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Old 06-19-07, 08:55 AM   #1
The Human Car
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Evidence of only accommodating motorized travel reinforcing the notion

This thread is for citing evidence of only accommodating motorized travel 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.

Or stated a bit differently if development and the transportation network are designed so that motorized travel is the only viable way to get from point A to point B does that reinforcing "the notion" that cyclists (and any non-motorized transportation) should stay out of the way of motorists?
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Old 06-19-07, 09:08 AM   #2
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Well the easist example I can give is regarding the major route near my home. 35MPH road, cars parked along both sides of this 4 lane divided road. No bike lanes, and not wide enough to share... so cyclists typically ride the sidewalk.

I ride the street. I ride in the right tire track of the right lane... avoiding parked car doors. I often am honked at, and yelled at, or tailgated and then "brushed" by motorists that evidently feel I do not belong on "their" road. There are no alternative routes as canyons break up any other possible thru streets.
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Old 06-19-07, 09:23 AM   #3
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Well, we're fighting a war (partially) for oil. Car accidents take more than 40,000 lives a year. Auto emissions are a rising source of greenhouse gases. Stupidly high speed limits contribute to both the death count and the emissions, but people insist that they want to keep going faster. Roads are designed almost exclusively for motor traffic, and to hell with pedestrians and cyclists.

But accomodation for cars? No way!
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Old 06-19-07, 10:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by genec
Well the easist example I can give is regarding the major route near my home. 35MPH road, cars parked along both sides of this 4 lane divided road. No bike lanes, and not wide enough to share... so cyclists typically ride the sidewalk.

I ride the street. I ride in the right tire track of the right lane... avoiding parked car doors. I often am honked at, and yelled at, or tailgated and then "brushed" by motorists that evidently feel I do not belong on "their" road. There are no alternative routes as canyons break up any other possible thru streets.
Any road where cyclists are not banned accomodates the needs of cyclists. It may not accomodate the need of motorists to pass slower traffic easily, but that's not an example of not accomodating cyclists.

The fact that our culture teaches cyclists to not feel comfortable riding on roads where they are accomodated, but easy passing is not accomodated, is a separate but related issue. The solution is not to reinforce the notion (by adding facilities to make it easier to pass cyclists) that roads that do not accomodate easy passing of cyclists by motorists do not accomodate cyclists, but to dispell the notion, and replace it with the understanding that roads that do not accomodate for easy passing of cyclists are the problem of motorists, not the problem of cyclists.
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Old 06-19-07, 10:15 AM   #5
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yeah. good luck with that.
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Old 06-19-07, 10:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by The Human Car
This thread is for citing evidence of only accommodating motorized travel 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.

Or stated a bit differently if development and the transportation network are designed so that motorized travel is the only viable way to get from point A to point B does that reinforcing "the notion" that cyclists (and any non-motorized transportation) should stay out of the way of motorists?
Please define "only accommodating motorized travel" and "motorized travel is the only viable way".

In particular, if vehicular cyclists are able to use the roads safely, legally and effectively on a given route, do you accept that as evidence that that route is NOT an example of only accommodating motorized travel? And that the ability of vehicular cyclists to use the roads to travel safely, legally and effectively from A to B is a route where motorized travel is NOT the only viable way to get from point A to point B?
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Old 06-19-07, 11:03 AM   #7
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Virtually all roads accommodate bicycling. (A few may have unreasonable surfaces, such as slots.)

How well the people driving other vehicles accommodate cyclists is a different issue. This is more a matter of culture than engineering. Motorists in many countries, such as France, are extremely accommodating of cyclists regardless of the road design.

A third issue is how well a roadway accommodates passing of cyclists by wide motor vehicles. If road engineers place a high value on enabling passing of cyclists, then they can provide improved passing facilities. Their decision not to do so could reflect an ignorance of the use of the roadway by bicyclists, but could alternately reflect a lack of funding, or limited width in the street corridor, or desire to preserve trees or structures that would be compromised by road widening, or some other factor. Regardless, the first two issues still stand.
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Old 06-19-07, 11:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by The Human Car
Or stated a bit differently if development and the transportation network are designed so that motorized travel is the only viable way to get from point A to point B does that reinforcing "the notion" that cyclists (and any non-motorized transportation) should stay out of the way of motorists?
If I understand what Barry means, in a practical sense, yes. In short, I fine that there are few "road warriors" willing to take the lane on unaccommodating--read, no WOL, no/narrow shoulder, or no bike lane--high speed arterial roads on a consistent basis. Moreover, in a rhetorical sense, if a road is purposely designed for high-speed motorized traffic while cycling accommodations are omitted, it is more difficult to argue that roads are for bicycles despite the legal ability to do so.

If I understand HH in his earlier message, I think that much of what he writes is accurate except that I find the solution impractical; i.e., what Rando wrote. Moreover, I think that roads that fail to accommodate the passing of cyclists is everyone's problem.
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Old 06-19-07, 11:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand
If I understand what Barry means, in a practical sense, yes. In short, I fine that there are few "road warriors" willing to take the lane on unaccommodating--read, no WOL, no/narrow shoulder, or no bike lane--high speed arterial roads on a consistent basis. Moreover, in a rhetorical sense, if a road is purposely designed for high-speed motorized traffic while cycling accommodations are omitted, it is more difficult to argue that roads are for bicycles despite the legal ability to do so.

If I understand HH in his earlier message, I think that much of what he writes is accurate except that I find the solution impractical; i.e., what Rando wrote. Moreover, I think that roads that fail to accommodate the passing of cyclists is everyone's problem.
You make a lot of sense.

I see it as more and more developments consist of roads quite unpleasant to bike upon, and tracts with little bike paths around them, that in concert these things do a great job of saying the roads belong to cars, that bikes are for playtime and not for transportation, and that you had better inconvenience people on your own time on the weekend.
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Old 06-19-07, 11:21 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand
Moreover, I think that roads that fail to accommodate the passing of cyclists is everyone's problem.
First, all roads accomodate the passing of cyclists. The issue is whether passing of cyclists is made to be totally painless or not.

So what we're talking about is whether the road design accomodates "totally painless" passing of cyclists.

Is the fact that some road designs fail to accomodate "totally painless" passing of cyclists everyone's problem? Speak for yourself. It's not mine.
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Old 06-19-07, 11:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
You make a lot of sense.

I see it as more and more developments consist of roads quite unpleasant to bike upon,
Equating roads that fail to accomodate for totally painless passing of bicyclists by motorists with being "unpleasant" to bike upon is a personal subjective matter of the mind and one, I have found, that can be overcome, probably much easier than overcoming other mental hurdles in life. It is overcome by integrating, deep down, the understanding that cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of vehicles on these roads.

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and tracts with little bike paths around them, that in concert these things do a great job of saying the roads belong to cars, that bikes are for playtime and not for transportation, and that you had better inconvenience people on your own time on the weekend.
Exactly.
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Old 06-19-07, 11:28 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Any road where cyclists are not banned accomodates the needs of cyclists. It may not accomodate the need of motorists to pass slower traffic easily, but that's not an example of not accomodating cyclists.

The fact that our culture teaches cyclists to not feel comfortable riding on roads where they are accomodated, but easy passing is not accomodated, is a separate but related issue. The solution is not to reinforce the notion (by adding facilities to make it easier to pass cyclists) that roads that do not accomodate easy passing of cyclists by motorists do not accomodate cyclists, but to dispell the notion, and replace it with the understanding that roads that do not accomodate for easy passing of cyclists are the problem of motorists, not the problem of cyclists.
So the lack of knowledge and therefore the negative response of drivers is pretty much evidence of "only accomodating motorized travel... "

Sounds like it meets the provisions of the OP.
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Old 06-19-07, 11:39 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand
If I understand HH in his earlier message, I think that much of what he writes is accurate except that I find the solution impractical; i.e., what Rando wrote. Moreover, I think that roads that fail to accommodate the passing of cyclists is everyone's problem.
On the other hand, if cyclists won't ride on roads where passing cyclists is inconvenient, then engineers have little incentive to make passing cyclists more convenient on important roads.

From this perspective, cyclists' avoidance of cycling on important roads where passing is inconvenient indirectly contributes to the lack of passing facilities.

I've heard plenty of arguments from road engineers who claimed that providing a sidewalk bike path would get enough cyclists off the roadway that they didn't need on-roadway space for passing cyclists. Only the contra-arguments from vehicular cyclists that roadway cycling would remain important, and that many of us experienced cyclists would continue to do it in narrow lanes, given its advantages to cyclists, preserved the inclusion of the on-roadway passing width on some projects.

Last edited by sggoodri; 06-19-07 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 06-19-07, 12:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by genec
So the lack of knowledge and therefore the negative response of drivers is pretty much evidence of "only accomodating motorized travel... "

Sounds like it meets the provisions of the OP.
Hey, I would love to proclaim all roads as cycling accessible, except of course freeways and most interstates. Most roads are in fact, rideable by bike. But as we have posted very frequently, it doesn't mean that the motorized public would consider it so.
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Old 06-19-07, 12:15 PM   #15
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So the lack of knowledge and therefore the negative response of drivers is pretty much evidence of "only accomodating motorized travel... "

Sounds like it meets the provisions of the OP.
It depends on how the extra space on roadways is defined. If it is defined as a "bicycle facility" then narrow roads are car roads. If extra space is defined as a passing facility, then narrow roads are narrow roads.

I prefer to promote understanding of the legal status quo, which is that every street is a bicycle facility, and that width increases are passing facilities. This is quite the opposite of the approach taken by some (not all) bikeway advocates, who claim that narrow lanes have no room for bikes, are extremely, unreasonably dangerous for bicyclists, and that separate facilities are required for cycling transportation.
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Old 06-19-07, 12:26 PM   #16
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Virtually all roads accommodate bicycling. (A few may have unreasonable surfaces, such as slots.)
Hmmm, I guess this makes me think, "What is accommodating?" And for what type of cyclist?
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Old 06-19-07, 12:34 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by genec
So the lack of knowledge and therefore the negative response of drivers is pretty much evidence of "only accomodating motorized travel... "

Sounds like it meets the provisions of the OP.
+1 Masterfully played.
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Old 06-19-07, 12:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by sggoodri
It depends on how the extra space on roadways is defined. If it is defined as a "bicycle facility" then narrow roads are car roads. If extra space is defined as a passing facility, then narrow roads are narrow roads.

I prefer to promote understanding of the legal status quo, which is that every street is a bicycle facility, and that width increases are passing facilities. This is quite the opposite of the approach taken by some (not all) bikeway advocates, who claim that narrow lanes have no room for bikes, are extremely, unreasonably dangerous for bicyclists, and that separate facilities are required for cycling transportation.
Personally I feel that all roads are accomodating of cyclists... however, those with whom I share the roads may not feel as I do.
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Old 06-19-07, 12:45 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand
Hmmm, I guess this makes me think, "What is accommodating?" And for what type of cyclist?
I've been injured in the past by potholes and gravel; perhaps skill development has reduced my problems with these since then. Hills can be a challenge for some people. However, I think you are referring not to the road itself, but the attitudes and consequential actions of other people using the road.
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Old 06-19-07, 01:12 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by genec
Personally I feel that all roads are accomodating of cyclists... however, those with whom I share the roads may not feel as I do.
The OP specifically refers to roads that are "designed so that motorized travel is the only viable way ...".

How accepting drivers are of bicyclists on these roads is a separate issue, and, specifically, is not a road design issue. It's a cultural/understanding issue.

Engineering/design problems need to be addressed with engineering/design solutions.

Cultural/understanding problems need to be addressed through behavior that changes that understanding, and education. Not with engineering/design "solutions" that actually exacerbate the underlying cultural/understanding problems.
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Old 06-19-07, 01:19 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Is the fact that some road designs fail to accomodate "totally painless" passing of cyclists everyone's problem? Speak for yourself. It's not mine.
Using your language, I would say that the amount of pain is continuous. Pain below a certain threshold is imperceptible and pain below yet another threshold is noticeable and tolerable. The design of the road and its restrictions are a factor in determining that pain.

Assuming that the motorist is passing the cyclist, I would argue that speaking of the general population, the pain is shared by both motorist and cyclist. I assume that when a motorist gives a cyclist a buzz, honks, or shouts out the window that the cyclist rather not experience it. The cyclist may shrug it off and move on, but I gather most people would look at it as a negative experience; i.e., pain.

If one doesn't like the phrase "negative", one can always replace it with "less positive". In other words, one might get less joy from a ride where he or she is getting buzzed than the amount of joy one gets from a ride without getting buzzed.

My point is that riding on roads is by its nature something interactive where outcomes are determined by our own behavior and those of others. Better roads make the interaction more smooth such that there is less pain--as opposed to painless--for all involved. Moreover, if a minority is creating a lot of pain for others--consider those smoking in public places--it would not be surprising if the rules of that interaction are re-drawn to minimize that pain. So I would still write that this is everyone's problem but I do not mean to insinuate that a single person should feel personally liable for the problem.

Hmmmm, I am beginning to think that this is not particularly clear ...
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Old 06-19-07, 01:33 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
The OP specifically refers to roads that are "designed so that motorized travel is the only viable way ...".

How accepting drivers are of bicyclists on these roads is a separate issue, and, specifically, is not a road design issue. It's a cultural/understanding issue.

Engineering/design problems need to be addressed with engineering/design solutions.

Cultural/understanding problems need to be addressed through behavior that changes that understanding, and education. Not with engineering/design "solutions" that actually exacerbate the underlying cultural/understanding problems.
Yes, but don't you think people would engineer/design something because there is a "problem" too? If peace, love, and understanding worked all the time, half the stuff in this world wouldn't exist.
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Old 06-19-07, 01:34 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand
Moreover, if a minority is creating a lot of pain for others--consider those smoking in public places--it would not be surprising if the rules of that interaction are re-drawn to minimize that pain. So I would still write that this is everyone's problem but I do not mean to insinuate that a single person should feel personally liable for the problem.
Your parallel to smoking may indeed prove to be prophetic to cyclists... Where as smoking was once commonplace and accepted everywhere, then banned to certain specific locations, and eventually banned entirely, except in the privacy of ones' own home. Hmmmmm.
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Old 06-19-07, 01:38 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
The OP specifically refers to roads that are "designed so that motorized travel is the only viable way ...".

How accepting drivers are of bicyclists on these roads is a separate issue, and, specifically, is not a road design issue. It's a cultural/understanding issue.

Engineering/design problems need to be addressed with engineering/design solutions.

Cultural/understanding problems need to be addressed through behavior that changes that understanding, and education. Not with engineering/design "solutions" that actually exacerbate the underlying cultural/understanding problems.
In HH's world, an engineering solution like a bridge cannot be used to address the cultural problem of people not wanting to get themselves wet swimming across a river. No, you lazy landlubbers need to learn to swim, and like it, dambit!
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Old 06-19-07, 01:49 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by sggoodri
On the other hand, if cyclists won't ride on roads where passing cyclists is inconvenient, then engineers have little incentive to make passing cyclists more convenient on important roads.

remainder of text omitted
Sure ... although it is a bit of whether the chicken or the egg came first.

In reference to both Steve's, HH's, Genec's comments ...

I believe that there is an interaction between the level of pain suffered by cyclists/motorists and their behavior such that the engineering interacts with the social attitudes.

So when faced with the issue, I think you have to ask the question, will programs that target motorist attitudes or road engineering (or both) be more effective? Since I believe in diminishing returns, my personal belief is that both is probably the way to go.

As others have suggested, "accommodating" is a matter of opinion. Based on anecdotal interactions with "ordinary" cyclists, my view is that the average cyclist has a much lower pain threshold for what is accommodating than the people on this forum.

In reference to Barry's original question ...

Anecdotally, I think that designing new roads that involve more pain than old roads leads to less cyclists on those roads, subsequently reinforcing the general notion that cyclists don't belong on these roads and vice versa.

EDIT: I do think that Barry's choice of "viable" is a bit of a loaded word in this forum. I don't interpret it globally, but apply it to my image of the average cyclist and/or resident.

Last edited by invisiblehand; 06-19-07 at 01:55 PM.
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