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  1. #1
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Why do you agree/disagree with Forester?

    Stick to actual quotes or deeds (documented,) if possible. Nobody cares if he's ugly, or his momma dresses him funny, or if he's your mentor, etc.

    Thanks.

    I'll start.

    I think he needs to shave that ugly mess and lose the 'spenders.
    No worries

  2. #2
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    It's clear he's got some emotional baggage leftover from some ancient battles he lost. So he threw the baby out with the bathwater.

    I honestly believe he advocates for auto-centric development not because it's best for bicyclists, but because it's best for automobiles and probably because he thinks it's best for his investment portfolio. I think he really believes in the automobile as the engine of economic growth and that he long ago gave up on supporting transportational cycling, if he ever did.

    Also, he's spawned some of the more obnoxious posters on this forum.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  3. #3
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Also, he's spawned some of the more obnoxious posters on this forum.
    Does that include me?

    Hey, I'm keepin' an open mind, but I can "resonate" with the "motorists want cyclists out of the way" message. I'm not being argumentative, just tellin' it straight.

    (Diane, maybe everyone else is just waiting to see who jumps in first. I give you a thumbs-up for not bein'
    a-skeered. )
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 04-20-07 at 08:15 PM.
    No worries

  4. #4
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    I disagree with whe way he presents his arguments to those whom he ought to persuade.

    I agree with most of his technical assessments of the operational conflicts between the best set of operational rules for cycling, i.e. vehicular cycling, and bikeways inspired by a paradigm that keeps bicyclists out of the path of same-direction travel to the highest degree possible.

    I disagree with the idea that it is necessary or beneficial to disparage all bikeway projects in order to defend and communicate the importance of vehicular cycling. I disagree with oversimplification of the purported agenda of bikeway advocates.

    I agree with his observations about the most common causes of car-bike collisions, the ineffectiveness and hazards of many bikeway implementations, the economic realities of automobile-oriented development, the trend toward voluntary utility and recreation cycling by health-oriented cyclists, and the importance of protecting cyclists' right to use roadways according to vehicular rules.

    These agreements and disagreements are based on my observations of cause/effect, my nearly 30 years of cycling, my research into work done in the bicycle transportation engineering area, and my work with transportation engineers and planners while serving on various local committees and stakeholders groups related to urban planning and nonmotorized transportation.
    Last edited by sggoodri; 04-20-07 at 08:41 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    you have more sense than most, Steve.

  6. #6
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Last edited by Bekologist; 04-21-07 at 12:09 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  7. #7
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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  8. #8
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    http://www.americandreamcoalition.org/forester.pdf

    Bicycling is a great alternative to driving a car. But I don't think it's wise to think we can increase the popularity of cycling by reducing car use. Most cyclists also drive a car. It's the world we live in, like it or not.

    We're going to have to learn how to mix cars and bikes on the road.
    No worries

  9. #9
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Stick to actual quotes or deeds (documented,) if possible. Nobody cares if he's ugly, or his momma dresses him funny, or if he's your mentor, etc.

    Thanks.

    I'll start.

    I think he needs to shave that ugly mess and lose the 'spenders.
    Cute!

    Start with http://www.johnforester.com/
    All the fatally flawed risk analyses that ignore even rudimentary principles for establishing risk; i.e. accident severities or probability of exposure to the various events.

    All the fabricated data, analyses and conclusions based on Forester's "reasonable assumptions" about "skilled" or "trained" cyclists and their "reasonably assumed" safety records or "reasonably assumed" cycling habits in comparison with "reasonably assumed" conclusions about other cyclists.

    All the hysteria and over-the-top rhetoric about Forester personally saving cyclists' right to cycle on the streets and roads of the U.S. from the machinations of his large list of enemies and motorist-environmentalist conspiracies.

    All the psycho babble about inferiority complexes and phobias based on Forester's own belief in his own interpretations of his own risk analyses.

    All the cycling "history" and "scientific evidence" and straw man arguments published only by Forester or only found only in Forester's secret cache that can not be substantiated except by repetition of same and/or ad hominem arguments.

    That's for starts. When the conclusions about cycling based on hot air rhetoric and bogus analysis are removed from Forester's work, all that is left are the suspenders, beard and arrogance.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    I disagree with his anti-facilities stance. facilities have a place in the transportation mix. well-designed facilities can help cyclists and motorists alike.

    I disagree with his theories on the psychological problems surrounding bike lanes and those who like them.

    I disagree with his definition of who is a competent cyclist.

    I'll probably think of more.

    about the only thing I can agree with him on is the following the rules of the road....
    Last edited by rando; 04-21-07 at 09:38 AM.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    It's clear he's got some emotional baggage leftover from some ancient battles he lost. So he threw the baby out with the bathwater.

    I honestly believe he advocates for auto-centric development not because it's best for bicyclists, but because it's best for automobiles and probably because he thinks it's best for his investment portfolio. I think he really believes in the automobile as the engine of economic growth and that he long ago gave up on supporting transportational cycling, if he ever did.

    Also, he's spawned some of the more obnoxious posters on this forum.
    Diane, you have a very peculiar system of belief, to have reached such inaccurate beliefs not only with no evidence but contrary to the evidence that has been available for years.

    I have never advocated auto-centric development.

    Anyone who advocated anything because "it's best for automobiles" would be crazy. Automobiles, just like bicycles, have no feelings.

    My investment portfolio? How much money do you think there is in bicycle transportation engineering? About $100,000 in a financially conservative mutual fund, when I am 77 years old and still working. Not enough to change anyone's mind, these days. And, I tell you, I put professional ethics so far above financial gain that, three times in the employment stages of my career, I quit or was fired for refusing to do things that I knew were unethical.

    Believing that the automobile is the engine of economic growth? Don't be silly; I know far more economics than that.

    Giving up, or never supporting, bicycle transportation? I rode for transportation for many years, starting in 1938 and continuing whenever the opportunity offered. Cycling to work down the Berkeley hills on foggy mornings, and returning with the 1,000 foot climb every evening. Cycling through the heavy traffic of Silicon Valley in the mornings, and returning in the evenings along the hilly route for the pleasure of it. With Dorris and her two daughters, we were a family who all rode for transportation, commuting to work and to school, and others. Towing a trailerful of groceries, too. As well as cycling for sport. My writings, explicitly aimed at protecting cyclists' rights to operate as drivers of vehicles, are all in support of bicycle transportation.

    I can't help it if your thought processes reach the inaccurate beliefs that they have. All I can say is that those thought processes are so inaccurate that nobody should give them credibility.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando
    I disagree with his anti-facilities stance. facilities have a place in the transportation mix. well-designed facilities can help cyclists and motorists alike.

    I disagree with his theories on the psychological problems surrounding bike lanes and those who like them.

    I disagree with his definition of who is a competent cyclist.

    I'll probably think of more.

    about the only thing I can agree with him on is the following the rules of the road....
    You disagree with my definition of who is a competent cyclist, yet you agree with me about following the rules of the road. When my definition of a competent traffic cyclist is one who follows the rules of the road.

    Amazing things one reads in this discussion!

  13. #13
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando
    I disagree with his theories on the psychological problems surrounding bike lanes and those who like them.
    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? They're all supportive of cycling facilities, including bike lanes, now. They tell their colleagues, too. They tend to be consistent voters, as well.
    "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."

  14. #14
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    ...I rode for transportation for many years, starting in 1938 and continuing whenever the opportunity offered. Cycling to work down the Berkeley hills on foggy mornings, and returning with the 1,000 foot climb every evening. Cycling through the heavy traffic of Silicon Valley in the mornings, and returning in the evenings along the hilly route for the pleasure of it. With Dorris and her two daughters, we were a family who all rode for transportation, commuting to work and to school, and others. Towing a trailerful of groceries, too. As well as cycling for sport. My writings, explicitly aimed at protecting cyclists' rights to operate as drivers of vehicles, are all in support of bicycle transportation.
    I appreciate that. I can relate to that. I'm glad you posted it.

    It's too bad so many of your critics don't see you as a human being with valuable experience and a heart.

    (I know, the personal cost of what I just said, it will put me in hot water, but I don't care.)
    No worries

  15. #15
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    You disagree with my definition of who is a competent cyclist, yet you agree with me about following the rules of the road. When my definition of a competent traffic cyclist is one who follows the rules of the road.

    Amazing things one reads in this discussion!
    John, you have said in the past that only incompetent cyclists would use bike lanes; or that bike facilities are only of use to incompetent cyclists, or that bike lanes are made for incompetent cyclists, or some such... this is what I disagree with in your characterization of what a competent cyclist is. my contention is that competent cyclists can and do use bike facilities. I have seen you conjure a much stricter definition of competent than what you posted above. if your view has changed, good. if this is just more semantic stepdancing, Bad!
    Last edited by rando; 04-21-07 at 12:26 PM.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  16. #16
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    I appreciate that. I can relate to that. I'm glad you posted it.

    It's too bad so many of your critics don't see you as a human being with valuable experience and a heart.

    (I know, the personal cost of what I just said, it will put me in hot water, but I don't care.)
    Your fawning over Forester's characteristics as a human being with a heart won't get you in any hot water. Your idea that it would only clarifies your lack of understanding about what the intrinsic problems are with Forester Brand Cycling Advocacy and Forester Brand Educational/Training Materials.

  17. #17
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    yeah, littlebigman. there is no happy middle ground with this guy.

    I know you said you couldn't ride a bike on a road until you read his book, but still.
    Last edited by rando; 04-21-07 at 12:29 PM.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  18. #18
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    ...
    Anyone who advocated anything because "it's best for automobiles" would be crazy. Automobiles, just like bicycles, have no feelings.
    This is a red herring. You know it.

    I thought you were better than that.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  19. #19
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    This is a red herring. You know it.

    I thought you were better than that.
    What do you need to convince you of the obvious?

  20. #20
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando
    yeah, littlebigman. there is no happy middle ground with this guy.

    I know you said you couldn't ride a bike on a road until you read his book, but still.
    Rando, that's not what I said. You should know that. Somehow, this second-hand misquote is getting convenient recycling.

    What I did say was that his writings changed my view to encourage me to ride my bike on roads where I previously supposed it wasn't feasable. It could have been anyone's encouragement that fell into my lap, and I'd be praising them for their encouragement, instead. It's not like riding a bike on the road involves a secret formula. At least I can say that Forester, despite whatever shortcomings others say he has, helped me.

    Some people find that laughable. Go for it, I never claimed to be anything but a regular person who rides a bike.
    No worries

  21. #21
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Rando, that's not what I said. You should know that. Somehow, this second-hand misquote is getting convenient recycling.

    What I did say was that his writings changed my view to encourage me to ride my bike on roads where I previously supposed it wasn't feasable. It could have been anyone's encouragement that fell into my lap, and I'd be praising them for their encouragement, instead. It's not like riding a bike on the road involves a secret formula. At least I can say that Forester, despite whatever shortcomings others say he has, helped me.

    Some people find that laughable. Go for it, I never claimed to be anything but a regular person who rides a bike.
    Okay, sorry for the misquote! thanks for clarifying. Hurst did the same for me.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  22. #22
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando
    Hurst did the same for me.
    Thanks, I might read a bit.

    No worries

  23. #23
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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? They're all supportive of cycling facilities, including bike lanes, now. They tell their colleagues, too. They tend to be consistent voters, as well.
    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.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando
    John, you have said in the past that only incompetent cyclists would use bike lanes; or that bike facilities are only of use to incompetent cyclists, or that bike lanes are made for incompetent cyclists, or some such... this is what I disagree with in your characterization of what a competent cyclist is. my contention is that competent cyclists can and do use bike facilities. I have seen you conjure a much stricter definition of competent than what you posted above. if your view has changed, good. if this is just more semantic stepdancing, Bad!
    My views have not changed. I have made statements such as bike lanes were intended to keep incompetent cyclists at the side of the roadway, that they were made because most cyclists are incompetent. These are the statements that I heard from the original bikeway designers, and I see no reason to think that they were dissimulating. After all, what worse admissions could they make? Then the anti-motoring bicycle advocates joined in by arguing that bike lanes made cycling safe for incompetent bicycle riders. And now there's all this opposition to vehicular cycling expressed right here in conjunction with advocacy of bike lanes.

    In short, the arguments presented by anti-motoring bicycle advocates demonstrate the close connection between bike lane advocacy and incompetent cycling.

    Remember my instruction, presented here several times although first written decades ago? That is, when cycling on a street with a bike lane, ride properly and ignore the bike-lane stripe. When one rides properly, sometimes one is in the bike lane, sometimes one is out of the bike lane. So what?

    Don't try to catch me in your semantic muddles; it won't work.

  25. #25
    Senior Member randya'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.
    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.
    Last edited by randya; 04-21-07 at 05:53 PM.

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