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Old 05-03-07, 11:03 AM   #1
sggoodri
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NCDOT Bike Manual: Streetwise Cycling

Here is NCDOT's manual for bicycling on roadways:

http://www.ncdot.org/transit/bicycle...e_cycling.html

Does this represent a reasonable description of vehicular cycling? Is there anything disagreeable? Go ahead, tear it apart!

-Steve
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Old 05-03-07, 06:54 PM   #2
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I like some of the general concepts, and it seems VC on a certain level, but it has some dumb stuff too. Like where it says that if a car passing a bike honks, the bicyclist has to move right....yeah....like I should have to drive into broken glass cause some bubba couldn't plan a safe pass....

Also, the talking about how "risky" night-riding is seems a little liability driven.. doesn't NC have a law about contributory negligence? That if you are acting in a "risky" way and you get hit by someone, that you have a harder time pursuing action against them, even if you were following the law and they weren't?
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Old 05-03-07, 07:16 PM   #3
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Is that the guide you helped with, Steve, that completely fails to even MENTION bike lanes? Pretty big, glaring oversight....
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Old 05-03-07, 07:27 PM   #4
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I skimmed through it and only found two annoying things (aside from the nighttime riding being risky bit).

1. "If you often get honked at, you may be riding too far from the curb for your speed."

2. "On a very narrow road (10-foot-wide lanes for example), riding near the edge can encourage motorists to pass unsafely. While it won't be fun, the best approach is to ride a straight line far enough from the curb to discourage unsafe passing."

Honks are a very bad indicator of how proper your lane position is and a much better indicator of how immature the motorist behind you is acting. Taking the center of a narrow lane is much more fun than getting squeezed off the road or clipped by an impatient motorist. Both of those statements could be worded better to have a more positive tone.

I'd suggest:

1. Most motorist honks are caused by impatience as cyclists are often going slow than motorized traffic. While riding further left at higher speed is adviseable, if your speed is significantly low enough that edge of the road hazards are easily avoided, you may want to consider moving further right to allow traffic to pass without leaving the lane.

2. On a very narrow road (10-foot-wide lanes for example), riding near the edge can encourage motorists to pass unsafely. The best approach is to ride a straight line far enough from the curb to discourage unsafe passing. The tradeoff of a few possible honks for a greatly lessened chance of being forced off the road by an ill-advised pass is certainly worth it. In a narrow lane, motorists need to cross the centerline regardless of your lane position so being centered in the lane is not slowing anyone down any more than hugging the edge of the road.

Or something along those lines
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Old 05-03-07, 09:05 PM   #5
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I agree 100% with joejack's and zeytoun's comments. Sadly, this is the most positive work NCDOT has ever written about cyclists' road rights. To see our feedback on a much worse work, see this:
http://humantransport.org/bicycledri...e_critique.pdf

Bek should note that Streetwise Cycling was originally written before I moved to North Carolina, and although bike lanes are still very rare here today, I cannot think of any at all that would have existed in central NC at the time of writing.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joejack951
I skimmed through it and only found two annoying things (aside from the nighttime riding being risky bit).

1. "If you often get honked at, you may be riding too far from the curb for your speed."

2. "On a very narrow road (10-foot-wide lanes for example), riding near the edge can encourage motorists to pass unsafely. While it won't be fun, the best approach is to ride a straight line far enough from the curb to discourage unsafe passing."

Honks are a very bad indicator of how proper your lane position is and a much better indicator of how immature the motorist behind you is acting. Taking the center of a narrow lane is much more fun than getting squeezed off the road or clipped by an impatient motorist. Both of those statements could be worded better to have a more positive tone.

I'd suggest:

1. Most motorist honks are caused by impatience as cyclists are often going slow than motorized traffic. While riding further left at higher speed is adviseable, if your speed is significantly low enough that edge of the road hazards are easily avoided, you may want to consider moving further right to allow traffic to pass without leaving the lane.

2. On a very narrow road (10-foot-wide lanes for example), riding near the edge can encourage motorists to pass unsafely. The best approach is to ride a straight line far enough from the curb to discourage unsafe passing. The tradeoff of a few possible honks for a greatly lessened chance of being forced off the road by an ill-advised pass is certainly worth it. In a narrow lane, motorists need to cross the centerline regardless of your lane position so being centered in the lane is not slowing anyone down any more than hugging the edge of the road.

Or something along those lines


This, folks, is an assessment that could only be produced by a vehicular cyclist, someone who believes, deep down, in his equal right to the road: same rules, same rights.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:14 PM   #7
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oh well, it sounds like NC doesn't really want to encourage cycling as transportation with bike-specific infrastructure.

keep the roads the domain of the good ol boys and savvy cyclists ballsy enough, for example, to take the lane in the face of 45 mph traffic with kids in tow- OH, something you DON'T DO for that half mile ride to the ice cream store, steve......
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Old 05-03-07, 09:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
oh well, it sounds like NC doesn't really want to encourage cycling as transportation with bike-specific infrastructure.

keep the roads the domain of the good ol boys and savvy cyclists ballsy enough, for example, to take the lane in the face of 45 mph traffic with kids in tow- OH, something you DON'T DO for that half mile ride to the ice cream store, steve......
I've been advocating for better roadway conditions for cyclists for ten years. The state-maintained roads are the ones that could most use cross-section improvement. The local streets could most use connectivity improvement. I am trying to make a difference at the state, county and local levels.

I also lead beginning rides and try to promote cycling by beginners. Nobody seriously doubts that I want to help more people enjoy cycling. You dishonestly accuse me otherwise only because I don't advocate your favorite marketing technique. Such weak attacks only diminish your credibility.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:56 PM   #9
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steve, I'm dissing on North Carolina, not you, buddy.

you dishonestly calling bike specific infrastructure a 'marketing technique' just undermines YOUR cred.

but I did notice your state doesn't mention it in their biking manual; and the lack of bike specific infrastructure in North carolina will likely keep transportational cycling DOWN in your state, despite your VC-addled analysis.
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Old 05-04-07, 05:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
Is that the guide you helped with, Steve, that completely fails to even MENTION bike lanes? Pretty big, glaring oversight....
What noteable features of bike lanes would you like to see mentioned?
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Old 05-04-07, 08:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
you dishonestly calling bike specific infrastructure a 'marketing technique' just undermines YOUR cred.

but I did notice your state doesn't mention it in their biking manual; and the lack of bike specific infrastructure in North carolina will likely keep transportational cycling DOWN in your state, despite your VC-addled analysis.
I can't find anyone working in transportation engineering around here who honestly believes that bike lane striping and stencils improve safety over the same amount of total pavement width left as a wide lane, or as a paved shoulder, at least not on normal roads. We simply don't have car-bike overtaking collisions on 15'+ wide lane roads. Even the bike lane proponents have been forced to admit as much. The stencils are generally seen as "encouraging" cycling without making any real operational improvement. That's marketing, any way you slice it.
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Old 05-04-07, 08:14 AM   #12
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steve, I'm dissing on North Carolina, not you, buddy.
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Old 05-04-07, 01:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sggoodri
Here is NCDOT's manual for bicycling on roadways:

http://www.ncdot.org/transit/bicycle...e_cycling.html

Does this represent a reasonable description of vehicular cycling? Is there anything disagreeable? Go ahead, tear it apart!

-Steve
I've read the traffic-cycling part (10pgs) and the comments given to date. I have a few more, but they are really only minor. For example, the illustrations for Rock Dodge should have the cyclist leaning over. If there is possibility of a new edition, I would work with Steve on them.
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Old 05-04-07, 01:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joejack951
I skimmed through it and only found two annoying things (aside from the nighttime riding being risky bit).

1. "If you often get honked at, you may be riding too far from the curb for your speed."

2. "On a very narrow road (10-foot-wide lanes for example), riding near the edge can encourage motorists to pass unsafely. While it won't be fun, the best approach is to ride a straight line far enough from the curb to discourage unsafe passing."

Honks are a very bad indicator of how proper your lane position is and a much better indicator of how immature the motorist behind you is acting. Taking the center of a narrow lane is much more fun than getting squeezed off the road or clipped by an impatient motorist. Both of those statements could be worded better to have a more positive tone.

I'd suggest:

1. Most motorist honks are caused by impatience as cyclists are often going slow than motorized traffic. While riding further left at higher speed is adviseable, if your speed is significantly low enough that edge of the road hazards are easily avoided, you may want to consider moving further right to allow traffic to pass without leaving the lane.

2. On a very narrow road (10-foot-wide lanes for example), riding near the edge can encourage motorists to pass unsafely. The best approach is to ride a straight line far enough from the curb to discourage unsafe passing. The tradeoff of a few possible honks for a greatly lessened chance of being forced off the road by an ill-advised pass is certainly worth it. In a narrow lane, motorists need to cross the centerline regardless of your lane position so being centered in the lane is not slowing anyone down any more than hugging the edge of the road.

Or something along those lines
Of course no one will bother telling the motorists all this... So the cyclist, knowing they are clearly in the right, will still have to face untold taunts and harrassment from the "good ole boys" in the area...
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