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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 06-08-14, 04:01 PM   #1
Roody
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What streets do you like to ride on?

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.
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Old 06-08-14, 04:09 PM   #2
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County Farm Road is nice. It's flat, almost straight with low traffic and a wide bike lane on each side. Only one light, its on the west end of the road, and no stop signs. The east end is a county park.



https://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&client=firefox-a&channel=sb&q=county+farm+road&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ei=pt-UU_3ZMsPgsASa1IHgDA&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ
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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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Old 06-08-14, 06:08 PM   #3
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I like streets in the city that have narrow lanes, but more than one lane in each direction. I just ride in the center of the right hand lane, and cars can easily pass me by pulling out a little into the adjacent lane. I'm visible enough that they can see me when they still have plenty of time to get around me. (Our vehicle code says that cyclists can use the whole lane if it's too narrow to share.)

Heres a street that I commuted on hundreds of times, day and night, with no close calls or motorists getting pissed at me:

Google Maps Street View

(Ignore the construction cones)

Why I like this street:
  • I lived on this street twice, so I'm very familiar with it.
  • It goes to "important places" like downtown, the supermarket, big box stores, work...
  • The narrowness of the lanes means that motorists understand why you're taking the lane instead of hugging the curb.
  • It's easy for motorists to overtake you, meaning they don't get frustrated and make close passes.
  • It isn't exactly pretty, but it is interesting.
  • it easily crosses many choke points such as rivers, freeways and train tracks.
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Old 06-08-14, 08:40 PM   #4
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Old 06-08-14, 09:51 PM   #5
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Any quiet road, dirt or pavement .
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Old 06-08-14, 09:59 PM   #6
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I like to ride downtown on the weekend. Our downtown is "up and coming" and most areas are offices that are closed on the weekend. There are a few blocks that have unused city offices. Right around the federal buildings and city government is awesome on the weekend. There are few cars, some roads are one way others are two way, but most have 3-4 lanes.

Anyway ay you can take the lane and it is free and clear. And most of the pavement is really nice.

it it is like my own private road. (The government building section connects the two areas that are busy during the weekend.)
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Old 06-08-14, 11:49 PM   #7
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This is one of my favorite streets to ride on because I like the way pedestrians, cyclists and trams share space and because I remember all too well when this street was choked with loud, dangerous, smog-belching cars.


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Old 06-09-14, 12:30 AM   #8
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My absolute favorite are the logging roads that somehow got paved here in Oregon back when the timber barons forced the feds to throw a bone to the trucking companies that were hauling out all the trees. Some of them are basically fourteen foot bike paths along rivers that see almost no traffic (spotted owl issues curtailed the logging until recently). I've ridden over 150 miles at a stretch without being passed by a motor vehicle on these roads.





My second favorite roads have nothing much to do with the roads. I make a habit of counting the number of motorists that overtake me and also the number of cyclists I encounter when I'm out riding. Two weeks ago, I was riding near my old home-town of Davis, CA. It was just a normal Saturday morning 100 km ride, but I had forgotten how wonderful it is to see so many other people doing the same thing. I counted 140 other cyclists from the end of town until we got back to town and 35 cars passed us. To make matters better, every one of those cars went all the way over into the oncoming lane to pass and they all waited until the coast was clear to do the pass.

We did the same ride a few days earlier and saw a smaller number of cyclists (mid-week, mid-day, so only fifty cyclists). On that ride, one car went by a bit too fast in a 45 mph zone. Moments later, a California Highway Patrol car that had been going the other way passed us and then pulled over the speeder. The trooper was writing up the citation as we rolled by. Here in OR, we never see any traffic enforcement, so that was a treat.

I guess my favorite roads are the ones with a high bike/car ratio, even if I'm the only bike, where the motorists behave themselves, likely due to the efforts of law enforcement.

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Old 06-09-14, 12:50 AM   #9
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That is the view from Alton Road at Murnan. I seldom see any cars from there. I turn right and head deep into farm land from this road.
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Old 06-09-14, 12:58 AM   #10
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My preference is for nice wide streets - streets with a right lane that is wide enough to get passed by a motor vehicle with the appropriate three feet of clearance. I could really care less about marked bike lanes or the speed of traffic - so long as there's space for everybody to get along, I'm good!

Riding in Orange County CA was actually pretty nice because the roads were huge. For example:
http://goo.gl/maps/n7yah
On most occasions I could go vehicular if I needed to turn left or something; during heavy traffic, I could turn into a pedestrian for a minute and walk across the streets using crosswalks. The arterial non-freeway roads were all like this, which was helpful for getting around.

Wisconsin and Minnesota have some lower-traffic roads with wide shoulders, which perform the same function. These are usually recreational roads for me, since I have no real business out in the country. For example:
http://goo.gl/maps/lpk3C

Around smaller cities, I tend to go for neighborhood streets that are on the grid, don't have a ton of stop signs, and allow me to get across arterial streets without waiting forever. This one is nice:
http://goo.gl/maps/e3Qnp

During the winter, all bets are off: I ride wherever the plows have been, and people usually keep their distance because they think I'm deranged and/or homeless.
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Old 06-09-14, 01:39 AM   #11
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My preference is for nice wide streets - streets with a right lane that is wide enough to get passed by a motor vehicle with the appropriate three feet of clearance. I could really care less about marked bike lanes or the speed of traffic - so long as there's space for everybody to get along, I'm good!
Absolutely!!
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Old 06-09-14, 01:44 AM   #12
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Old 06-09-14, 08:08 AM   #13
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Old 06-09-14, 08:19 AM   #14
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I rarely get out to ride in the country, but I much prefer a highway with a paved shoulder. I've written in the past about several years ago doing a one-week gig in the small town of Kenora, which had a newly built, freshly paved bypass on the TransCanada Highway. Almost every night that week I went out and did 20-40 km on the flawless and comfortable brand new asphalt. see eg milermeter.com The pavement still looks pretty good:


In fact, I had made sure to order my Bike Friday specifically in time to have it for that trip.

The only problem was on some hills they had an extra lane for passing, and in that case they sacrificed part of the shoulder, so you'd be labouring up a long hill on a 1 m wide (or less) paved shoulder, with transport trucks passing at your left elbow. I even rode off onto the narrow, soft, outer gravel strip, if I could hear them coming fast, because I was worried about turbulence maybe sucking me into the wheels. However that wasn't great either, because in some places you were next to a drop of 10-20m into boulders or a swamp. However that only applied to a tiny portion of the route - most of it was heaven.

In town I prefer to commute mostly on residential streets, but I have no hesitation using busy streets if I need to. However I find they often have the worst pavement.

For recreation rides, since I live fairly centrally, I use a mixture of streets, and MUPs like the Don Valley, Martin Goodman and Humber trail systems.
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Old 06-09-14, 08:38 AM   #15
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It was just a normal Saturday morning 100 km ride,
"Normal' LOL
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Old 06-09-14, 12:21 PM   #16
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Yes, open scenic roads would be nice, but finding any would entail a bit of a detour when commuting or riding in town.

All in all, I prefer 2 lane streets to wider ones mainly because driver attitudes and expectations are better on smaller roads. Also major avenues (4 lanes) usually rin through busier commercial aread, so there are more active driveways to contend with.

There's also the question of lane width. Most 2 lane roads here are much wider than half the width of 4 lane roads, so I have a choice of drivers passing me in a shared or partly shared wide lane, or playing the take the lane game in narrow lanes.

In any case another major factor in road choices for daily rides is pavement quality. I'm sorry to say this here but if there were ever a referendum on a choice between building bicycle specific infrastructure or spending the same dough on repaving in general, I'd be voting with the motorists for better roads.
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Old 06-09-14, 12:32 PM   #17
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.

In any case another major factor in road choices for daily rides is pavement quality. I'm sorry to say this here but if there were ever a referendum on a choice between building bicycle specific infrastructure or spending the same dough on repaving in general, I'd be voting with the motorists for better roads.
I probably would also vote for better pavement, if those were the two choices. But in reality, this isn't often the choice. Road maintenance/repair funds and bike facility funds typically come from separate pots of money.
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Old 06-09-14, 12:41 PM   #18
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I probably would also vote for better pavement, if those were the two choices. But in reality, this isn't often the choice. Road maintenance/repair funds and bike facility funds typically come from separate pots of money.
Different pots for accounting and political purposes, but money is fungible, and however it's counted it all comes from taxes. Money spent on one thing (anything) is money that isn't spent on something else, or money borrowed, or money from increased taxes. New math, old math it all comes out the same.
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Old 06-09-14, 01:07 PM   #19
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I'm sorry to say this here but if there were ever a referendum on a choice between building bicycle specific infrastructure or spending the same dough on repaving in general, I'd be voting with the motorists for better roads.
Nothing to apologize for. Roads were initially paved for cyclists.
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Old 06-09-14, 01:36 PM   #20
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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
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Old 06-09-14, 01:41 PM   #21
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Nothing to apologize for. Roads were initially paved for cyclists.


As a commuter who rides in the streets almost daily, I would prefer having the general roads improved than having the bike infrastructure improved if I needed to choose one or the other.
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Old 06-09-14, 01:45 PM   #22
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Nothing to apologize for. Roads were initially paved for cyclists.
I wasn't apologizing for that. I was apologizing for possibly ruffling the feathers of the bicycle infrastructure advocates.

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Originally Posted by daihard View Post


As a commuter who rides in the streets almost daily, I would prefer having the general roads improved than having the bike infrastructure improved if I needed to choose one or the other.
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.
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Old 06-09-14, 01:46 PM   #23
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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
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.
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Old 06-09-14, 01:47 PM   #24
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I choose the shortest major (non-highway) roads from point-a to point-b. Residential streets scare me more than 45mph roads with out shoulders.
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Old 06-09-14, 01:49 PM   #25
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I choose the shortest major (non-highway) roads from point-a to point-b. Residential streets scare me more than 45mph roads with out shoulders.
How come?
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