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Old 05-19-07, 05:22 PM   #1
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Pro VC editorial in LA Times today

HH & Co. must be so proud:
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...opinion-center

Quote:
More bike lanes? No thanks
L.A. should treat cyclists as motorists' equals, not as pesky afterthoughts.
By Will Campbell, WILL CAMPBELL is more than 900 miles toward his goal of bicycling 2,007 miles around Los Angeles this year. He writes at Wildbell.com and Blogging.la.
May 19, 2007

TO EXPERIENCE the full dysfunction of Los Angeles cycling, there's no better place than the Los Angeles River Bikeway.

Its northernmost four miles, from Griffith Park to Atwater Village, are a pedaling paradise: smooth pavement, lighting, a dedicated bridge over Los Feliz Boulevard. But cross Fletcher Avenue and the riding gets rough. The aged asphalt is in various stages of disrepair, and cyclists are forced to negotiate a number of rough drainage ditches. At the bike path's southern end, riders are unceremoniously dumped back onto Riverside Drive in the shadows of the Golden State and Pasadena freeways miles from downtown, Dodger Stadium or any other destination.

The Fletcher Divide, which has aged disgracefully over five years during three mayoral administrations, illustrates how glacially Los Angeles is integrating cycling into its transportation grid. L.A., which averages 329 sunny, bike-friendly days a year, should be one of the most forward-thinking cities on the subject. Instead, greater Los Angeles remains a vast patchwork of bikeways, bike lanes and bike routes that haven't coalesced — as anyone who took part in Bike to Work Day this week surely noticed.

That's not to say nothing is happening. The city has an 11-year-old Bicycle Plan, and city and county officials cite the proliferation of on-street bike lanes as an example of the great strides being made. Yet the numbers leave a lot to be desired. Of Los Angeles County's 6,400 miles of surface streets, only 481 miles have bike lanes (320 inside the city limits — five fewer miles than much smaller Tucson). In milk carton terms, if L.A.'s total street mileage equaled half a gallon, bike lanes would constitute a sip of about 4 ounces.

Whether one sees that glass as half full or half empty, I personally wish the city would just stop filling it. Quit while it's behind and not stripe another inch of bike lane. And yes, this is coming from an avid recreational and commuter cyclist who has pedaled thousands of miles over 20 years.

Here's why: By law, my bicycle is considered a vehicle with the same right to the road as your car or truck. Bike lanes provide an arguable buffer zone of safety (as well as a great place for people to put their garbage containers on trash day), but they marginalize cyclists and reinforce their status as second-class commuters who shouldn't be on the road.

Some bike lanes even put cyclists at greater risk, such as the newest lanes along Santa Monica Boulevard between Century City and the San Diego Freeway. Cars have to make quick cuts across the bike lane to get to side streets, shopping centers and parking spaces. The eastbound bike lane literally vanishes midblock, as if the Department of Transportation ran out of paint before reaching Avenue of the Stars.

L.A. Department of Transportation officials quote chapter and verse how the city's newest bike lanes safely conform to state regulations — and not counting the disappearing act I mentioned, I'm sure that's true. But it's not enough.

What will be enough? I'll never be satisfied until Silverados and Schwinns can peacefully coexist on all surface streets. But an update of the city Bicycle Plan — something the plan stipulated should have been done last year — is a good place to start. Our city and county transportation agencies should be trying out fresher bike-transit concepts, such as shared-use arrows, known as sharrows, and bicycle-priority streets, also called bike boulevards.

Already successful in San Francisco, sharrows have a bike icon topped by two chevrons painted directly on the road. Instead of creating separation, they promote awareness that the right lane is to be shared by motorists and cyclists — and they're easier and less costly to implement than bike lanes.

A network of seven bike boulevards has been used to great effect in Berkeley. All types of vehicles are allowed, but these designated roadways have been enhanced with traffic signals, signage and traffic control for bike safety and convenience. Here in Los Angeles, 4th Street is practically bike-boulevard ready from Vermont Boulevard to La Brea Avenue. Another could be Fountain Avenue between Silver Lake and West Hollywood.

A citywide grid of sharrows that complement and connect bike boulevards and off-street bikeways would go a long way toward fostering a civic culture that embraces cycling rather than treating bikes as a transportation afterthought.
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Old 05-19-07, 05:38 PM   #2
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By law, my bicycle is considered a vehicle
LOL. Apparently Will Campbell is not familiar with California law. In California, a bicycle is a device, not a vehicle.

Fortunately, I live in Missouri, where John Forester has not "advocated" for cyclist's rights and not opposed defining a bicycle as a vehicle.
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Old 05-19-07, 06:34 PM   #3
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LOL. Apparently Will Campbell is not familiar with California law. In California, a bicycle is a device, not a vehicle.

Fortunately, I live in Missouri, where John Forester has not "advocated" for cyclist's rights and not opposed defining a bicycle as a vehicle.
JRA, you persist in making statements in some attempt to denigrate my opinions, but they turn back and bite you because they are foolish. In traffic law, vehicles do not have rights. (In maritime law, ships do have rights; that's different.) In traffic law, only people have rights. In California law, a person riding a bicycle on the roadway has the rights and duties of drivers of vehicles. So there is nothing to complain about.
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Old 05-19-07, 07:11 PM   #4
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Diane, you've been reading way too many of Bek's posts. To be "Pro-VC" requires a whole lot more than simply opposing bike lane stripes. The fact that you seem to equate the two (with no other considerations) shows your lack of understanding of why there is a disagreement between the two groups.
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Old 05-19-07, 07:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by John Forester
JRA, you persist in making statements in some attempt to denigrate my opinions, but they turn back and bite you because they are foolish. In traffic law, vehicles do not have rights. (In maritime law, ships do have rights; that's different.) In traffic law, only people have rights. In California law, a person riding a bicycle on the roadway has the rights and duties of drivers of vehicles. So there is nothing to complain about.
Here you go again John. You replied to his post but nothing in yours reflects anything he said. He made two statements; that in California law a bicycle is considered a device and not a vehicle (which is true), and that you have not made any advocation attempt in his state to change the wording of the law to reflect the wording used in California law (which is also likely true).

Then you turn it all around into a discussion about "rights" and telling JRA that his comments are coming back to bike him, which I don't see happening.

Your post is yet another perfect example of what I was referring to in my thread about VCists being condecending and trying to belittle others into thinking the way they do.
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Old 05-19-07, 07:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pj7
Here you go again John. You replied to his post but nothing in yours reflects anything he said. He made two statements; that in California law a bicycle is considered a device and not a vehicle (which is true), and that you have not made any advocation attempt in his state to change the wording of the law to reflect the wording used in California law (which is also likely true).

Then you turn it all around into a discussion about "rights" and telling JRA that his comments are coming back to bike him, which I don't see happening.

Your post is yet another perfect example of what I was referring to in my thread about VCists being condecending and trying to belittle others into thinking the way they do.
What would changing a bicycle from a device to a vehicle do to affect cyclists' rights in a positive way? If you've paid any attention you'd realize why it's way more effort than it's worth (it's worth being nothing more than fitting in with the rest of the states).
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Old 05-19-07, 08:00 PM   #7
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I can't see what anybody thinks I'm reading into or not comprehending about this article. Here's a guy who thinks that everything will be perfect when bikes and autos coexist perfectly on city streets unadorned by facilities, and in the mean time, he'll settle for sharrows and bike boulevards but doesn't want anymore bike paths or bike lanes. This sounds like something closer to VC, and was printed a mainstream newspaper, making it closer to getting into the mainstream. I'd think the VCers would be quite proud.
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Old 05-19-07, 08:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by joejack951
What would changing a bicycle from a device to a vehicle do to affect cyclists' rights in a positive way? If you've paid any attention you'd realize why it's way more effort than it's worth (it's worth being nothing more than fitting in with the rest of the states).
I didn't say anything about my opinion on the subject, nothing at all. You are commenting on something you assume I think with no information to come to that conclusion.
I was talking to John, about his comment to JRA, nothing more.

[EDIT]
And you are the one accusing me of not paying attention.
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Old 05-19-07, 08:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pj7
I didn't say anything about my opinion on the subject, nothing at all. You are commenting on something you assume I think with no information to come to that conclusion.
I was talking to John, about his comment to JRA, nothing more.
JRA's posts implied that cyclists in CA have less rights than those in states where a bicycle is considered a vehicle. JF replied that this is a foolish statement to make because there is no truth to it. You chime in saying that JF didn't address what JRA said. Well, he did. I made the assumption that because you were jumping up to defend JRA's foolish statements that you agreed with him. Perhaps this was an incorrect assumption and I apologize for that.
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Old 05-19-07, 08:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by joejack951
JRA's posts implied that cyclists in CA have less rights than those in states where a bicycle is considered a vehicle. JF replied that this is a foolish statement to make because there is no truth to it. You chime in saying that JF didn't address what JRA said. Well, he did. I made the assumption that because you were jumping up to defend JRA's foolish statements that you agreed with him. Perhaps this was an incorrect assumption and I apologize for that.
Understood, reading this post makes me feel bad about my [EDIT] in the previous one, but what has been done has been done I guess.
I was commenting to John about a discussion in another thread on how the arrogance and condecending nature of him and otehr VCists is what turns people off of it. In fact I told them that if they would just lighten up with the holier than thou attitude that people would begin to listen to them, me included. My comment to him was an extension of that which he would have picked up on.
However, I'll keep my opinion to myself on this subject as I feel it is not relevant.
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Old 05-19-07, 08:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pj7
Understood, reading this post makes me feel bad about my [EDIT] in the previous one, but what has been done has been done I guess.
I was commenting to John about a discussion in another thread on how the arrogance and condecending nature of him and otehr VCists is what turns people off of it. In fact I told them that if they would just lighten up with the holier than thou attitude that people would begin to listen to them, me included. My comment to him was an extension of that which he would have picked up on.
However, I'll keep my opinion to myself on this subject as I feel it is not relevant.
I didn't find JF's post condescending at all. JRA's post was a direct insult at JF, however, and JF simply defended himself.

Don't worry. There's no hard feelings about the [edit] comment.
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Old 05-19-07, 08:55 PM   #12
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I actually don't mind the editorial's point. Bike boulevards are much better than bike lanes. I might disagree with the opinions of those who choose WOLs over bike lanes, but I agree wholeheartedly that cities who are using bike lane stripping to avoid doing anything real to help bicyclists are wrong headed. Merely laying paint on the ground does not a bike lane make. Bike boulevards, on the other hand, are extremely helpful.
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Old 05-19-07, 09:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by joejack951
Diane, you've been reading way too many of Bek's posts. To be "Pro-VC" requires a whole lot more than simply opposing bike lane stripes. The fact that you seem to equate the two (with no other considerations) shows your lack of understanding of why there is a disagreement between the two groups.
I'll put in Helmet Head's disclaimer:

I only state my opinion. My opinion is formed by what is talked about by the "pro-VC" camp on these forums. So, to me to be "Pro-VC", it basically all comes down to "no-bike lane." People who ride vehicularly but who do not oppose bike lanes are looked on as heretics.

Again, this is my impression you all have given me by what you talk about in these forums. Feel free to prove me wrong about the "Pro-VC" clique that doesn't include cyclists like myself who approve of bike lanes but bicycle in a vehicular manner.

[/sarcasm]

Someone tell me: If I started a dust up about bike lanes on Chainguard, would I be kicked off, despite my riding in a vehicular manner? I believe at least one member of these forums has been kicked off Chainguard for exactly that? Is it my political positions (the VC politics seem to all lead back to bike lanes, so it seems) that defines me as a vehicular cyclist, or my riding style and my approach to riding in traffic?

Are you saying that opposing bike lanes is a necessery but not sufficient condition to be part of the clique? But it is necessary, right?
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Old 05-19-07, 09:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
I'll put in Helmet Head's disclaimer:

I only state my opinion. My opinion is formed by what is talked about by the "pro-VC" camp on these forums. So, to me to be "Pro-VC", it basically all comes down to "no-bike lane." People who ride vehicularly but who do not oppose bike lanes are looked on as heretics.

Again, this is my impression you all have given me by what you talk about in these forums. Feel free to prove me wrong about the "Pro-VC" clique that doesn't include cyclists like myself who approve of bike lanes but bicycle in a vehicular manner.

[/sarcasm]

Someone tell me: If I started a dust up about bike lanes on Chainguard, would I be kicked off, despite my riding in a vehicular manner? I believe at least one member of these forums has been kicked off Chainguard for exactly that? Is it my political positions (the VC politics seem to all lead back to bike lanes, so it seems) that defines me as a vehicular cyclist, or my riding style and my approach to riding in traffic?

Are you saying that opposing bike lanes is a necessery but not sufficient condition to be part of the clique? But it is necessary, right?
As far as I am concerned, being an advocate for vehicular cycling (rather than just practicing it) has to both advocate better training for cyclists and oppose the forces that are against vehicular cycling, which are the governmental and social programs that support incompetent cycling on bikeways.
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Old 05-19-07, 09:54 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by John Forester
As far as I am concerned, being an advocate for vehicular cycling (rather than just practicing it) has to both advocate better training for cyclists and oppose the forces that are against vehicular cycling, which are the governmental and social programs that support incompetent cycling on bikeways.
What about competent cycling on bikeways? Can I be a vehicular cycling advocate that supports competent cycling on bikeways?
I ride a bikeway, and I am a competent cyclist (both while on it and off it) and I advocate the practice of vehicular cycling.
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Old 05-19-07, 09:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
I'll put in Helmet Head's disclaimer:

I only state my opinion. My opinion is formed by what is talked about by the "pro-VC" camp on these forums. So, to me to be "Pro-VC", it basically all comes down to "no-bike lane." People who ride vehicularly but who do not oppose bike lanes are looked on as heretics.

Again, this is my impression you all have given me by what you talk about in these forums. Feel free to prove me wrong about the "Pro-VC" clique that doesn't include cyclists like myself who approve of bike lanes but bicycle in a vehicular manner.

[/sarcasm]

Someone tell me: If I started a dust up about bike lanes on Chainguard, would I be kicked off, despite my riding in a vehicular manner? I believe at least one member of these forums has been kicked off Chainguard for exactly that? Is it my political positions (the VC politics seem to all lead back to bike lanes, so it seems) that defines me as a vehicular cyclist, or my riding style and my approach to riding in traffic?

Are you saying that opposing bike lanes is a necessery but not sufficient condition to be part of the clique? But it is necessary, right?
I would not be opposed to a bike lane which does not promote cycling against the rules of the road. This basically eliminates bike lanes in any urban and most suburban settings. It also means that bike lanes on roads with few intersections and high speeds would be treated as normal traffic lanes in that whenever other vehicular traffic was to cross the bike lane, the bike lane and traffic lane would merge first, then diverge as is common with normal traffic lanes. There would be none of the blue bike lane treatment that Portland seems to be so proud of.
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Old 05-19-07, 10:11 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by joejack951
I would not be opposed to a bike lane which does not promote cycling against the rules of the road. This basically eliminates bike lanes in any urban and most suburban settings. It also means that bike lanes on roads with few intersections and high speeds would be treated as normal traffic lanes in that whenever other vehicular traffic was to cross the bike lane, the bike lane and traffic lane would merge first, then diverge as is common with normal traffic lanes. There would be none of the blue bike lane treatment that Portland seems to be so proud of.
What do you promote in the bike lane's place? In the hands of the wrong cyclist, a WOL can also promote cycling against the rules of the road and against best practices of traffic cycling. In the hands of a well trained cyclist, neither a bike lane nor a WOL prevent following the rules of the road.

**I've got a thread going on this topic already where Mr. Forester and I are having a similar conversation. I'm going to cross-post this there, and we'll continue in that thread.
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Old 05-19-07, 10:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
What do you promote in the bike lane's place? In the hands of the wrong cyclist, a WOL can also promote cycling against the rules of the road and against best practices of traffic cycling. In the hands of a well trained cyclist, neither a bike lane nor a WOL prevent following the rules of the road.

**I've got a thread going on this topic already where Mr. Forester and I are having a similar conversation. I'm going to cross-post this there, and we'll continue in that thread.
Sounds good. This is a good discussion topic.
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Old 05-19-07, 10:57 PM   #19
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Here you go again John. You replied to his post but nothing in yours reflects anything he said. He made two statements; that in California law a bicycle is considered a device and not a vehicle (which is true), and that you have not made any advocation attempt in his state to change the wording of the law to reflect the wording used in California law (which is also likely true).

Then you turn it all around into a discussion about "rights" and telling JRA that his comments are coming back to bike him, which I don't see happening.

Your post is yet another perfect example of what I was referring to in my thread about VCists being condecending and trying to belittle others into thinking the way they do.

That is so funny pj7, you calling others condescending.

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Old 05-19-07, 11:05 PM   #20
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What about competent cycling on bikeways? Can I be a vehicular cycling advocate that supports competent cycling on bikeways?
I ride a bikeway, and I am a competent cyclist (both while on it and off it) and I advocate the practice of vehicular cycling.
Who among the evil VC'ers ever said that you could not?
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Old 05-19-07, 11:22 PM   #21
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That is so funny pj7, you calling others condecending.
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Originally Posted by CB HI
Who among the evil VC'ers ever said that you could not?
I know you live on an island, but your angling skills leave a bit to be desired.
But I'm bored so I'll bike.

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That is so funny pj7, you calling others condecending.
What in my post was condescending? Nothing in there gave shadow to me having a superior attitude. Nerver the less, my post was not aimed towards you and was in reference to a discussion that John and I had in a different thread. If you are not familiar with that thread, which has been pointed out by me twice (make that three times) in this thread for clarity. It seems that you may not be familiar with the previous thread, yet you commented.

Quote:
Who among the evil VC'ers ever said that you could not?
I believe that since my post was a question and not an accusation that it is quite clear that no one said that I could not. The answer to your question is right there in the thread that you replied to.

Maybe you should try casting somewhere else.
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Old 05-20-07, 12:58 AM   #22
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You remind me of a dog chasing his own tail.
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Old 05-20-07, 01:45 AM   #23
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^^^
CB, how helping here? Do I really have to push the link and cause more work for donnamb?

What are your thoughts on the OP?
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Old 05-20-07, 03:13 AM   #24
CB HI
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Push whatever link you want.

I guess you missed pj7's comments "Your post is yet another perfect example of what I was referring to in my thread about VCists being condecending and trying to belittle others into thinking the way they do."
"What about competent cycling on bikeways? Can I be a vehicular cycling advocate that supports competent cycling on bikeways?
I ride a bikeway, and I am a competent cyclist (both while on it and off it) and I advocate the practice of vehicular cycling."
"I know you live on an island, but your angling skills leave a bit to be desired."

Since you did not threaten to "push the link" with his post.

Maybe you think I should comment on the OP's swipe "HH & Co. must be so proud" that served no useful purpose.

Last edited by CB HI; 05-20-07 at 03:30 AM.
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Old 05-20-07, 08:03 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Forester
As far as I am concerned, being an advocate for vehicular cycling (rather than just practicing it) has to both advocate better training for cyclists and oppose the forces that are against vehicular cycling, which are the governmental and social programs that support incompetent cycling on bikeways.
Yep, My Way or the Highway is the bottom line of Forester Brand Vehicular Cycling Advocacy which Forester has succinctly laid out:

Promotion of Forester Brand Training (by trainers certified in Forester Brand technique), and opposition and obstructionism to any program which is not an endorsement of that specific training scheme.
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