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Old 07-09-07, 10:21 PM   #1
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Wide lanes

Whether old neighborhoods or modern suburban arteries, wide lanes offer more room for cyclists. The width of so many American roads is really great.

What I'd like to see is greater awareness that cyclists are a part of the traffic design.

We can argue "bike lanes" vs. "wide lanes" all we want. I think the main reason many cyclists like bike lanes is the validation it gives us as belonging.

What about an overall acknowledgement that cyclists belong, bike lane or not?
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Old 07-09-07, 10:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
We can argue "bike lanes" vs. "wide lanes" all we want. I think the main reason many cyclists like bike lanes is the validation it gives us as belonging.
In the morning, the lighter traffic makes cycling to work much more pleasurable than in the afternoon, when it's heavy. I really prefer the back roads through quiet neighborhoods in the afternoon.

But then my wife tells me, "What took you so long?"
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Old 07-09-07, 10:30 PM   #3
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maybe those wide lanes need some bike lane stripes in the afternoons?
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Old 07-09-07, 10:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
Whether old neighborhoods or modern suburban arteries, wide lanes offer more room for cyclists. The width of so many American roads is really great.

What I'd like to see is greater awareness that cyclists are a part of the traffic design.

We can argue "bike lanes" vs. "wide lanes" all we want. I think the main reason many cyclists like bike lanes is the validation it gives us as belonging.

What about an overall acknowledgement that cyclists belong, bike lane or not?
Amen. If there was greater awareness and acceptance of cyclists as part of traffic... the silly lines need not exist at all. They are only about awareness... however negative are some of the effects, it is awareness, none the less.
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Old 07-09-07, 11:23 PM   #5
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And Portland police are well aware of where cyclist belong!
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Old 07-09-07, 11:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
We can argue "bike lanes" vs. "wide lanes" all we want...
Some people evidently can. The arguments are really quite pointless. Pavement width is good, white lines or not.

Many of the pissing matches on this forum are about little more than terminology and symbolism.

I find it interesting that, on the Bike St. Louis map (Map10.pdf, 3 Mb), wide outside lanes are called bike lanes (on the bottom of page two, under the heading "Types of Bikeways"). Three types of "Shared Bike Lanes" are shown. They look like WOLs to me. I wonder if foaming-at-the-mouth bike-lane haters are opposed to those types of 'bike lanes'. And I wonder if a way to reduce the numbers of FATMBLHs who throw hissy fits about bike lanes is to call the lanes "WOLs with linear markings".

Meanwhile, I just keep riding by bike.

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Old 07-10-07, 12:56 AM   #7
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The foaming-at-the-mouth normal travel-lane haters are opposed to those types of 'bike lanes' when they do not contain the white strip and funny little man.

Last edited by CB HI; 07-10-07 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 07-10-07, 06:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
maybe those wide lanes need some bike lane stripes in the afternoons?
Do bike lanes keep traffic levels down? If so, we need some of that special paint you guys are using.
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Old 07-10-07, 06:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
I think the main reason many cyclists like bike lanes is the validation it gives us as belonging.
I keep seeing statements about why "cyclists" want bike lanes. Seldom to these statements reflect what I feel, or the feelings of other local cyclists I know. Just where do these oft-quoted reasons come from, I wonder?
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Old 07-10-07, 07:42 AM   #10
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The WOL vs. BL "debate" has raged on these forums for a long time. How about you tell us about your thoughts on the subject, LBM?
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Old 07-10-07, 07:42 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
maybe those wide lanes need some bike lane stripes in the afternoons?
As you like, but it won't decrease the traffic flow, which is the main reason I sometimes take detours on "the road less travelled."
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Old 07-10-07, 07:45 AM   #12
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The WOL vs. BL "debate" has raged on these forums for a long time. How about you tell us about your thoughts on the subject, LBM?
If it will tickle your funny bone, Brian.

There is really only one reason I prefer WOL's to BL's, and for the record, it's not a "religious conviction," so to speak: BL's tend to gather debris quite rapidly around here; but also for the record, WOL's are not free of debris, either.

I'm sorry, I guess I'm not much of a comedian...
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Old 07-10-07, 07:48 AM   #13
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Man, LBM, you are a bore...

Absent the debris, any reason to prefer one over the other?
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Old 07-10-07, 09:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
BL's tend to gather debris quite rapidly around here; but also for the record, WOL's are not free of debris, either.

I'm sorry, I guess I'm not much of a comedian...
Actually, that was pretty funny.

The debris-gathering characteristics of BLs is one of the best arguments that the white paint phobics / WOL worshippers have. What's funny is that some VC-ists (apparently including John Forester himself) prefer shoulders over BLs. Wow, talk about debris. What a hoot!

Personally, I don't give a rats behind about bike lanes. While I'm no fan of governments wasting good paint, I'm not superstitious about white paint on the pavement, either (and I've been practicing riding over pine needles).

Governments have been doing stupid stuff for as long as I remember. I much prefer that the goverment do harmless stupid stuff (like waste paint).

Honestly, the bike lane debate is one of the stupidest, most nonsensical, debates I've ever seen in my life-- no foolin'.

I find the debates interesting but, then, it always amuses me to see wacky religious zealots wrestling with the realities of modern bureaucratic government. It would make a great reality TV show-- "Tilting at Windmills."

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Old 07-10-07, 09:19 AM   #15
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Quixotica!
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Old 07-10-07, 10:36 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
Man, LBM, you are a bore...

Absent the debris, any reason to prefer one over the other?
I might say that some uneducated motorists think I should be "imprisoned" in the bike lane, but on the other hand, it's probably these same motorists who think I don't belong in a WOL, either.
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Old 07-10-07, 10:42 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by JRA
The debris-gathering characteristics of BLs is one of the best arguments that the white paint phobics / WOL worshippers have.
Here in Atlanta, I've seen everything that has changed here over the last 30-odd years (not that I remember everything, but... ) Bike lanes were non-existant here back then. When I saw them being installed here-and-there, the first thing I noticed as a cyclist was that suddenly, the debris started building up in them, and I'd have to ride further and further away from the curb.

That's why I say they need to be properly maintained. I'm not afraid of a white line all by itself. Why should I be? It's just that the white line keeps most cars away, and that's why the debris accumulates.
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Old 07-10-07, 10:50 AM   #18
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Actually, that was pretty funny.

The debris-gathering characteristics of BLs is one of the best arguments that the white paint phobics / WOL worshippers have. What's funny is that some VC-ists (apparently including John Forester himself) prefer shoulders over BLs. Wow, talk about debris. What a hoot!

Personally, I don't give a rats behind about bike lanes. While I'm no fan of governments wasting good paint, I'm not superstitious about white paint on the pavement, either (and I've been practicing riding over pine needles).

Governments have been doing stupid stuff for as long as I remember. I much prefer that the goverment do harmless stupid stuff (like waste paint).

Honestly, the bike lane debate is one of the stupidest, most nonsensical, debates I've ever seen in my life-- no foolin'.

I find the debates interesting but, then, it always amuses me to see wacky religious zealots wrestling with the realities of modern bureaucratic government. It would make a great reality TV show-- "Tilting at Windmills."
I would agree that it's silly to argue about debris building in bike lanes and then tout shoulders as if they are debris free. Touting a shoulder as more vehicular than a bike lane is a different story though. Not all bike lanes/shoulder accumulate debris and where they don't, they make convenient places to move over to allow faster traffic to pass. No more convenient than a wide lane though, which in my experience, tend to have the debris build up start further right than a marked off bike lane/shoulder.

If bike lanes weren't touted as having such magical powers like making people no longer care that it's 95 degrees outside and jump on a bike to head to the store, then I wouldn't argue about them so much.
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Old 07-10-07, 09:08 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by joejack951
I would agree that it's silly to argue about debris building in bike lanes and then tout shoulders as if they are debris free. Touting a shoulder as more vehicular than a bike lane is a different story though. Not all bike lanes/shoulder accumulate debris and where they don't, they make convenient places to move over to allow faster traffic to pass. No more convenient than a wide lane though, which in my experience, tend to have the debris build up start further right than a marked off bike lane/shoulder.

If bike lanes weren't touted as having such magical powers like making people no longer care that it's 95 degrees outside and jump on a bike to head to the store, then I wouldn't argue about them so much.
Who's citing "magical powers"? Are you saying that making roads more attractive for cycling has no effect on the total number of cyclists on the streets? Who here has claimed that they are the only factor in increasing cyclists?

I kind of thought that you were on a warpath here. Why not back down a bit if you are just arguing for amusement?
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Old 07-11-07, 06:40 AM   #20
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I would agree that it's silly to argue about debris building in bike lanes and then tout shoulders as if they are debris free. Touting a shoulder as more vehicular than a bike lane is a different story though...
Not really. It's quite silly to claim that riding on a shoulder (which isn't part of the 'traveled way' set aside for the movement of vehicles) is more vehicular than than riding in a lane (by definition, even in the case of a special use lane, set aside for the movement of vehicles).

The claim that riding on the shoulder is more vehicular than riding in a lane is really quite hilarious.

It is quite amusing to see the contortions VC-ists must go through in attempting to rationalize their superstitions regarding bike lanes.

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Old 07-11-07, 06:46 AM   #21
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Not really. It's quite silly to claim that riding on a shoulder (which isn't part of the 'traveled way' set aside for the movement of vehicles) is more vehicular than than riding in a lane (by definition, even in the case of a special use lane, part of the roadway set aside for the movement of vehicles).

The claim that riding on the shoulder is more vehicular than riding in a lane is really quite hilarious.

It is quite amusing to see the contortions VC-ists must go through in attempting to rationalize their superstitions regarding bike lanes.
I guess I should clarify. I use the shoulder to allow faster traffic to pass and that's about it. This movement is per the vehicle code. I will not use the shoulder like a special use lane disregarding the fact that traffic to my right is allowed to turn right at any intersection we cross which would put me in a situation where I'm passing someone on the right who's trying to make a right turn (not vehicular). If bike lanes ended before every intersection to allow traffic to mix and destination position themselves, then they'd be just as vehicular as a shoulder (assuming they are used appropriately). "Bike lanes" would also have to not be limited to just bikes just like shoulder use isn't limited to only one vehicle but allow for any slow moving vehicle or pedestrians to use them.
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Old 07-11-07, 06:53 AM   #22
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Who's citing "magical powers"? Are you saying that making roads more attractive for cycling has no effect on the total number of cyclists on the streets? Who here has claimed that they are the only factor in increasing cyclists?

I kind of thought that you were on a warpath here. Why not back down a bit if you are just arguing for amusement?
Again, how does a bike lane "magically" make a road more attractive to cyclists? And even if the road might be attractive (bike lane or not), how does a bike lane help people overcome their issues with getting sweaty when travelling somewhere, especially in hotter climates?

Unless I've been reading you wrong this whole time, any time you've defended the Portland bridge bike counts you've given credit to bike lanes as being the single biggest factor in increasing bike usage.

In another thread, you state:

Quote:
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Sociologically, bike lanes are favored because they bring more cyclists out onto the road.
Am I misinterpretting you there?
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Old 07-11-07, 06:58 AM   #23
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I guess I should clarify. I use the shoulder to allow faster traffic to pass and that's about it.
I do too.


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This movement is per the vehicle code...
I agree. It's certainly allowed be the vehicle code, and it's certainly vehicular behavior.

What I dispute is the idea that riding on a shoulder is vehicular and riding in a bike lane is not.

Note that, in a few states, bicyclists are required to ride on the shoulder in some situations. I hardly find that a good situation for cyclists.
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Old 07-11-07, 07:10 AM   #24
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Here in Atlanta...It's just that the white line keeps most cars away, and that's why the debris accumulates.
Recently, the county re-painted a favorite, wide, two-lane road I use everyday (N. Clarendon in Scottdale). The only difference is that before, there was no white outside line. Now, what use to be a nice, mostly clean road with 14/15 ft lanes has 12/13 ft lanes with a bunch of trash on the side. I seriously doubt the traffic engineers have a clue about the consequences of their painting that line.
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Old 07-11-07, 07:57 AM   #25
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What I dispute is the idea that riding on a shoulder is vehicular and riding in a bike lane is not.
Who makes this claim?

The appropriate lateral position for cycling may or may not coincide with either the location of a striped shoulder or a striped bike lane.

One difference is that marking and designation of the striped area as a bikeway frequently carries the legal requirement that cyclists use it, and places the legal burden on the cyclist operating outside it to demonstrate that his actions were warranted. Bike lane markings tend to get used in urban areas where there are lots of operational reasons to avoid the bike lane, but the police and general public don't appreciate these reasons. Shoulders, by contrast, are very rarely required for cyclists to use - the exceptions typically being those rural fully controlled access freeways where cycling is permitted.

Rural freeways with few junctions pose the fewest possible operational reasons to leave the shoulder area. In general, wide paved shoulders tend to be used in rural areas with fewer junctions. In urban areas with lots of junctions - the places where bike lanes are often proposed by bikeway advocates - wide outside through lanes are preferable.

In rural areas, striped paved shoulders are useful for pedestrians (there are no sidewalks; nighttime pedestrians fatalities are higher where the travel lane is the only flat place to walk), and as a way to reduce loss of control collisions if motorists dip a wheel outside the lane. (Head-on collisions involving an out-of-control driver who dropped a wheel into a soft shoulder and overcorrected are common here. ) This is why NCDOT's bicycle and pedestrian division generally promotes wide paved shoulders in rural areas without curb and gutter, and wide outside through lanes on urban roads with curb and gutter.
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