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Old 09-12-17, 05:37 PM   #76
jefnvk
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Indeed, very backwards setup. Overall for suburban/urban areas it makes sense to subsidize path construction. Car-commuting arteries & commuter trains are clogged & expanding capacity is often impossible or at least very expensive, every bike commuter helps alleviate that a little bit.
No, it really doesn't help that cause. According to most of the figures I have seen, it costs between $500k to $1M per mile of linear trail construction, trails that generally aren't useful for commuting, and costs that mean the simple scale of not selling many bikes at $25 a pop in tax will result in almost nothing built. Even at a percentage, your actual revenues are still fairly nothing. Likewise, that revenue is a mere pinhead of a drop in a bucket for overall road funding, if you are talking more bike lanes than trails.

It is really nothing but feel-good legislation that bikes are paying their "fair share".
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Old 09-12-17, 08:10 PM   #77
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By "subsidized" I meant from general taxes not a bike tax.
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Old 09-13-17, 07:43 AM   #78
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By "subsidized" I meant from general taxes not a bike tax.
Ah. Yes, in that case I'd agree. I personally think all new road construction should be forced to take into account safe movement of cars, cycles, and pedestrians.
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Old 09-13-17, 08:41 AM   #79
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Echoing some of the thoughts already shared with my overall take...
If there were such an Interstate MUP. Many commuters, tourers, road cyclists, fitness riders, etc etc would avoid using it anyway for several reasons.
Faster speeds are capable on the road. Less pedestrian traffic or obstacles on the road, More direct path to destination on the road, Better and more roadside destinations on the roads. Many cyclist have overcome anxieties about sharing the road enough to prefer it over MUPs.
Project Interstate MUP seems like it would only be catering to one type of cyclist. A touring cyclist who doesn't like roads. Granted limited stretches would be used by locals.
Creating, or piecing together a vast network of linked paths from one end of the country to the other for a minority demographic doesn't seem realistic.
Lots of folks just prefer roads.
Being a person who actually does currently prefer MUPs myself, I'm all for the creation of more quality paths. More so for paths longer than 10 miles, or connections to neighboring paths. I enjoy the care free ride, don't mind the pedestrians, and do push myself on distances. I'm just casual I guess. Though have contemplated a future of doing some bikepacking.
With that said, I can get behind smaller scale en devours like paths that can take you across a good amount of the state. Though don't deem a nationwide network to be necessary.

Bringing things into scope.
I get that you (OP) wish for extended safe terrain, but ST RT MUP is a pipe dream. Your only real options to come close to satisfaction...
Accept and appreciate what you have nearby, or drive further out to newer/longer/better paths.
Lobby with local governments and parks depots on more or extended local paths.
or,
Get accustomed to sharing the roads.

As for as the point of view of "the more paths there are, the more we're expected to be off the road" discussion... I can't agree with that side point. As much as I would personally lobby for more paths, I'd equally lobby for better shared road conditions. Perpetuating the safe shared road possibilities. I doubt long established laws that grant cyclist the right to ride on a road would be changed if given a nearby multipurpose path.
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Old 09-15-17, 02:04 PM   #80
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I think Charles Kuralt said "with the completion of the US Interstate System, it is now possible to drive coast to coast and not see a thing". I would much prefer to ride my bike on interesting county and township roads, although we are fortunate here in Wisconsin to have some nice rail trails available, and I do understand why some cyclists have a fear of riding on roads.
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Old 09-15-17, 03:44 PM   #81
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We have a pretty extensive network here although not all is on path. It costs money but it also brings tourism when you make magazines like Nat Geo as one of the best places to bike on Earth. People on bikes also tend to spend in local shops instead of gas stations and drive-thru chains.

Ontario is looking at making it a better cycling destination and when they asked cyclists for suggestions, you had the same "costs too much" comments. I ride the Waterfront Trail and along the Ottawa river every year, spending quite a bit and the only reason is because of a decent bike route.
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Old 09-15-17, 10:33 PM   #82
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In 2015, 5,376 pedestrians and 818 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts). These two modes accounted for 17.7 percent of the 35,092 total U.S. fatalities that year. Here are more facts and figues on pedestrian and bicycle crashes:
Pedestrian & Bicycle Information Center
..................................
Fifty-four percent of adults in the U.S. perceive bicycling as a convenient way to get from one place to another and 53% would like to ride more often. However, 52% worry about being hit by a car and 46% say they would be more likely to ride a bicycle if motor vehicles and bicycles were physically separated.
Measuring how America rides ? PeopleForBikes
..................................
Many, who've been cycling for years, feel comfortable on the roads. Fine. For others, riding the roads is just too great of a risk. Those of you who work in the cycling and tourist industries might have a stake in seeing bicycle ridership increase. You also might have a stake in having a large, healthy, long-living cliental.


I can understand the hardcore cyclist solely using the roads. But that's not most people. IMO, to most people, roads are inherently unsafe, to be avoided. I can see a bicycle becoming the vehicle of choice for many more people with a safe, dedicated, exclusive trail/path system.
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Old 09-15-17, 10:53 PM   #83
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Regarding the cost ...
If a shire can get a healthy grant from the government or a benefactor of some sort, and if the shire is financially healthy enough to handle maintenance, then great ... build a trail. Many of Victoria's trails are quite nice. But if the OP is planning to "finance and support such a system with a use tax" ... assuming a relatively short trail only costs $1 million, the OP had better hope a minimum of 100,000 cyclists use the trail.
And that's exactly the problem. There is always only so many dollars in a budget.

Although I've heard people say the money doesn't matter cause the government can just "print" the needed money. Without a basic understanding of economics.... discussing cost with these people is a waste of time.

We have an extensive path system in my area.... do mostly to the industrial failure of the rail system... leaving all those interconnecting rails to be converted to bike paths. In this area... those paths are still owned by the rail companies in many cases. But they are maintained by the various park budgets.

I love the paths and use them near daily. But I can imagine a day... when budget cuts cause parks to make difficult decisions. It has happened in the past. Hopefully... the popularity of cycling and the current EXPANDING path system will continue for some time. But nothing (not even statues of founding fathers) lasts forever.
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Old 09-15-17, 11:16 PM   #84
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....I can understand the hardcore cyclist solely using the roads. But that's not most people. IMO, to most people, roads are inherently unsafe, to be avoided. I can see a bicycle becoming the vehicle of choice for many more people with a safe, dedicated, exclusive trail/path system.
hainan government built a dedicated bike path alongside the highway
from our city, 17km to a small town on the ocean. was about 1.5-2m
wide, paved, separated from the highway with a 1-2m wide green strip,
often with bushes and small trees.

i wouldn't go near it. tooooo dangerous.

vehicles coming from side roads or driveways never stop at the bike path.
they drive over, not looking, until the hit the highway, and pull out, still
not looking.

drivers turning off the highway never never never check to see if lowly
bicycles are on the path.

anyhoo, bike paths are for fruit venders and dumb truck parking and
transmission repair and oil changes......
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Old 09-16-17, 07:48 AM   #85
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However, 52% worry about being hit by a car and 46% say they would be more likely to ride a bicycle if motor vehicles and bicycles were physically separated.
Quote:
Get accustomed to sharing the roads.
The cycling facilities here in Parts Unknown are the best introduction to vehicular style cycling I could imagine.

introduction to vehicular cycling.jpg


Quote:
I doubt long established laws that grant cyclist the right to ride on a road would be changed if given a nearby multipurpose path.
Surely you're not serious? In response to the 'bike boom' of the early 1970s, parks and street departments began to build 'bike paths'. Hand in hand with this, local and state governments enacted 'mandatory side path' laws, forcing cyclists onto the little sidewalks they'd built. Within months it was clear the facilities that were built were substandard and more dangerous than the roads, but it still took us decades to get rid of all those mandatory side path laws and ordinances. I was there; I lived it.
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Old 09-16-17, 12:59 PM   #86
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I can understand the hardcore cyclist solely using the roads. But that's not most people. IMO, to most people, roads are inherently unsafe, to be avoided.
Not to be rude but I think you have an exaggerated fear of riding on roads due to lack of experience and are projecting it onto "most" people. Most people do not seem to to have a fear of riding on roads around here. I just completed a charity ride that had kids as young as 7 or 8 riding their bikes on roads and the parents and organizers were fine. I had an elderly man in a wheelchair adapted tandem bicycle. No one seemed afraid.

As far as touring goes, even when pathways are present I avoid them in favor of roads with shoulders. I find pathways meander far too much and have steeper, more abrupt grades. The one difference might be destination tour specific pathways that create a complete experience out of doing them like the Katy Trail or the Kettle Valley Railway.
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Old 09-16-17, 03:31 PM   #87
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Not to be rude but I think you have an exaggerated fear of riding on roads due to lack of experience and are projecting it onto "most" people. Most people do not seem to to have a fear of riding on roads around here.
You may remember this...

This being said, my preference for bike trails has more to do with road noise and the occasional idiotic driver.
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Old 09-16-17, 04:04 PM   #88
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You may remember this...

This being said, my preference for bike trails has more to do with road noise and the occasional idiotic driver.
Yes, I agree there's a risk, just don't agree most people feel it is unsafe. But at the same time I'm at more risk driving on a road yet that doesn't stop me from doing so.
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Old 09-16-17, 08:45 PM   #89
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Not to be rude but I think you have an exaggerated fear of riding on roads due to lack of experience and are projecting it onto "most" people. Most people do not seem to to have a fear of riding on roads around here. I just completed a charity ride that had kids as young as 7 or 8 riding their bikes on roads and the parents and organizers were fine. I had an elderly man in a wheelchair adapted tandem bicycle. No one seemed afraid.

As far as touring goes, even when pathways are present I avoid them in favor of roads with shoulders. I find pathways meander far too much and have steeper, more abrupt grades. The one difference might be destination tour specific pathways that create a complete experience out of doing them like the Katy Trail or the Kettle Valley Railway.
A few years ago I saw a large group from the Police Unity Tour riding on local roads: they had moto escorts front & rear & cops controlling the intersections so group could ride thru. Lots of big strong fearless guys but even they enjoyed not having to deal with dumb US motorists. On my last tour (lightly-used rural roads) a nice motorist couple politely told me that I was hard to see due to sun glare (even with hi-viz vest).
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Old 09-16-17, 11:22 PM   #90
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I don't get what it means. Are you suggesting that because an organized event happened to have escorts they were all secretly afraid to ride on the road? My take would be that the organizers did what organizers do when they have access to an abundance of police escorts. My manager had a reflective safety harness in her office and handed it to me saying I should wear it, even though my riding jacket is reflective. Just stuff people do.

Keeping the comments in context though; the person I was addressing said that, apart from "hard core cyclists" they thought most people felt roads were unsafe and to be avoided. I don't agree is all. I see lots of people, young and old, of varying degrees of skill and most look happy when riding (except for the roadies that generally look pinched and slightly miserable). All the people I rode with today (about 100) on the road looked happy. The majority were not hard core cyclists.

There is quite a difference in my mind between acknowledging some risk involved in an activity and suggesting or advocating "most" people feel it is unsafe and to be avoided. This being a bicycle touring subforum I find it hard to agree with the sentiment as that is what we primarily do here (ride on roads).

Last edited by Happy Feet; 09-17-17 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 09-18-17, 08:38 AM   #91
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Many, who've been cycling for years, feel comfortable on the roads. Fine. For others, riding the roads is just too great of a risk. Those of you who work in the cycling and tourist industries might have a stake in seeing bicycle ridership increase. You also might have a stake in having a large, healthy, long-living cliental.

I can understand the hardcore cyclist solely using the roads. But that's not most people. IMO, to most people, roads are inherently unsafe, to be avoided. I can see a bicycle becoming the vehicle of choice for many more people with a safe, dedicated, exclusive trail/path system.
I could likewise argue those that will only ride if they can use trails are probably the ones whose bike comes out of the garage twice a year, i.e. folks that even if you build trails are not going to use them. As much as it pains me to say it, for those types of people you are describing, there are plenty of lazy parks to ride in. Even around here, many of the trails interconnect to one another using roads, and people that do like trails have no problem riding those roads between them. I like trails when they go where I want to go, and wouldn't mind seeing a strong regional trail system, but for the most part roads are more practical over long stretches of less inhabited area.

And yes, if bike infrastructure becomes visible for them (not even prevalent, but simply visible), there will inevitably be legislation pushed for that restricts bikes from roads. It would really end up punishing people that actually cycle regularly in hopes of getting a few more people out the door a couple times a year.
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Old 09-18-17, 01:20 PM   #92
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Its a nice idea, but so are world peace and free $...things we probably won't see in our lifetimes or ever.
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Old 09-18-17, 08:26 PM   #93
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I don't get what it means. Are you suggesting that because an organized event happened to have escorts they were all secretly afraid to ride on the road? My take would be that the organizers did what organizers do when they have access to an abundance of police escorts. My manager had a reflective safety harness in her office and handed it to me saying I should wear it, even though my riding jacket is reflective. Just stuff people do.

Keeping the comments in context though; the person I was addressing said that, apart from "hard core cyclists" they thought most people felt roads were unsafe and to be avoided. I don't agree is all. I see lots of people, young and old, of varying degrees of skill and most look happy when riding (except for the roadies that generally look pinched and slightly miserable). All the people I rode with today (about 100) on the road looked happy. The majority were not hard core cyclists.

There is quite a difference in my mind between acknowledging some risk involved in an activity and suggesting or advocating "most" people feel it is unsafe and to be avoided. This being a bicycle touring subforum I find it hard to agree with the sentiment as that is what we primarily do here (ride on roads).
It would have been interesting to chat with the cops but there wasn't an opportunity so I don't know how many were regular cyclists etc. AFAIK most big group rides string out so folks do have to deal with traffic; OTOH one might assume there's some safety in numbers.

Anyway I think upgraded paths/lanes would boost cycling popularity; only problem is that a large % of Americans still wouldn't bike due to climate & effort. Also, in America it's OK to exercise unless it has a practical use. Riding a $2K stationary Peleton exercise bike is 'cool', riding for transport makes one look eccentric or poor.
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Old 09-18-17, 10:24 PM   #94
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I feel riding on a road is inherently dangerous and can't be made safe. I just can't control or predict what a motorist might or might not do at any given moment. I might think differently if I had better chance of survival in an accident with a motor vehicle.


I ride an old inexpensive bike that has steel rims and caliper brakes. This is dangerous to some, especially when it rains. But I can control my bike, adjust accordingly and minimize the danger. I can't do that with the driver of a motor vehicle.


Most people don't want to drive their cars without seat-belts or air-bags. Why would they welcome traveling exposed on a highway? Bless all of you who ride the roads. Be safe. I'll continue to wimp-out and stay on my trails and work towards a better bike trail system in the future.
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Old 09-19-17, 12:45 AM   #95
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It's not about wimping out. You don't feel safe riding on the road and so you shouldn't. It's not for everyone. But you shouldn't project your perspective on to others either.

I think most people find a way to rationalize risks or become paralyzed by them. You can't bubble wrap the world. Do I think there is a statistical chance I could get smoked by a car? Yes. I work to minimize that by riding defensively. You rationalize it by choosing to ride on trails. The truth is that neither of us really knows what will eventually kill us. Could be a car driving in the shoulder.. could be an awkward header when a bike makes a left turn in front of you on a MUP.

At this point I choose not to let the risk of an accident keep me from fully enjoying all the benefits that road touring continues to provide me. I have to live in the now, not the better future.

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