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Vehicular Cycling (VC) No other subject has polarized the A&S members like VC has. Here's a place to share, debate, and educate.

View Poll Results: Do you want John Forester Advocating for you?
Yes, I agree fully with his ideas/goals 13 13.13%
Yes, I have differences with his ideas/goals but think the positives outway the negatives 33 33.33%
No, I have differences with his ideas/goals but think the negatives outway the positives 33 33.33%
No, Completely disagree with his ideas/goals 20 20.20%
Voters: 99. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-10-07, 10:20 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by chipcom
This study seems to indicate the the presence of a bike lane stripe might actually influence cyclists to ride farther away from the door zone. http://www.ci.cambridge.ma.us/%7ECDD...hamp_study.pdf
If you read my full post I went on to say exactly that.
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Old 04-10-07, 10:25 AM   #177
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Does anyone support BLs in DZs?

Why not sharrows (outside of DZ) along on street parking?

(The effect in this picture is not ideal, but about the equivalent of if striped with a BL and cyclist was riding on outside stripe, probably further out than an inexperienced cyclist would ride if a BL stripe was present)
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Old 04-10-07, 10:25 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by randya
If you read my full post I went on to say exactly that.
Which is why I posted that link, which seems to support what you said.
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Old 04-10-07, 11:14 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by chipcom
It's not new, John, you just don't want to see it because it isn't pure engineering:

FACT: People use bikeways - indeed there are now more bikeways and more people using them
FACT: Cycling fatalities have decreased (slightly) over the last 30 years

So, the reality is that the danger of bikeways is not borne out by any facts, only by the theories you hold on to so steadfastly. Hurst had it right....bikeways are a reality not worth everyone getting so worked up over.
I don't know what you think is my position, chipcom, but it certainly is not in accordance with what you have written. I have never held that our bikeway systems, as a whole, produce a significant increase in the accident rate. Regarding bike lanes, I hold that, in all probability, they are likely to produce a small increase in the car-bike collision rate, and that bike paths (consider the recent discssion), when used responsibly, only rarely produce good transportation. There are exceptions. I know of a bike path in Austin that went through a tunnel and the exit of the tunnel involved a three-foot vertical drop. That is, unless you know that secret and make a 90 degree turn on a 1-foot radius. Who knows what will happen, or has happened, at that point? But, by and large, we, thirty years ago, managed to get standards that prohibit the most obvious dangers.

The facts that you advance simply demonstrate that the bikeways have not reduced the car-bike collision rate, and have not produced a transportationally significant reduction in motoring. That's been my position for years. All that the bikeway systems do is to officially perpetuate the cyclist-inferiority system of unskilled cycling that has been the American system for seventy years or more. We should not be officially perpetuating that system. That official policy is bad for both lawful and competent cyclists, because it denigrates and jeopardizes their activity, and it is even worse for new cyclists because it increases the social approval of unlawful and incompetent cycling, thus slowing their learning of proper cycling skills.
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Old 04-10-07, 12:02 PM   #180
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Originally Posted by chipcom
This study seems to indicate the the presence of a bike lane stripe might actually influence cyclists to ride farther away from the door zone. http://www.ci.cambridge.ma.us/%7ECDD...hamp_study.pdf
John Allen, who lives near Cambridge and has participated in much Cambridge cycling activity, has reviewed this study. The URL is below:

http://www.truewheelers.org/comments...tudy/index.htm

Allen shows that the effect of the bike-lane stripe is to make no significant change in the proportion of cyclists who are riding in the door zone, which is nearly all cyclists. Yes, cyclists may move a bit to the left, but they still remain in the door zone.
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Old 04-10-07, 12:11 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by Severian
Too many reasons in this poll and thread. We lost the poll guys and gals.

No, sorry John, I'd rather not have you advocating for me until you can provide documentation in your writing. You've got a bad habit of not citing your statistics and "clearly accepted" notions. I run screaming in the other direction whenever a writer or speaker says that something is "obvious" or "clearly accepted" or "common knowledge" and even more so when the person doesn't back up their "obviously" with a "and here's why" with a whole lot of data and back-up data from OTHER SOURCES as well as good experimental documentation.
Have you read John's book, Bicycle Transportation, Second Edition: A Handbook for Cycling Transportation Engineers ? I'm guessing, no...
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Old 04-10-07, 12:46 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by John Forester
Regarding bike lanes, I hold that, in all probability, they are likely to produce a small increase in the car-bike collision rate, and that bike paths (consider the recent discssion), when used responsibly, only rarely produce good transportation.
The surveys cited by Moritz seem to support you concerning bike paths (well MUPs anyway) but not concerning bike lanes. Your comments?
http://www.bicyclinglife.com/Library/Moritz2.htm
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Old 04-10-07, 01:30 PM   #183
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Unfortunately, I will not have time to do this justice. Some links in logic will have to be filled in by the reader. My apologies to both John and HH.

I think that the data is lacking in a lot of dimensions that would be helpful in directly answering the questions the repeatedly appear on this and other forums. In my post I briefly reference collection/selection issues which confound many population studies. So let me begin that I have not spent the time to fully understand the nitty-gritty details of these original studies which are so important in interpreting the final results. That written, my personal experience leads me to believe that there are always "glips and glops" in data collection that create noise and bias that are deeply hidden to the casual observer (me). The consequence is that I am far more agnostic than the typical researcher.

So while it may be the case that car-overtaking accidents are low risk compared with accidents in intersections--something that I believe for the reasons stated earlier--the data fails to directly address whether a bike lane makes the road safer or not. Particularly if you think that there are external effects that I alluded to earlier.

Briefly, the step that I believe John and HH skip is the acceptance, expectation of their presence, and recognition of cyclists on the road in the first place. In other words, I find that motorist acceptance and appropriate behavior toward cyclists tend to be better on roads that have a lot of cyclists or are designated a "bikeway". Around here, bikeway simply means a regular street with a green sign on the sign reading "bike route". By appropriate--did I use the word accordingly in some context earlier?--I mean passing at safe locations, speed, and distances. I also mean fewer aggressive (oblivious) maneuvers at intersections, allowing left turns, and so forth. My sense of this is purely anecdotal and not scientific. Furthermore, the roads with special bike status are different from other roads in structural ways. So what I report here is some sort of mental hedonic equation where I take several observations on multiple dimensions and try to project them onto the safety dimension. I don't mean to be abstract; but it is the fastest way for me to get my idea across. A good for instance is that it is my observation that motorists are more careful opening their doors on these streets with bike lanes/routes than alternative streets.

In other words, in a lot of circumstances, I think it is unrealistic to simply take the lane and expect motorists to remain law-abiding in the truest sense of the word. So you do need to negotiate your space if you take the lane (MSF certainly teaches this to motorcyclists). Advocating that motorists simply follow the law and treat cyclists as an equal user of the road is very different from actually implementing that behavior in practice. Diane and John had an exchange that included something about human beings being emotional creatures. I think that there is quite a bit of literature that also talks about how people learn, cognitive limitations, and so on. I can envision many circumstances where some paint on the ground could be more effective in establishing cyclists' rights on the road than a bunch of speaches to city planners and police officers or a minority of cyclists simply demanding a change in behavior by taking lanes.

Regarding equal access to the road, I gather that there is an expectation for the cyclist to use said bike lane or to remain on the space to the right when reasonable. Bike lanes or other facilities can be done poorly. But assuming that we are not talking about the pathological cases--e.g., where the law expects the cyclist to make a left from the right lane, to the right of a right-turn-only lane, or other places the cyclist in precarious situations--then I don't find that the issues described in other posts manifest in any regularity. In other words, when I need to make a left, I make the appropriate signals and negotiate my way across. If there is construction ahead or debris, I take the lane for extended stretches. If I pick up speed to the point that a bike lane is unsafe, I take the lane for extended stretches. If there are a bunch of right turn only lanes, I take the through lane for extended stretches. That is, when appropriate, I ride VC. This is not a problem when there is motorist acceptance that a cyclist belongs in the road. It is a problem when motorists are aggressive.

Note that the cyclist inferiority notion is appropriate when we look at the ability to sustain damage. Otherwise the interaction between motorist and cyclist is not very different at all. That is, I imagine that many motorists in a car with a spike pointing out from the steering wheel and a bomb in the trunk would drive fairly cautiously ... avoiding hi-speed roads with lots of traffic, short lines of sight and so on. Someone might even make three right turns to make a left turn (my mental equivalent of going onto the sidewalk/crosswalk). Not very different from the cyclist behavior that I read on this forum or personally observe.

I just scanned through this ... I am beginning to ramble. My quick final statements ...
  • I think that the discussion went past just bike lanes and into other facilities that I deem more effective. But I think either have a similar marginal effect regarding road space and general attitudes.
  • I don't think that my observations are universal. At least, I have not made enough observations to believe that they are universal. So I can accept that in different localities that attitudes differ such that the prescription changes.
  • What we really need are comprehensive surveys and observations regarding transportational/recreational cycling to talk with authority on best methods. Otherwise, I feel that much of the conversation--including mine--is fairly speculative.
  • What I believe people fail to give John credit is actually writing down a bunch of concepts regarding cycling. People may not agree with them; but it gives a basis for a lot of discussion and makes it easier for a bunch of lazy bozos like myself.
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Old 04-10-07, 01:34 PM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Severian
Too many reasons in this poll and thread. We lost the poll guys and gals.
Whose thread is this anyway? Sorry for stomping all over it. But I think the present discussion is more interesting than bashing or defending someone. If there is an objection, I will not repost here unless I decide to bash or defend.

-Geof
(since a lot of people here are using their name)
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Old 04-10-07, 01:46 PM   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
Does anyone support BLs in DZs?

Why not sharrows (outside of DZ) along on street parking?

(The effect in this picture is not ideal, but about the equivalent of if striped with a BL and cyclist was riding on outside stripe, probably further out than an inexperienced cyclist would ride if a BL stripe was present)
Actually, I much prefer SHARROWS to bike lanes. I think that this addresses much of my argument for "facilities" without a lot of negative aspects that John discusses.
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Old 04-10-07, 01:46 PM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Forester
John Allen, who lives near Cambridge and has participated in much Cambridge cycling activity, has reviewed this study. The URL is below:

http://www.truewheelers.org/comments...tudy/index.htm

Allen shows that the effect of the bike-lane stripe is to make no significant change in the proportion of cyclists who are riding in the door zone, which is nearly all cyclists. Yes, cyclists may move a bit to the left, but they still remain in the door zone.
That is interesting.

Whoops ... broke my promise in an earlier post.
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Old 04-10-07, 02:23 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand
Unfortunately, I will not have time to do this justice. Some links in logic will have to be filled in by the reader. My apologies to both John and HH.

...
Briefly, the step that I believe John and HH skip is the acceptance, expectation of their presence, and recognition of cyclists on the road in the first place.[/LIST]
If there are answers to any of the very specific questions I asked earlier, you're going to have to point them out somehow, for I don't see any...

No need to apologize. If you need a few days to answer, that's fine.
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Old 04-10-07, 03:08 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by chipcom
The surveys cited by Moritz seem to support you concerning bike paths (well MUPs anyway) but not concerning bike lanes. Your comments?
http://www.bicyclinglife.com/Library/Moritz2.htm
Here is the relevant table from Moritz 98.
The column headings refer to Moritiz's latest survey of LAB members following the form of Kaplan's study, WA 94 is Moritz's survey of Washington State cyclists, LAW 74 is Kaplan's original study

Normalized (relative) accident rates per bike mile

LAB 96 WA 94 LAW 74
Major road w/o bike facilities 0.66 0.75 1.00
Minor road w/o bike facilities 0.94 0.98 0.92
Signed bike route 0.51 N/A N/A
On-street bike lanes 0.41 N/A N/A
On-street BR or BL N/A 0.54 0.53
Multiuse trail 1.39 1.03 2.71
Off-road/unpaved 4.49 8.58 N/A
Other (mostly sidewalk) 16.34 N/A N/A


chipcom suggests that this shows that bike lanes reduce the car-bike collision rate. It doesn't.

This is accident rate, not car-bike collision rate.

Consider the relatively low rate for signed bike route, which is commonly expected to do nothing but provide a "good" or "better" connection between other bicycle facilities, or provide a nice route. It has a low rate because it has been chosen as a road on which the accident rate is already expected to be low. Now consider the rate given for streets with bike lanes. By and large, bike lanes get installed where it is easiest to install them, in other words in those locations at which adequate width is available and other conditions are easiest. And, other improvements are made, such as rectification of drain grates, which have nothing to do with the effect of the bike-lane stripe. All in all, there are far too many confounding factors to place much credibility on this particular statistic. Proper experimental research has not been done, anywhere.
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Old 04-10-07, 03:22 PM   #189
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invisiblehand suggests that I underrate the effect of bicycle facilities in causing motorists to recognize a daytime cyclist at the time that is appropriate for avoiding a collision. I have seen no study of this situation. One would need data of the form: collision rate on non-bike-lane street; collision rate on bike-laned street; proportion of collisions on non-bike-lane street in which the motorist said he did not see the cyclist in time (but in which there was adequate sight distance); proportion of collisions on bike-laned street in which the motorist said he did not see the cyclist in time (but in which there was adequate sight distance). All of these collected in ways that minimized confounding factors. Given these four sets of data, a reasonable estimate could be calculated for the claimed effect.

I rather think it unlikely that such an investigation will be performed in the reasonable future.

My position is that the cyclist, on the street in daytime, is sufficiently conspicuous (given clear sight lines) to alert those motorists who need to yield to him. I think there are suggestions that some motorists see the cyclist but, for the moment, do not take proper account of the cyclist's speed, and such like. But I rather fail to understand how it is that a motorist waiting at a stop sign will be much affected by knowing that the arterial street has a bike lane, sufficiently vigorously to make a difference as to whether or not he will yield to an approaching cyclist.
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Old 04-10-07, 04:22 PM   #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
If there are answers to any of the very specific questions I asked earlier, you're going to have to point them out somehow, for I don't see any...

No need to apologize. If you need a few days to answer, that's fine.
Hi HH,

Well some of the very specific questions require long detailed answers. But I believe that the gist of my argument and observations are there. I have not, for instance, as other posters here have done tabulated the number of times cars came within three feet of my bike. But that would be an aggressive auto maneuver that I would count as a negative when riding VC or bike facility.

-G
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Old 04-10-07, 04:29 PM   #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Forester
invisiblehand suggests that I underrate the effect of bicycle facilities in causing motorists to recognize a daytime cyclist at the time that is appropriate for avoiding a collision.
That is not quite my argument. I suggest that you (1) underrate the effect of a cooperative environment and moderate facilities in getting motorists to accept cyclists on the road; (2) overestimate the compliance of motorists to "aggressive" cyclists taking the lane. I believe that acceptance leads to a safer cycling environment.

"aggressive" is in quotes since that is how I perceive the motorist's perception. (did that make sense?)

-G

EDIT: ... is in bold above.
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Old 04-10-07, 05:32 PM   #192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Forester
Here is the relevant table from Moritz 98.
The column headings refer to Moritiz's latest survey of LAB members following the form of Kaplan's study, WA 94 is Moritz's survey of Washington State cyclists, LAW 74 is Kaplan's original study

Normalized (relative) accident rates per bike mile

LAB 96 WA 94 LAW 74
Major road w/o bike facilities 0.66 0.75 1.00
Minor road w/o bike facilities 0.94 0.98 0.92
Signed bike route 0.51 N/A N/A
On-street bike lanes 0.41 N/A N/A
On-street BR or BL N/A 0.54 0.53
Multiuse trail 1.39 1.03 2.71
Off-road/unpaved 4.49 8.58 N/A
Other (mostly sidewalk) 16.34 N/A N/A


chipcom suggests that this shows that bike lanes reduce the car-bike collision rate. It doesn't.
.
I suggested nothing of the sort John...I suggested that they do not support your theory "Regarding bike lanes, I hold that, in all probability, they are likely to produce a small increase in the car-bike collision rate". There is no more data backing your position than there is backing any opposing position, but there is plenty of circumstantial evidence that tends to call into question the credibility of your theory...these studies cited by Moritz being just some of them.
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Old 04-11-07, 02:13 AM   #193
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand
Whose thread is this anyway? Sorry for stomping all over it. But I think the present discussion is more interesting than bashing or defending someone. If there is an objection, I will not repost here unless I decide to bash or defend.
Stomp away, I think most of the opinions relating to the original topic have been stated and lets just see where it ends up ..... probably no-where, but that is part of the charm of A&S
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Old 04-11-07, 07:09 AM   #194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invisiblehand
Hi HH,

Well some of the very specific questions require long detailed answers. But I believe that the gist of my argument and observations are there. I have not, for instance, as other posters here have done tabulated the number of times cars came within three feet of my bike. But that would be an aggressive auto maneuver that I would count as a negative when riding VC or bike facility.

-G
I though about this HH ...

I do not want to appear as if I am blowing you off. Far from it. Using the old phrase of the forrest and the trees ...

I gave a longer explanation of my rough thesis in an attempt to give a better picture of the forest. If others can get an idea of what my forest looks like, then I am satisfied with that. But to paint a picture where all of the trees have details takes a lot of time and effort. Others have blasted John for referring to his book as an attempt to sidestep an answer or sell more books. I just think that it takes a lot of time and effort to answer detailed questions thoroughly. Given that has already spelled out his ideas elsewhere it is much easier to write "look here" than write it again.

Of course, I have not written a book on the world according to Geof. That might have something to do with my laziness.

But that is one of the reasons why John deserves more credit for actually writing down his beliefs, motivations, experiences, and research. It takes a lot of concerted effort and energy to do it well. At this moment, my tank is close to empty.

Anyway, if my forest is unclear, maybe you can summarize what you perceive I am saying. Otherwise, a painting with detailed trees is beyond me at the moment. Perhaps I will write a book in the future and point everyone to it ...

----

I thought that sggoodri linked some research that compared bike lanes to WOLs. Perhaps someone thought of the idea that there should be a comparison to an unmodified street as well.
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Old 04-11-07, 07:10 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by The other Inane
Stomp away, I think most of the opinions relating to the original topic have been stated and lets just see where it ends up ..... probably no-where, but that is part of the charm of A&S
Hah! Thanks ... but just a warning ... I have big feet.

-G
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Old 04-11-07, 09:41 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by chipcom
I suggested nothing of the sort John...I suggested that they do not support your theory "Regarding bike lanes, I hold that, in all probability, they are likely to produce a small increase in the car-bike collision rate". There is no more data backing your position than there is backing any opposing position, but there is plenty of circumstantial evidence that tends to call into question the credibility of your theory...these studies cited by Moritz being just some of them.
The evidence for my evaluation of the probable effect of bike-lane stripes is in the Cross statistics of the various types of car-bike collision and their relative frequencies, coupled with my analysis of the human factors involved in the two types of cycling, vehicular and bikeways. This analysis was first done thirty years ago and is discussed at length in my Bicycle Transportation.
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Old 04-11-07, 10:08 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand
That is not quite my argument. I suggest that you (1) underrate the effect of a cooperative environment and moderate facilities in getting motorists to accept cyclists on the road; (2) overestimate the compliance of motorists to "aggressive" cyclists taking the lane. I believe that acceptance leads to a safer cycling environment.

"aggressive" is in quotes since that is how I perceive the motorist's perception. (did that make sense?)

-G

EDIT: ... is in bold above.
I understand your position. So far as I know, everyone who has considered the issue agrees that the social environment makes a great difference in how cyclists are treated. That effect was described more than thirty years ago, and was probably recognized for some time before that. Since then it has been frequently remarked that, in many cases, the installation of bicycle facilities has been the result of the local bike-favoring social attitude rather than that installation being the cause of the social attitude. It appears that the social attitude toward cycling varies by region, with the best areas being the West Coast and the Northeast, the middle areas being the upper Midwest and the Midatlantic, the worst areas being the Old South, possibly excepting Florida.

I have noticed the effect of what you call "aggressive" motorists, and which I, long ago, called militant motorists, the people who believe that the roads were made for "cars" and everybody else is a trespasser. In my cycling life I have noted a few motorists who were actively aggressive, trying to force me off the road or to block my path. However, my personal information of this effect is too scattered to provide a reasonable distribution. I have cycled some in Texas, Louisiana, Florida (the whole length), North Carolina, Virginia, and I can't say that I experienced worse treatment from motorists in those states than I have experienced in other states. The infrastructure is a different situation; the political conditions in the Old South appear to militate against good roads. I have described Florida as the state where they build new rural slums with bad infrastructure.
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Old 04-11-07, 11:03 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand
I though about this HH ...

I do not want to appear as if I am blowing you off. Far from it. Using the old phrase of the forrest and the trees ...

I gave a longer explanation of my rough thesis in an attempt to give a better picture of the forest. If others can get an idea of what my forest looks like, then I am satisfied with that. But to paint a picture where all of the trees have details takes a lot of time and effort. Others have blasted John for referring to his book as an attempt to sidestep an answer or sell more books. I just think that it takes a lot of time and effort to answer detailed questions thoroughly. Given that has already spelled out his ideas elsewhere it is much easier to write "look here" than write it again.

Of course, I have not written a book on the world according to Geof. That might have something to do with my laziness.

But that is one of the reasons why John deserves more credit for actually writing down his beliefs, motivations, experiences, and research. It takes a lot of concerted effort and energy to do it well. At this moment, my tank is close to empty.

Anyway, if my forest is unclear, maybe you can summarize what you perceive I am saying. Otherwise, a painting with detailed trees is beyond me at the moment. Perhaps I will write a book in the future and point everyone to it ...

----

I thought that sggoodri linked some research that compared bike lanes to WOLs. Perhaps someone thought of the idea that there should be a comparison to an unmodified street as well.
The devil (as always) is in the details.

I would be satisfied if you painted just one tree (manifested in terms of answering any one of my specific questions).
  1. Please be specific in terms of what situations you believe "bike lanes make navigating with autos easier for cyclists", and how they make it easier.

    For example, where the cyclist is up ahead riding in the margin of a WOL and the faster same direction motorist is behind, the cyclist only has to proceed. He has no obligation to negotiate at all. So how does adding a bike lane stripe demarcating the margin as a "bike lane" make anything easier for the cyclist?
  2. Does the bike lane assert the equal right of cyclists to the road, or the unequal/inferior right of cyclists to the out of the way of motorists margin of the road?
  3. Can you expand on what you mean by "motorists behave accordingly"? What is it that they do that gives you this sense?
  4. What is it that gives you the sense that facilities use causes motorists to update their expectations and begin to look for cyclists in their prescribed locations?
  5. What is the "particular way" in which you think expecting motorists and cyclists to act is unrealistic without the kind of "guidance" you apparently feel that bike lanes provide?

Last edited by Helmet Head; 04-11-07 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 04-12-07, 07:57 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
The devil (as always) is in the details.

I would be satisfied if you painted just one tree (manifested in terms of answering any one of my specific questions).
  1. Please be specific in terms of what situations you believe "bike lanes make navigating with autos easier for cyclists", and how they make it easier.

    For example, where the cyclist is up ahead riding in the margin of a WOL and the faster same direction motorist is behind, the cyclist only has to proceed. He has no obligation to negotiate at all. So how does adding a bike lane stripe demarcating the margin as a "bike lane" make anything easier for the cyclist?
  2. Does the bike lane assert the equal right of cyclists to the road, or the unequal/inferior right of cyclists to the out of the way of motorists margin of the road?
  3. Can you expand on what you mean by "motorists behave accordingly"? What is it that they do that gives you this sense?
  4. What is it that gives you the sense that facilities use causes motorists to update their expectations and begin to look for cyclists in their prescribed locations?
  5. What is the "particular way" in which you think expecting motorists and cyclists to act is unrealistic without the kind of "guidance" you apparently feel that bike lanes provide?
Which of your questions would be unaffected by an improvement in motorist and cyclist interactions that I described in my earlier posts?
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Old 04-12-07, 08:04 PM   #200
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Just one thing regarding aggressive and militant motorists ... I think that the behavior described occurs on a continuum. That is, there are some uber-aggressive motorists whereas others are just somewhat irked. So I am describing a shift in that distribution, not a switch in some dichotomous state.
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