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Old 06-19-07, 08:43 AM   #1
The Human Car
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Evidence of sidewalks reinforcing the notion

This thread is for citing evidence of sidewalks reinforcing "the notion" that cyclists (and any non-motorized transportation) should stay out of the way of motorists, that it is inherently dangerous for cyclists (and any non-motorized transportation) to share the road with motorists, etc.
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Old 06-20-07, 07:52 AM   #2
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I think when people expect cyclists to use the sidewalk it's often because that's where they would ride themselves.
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Old 06-21-07, 06:30 PM   #3
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This is one example:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffery
I want to know whats the best and most polite thing to say when stopped by a police officer that thinks you should not ride in the street at all but on the sidewalk? I had this happen and just said ok but can they do anything about it ? I ride my bike to the far right of the street as possible but still giving myself enough room when need be. When there is no cars behind me I take up a little more, almost as much as a normal car for safety reasons on four way stops. At lights I do the same thing. Though once I am pass the light or four way stop I try to move over to the far right as much as possible to let any cars behind me by. If I am about to be at a stop sign I keep my whole lane to let the car or cars behind me know that I am about to stop. Is it a good idea to print out the laws in your state about bicycle's ridding in the street to show the police officer or does that not really matter much ?
What to say?
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Old 06-21-07, 06:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Forester paraphrased swapping sidewalks for bike lanes
This assertion is highly questionable. On what basis does it rest? I can think of at least three opinions by motorists and there are at least two kinds of rights involved in the assertion.

Motorist A might think that cyclists should not be using the roadway.

Motorist B might think that cyclists are grudgingly permitted to use the roadway as long as they stay out of the way of motorists.

Motorist C might think that cyclists, at least when operating lawfully, are legitimate roadway users.

Right #1 is the right to ride upon the roadway surface.

Right #2 is the right to operate on the roadway with the rights and duties of drivers of vehicles.

Now consider the possible effect of a sidewalk upon Motorist A. He sees that now cyclists are allowed to use the sidewalk but he would not change his mind about Right #1 or Right #2, because that goes beyond the sidewalk area.

Consider the effect of a sidewalk upon Motorist B. He sees the sidewalk as confirming his belief that cyclists have to stay to the side of the roadway to avoid delaying him. That means no change in Right #1, and explicit continued denial of Right #2.

Consider the effect of a sidewalk upon Motorist C. He sees this as the official designation of a place for cyclists, and therefore as a denial of his earlier view of Right #1, as applying to the whole width of the roadway surface, and effectively officially denying Right #2, since that cannot be exercised totally within the sidewalk.

In short, the only positive effect upon any motorist's view of cycling is upon the motorist who thinks that cyclists should not be on the roadway at all, and his change in view extends only to the width of the sidewalk. I think that this is not to be considered an improvement.
Evidence of bike lanes reinforcing the notion
Therefore shouldn’t VC advocates also be against sidewalks?
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Old 06-21-07, 08:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Human Car
Therefore shouldn’t VC advocates also be against sidewalks?
Of course not. Pedestrians have different operating characteristics than wheeled vehicles, and this difference justifies facilities that are designed for each class according to the characteristics of the class.
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Old 06-21-07, 10:24 PM   #6
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Other than speed, what other relevant characteristics would you mention?

Or should very slow wheeled vehicles be on the sidewalk?
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Old 06-21-07, 10:37 PM   #7
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cyclists have a choice whether to act as vehicles or as pedestrians. this is a good thing. why try to limit it to one or the other? both is better!
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Old 06-22-07, 06:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Forester
Of course not. Pedestrians have different operating characteristics than wheeled vehicles, and this difference justifies facilities that are designed for each class according to the characteristics of the class.
But we are not talking about operating characteristics or pedestrians, we are talking about faculties giving motorists the notion that cyclists do not belong on the road, besides the operating characteristics of a bicycle do not preclude it from operating on a sidewalk.

Around here the major taunt from motorists is “ride on the sidewalk.” Since sidewalks give motorist the notion that we don’t belong on the road we should not allow them to be built. Also pedestrians can use a WOL just as effectively as we can so if we are so concerned about what motorists think that VCers should be against bike lanes, shouldn’t they also be against sidewalks?

Or whatever bad stuff happens because of bike lanes it also happens because of sidewalks so being against bike lanes and not sidewalks does not contribute anything at all except to turn cyclist against cyclist.
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Old 06-22-07, 08:27 AM   #9
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Out where I live it is usual to have sidewalks on residential streets, and on arterial-type streets usually no sidewalks, unless there is shopping. And there are usually wide bike lanes on arterial-type streets. So it is hard here for sidewalks to reinforce any notions.

When I visited a certain large Southern city I noticed very narrow, high-speed lanes and sidewalks but no bike lanes on arterial-type streets and no sidewalks in the residential areas. I could not imagine myself riding a bicycle on these high-speed lanes. I could only imagine myself on the sidewalk, and since I refuse to ride on the sidewalk out of principle for the notions it does reinforce, I could only imagine myself giving up on riding a bicycle. Not worth the hassle to me.

I think the Southern city's sidewalks reinforce the notion.
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Old 06-22-07, 08:52 AM   #10
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Boy, change a couple of words around, and john advocates for bike facilities!

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Forester, with subs in italics
non-motorized vehicles have different operating characteristics than motorized vehicles, and this difference justifies facilities that are designed for each class according to the characteristics of the class.
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Old 06-22-07, 09:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Forester
Of course not. Pedestrians have different operating characteristics than wheeled vehicles, and this difference justifies facilities that are designed for each class according to the characteristics of the class.
It is your contention then that bikes have the same "operating characteristics" of all other wheeled vehciles?
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Old 06-22-07, 10:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Forester
Of course not. Pedestrians have different operating characteristics than wheeled vehicles, and this difference justifies facilities that are designed for each class according to the characteristics of the class.
Perhaps bicyclists should not oppose sidewalks but the rest of what you say is utter nonsense.

Many modern sidewalks have curb cuts designed specifically to accomodate wheeled vehicles (usually wheelchairs but also other vehicles, such as scooters and Segways). The difference between design users of sidewalks vs. design users of roadways is not the absence or presence of wheels but, rather, speed. As a former serious runner, I can assure you that sidewalks are not designed for fast pedestrians, even those without wheels.

Actually, if I'm not mistaken, the original purpose of what we now call sidewalks, was not to separate pedestrians on the basis of operating characteristics but to protect pedestrians from the mud, muck and horse poop of early dirt roads (in other words, to keep their clothes clean).

The operating chatacteristics of a bicycle differ as much, if not more, from the operating chacteristic of an automobile as they differ from the operating chacteristics of a pedestrian. The opposing claim must be based on either bias or perhaps, to use the same reasoning that VC-ists are so fond of using to discredit any with the audacity to disagree with John Forester's nutcase theories, on some form of mental defect.

John Forester, for someone who claims to have studied transportation most of your life, you demonstrate an absolutely incredible lack of understanding of both history and modern reality.

Last edited by JRA; 06-22-07 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 06-22-07, 12:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
I think the Southern city's sidewalks reinforce the notion.
Very interesting comment thanks. MD is very much a mix of north and south and we have any combination of sidewalks that you can think of depending on what county you are in.
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Old 06-22-07, 01:48 PM   #14
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RE: curb cuts on sidewalks. They are kind of like large-handled kitchen implements.

Someone invented some large-handled kitchen tools for people with arthritis. Well, because they are so easy and comfortable to hole, they provided better usefulness to people without arthritis.

Curb cuts are similar. You don't need them as someone with perfectly good legs, but they provide advantages over stepping up a curb, so they benefit everybody.

Not that this has anything to do with the original question. As to that, I think that when people ride on sidewalks that reinforces the notion, and that when developers build roads where the sidewalk appears to be the most logical place (or even is the sanctioned place) for cyclists to ride, that reinforces the notion. Bike lanes, in my opinion, don't do the same negative damage to the idea that cyclists are real road users that sidewalks can do.
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Old 06-22-07, 03:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Human Car
But we are not talking about operating characteristics or pedestrians, we are talking about faculties giving motorists the notion that cyclists do not belong on the road, besides the operating characteristics of a bicycle do not preclude it from operating on a sidewalk.

Around here the major taunt from motorists is “ride on the sidewalk.” Since sidewalks give motorist the notion that we don’t belong on the road we should not allow them to be built. Also pedestrians can use a WOL just as effectively as we can so if we are so concerned about what motorists think that VCers should be against bike lanes, shouldn’t they also be against sidewalks?

Or whatever bad stuff happens because of bike lanes it also happens because of sidewalks so being against bike lanes and not sidewalks does not contribute anything at all except to turn cyclist against cyclist.
I have cycled fairly extensively in Maryland and Virginia areas, both rural and urban, and, so far as I remember, I was never told to ride on the sidewalk.
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Old 06-22-07, 03:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Human Car
But we are not talking about operating characteristics or pedestrians, we are talking about faculties giving motorists the notion that cyclists do not belong on the road, besides the operating characteristics of a bicycle do not preclude it from operating on a sidewalk.

snip
Or whatever bad stuff happens because of bike lanes it also happens because of sidewalks so being against bike lanes and not sidewalks does not contribute anything at all except to turn cyclist against cyclist.
It is correct that the operating characteristics of a bicycle not preclude it from operating on a sidewalk. It is equally correct that the operating characteristics of a lawn roller, or a child's wagon, or a wheelbarrow, do not preclude them from operating on a sidewalk. What you are ignoring, and one can't help but think that this is deliberate, is that by operating on the sidewalk the cyclist is giving up what used to be considered the prime value of a bicycle, that it is both faster and cheaper than horses.
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Old 06-22-07, 03:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRA
Perhaps bicyclists should not oppose sidewalks but the rest of what you say is utter nonsense.

Many modern sidewalks have curb cuts designed specifically to accomodate wheeled vehicles (usually wheelchairs but also other vehicles, such as scooters and Segways). The difference between design users of sidewalks vs. design users of roadways is not the absence or presence of wheels but, rather, speed. As a former serious runner, I can assure you that sidewalks are not designed for fast pedestrians, even those without wheels.

Actually, if I'm not mistaken, the original purpose of what we now call sidewalks, was not to separate pedestrians on the basis of operating characteristics but to protect pedestrians from the mud, muck and horse poop of early dirt roads (in other words, to keep their clothes clean).

The operating chatacteristics of a bicycle differ as much, if not more, from the operating chacteristic of an automobile as they differ from the operating chacteristics of a pedestrian. The opposing claim must be based on either bias or perhaps, to use the same reasoning that VC-ists are so fond of using to discredit any with the audacity to disagree with John Forester's nutcase theories, on some form of mental defect.

John Forester, for someone who claims to have studied transportation most of your life, you demonstrate an absolutely incredible lack of understanding of both history and modern reality.
Wheeled vehicles all operate according to rather specific physical principles. They roll along relatively smooth surfaces. They steer by turning the front wheels (some special vehicles also by turning the rear wheels). Their turning radius is determined largely by the length of their wheelbase. They go forward much better than they go backwards. Their acceleration and deceleration are determined largely by the coefficient of friction between rubber and road, and, for some, according to the geometry of the vehicle. They are all driven by human drivers, who have the physical and mental characteristics of humans.
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Old 06-22-07, 11:19 PM   #18
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wow, john, we share similar coeficient of friction with a 400 horsepower dualie

stop the delusion-laden charades.

Last edited by Bekologist; 06-23-07 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 06-23-07, 07:03 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
wow, john, we share similar coeficient of friction with a 400 horsepower dualie

stop the delusion-laden charades.
Actually, that isn't quite what he said, Bek, to be fair here.....

What he said was the coefficient of friction affected bikes and other vehicle in a similar manner, which is correct. Either application of lateral force in cornering, or rotational force to the wheel, that coefficient of friction is simply an aspect of the mathematical modeling demonstrating why we don't slide off the road or sit there in place and spin. The individual variables are different, but the equations are exactly the same structure for either a bike or a V16 powered Bugatti!
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Old 06-23-07, 07:15 AM   #20
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Here's my example: a neighbor of mine, who is generally a nice guy, always politely states that I should ride on the sidewalk. So I saw him and him wife walking last week, on the sidewalk, it's wide sidewalk, so I jumped up onto it, and buzzed him, only going about 15mph.
Later that evening I went over to ask him if I should still ride on the sidewalk, and he said I was an exception because I rode "so fast". So I informed him that I could easily have passed him going 25mph, and that I was a very slow rider, and that there are riders who can run 40-45. Did he really want us on the sidewalk, and he said no.
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Old 06-23-07, 07:40 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddyfish
Here's my example: a neighbor of mine, who is generally a nice guy, always politely states that I should ride on the sidewalk. So I saw him and him wife walking last week, on the sidewalk, it's wide sidewalk, so I jumped up onto it, and buzzed him, only going about 15mph.
Later that evening I went over to ask him if I should still ride on the sidewalk, and he said I was an exception because I rode "so fast". So I informed him that I could easily have passed him going 25mph, and that I was a very slow rider, and that there are riders who can run 40-45. Did he really want us on the sidewalk, and he said no.
I see sidewalk riding ,at 15 to 20 mph, in front my workplace on a regular basis, and I cringe everytime they hug close to our entrance and the blind corner of our building. A bicyclist hasn't hit a ped in those areas yet, but it's a matter of time before there's a collision between the two.
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Old 06-23-07, 07:53 AM   #22
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It would obviously take a lot more than posters here arguing about who should be where on/off the road to get any significant changes made. Like making bicycle awareness a bigger part of the drivers license test, much stiffer, enforceable penalties for motorists who commit crimes against cyclists and against cyclists who violate the law, and ongoing public service anouncements, news stories, etc. to constantly reming people. In general, humans are creatures of habit, so when a bad driving habit starts, it's hard to change.
I think those who yell at us to get on the sidewalk is because the last time they rode a bike in elementary or jr. high, they rode on the sidewalk, and their mothers constantly reminded them to stay out of the street.
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Old 06-23-07, 08:22 AM   #23
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sorry, Tom, but the operating characteristics between bikes and motorized vehicles is significantly different, despite physics of friction coeficients.

that comparasion is lame.

bikes have significantly different operating characteristics from cars - to even attempt to spin similarities like john has is dishonest and misleading, inaccurate and delusional. Spin doctor!
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Old 06-23-07, 08:42 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
sorry, Tom, but the operating characteristics between bikes and motorized vehicles is significantly different, despite physics of friction coeficients.

that comparasion is lame.

bikes have significantly different operating characteristics from cars - to even attempt to spin similarities like john has is dishonest and misleading, inaccurate and delusional. Spin doctor!
If what I understood you to be saying is correct, I just wanted to point out a little inaccuracy in your perception of what was being said in this particular case. I was addressing the raw basic premise of mathematical comparison on that basic level. All you do is plug in the different variables (Mass, velocity, etc.). The same physical laws apply, including HP/Weight ratio, etc. That is what I believe he was saying....strictly from a basic physics model.

That said, yes, there are significant differences in performance characteristics between a bicycle and a motor vehicle.
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Old 06-23-07, 11:25 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
wow, john, we share similar coeficient of friction with a 400 horsepower dualie

stop the delusion-laden charades.
The only characteristic to which you refer when stating that motor vehicles have greatly different operating characteristics than bicycles is the power/weight ratio. If that is all that you consider to be important, you show your drag-racing heritage. How sad to see.
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