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Old 06-21-07, 08:16 AM   #1
sbhikes
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Evidence of bikeways increasing cycling

Here's an excerpt from an email travelogue I received this morning.
Quote:
In the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Utrecht and Groningen) I was
stunned by the dominance of bicyclists over all other modes.
Street space, parking space, access to shops is all dominated by
bicycles. I had to learn how to ride in swarms, keeping my bars
absolutely straight to avoid sideswipes from them passing on both
sides and keeping a keen eye out as they came from left and
right. The Netherlands also has the strictest
driver-always-at-fault law and it was obvious - cars gave me tons
of room and stopped far sooner than I'm used to when I had the
right of way.

In Copenhagen I found much more car traffic and far wider
streets, but still far fewer cars than here. There was no
congestion! Gaps in car traffic were the norm at all times of
day. And of course there were more swarms of bicyclists swishing
along the endless networks of bikeways, mostly on-street,
brilliantly designed to give priority to bicyclists at
intersections. Both Amsterdam and Copenhagen are hovering near
40% bicycling mode share
and though their streets and cities have
vastly different designs, the result is fascinatingly similar -
calm, quiet streets, swarms of pedestrians and bicyclists, places
to linger.
Notion? What notion? That cycling could become dominant? Scary indeed!
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Old 06-21-07, 08:41 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
The Netherlands also has the strictest
driver-always-at-fault law and it was obvious - cars gave me tons
of room and stopped far sooner than I'm used to when I had the
right of way.
I spent quite a bit of time in Rotterdam and Amsterdam and this was the hardest adjustment as a US rider to make. It was amazing how my expectations of being cut off, hooked, buzzed and basically disrespected built in some pretty defensive habits, which were for the most part unnecessary there. Granted my home base is the Boston area (consistently ranked as one of the Top 5 US cities for bad drivers) but I would imagine most cyclists who ride in anywhere in the US would be amazed at not only the well designed infra-structure but the courtesy of the drivers.
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Old 06-21-07, 08:52 AM   #3
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I recently watched a presentation by a city planner from copenhagen; their city was experiencing massive automobile congestion.

their plan to accomodate bicycling into the transportation mix has had amazing results.

one neat feature: timing series of green lights to work for cyclists' speeds, not automobile traffic; they call it the 'green wave'

and yes, their bike infrastructure is lauded as having everything to do with increasing bicycling. greater numbers of bicyclists on the roads makes bicycling safer, bike infrastructure encourages bicycling.

bully to foresterites' autocentric dystopia of 'competent' cyclists mixing it up on 50MPH arterials. that 'vision' will do NOTHING for cycling in america.

So are America cyclists right in lobbying for complete streets? it will be a far cry from the models seen in cities with 40 percent bicycling, but complete streets treatments are a step in the right direction.
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Old 06-21-07, 12:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by buzzman
I spent quite a bit of time in Rotterdam and Amsterdam and this was the hardest adjustment as a US rider to make. It was amazing how my expectations of being cut off, hooked, buzzed and basically disrespected built in some pretty defensive habits, which were for the most part unnecessary there. Granted my home base is the Boston area (consistently ranked as one of the Top 5 US cities for bad drivers) but I would imagine most cyclists who ride in anywhere in the US would be amazed at not only the well designed infra-structure but the courtesy of the drivers.
Look, back when I was driving a truck, there were several occasions where I got lost and a native Bostonian, rather than giving me directions, would just tell me "Follow me, it's too complex to give directions".

I've found most Bostonians to be pretty good folk! Kind of like a Small town midwesterner with an accent!
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Old 06-21-07, 07:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
Look, back when I was driving a truck, there were several occasions where I got lost and a native Bostonian, rather than giving me directions, would just tell me "Follow me, it's too complex to give directions".

I've found most Bostonians to be pretty good folk! Kind of like a Small town midwesterner with an accent!
As a resident of Massachusetts, who travels in primarily the Greater Boston area, I could not be more pleased that your experiences of driving in Boston were so positive. Unfortunately, the city frequently rates in the top 10 (usually in the top 3 or 5) of the worst places to drive in America.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonGlobe
Boston is listed third in road-rage survey
By Associated Press | May 15, 2007
Boston has ranked third among cities with the worst road-rage problem, in a survey released yesterday by AutoVantage, a Connecticut-based automobile membership club offering travel services and roadside assistance.
and these recent words from our Governor:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cape Cod Times
June 09, 2007
HYANNIS — When Gov. Deval Patrick first came to Massachusetts to attend high school, he noticed that the way Yankees treat new neighbors is a little different from what he was accustomed to back in Illinois.

"In the Midwest, the old-timers make a big fuss and bring a pie," he told a crowd of Cape tourism insiders at the Cape Codder Resort yesterday. "Here, the newcomer is expected to bring the pie."
but then again maybe the courteous drivers I encountered all over the Netherlands were also an anomaly.
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Old 06-21-07, 08:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Here's an excerpt from an email travelogue I received this morning.

"Here's an excerpt from an email travelogue I received this morning.
Quote:
In the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Utrecht and Groningen) I was
stunned by the dominance of bicyclists over all other modes.
Street space, parking space, access to shops is all dominated by
bicycles. I had to learn how to ride in swarms, keeping my bars
absolutely straight to avoid sideswipes from them passing on both
sides and keeping a keen eye out as they came from left and
right. The Netherlands also has the strictest
driver-always-at-fault law and it was obvious - cars gave me tons
of room and stopped far sooner than I'm used to when I had the
right of way.

In Copenhagen I found much more car traffic and far wider
streets, but still far fewer cars than here. There was no
congestion! Gaps in car traffic were the norm at all times of
day. And of course there were more swarms of bicyclists swishing
along the endless networks of bikeways, mostly on-street,
brilliantly designed to give priority to bicyclists at
intersections. Both Amsterdam and Copenhagen are hovering near
40% bicycling mode share and though their streets and cities have
vastly different designs, the result is fascinatingly similar -
calm, quiet streets, swarms of pedestrians and bicyclists, places
to linger."

Notion? What notion? That cycling could become dominant? Scary indeed!
Don't be more childish than you must be, Diane. Nobody's afraid that bicycle traffic will become dominant, not any more. That fear went out with the motorists' response to the 1960s-1970s bike boom. Of course, some may already be afraid of the circumstances which would have the power to greatly reduce motoring, which would involve great economic and social turmoil.

What you keep on forgetting, or more likely deliberately ignoring, is that the cities that you admire were built before the automobile age. Trying to implement designs suitable for pre-automotive cities into automotive cities just does not work very well. If you admire these cities, then you will need to go live there, because their style of life is not generally possible here.
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Old 06-21-07, 08:38 PM   #7
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Diane posted the following from a travelogue: "The Netherlands also has the strictest driver-always-at-fault law and it was obvious - cars gave me tons of room and stopped far sooner than I'm used to when I had the right of way."

In compensation the The Netherlands has a much higher proportion of the roads from which cyclists are prohibited than has the USA, and fewer locations where cyclists have the right of way. That is because, of course, the law makes motorists see cyclists as legal nuisances, as beings whose company should be avoided.

I prefer the American system in which the class of vehicle does not change the responsibilities and duties of the drivers.
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Old 06-21-07, 10:41 PM   #8
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you yourself should grow up, John. other than your insults, this is a very positive thread. peds and bicyclists first, how hard is that to understand? If not for your opposition, it could be one of the standard 'rules of the road'.
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Old 06-22-07, 02:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by randya
you yourself should grow up, John. other than your insults, this is a very positive thread. peds and bicyclists first, how hard is that to understand? If not for your opposition, it could be one of the standard 'rules of the road'.
The catch to making motorists liable for all collisions with cyclists or pedestrians is the predictable response from motorists. That is, get those trouble-makers off the roads. I think it most unlikely that American motorists would accept the proposed status without making the predictable response, which would be very bad for cyclists. I think it politically impossible for American anti-motorists to carry through their desired proposal in the form that they desire, that is, without adding detriments to the present status of cyclists.
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Old 06-22-07, 05:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by John Forester
The catch to making motorists liable for all collisions with cyclists or pedestrians is the predictable response from motorists. That is, get those trouble-makers off the roads. I think it most unlikely that American motorists would accept the proposed status without making the predictable response, which would be very bad for cyclists. I think it politically impossible for American anti-motorists to carry through their desired proposal in the form that they desire, that is, without adding detriments to the present status of cyclists.
why don't you just admit it, you're a motorist-first kind of guy, John
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Old 06-22-07, 07:10 PM   #11
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bikeways and bike facilities make it easier and less stressful to ride a bike. what's wrong with that?
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Old 06-22-07, 11:07 PM   #12
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Why would motorists automatically reject motorist responsibility laws? Most motorists are people who have children and would welcome knowing that their children are safer riding to school because motorists are going to behave.
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Old 06-22-07, 11:25 PM   #13
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the force of delusion is strong in you, john.

there is so much more to bike advocacy in communities. you ARE a cars first kind of guy, john, and it is sad to see a once relevant bike advocate reduced to such a pathetic, sympathetic gas huffer.
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Old 06-23-07, 11:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
the force of delusion is strong in you, john.

there is so much more to bike advocacy in communities. you ARE a cars first kind of guy, john, and it is sad to see a once relevant bike advocate reduced to such a pathetic, sympathetic gas huffer.
So much more than what? What are the extras that you think that vehicular cyclists omit?
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Old 06-23-07, 11:15 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
I recently watched a presentation by a city planner from copenhagen; their city was experiencing massive automobile congestion.

their plan to accomodate bicycling into the transportation mix has had amazing results.

one neat feature: timing series of green lights to work for cyclists' speeds, not automobile traffic; they call it the 'green wave'

and yes, their bike infrastructure is lauded as having everything to do with increasing bicycling. greater numbers of bicyclists on the roads makes bicycling safer, bike infrastructure encourages bicycling.

bully to foresterites' autocentric dystopia of 'competent' cyclists mixing it up on 50MPH arterials. that 'vision' will do NOTHING for cycling in america.

So are America cyclists right in lobbying for complete streets? it will be a far cry from the models seen in cities with 40 percent bicycling, but complete streets treatments are a step in the right direction.
I watched a demonstration by a traffic planner from Odense (which I think is Denmark's second city in size), that included a slide of which he was particularly proud. The slide showed a cyclist making a left turn from the curb lane right in front of a bus in the normal traffic lane. We Americans were all horrified.
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Old 06-23-07, 11:19 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by rando
bikeways and bike facilities make it easier and less stressful to ride a bike. what's wrong with that?
Easier? Please specify which skills one does not need when making bicycle trips in a city with a bikeway system. Nobody before this has demonstrated such a lack, while it has been demonstrated that it takes more skills to ride in such a city because the cyclist has to know both normal traffic skills and bikeway traffic skills, and when to know which to obey.

Less stressful? Please specify the kind and the source of the stress to which you refer, and compare this to the increased stress required when having to consider the greater difficulties of riding properly when bikeways are present.
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Old 06-23-07, 08:15 PM   #17
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john, you are remarkably out of touch with bicycling. it's sad, really.
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Old 06-23-07, 09:15 PM   #18
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Don't be more childish than you must be, Diane.
And don't be douchier than you must be, John.
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Old 06-29-07, 01:00 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by John Forester
The catch to making motorists liable for all collisions with cyclists or pedestrians is the predictable response from motorists. That is, get those trouble-makers off the roads. I think it most unlikely that American motorists would accept the proposed status without making the predictable response, which would be very bad for cyclists. I think it politically impossible for American anti-motorists to carry through their desired proposal in the form that they desire, that is, without adding detriments to the present status of cyclists.
Quote:
Originally Posted by randya
why don't you just admit it, you're a motorist-first kind of guy, John
The assertion that John Forester is anti-cyclist is no more believable now than it was the first time it was made, despite its astonishingly persistent recycling. It's one thing to argue using facts, another thing to argue using fabrications; yet still another to argue using fabrications that aren't remotely believable.
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Old 06-29-07, 01:08 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by John Forester
Don't be more childish than you must be, Diane.
I wish you wouldn't put it that way, there are some of us who respect both you and Diane, even if we don't see eye-to-eye on everything.

We all deserve respect, despite our various opinions regarding cycling.
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Old 06-30-07, 03:02 PM   #21
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Why would motorists automatically reject motorist responsibility laws? Most motorists are people who have children and would welcome knowing that their children are safer riding to school because motorists are going to behave.
A Lansing police officer ran over a young girl, killing her. The girl had run in front of her police car without warning. The court ruled that the officer was not responsible for the girl's death because she was driving safely and legally, and there's no way she could have avoided hitting her.

Do you feel differently?
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Old 06-30-07, 03:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
Here's an excerpt from an email travelogue I received this morning.
....
[Idyllic description written by somebody trying to sell a bike tour package]
....
Notion? What notion? That cycling could become dominant? Scary indeed!
I don't believe that bikes ever lost popularity in Denmark or Holland, did they? I know that in old movies they show people riding a lot. Even SS troops cycled during the occupation of these countries during WWII.

Well, if cycling never lost popularity there, what sense does it make to say that bike lanes caused them to regain popularity? Cycling didn't "become dominant" in those cities, rather, it never lost dominance as it did in most other locales.

You are always trying to use correlation to prove causation, and this is illogical. You can't answer this question about Copenhagen and Amsterdam:
Did bike lanes cause the dominance of cycling, or did the dominance of cycling lead to the establishment of bike lanes? Or, did some other factors--cultural, demographic, geographic, historical--cause both the bike lanes and the popularity of cycling?
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Old 06-30-07, 08:32 PM   #23
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roody, European cities were on the track of motor congestion and declining numbers of bicyclists in Europe after WWII and the Marshall Plan, don't let john forester mislead you with his paltry smear.

cities in europe HAVE INCREASED BICYCLING VIA INFRASTRUCTURE, roody. They are concerned about carbon emissions, pollution, civic health, and liveability on a different scale than America's 'fast food on every corner and speedways between'.

perspectives on liveability have been improving public road space in the Netherlands since the first 'woonerf' design in 1967.... I cannot state it emphatically enough, there HAS BEEN AN INCREASE IN BICYCLING in cities in Europe by redesign of public space and roads to accomodate bicycling with bike infrastructure. Emphatically, this does NOT mean a bike lane on every road, by the way....

A great feature I see implemented in Copenhagen is the "green wave"; traffic lights timed for cyclist average speeds, not motor traffic. increasing bicyclists smooth travel by retiming of the traffic signals. cool, huh?

and the obstructioninsts are complaining about communities with 40 percent modal share of bicycling..... pathetic.
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Old 06-30-07, 08:49 PM   #24
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roody, European cities were on the track of motor congestion and declining numbers of bicyclists in Europe after WWII and the Marshall Plan, don't let john forester mislead you with his paltry smear.

cities in europe HAVE INCREASED BICYCLING VIA INFRASTRUCTURE, roody. They are concerned about carbon emissions, pollution, civic health, and liveability on a different scale than America's 'fast food on every corner and speedways between'.

perspectives on liveability have been improving public road space in the Netherlands since the first 'woonerf' design in 1967.... I cannot state it emphatically enough, there HAS BEEN AN INCREASE IN BICYCLING in cities in Europe by redesign of public space and roads to accomodate bicycling with bike infrastructure. Emphatically, this does NOT mean a bike lane on every road, by the way....

A great feature I see implemented in Copenhagen is the "green wave"; traffic lights timed for cyclist average speeds, not motor traffic. increasing bicyclists smooth travel by retiming of the traffic signals. cool, huh?

and the obstructioninsts are complaining about communities with 40 percent modal share of bicycling..... pathetic.

It is only your faith, Bekologist, that attributes the current bicycle traffic modal split in those cities to bikeways. There is no evidence that bikeways have produced the current level, whatever it is. There are too many confounding factors, and the high level is restricted to the older city centers, whereas the outer city developments are much more auto oriented, rather on the American model.
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Old 06-30-07, 10:00 PM   #25
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and I call bull to your insistence bike infrastructure has not had a thing to do with it.

traffic engineers all seem to universally agree bike infrastructure increases bicycling, jhon. particularily in the european cities that place a strong focus on bikes for transportation..
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