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  1. #26
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Hey LBM,

    You are nuts for starting this thread ... ;-)

    -G

  2. #27
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb
    I've got major problems with that, as does every mental health professional I work with that I told about this. The result of their knowledge that someone is twisting and perverting psychological diagnosis for what they see as a political/engineering/religious issue?
    I used to be a mental health professional and I understand exactly what you mean. It is unfortunate that Forester does this and that he cannot recognize that it is wrong.
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  3. #28
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    Well, of course. They are typical Americans, with that perverted view of cycling and its dangers. That's why they think that support of bike lanes is normal. However, note one of the immediately previous postings by someone else, claiming that Americans don't believe that cyclists have the right to use the roadways. I have always written that the cyclist-inferiority superstition, in its stronger versions, meets all the criteria for a phobia except rarity. That is, it is an irrational exaggeration of the fear of same-direction motor traffic that causes people to choose actions that are harmful to them.
    Nope. With the exception of the 2 bike commuters in the office, they don't really care about developing a view of cycling besides a general desire not to harm anyone when they're driving a car. They don't really care about cycling facilities one way or the other, either. What they do care about are the clients they help in the course of their work. Untrained and ignorant people with socio-political and religious agendas twist psychology and the principles of the mental health profession to further their aims, and it is the legitimately mentally ill who pay the price. You trivialize mental illness and contribute to its social stigma when you invent phobias and engage in armchair diagnosis of large groups of people. Trivialization and stigma are tremendous barriers for the mentally ill to receive the treatment they need to be stable, healthy, and prevent risk to their lives and sometimes the lives around them.

    My non-cycling coworkers have decided to support cycling facilities which include bike lanes because they believe that anyone who would distort and warp definitions of mental illness to further an agenda - any agenda - must be so unethical and callous of the welfare of other human beings that their aims should be opposed. It's not about bike lanes - they would oppose any aim that would twist definitions of mental illness in such a fashion.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  4. #29
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand
    Hey LBM,

    You are nuts...
    You got that part right.



    Hey, it keeps us up at night...

    (..I'm on the east coast, folks, it's late here! )
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 04-21-07 at 09:30 PM.
    No worries

  5. #30
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    You are so wrong about this. Americans who self-identify as motorists DO NOT support the installation of bike lanes. I've participated in plenty of transportation planning projects at the advisory committee level and almost universally, motorists oppose bike lanes because they feel that bike lanes take space in the right-of-way away from motorists. Motorists absolutely DO NOT support bike lanes because they believe they get bicyclists out of the way of motorists, that's just a load of crap.

    OTOH, bicyclists support bike lanes because a lot of cyclists understand that cycling in the bike lane relieves a lot of the stress of having to bicycle in the travel lane, at the whim and behest of highly unpredictable and frequently aggressive and dangerous motorists.
    Where I live, motorists have most strongly supported bikeways in the form of sidewalk-type bike paths. They prefer these over bike lanes, because by getting double-duty out of the sidewalk, the full width of the roadway can be devoted to getting as many travel lanes as possible for motor vehicles. These motorists also support mandatory sidepath-use laws, in order to ensure that no cyclists remain in the narrow travel lanes. This is how the bikeway system in my area of the country developed for decades, and it continues to be a battle, with many sidewalk bikeways still being proposed, designed, and built.

    Fortunately, cyclists have recently begun to convince a younger, more open minded generation of local traffic engineers and planners that cycling on the roadway according to vehicular rules is better than sidewalk/sidepath cycling. These engineers have started to shift from the sidewalk/sidepath bikeway designs to wide outside lanes and striped bike lanes. The motorists support either design, since both reduce the perception of delay by bicycle traffic. However, many frontage property owners oppose the on-roadway space additions, because they encroach more into their property when added to a road widening project. If the property owner opposition threatens to prevent the widening of the road to add travel lanes usable by motorists, the motorists often side with the property owners and promote sidewalk bike paths instead of the WOLs/bike lanes. if the property owners' political power is weak, the motorists support the on-road bike lanes, since they know some cyclists won't ride on the sidewalks without the mandatory-sidepath-use ordinance enforced. I have seen this process repeat itself with several thoroughfare widening projects in my city while serving on our planning and zoning board.

    Locally, the strongest support from the cycling community was for wide outside lanes on the thoroughfares. The polls of my own cycling club have always turned out a strong majority in favor of wide outside lanes instead of striped bike lanes. Most cyclists will accept anything that provides wider total space, but there is a majority here who find operational problems with the way bike lanes have been implemented and unmaintained, at least locally.

    John Forester has always said that cyclists prefer more space on the roadway, that this extra space reduces their stress, and it encourages more cycling. He promotes wide outside lanes as the specific implementation, rather than adding a stripe to the same space to demarcate a bike lane. A majority of the experienced cyclists I know agree with him, and I've never been able to find a report of an overtaking collision in one of our local wide outside lanes, so that's what our local standard is for new and widened thoroughfares.

  6. #31
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Question: When does an irrational phobia affect a large percentage of the population, including intelligent people?

    Answer: When it is a socially-reinforced taboo that serves the interests of the political majority.

    Taboos are created when those with power take a small amount of observable truth and twist it into a proscription reinforced by fear. It survives as long as those smart and powerful enough to debunk it are not motivated enough to bother identifying the true causal relationships involved. It's simpler to let the taboo stand ("kids, stay out of the road, or you'd get hit by a car!") if you don't have a vested interest in violating it in order to exercise greater personal freedom.

    This is how I describe the American fear of roadway cycling in different terms from John Forester. It is not an individual phobia, but a socially perpetuated one that affects intellegent people, who should have no shame in having posessed it, but once enlightened, should at least try to understand the phenomenology in more scientific terms. Yes, there is danger to be concerned about, but it can be managed, if one is interested. Most Americans just aren't interested.

    And so, we have the irony of people who don't think certain types of bikeways actually do anything for safety still using the taboo of roadway cycling as a justification for building those bikeways, which in turn only reinforces the taboo. Perhaps, as some of us believe, dismantling the taboo and replacing it with the best science that we can manage with the available resources would be a more effective way of encouraging cycling by those who care enough to actually do it. Then, we could concetrate on engineering in terms of effectiveness at improving safety, efficiency, and long-term enjoyment, rather than basing our engineering on opinion polls of the taboo-afflicted novice cycling population.
    Last edited by sggoodri; 04-21-07 at 10:37 PM.

  7. #32
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    (steve- you should go take a trip with your bike to portland, dude.)

    i ride in traffic, i have no fears of doing so, AND i support bike lanes.

    mr forester's dismissive stchick doesn't stick to me. I'm a vehicular cyclist that mixes it up in traffic daily, relishes mixing it up with traffic, AND I support bike specific infrastructure that makes communities more bikeable for more people. unlike forester's dismissive rants, bike infrastructure has POSITIVE effects on communities.

    look at portland, minneapolis, denver, bogota, copenhagen, delft; cities all over the world have increased bikeability, improved liveability and community, thru the use of bike specific infrastructure integrated into community transportation plans.

    there's no disputing the bikeability of portland, the increase in cyclists and cycling there thru infrastructure. yet forester continues to foist his rusty trumpet against this type of planning- john forester is the anti-cyclist.

    I don't support forester's views of the rest of the american bicyclists, his spiel doesn't represent cyclists in america, and he gets pimped out by the american dream coalition.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 04-22-07 at 02:37 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  8. #33
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sggoodri
    Where I live, motorists have most strongly supported bikeways in the form of sidewalk-type bike paths. They prefer these over bike lanes, because by getting double-duty out of the sidewalk, the full width of the roadway can be devoted to getting as many travel lanes as possible for motor vehicles. These motorists also support mandatory sidepath-use laws, in order to ensure that no cyclists remain in the narrow travel lanes. This is how the bikeway system in my area of the country developed for decades, and it continues to be a battle, with many sidewalk bikeways still being proposed, designed, and built.

    Fortunately, cyclists have recently begun to convince a younger, more open minded generation of local traffic engineers and planners that cycling on the roadway according to vehicular rules is better than sidewalk/sidepath cycling. These engineers have started to shift from the sidewalk/sidepath bikeway designs to wide outside lanes and striped bike lanes. The motorists support either design, since both reduce the perception of delay by bicycle traffic. However, many frontage property owners oppose the on-roadway space additions, because they encroach more into their property when added to a road widening project. If the property owner opposition threatens to prevent the widening of the road to add travel lanes usable by motorists, the motorists often side with the property owners and promote sidewalk bike paths instead of the WOLs/bike lanes. if the property owners' political power is weak, the motorists support the on-road bike lanes, since they know some cyclists won't ride on the sidewalks without the mandatory-sidepath-use ordinance enforced. I have seen this process repeat itself with several thoroughfare widening projects in my city while serving on our planning and zoning board.

    Locally, the strongest support from the cycling community was for wide outside lanes on the thoroughfares. The polls of my own cycling club have always turned out a strong majority in favor of wide outside lanes instead of striped bike lanes. Most cyclists will accept anything that provides wider total space, but there is a majority here who find operational problems with the way bike lanes have been implemented and unmaintained, at least locally.

    John Forester has always said that cyclists prefer more space on the roadway, that this extra space reduces their stress, and it encourages more cycling. He promotes wide outside lanes as the specific implementation, rather than adding a stripe to the same space to demarcate a bike lane. A majority of the experienced cyclists I know agree with him, and I've never been able to find a report of an overtaking collision in one of our local wide outside lanes, so that's what our local standard is for new and widened thoroughfares.
    The difference in my experience and your experience has a lot to do with the characteristics of the built environment and the amount of available ROW space. I live in an already dense pre-automobile inner urban area, where there is no additional room to expand roadway rights-of-way, and where, ironically, motorists oppose bike lanes on the grounds that they take ROW space away from motorists, and I am therefore often forced to ride vehicularly on arterial streets; whereas it sounds like you live in a post-automobile city, outer urban or surburban area where the rights-of-way are wider and the space for WOLs, bike lanes or sidepaths is available, and motorists advocate for them.

    The thing is, John assumes the motoring environment is static, where the motorists have no emotions and cyclists can just insert themselves into the traffic stream to be accepted and integrated by the motorists, when in fact nothing is further from the truth. Since the 70's people are relying more and more on their private vehicles, the roads have gotten more congested, and there are more driver distractions and more instances of inappropriate motorist behavior. Cell phones, SUVs and 'road rage' did not exist when Effective Cycling was first published. John takes no account of the potential detrimental effects on cyclists, both psychological and physical, of potential daily negative interactions with motorists resulting from the necessity of having to share the same limited roadway space.

  9. #34
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    The difference in my experience and your experience has a lot to do with the characteristics of the built environment and the amount of available ROW space. I live in an already dense pre-automobile inner urban area, where there is no additional room to expand roadway rights-of-way, and where, ironically, motorists oppose bike lanes on the grounds that they take ROW space away from motorists, and I am therefore often forced to ride vehicularly on arterial streets; whereas it sounds like you live in a post-automobile city, outer urban or surburban area where the rights-of-way are wider and the space for WOLs, bike lanes or sidepaths is available, and motorists advocate for them.
    I agree. In built-up areas where curbs cannot be moved, motorists oppose bike lanes because building such requires removal of a normal travel lane or on-street parking.

    The thing is, John assumes the motoring environment is static, where the motorists have no emotions and cyclists can just insert themselves into the traffic stream to be accepted and integrated by the motorists, when in fact nothing is further from the truth. Since the 70's people are relying more and more on their private vehicles, the roads have gotten more congested, and there are more driver distractions and more instances of inappropriate motorist behavior. Cell phones, SUVs and 'road rage' did not exist when Effective Cycling was first published. John takes no account of the potential detrimental effects on cyclists, both psychological and physical, of potential daily negative interactions with motorists resulting from the necessity of having to share the same limited roadway space.
    I believe that many vehicular cycling advocates, John and myself included, believe that motorist harassment of cyclists operating in line with same-direction traffic is a product of a cyclist-inferiority culture that must be challenged and reversed, and that encouraging public understanding of vehicular cycling practice is a step toward undoing that cyclist-inferiority attitude of motorists. I believe that if enough cyclists operate in travel lanes, according to the law, and asserting themselves in narrrow lanes, the motoring population will habituate to this over time.

    In any case, if you live in a city where the curbs won't change location and the lanes are narrow, you can oppose motorists by promoting bike lanes, which motorists can never use, in return for fewer travel lanes, or by promoting vehicular cycling, allowing motorists to have more lanes but requring them to slow when cyclists are ahead of them. The second is better for motorists, but requires that they be polite to cyclists. Perhaps more cyclist advocates should approach pro-motoring organizations in order to try to convince them that getting motorists to be more polite to cyclists using the normal travel lanes is actually in motorists' best interest, so that they are allowed to use more of the public right of way.

    Here in the suburbs where I live, the road mileage is doubling every ten years. We have lots of opportunities to build wide outside lanes, or bike lanes, or whatever, but we also have lots of overburdened narrow rural-design roads with 45-55mph speed limits providing the only links between trip endpoints. So, we advocate both engineering improvements and cultural evolution.

  10. #35
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sggoodri
    I believe that if enough cyclists operate in travel lanes, according to the law, and asserting themselves in narrrow lanes, the motoring population will habituate to this over time.
    +1.

    Every lane is a bike lane. We can agree on that.
    No worries

  11. #36
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    "harassment of cyclists is a product of cyclist inferiority culture?" OH, now that takes the cake, steve.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  12. #37
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    "harassment of cyclists is a product of cyclist inferiority culture?" OH, now that takes the cake, steve.
    What's your issue? If American motorists thought that cyclists had an equal right to the travel lane, rather than an inferior right, then they would be much less likely to harass cyclists. This is the case in many countries where cyclists are not considered inferior users of ordinary, narrow roadways, and routinely require motorists to change lanes to overtake them, with much less fuss from the motorists.

  13. #38
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I find your language about auto centric america turned into 'cyclist inferiority' a telling admission on your part, steve. did you read about 'cyclist inferiority' in one of john forester's books?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  14. #39
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I agree, however, that the element of public awareness camapigns about cyclists' rights to the road should be an important part of bicycling advocacy. no city will ever become 100% bike laned, that is not even considered desireable by bike infrastructure advocates.

    I believe (as do you, correct?) that increasing bikeability of roads to be an important facet of transportation planning.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    The difference in my experience and your experience has a lot to do with the characteristics of the built environment and the amount of available ROW space. I live in an already dense pre-automobile inner urban area, where there is no additional room to expand roadway rights-of-way, and where, ironically, motorists oppose bike lanes on the grounds that they take ROW space away from motorists, and I am therefore often forced to ride vehicularly on arterial streets; whereas it sounds like you live in a post-automobile city, outer urban or surburban area where the rights-of-way are wider and the space for WOLs, bike lanes or sidepaths is available, and motorists advocate for them.

    The thing is, John assumes the motoring environment is static, where the motorists have no emotions and cyclists can just insert themselves into the traffic stream to be accepted and integrated by the motorists, when in fact nothing is further from the truth. Since the 70's people are relying more and more on their private vehicles, the roads have gotten more congested, and there are more driver distractions and more instances of inappropriate motorist behavior. Cell phones, SUVs and 'road rage' did not exist when Effective Cycling was first published. John takes no account of the potential detrimental effects on cyclists, both psychological and physical, of potential daily negative interactions with motorists resulting from the necessity of having to share the same limited roadway space.
    As always, you do not know the subject about which you are pontificating. You do not know where I have lived and cycled, and your conclusions about those matters are false.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    I agree, however, that the element of public awareness camapigns about cyclists' rights to the road should be an important part of bicycling advocacy. no city will ever become 100% bike laned, that is not even considered desireable by bike infrastructure advocates.

    I believe (as do you, correct?) that increasing bikeability of roads to be an important facet of transportation planning.
    Yes, of course. But the changes advocated by bicycle advocates in this discussion group are not devoted to bikeability in any rational way. Rather, they reduce the bikeability of the roads to which they are applied, because the complicate the rules of the road and make cycling more difficult, and therefore more dangerous. Bikeability improvements should be devoted to improving the ability of cyclists to operate properly, rather than encouraging improper operation. There's no magic to doing things right, except that most on this list would rather do things improperly.

  17. #42
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    john, your stretching for conclusions. and being derisively insulting as well.

    more reason to disagree with you.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  18. #43
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    I find your language about auto centric america turned into 'cyclist inferiority' a telling admission on your part, steve. did you read about 'cyclist inferiority' in one of john forester's books?
    I don't use the term "cyclist inferiority" outside of this thread's context, where we are talking about John Forester's words and actions. They are obviously his words, with which I agree in this context, but not the words that I would normally use to describe the issue.

    As I have said before, I prefer the term "taboo": A proscription maintained by social reinforcement and fear of both direct consequences and social disapproval. It is not the individual who is ill, but the culture.

    Tell an individual that their difficulties are based on their own superstition and inferiority complex, and they will get mad at you. Tell them that their difficulties are based on an oppressive, unjust culture that doesn't treat them as they should, and they might just get mad enough at that cuture to try to change it.

    As a cycling advocate and certified cycling instructor (LCI 1690) I must challenge people to find room for improvement in their cycling technique, and that includes looking at their own attitude about their legitimacy on the road. However, I think that goes easier if they can save face by blaming elements of our society for their lack of sense of entitlement that has handicapped their cycling.
    Last edited by sggoodri; 04-22-07 at 09:55 PM.

  19. #44
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    i had NO IDEA cyclists such as yourself considered traffic cycling 'taboo', steve
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  20. #45
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    In some cases, new places to ride have given me more options. In other cases, new places to ride have taken away from bikeable road space by the addition of debris-filled areas. Where I could once ride comfortably, I now had less room to do so.

    Although this would be considered an issue about sweeping the road by some, the reality is that the road does not get swept. So, rather than enjoying the facility that's been built primarily for my benefit, I must contact authorities to correct a situation that they created.

    Athough I appreciate the gesture by the authorities in creating for me a comfortable place to ride, the reality of it falls far short of their intention. I don't blame them for this, because they don't understand my needs as well as I do.

    So, in many cases, addition of new bicycle infrastructure has created for me more problems than it has solved. This is a bit frustrating, and though this frustration does not drive me to oppose all bicycle facilities everywhere, it does cause me to question the wisdom of trusting those whose primary focus and intention is to facilitate motorized transport to understand my specific needs as a cyclist and address those needs appropriately.
    No worries

  21. #46
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    Yes, of course. But the changes advocated by bicycle advocates in this discussion group are not devoted to bikeability in any rational way.
    I provided this list of changes I wouldlike to see. I don't understand why you have a problem with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Ease of use for bicycles means that the roads don't pose difficulties in navigating. Things like double right turn on-ramps -- now you've got to cross a football field of accellerating, lane-changing traffic just to keep going straight? Or lights that don't last long enough to get all the way through an intersection, even if you can trigger the light. Or how about crossing acres of asphalt just to get to a left turn lane where everyone is going 55 mph in the lanes you have to cross, and will get up to 35 or 40 in the turn lane as they approach the light for the turn.

    Maybe the ubercyclists are up for this, but mere mortals who would like to get home to their children won't tolerate such risks. Most cyclists I know won't tolerate this kind of roadway development, but this is state-of-the art out in sprawluburbia.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  22. #47
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    I provided this list of changes I wouldlike to see. I don't understand why you have a problem with it.

    Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Ease of use for bicycles means that the roads don't pose difficulties in navigating. Things like double right turn on-ramps -- now you've got to cross a football field of accellerating, lane-changing traffic just to keep going straight? Or lights that don't last long enough to get all the way through an intersection, even if you can trigger the light. Or how about crossing acres of asphalt just to get to a left turn lane where everyone is going 55 mph in the lanes you have to cross, and will get up to 35 or 40 in the turn lane as they approach the light for the turn.

    Maybe the ubercyclists are up for this, but mere mortals who would like to get home to their children won't tolerate such risks. Most cyclists I know won't tolerate this kind of roadway development, but this is state-of-the art out in sprawluburbia.

    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    I provided this list of changes I wouldlike to see. I don't understand why you have a problem with it.
    I don't have a problem with it (sic). I have a great problem with your attitude in injecting these problems into what has been a discussion of bike lanes, which clearly cannot solve these problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sggoodri
    I don't use the term "cyclist inferiority" outside of this thread's context, where we are talking about John Forester's words and actions. They are obviously his words, with which I agree in this context, but not the words that I would normally use to describe the issue.

    As I have said before, I prefer the term "taboo": A proscription maintained by social reinforcement and fear of both direct consequences and social disapproval. It is not the individual who is ill, but the culture.

    Tell an individual that their difficulties are based on their own superstition and inferiority complex, and they will get mad at you. Tell them that their difficulties are based on an oppressive, unjust culture that doesn't treat them as they should, and they might just get mad enough at that cuture to try to change it.

    As a cycling advocate and certified cycling instructor (LCI 1690) I must challenge people to find room for improvement in their cycling technique, and that includes looking at their own attitude about their legitimacy on the road. However, I think that goes easier if they can save face by blaming elements of our society for their lack of sense of entitlement that has handicapped their cycling.
    I agree with Steve on this. Indeed, we have always agreed on the mechanism, although not on the description. We have agreed because we both recognize that this is a social attitude created by the motoring establishment for the convenience of motorists, and we agree that the typical bicycle advocate is carrying out the desires of the motorists with respect to advocating facilities that, to the motorist, keep bicycles out of his way. The difference is in whether one places more emphasis on the individual or on society. The phobia is the individual manifestation of the taboo; the taboo can exist only when a large proportion of individuals possess the phobia. Although a taboo, in general, has a bit more to it than does the phobia. The concept of taboo implies that the major punishment for disobeying it comes from supernatural forces, but it also implies that society, through its members, will provide additional punishment, be it administered for the correction of the violator or for the protection of society against the supernatural force.

    I just don't know whether it is better to address the individual or society. The individual has the power, supposedly, to change his attitude and therefore his actions. Might it be better to tell the individual that he should collect his courage to violate society's foolish attitude about cycling in traffic? Well, I have been doing that for years, actions which many of you on this list consider ineffective. And society will not be changed unless some individuals have a different attitude. That is why I have concentrated on traffic professionals, because the social attitude conflicts with their professional duties and ethics and because they are in the best position for individuals to create change. It is all a very difficult problem.

  24. #49
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    oregon and portland, specifically, has gone far to create parity for bicyclists, john. probably more so than any other american city at this time. their riding numbers are up, the indexed accident rate for bicyclists is down, concurrent with bike infrastructure, bike lanes, sharrows, bike boulevards, roadway and street improvements that encourage cycling.

    if you disagree with enhancements to road infrastructure like those seen in portland, i disagree with your point of view.

    Portland or Detroit? which is more bikeable?

    And John, your character and tone is so terrlbly disagreeable, I'd disagree with you just on general principles. I wonder if you got booted from the LAB seat because of your abrasive, insufferable personality?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    The concept of taboo implies that the major punishment for disobeying it comes from supernatural forces, but it also implies that society, through its members, will provide additional punishment, be it administered for the correction of the violator or for the protection of society against the supernatural force.

    I just don't know whether it is better to address the individual or society. The individual has the power, supposedly, to change his attitude and therefore his actions.
    I often underestimate the degree to which some people attribute phenomena to supernatural forces, but when I speak about modern taboos, I mean fears related to phenomena accepted to be of natural causes but which are not understood. The modern taboo about incest remains; people understand that it is rooted in natural phenomena even if they don't fully understand the genetic issues involved, and ordinarily don't really care unless they happen to fall in love with a step-relative or other cousin of no close genetic link. In these cases learned people fear the social disapproval far more than the consequences for their offspring.

    Getting people to give up their fear requires developing a great deal of mutual respect and trust. It requires showing them that their fear is preventing them from getting something that they want, and that they can learn to make new distinctions between those things that can actually harm them and those that are unlikely to. This requires lots of small steps and successes. The EC/LAB classes are designed this way. However, we know we cannot recruit people into learning vehicular cycling either formally or informally by making them feel insulted by its proponents. It appears that the wrong approach only galvanizes the skeptics. The "I know more than you" method is sure to fail; a more gentle Socratic approach seems to have promise.

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