and bikes?

Pics are optional but nice.
I do most of my riding in or near the city center, i.e., in a part of town that was designed in the first 60 years of the 20th century or before. The older parts of town are laid out in a grid pattern, so quiet side streets are easy to find. These are my first choice. It's very pleasant riding almost wherever you want on tree-lined streets with very little car traffic. I also like 30-35 mph speed limit arterials with bike lanes; even if the bike lanes are poorly designed, it's still better than nothing, because then there's no jousting over road space with vehicles that out-mass you by thousands of kilos. Even without bike lanes, low-speed urban arterials are easy to negotiate with a little experience.

In the suburbs, the picture changes a lot. There are no through side streets, so that option is, tragically, not available. Fortunately, suburban arterials, even though the cars are moving 45-50 mph, often have gigantic 4-6 foot shoulders, some of which are even smooth and totally free of debris. In the case of very high-traffic, high-speed suburban arterials with no appreciable shoulder, I admit I retreat to the sidewalk if one's available. The sidewalk option is usually a lot like a noisy bike path, because in most of these types of landscapes, no one's using the sidewalk anyway. If there's no side street, no low-speed arterial, no shoulder, and no sidewalk, I won't go there by bike unless I have a very compelling reason and I don't have time to mess with the bus or car share.
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Old 06-09-14, 10:31 PM   #47
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This is Hwy 93 between Castle Mountain and Radium Hotsprings.
First of all, stop teasing the rest of us with beautiful scenery.

But a stupid question.

Usually long grades have two lanes climbing and one descending so slow moving vehicles can be passed on the climb. This road seems to be the opposite, unless it's a trick of the photo's perspective.

So is this a photo illusion, or is there a reason for 2 lanes on the descent side, and no passing on the climb?
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Old 06-09-14, 10:35 PM   #48
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I don't get it. You fly over? No, seriously, I don't get it..
I'm female, I ride upright and I don't dress like a 'cycling dork'. Long hair and an obvious skirt help. It's a thing.
Lovely Bicycle!: The Mary Poppins Effect?
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Old 06-09-14, 10:43 PM   #49
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First of all, stop teasing the rest of us with beautiful scenery.

But a stupid question.

Usually long grades have two lanes climbing and one descending so slow moving vehicles can be passed on the climb. This road seems to be the opposite, unless it's a trick of the photo's perspective.

So is this a photo illusion, or is there a reason for 2 lanes on the descent side, and no passing on the climb?
The two lanes on the right, separated by the white dotted line, are climbing away from me (the photographer) ... the one lane on the left is descending. At that particular location, the climb flattens a little, so I took the opportunity to stop and take a photo. Then it starts climbing again about where the trio of cyclists are.
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Old 06-09-14, 10:54 PM   #50
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The two lanes on the right, separated by the white dotted line, are climbing away from me (the photographer) ... the one lane on the left is descending. At that particular location, the climb flattens a little, so I took the opportunity to stop and take a photo. Then it starts climbing again about where the trio of cyclists are.
\

So it is a trick of camera angle. That makes more sense.

BTW -- there are a few roads not that far from here that present the same illusion to people riding on them. You'll be riding down what seems to be a long shallow grade, and struggling to maintain speed. I've gotten off and checked my bike a few times, but finally learned the secret by going the other way and coasting up.
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WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
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