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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 03-22-07, 06:11 AM   #1
The other Inane
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Do you want John Forester Advocating for you?

First, I am hesitant to post this thread, but I am interested in the general opinion
Second, this is not a personal attack on Mr Forester
Third, Feel free to substitute Mr Foresters name for anyone who has the SAME ideals and advocacy position
Fourth, this is not a discussion on VC though reasons are welcome

My view
After reading the "Forester responds" thread and perusing the associated website, I am of the view that while I agree with a lot of the ideas expressed, I would rather Mr Forester not advocate for cyclists in general as the areas that I differ are pretty much deal breakers.
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Old 03-22-07, 06:20 AM   #2
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I do not want John Forester or anyone like him advocating for me or the interests of cycling in my community.
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Old 03-22-07, 06:22 AM   #3
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While I don't agree with everything JF says, I don't have issues with his advocacy. Cycling needs all the advocates we can get and if he manages top keep us visible, then so be it! He's not the Antichrist after all! He just follows HIS passion. The hoohaw about the American Dream coalition, for example....would you rather they never heard anything about cycling and cyclists rights and needs? Advocacy is all about attacking the problem from multiple angles and through any contact or source you can utilize after all....... (and no, I am not a VC Acolyte, I just use a common sense approach to riding and ride defensively).
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Old 03-22-07, 06:24 AM   #4
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Sorry for delay in getting the poll going my first
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Old 03-22-07, 06:29 AM   #5
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- who is John Forester?
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Old 03-22-07, 07:46 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by linux_author
- who is John Forester?
You're kidding right?
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Old 03-22-07, 08:09 AM   #7
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You didn't provide my answer - Don't really care either way.
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Old 03-22-07, 08:13 AM   #8
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When I heard that John was a memeber and speaker for the Amercian Dream Coalition, that was the deal breaker once and for all. That militant pro-motorcar organization is actually against the type of infrastructure that promotes cycling in the first place. Anyone who is a member of an organization that is against public transit and dreams that every man and woman in this nation should be able to purchase a single family home is living in fantasy land.
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Old 03-22-07, 08:14 AM   #9
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Buried in that lengthy topic, Forester takes on BF, he did write about some advocacy work he had done a long time ago. I was impressed by his description of how doggedly he fought for a bikeway in the Los Angeles river. But he lost the fight and went cynical on the whole idea of good cycling facilities. Sounds like he had been a top activist in his day. It's too bad because now those who he lost his fight with are wanting to build what he wanted back then.
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Old 03-22-07, 08:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
You're kidding right?
Nope. It is a valid question. Remember most cyclists have no knowledge of VC or the book Effective Cycling. There is no outreach program to cyclists to teach any form of cycling. No bike shop* that I am aware of teaches any form of cycling (well a few may offer "racing" classes.) And certainly there is little cycle training in the public school system. (there are some places that do offer some bicycle training... I believe Hawaii has a program)

Just as motorists are generally not aware of cyclists rights to the road**, neither too are cyclists aware of their rights... and fewer still know to exercise them.

Is it any wonder why there is such "confusion" on the road?


* BTW I tested this by going to several local bike shops and asking if they knew of any classes available to teach safe cycling. Every one said no. Locally there is a series of LAB classes available.


** I test this regularly by asking motorists if they are aware that cyclists have rights to the road. The answers would astound you.
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Old 03-22-07, 08:28 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by chipcom
You didn't provide my answer - Don't really care either way.
Do I dare ask, what is your answer?
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Old 03-22-07, 08:34 AM   #12
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You didn't provide my answer - Don't really care either way.
Damn, and I tried to cover all bases. Sorry chip, you will just have to join the silent majority.
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Old 03-22-07, 08:58 AM   #13
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My response would be closest to Tom Stormcrowe's and GeneC's (above). Forester's heart was (is?) in the right place, and he has done alot for bicyclists, particularly in California. (For example, Forester is one of the main reasons we don't have a mandatory sidepath law.) I realize many consider "Effective Cycling" to be the most authoritative text on the subject of bicycling in traffic, but John Franklin's "CycleCraft" is more concise and readable and at least as informative. Forester can be abrasive and tactless at times; I can easily forgive and forget the diatribes, but I think he could be more (dare I say?) "effective" politically if he took a Dale Carnegie course or focused more on a win-win style of negotiation.

Where Forester, who is my father's age, and I differ most is on our respective views of the practicality of cycling for transportation. At heart, I am still that naive UCLA physics undergrad and member of Earth Action Council who biked to work, to school, and even to the grocery store. I also reject Forester's total distain for the unwashed masses and his belief that we vehicular bicyclists are worse off when John Q. Public takes up cycling. My answer is education, training, and some legal enforcement against cyclists whose practices endanger the rest of us, such as the guys who ride at night without lights, generally wearing dark-colored clothing, or who violate our right-of-way.
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Old 03-22-07, 09:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
Do I dare ask, what is your answer?
You just quoted it.
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Old 03-22-07, 09:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The other Inane
Damn, and I tried to cover all bases. Sorry chip, you will just have to join the silent majority.
It's OK...I won't sue.
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Old 03-22-07, 09:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The other Inane
After reading the "Forester responds" thread and perusing the associated website, I am of the view that while I agree with a lot of the ideas expressed, I would rather Mr Forester not advocate for cyclists in general as the areas that I differ are pretty much deal breakers.
I support your need to be represented by bicycling advocates who more closely represent your views and desires. Not all cyclists are alike--to each, his own.

Yet you might have asked the question, "Does Mr. Forester represent valid interests of cyclists who believe their views and desires are not being adequately represented by many bicycling advocates today?"

He does, and so do many other cycling advocates whose views are not in complete agreement with Mr. Forester's. There are valid concerns amongst some cyclists who don't believe that the best approach for all cyclists is to build us special facilities to ride on. We differ on our acceptance of these facilities in some ways, but we all tend to agree that our place on the road is of primary importance.

Having said that, I prefer that these two "camps" strike compromises, rather than fight each other incessantly.

Heck, ride a bike together once in a while (ooops! where are we going to ride? )
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Old 03-22-07, 09:51 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
I support your need to be represented by bicycling advocates who more closely represent your views and desires. Not all cyclists are alike--to each, his own.

Yet you might have asked the question, "Does Mr. Forester represent valid interests of cyclists who believe their views and desires are not being adequately represented by many bicycling advocates today?"

He does, and so do many other cycling advocates whose views are not in complete agreement with Mr. Forester's. There are valid concerns amongst some cyclists who don't believe that the best approach for all cyclists is to build us special facilities to ride on. We differ on our acceptance of these facilities in some ways, but we all tend to agree that our place on the road is of primary importance.
Actually this is the exact reason I made this poll. I tried to make the choice simple but to give each represented party a category to respond (obviously I missed chip ). Then I provided my own view.
Maybe I failed, but I still think that the title of the post is the most valid point ...

Do you want John Forester advocating for you?

(maybe I should of appended ... in 2007 .... to it, but I only thought of that just now).
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Old 03-22-07, 10:29 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The other Inane
Actually this is the exact reason I made this poll. I tried to make the choice simple but to give each represented party a category to respond (obviously I missed chip ). Then I provided my own view.
Maybe I failed, but I still think that the title of the post is the most valid point ...

Do you want John Forester advocating for you?

(maybe I should of appended ... in 2007 .... to it, but I only thought of that just now).
I think Mr. Forester has his contributions to make, just as do others, even those who disagree with him. We all have something to say.
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Old 03-22-07, 10:38 AM   #19
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I wonder who voted for the Yes, I fully agree et al. Could it be someone who voted & did not comment? HH maybe?
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Old 03-22-07, 10:49 AM   #20
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I voted no with qualifications. I'm glad he has contributed to maintaining the rights of cyclists to ride on the road and not be forced onto mandatory sidepaths (assuming it happened as he tells it), and I learned a lot when I read EC in the early days of my commuting. However, I find his style of advocacy to be extremely divisive. He demeans and belittles those who disagree with him, accuses them of being emotional and/or phobic, insists that those who want separate bike facilities (in addition to continuing access to the road system) are being played by the motoring establishment when there's no evidence that is the case, and seems to be completely inflexible in any discussion of the nuances of street riding.
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Old 03-22-07, 11:24 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Damn, and I tried to cover all bases. Sorry chip, you will just have to join the silent majority.
It's a lot harder than it seems to cover all the bases. I normally get accused of intentionally biasing polls when I inadvertently do not cover all the bases.
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Old 03-22-07, 11:24 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by N_C
I wonder who voted for the Yes, I fully agree et al. Could it be someone who voted & did not comment? HH maybe?
Wasn't me. I voted yes but have differences...

For this type of poll I don't see the point of making it anonymous.
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Old 03-22-07, 12:07 PM   #23
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I'm glad he has contributed to maintaining the rights of cyclists to ride on the road and not be forced onto mandatory sidepaths (assuming it happened as he tells it), and I learned a lot when I read EC in the early days of my commuting. However, I find his style of advocacy to be extremely divisive. He demeans and belittles those who disagree with him, accuses them of being emotional and/or phobic, insists that those who want separate bike facilities (in addition to continuing access to the road system) are being played by the motoring establishment when there's no evidence that is the case, and seems to be completely inflexible in any discussion of the nuances of street riding.
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Old 03-22-07, 12:43 PM   #24
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I'm with Dahon.Steve and cooker on this one. I learned a lot about Vehicular Cycling principles and how to effectively deal with car traffic when riding a bicycle in the roadways. However, his alliance with the American Dream Coalition and Diane's experiences have led me to believe that John Forester isn't a true bicycling advocate for cycling in the roadways at all.

So, I picked the, "negatives outweigh the positives" option. Sorry, Mr. Forester.
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Old 03-22-07, 01:13 PM   #25
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I'm with Dahon.Steve and cooker on this one. I learned a lot about Vehicular Cycling principles and how to effectively deal with car traffic when riding a bicycle in the roadways. However, his alliance with the American Dream Coalition....
I view John Forester's speaking to pro-motoring groups that have tried to kick cyclists off the roads as being equivalent to Nixon going to China. Nobody is tougher on pro-motoring organizations than John Forester when it comes to protecting and promoting cyclists' road rights.
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