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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    How about providing an option?

    Instead of arguing over which is better, blue cheese or ranch, why don't the WOL advocates huddle up and provide clear guidelines for WOLs and the BL advocates huddle up and provide clear guidelines for bike lanes.

    And when a city asks about how to accomodate cyclists, we present a menu instead of an argument.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  2. #2
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Ranch for onion rings, Blue Cheese for wings, carrots and celery sticks.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  3. #3
    Urban Biker jimmuter's Avatar
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    Sometimes I want Ranch, sometimes I want Blue Cheese. Given the choice, I'll take the cheaper one.

  4. #4
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    I think in many cases, WOL's are not there for bicycle traffic, specifically. Sometimes they appear for a while, then the lane narrows again, for whatever reason. Other times, WOL's disappear to provide an extra traffic lane. Or they are intended for on-street parking. In any event, if they were for bicycles specifically, they would tend to be uniform in width and somewhat continuous, with no parking allowed.

    I guess that's what I'd want in WOL's: uniformly wide, and significantly long, no parking allowed, and including signage indicating when they start and stop, such as "Wide Lane Ends, Cyclists Merge."
    No worries

  5. #5
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Instead of arguing over which is better, blue cheese or ranch, why don't the WOL advocates huddle up and provide clear guidelines for WOLs ....
    And when a city asks about how to accomodate cyclists, we present a menu instead of an argument.
    We did exactly this.

    http://www.campo-nc.us/BPSG/docs/CAM...2006_02_20.pdf

    See also:

    http://www.humantransport.org/bicycl...sing/index.htm

  6. #6
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    seriously, though, good idea. there will be different solutions for different situations and locations. the problem is mostly coming to a concensus on what is best employed where.

    example:

    on 25mph roads, maybe bike lanes are not needed, but sharrows or signage would be nice.

    on high-speed, high-traffic roads, a combo of Bike lanes, sharrows and signage with bike-triggered lights might be best.
    Last edited by rando; 07-10-07 at 01:30 PM.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  7. #7
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando
    seriously, though, good idea. there will be different solutions for different situations and locations. the problem is mostly coming to a concensus on what is best employed where.
    I concur.

    Although another practical issue will be whether the road is being retrofitted with cycling in mind or designed and built from scratch.

  8. #8
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    Nice work, Steve (and NC crew).

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Oddly enough in your presentation, bike lanes were listed as 4 feet wide, while all other facilities alloted 5 feet to cyclists.

    Other than that... nice job.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Oddly enough in your presentation, bike lanes were listed as 4 feet wide, while all other facilities alloted 5 feet to cyclists.

    Other than that... nice job.
    4 feet when next to a 12 foot lane and 5 feet when next to an 11 foot lane, not including gutter pan. Seems reasonable considering many standards allow the gutter pan to be counted as width.

  11. #11
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando
    seriously, though, good idea. there will be different solutions for different situations and locations. the problem is mostly coming to a concensus on what is best employed where.

    example:

    on 25mph roads, maybe bike lanes are not needed, but sharrows or signage would be nice.

    on high-speed, high-traffic roads, a combo of Bike lanes, sharrows and signage with bike-triggered lights might be best.
    Plus, if bike lanes are installed on high-speed roads, the width needs to be greater to compensate (and debris-free.) Of course, the commitment to sweep bike lanes on high-speed roads would have to be significant, since their length is potentially much greater.

    I've seen crews vacuuming Atlanta streets just for the ambiance clean streets provide. They could just as easily sweep bike lanes.

    I'm thinking (after the fashion of Sbhikes' thread about "if cycling was the primary form of transport") that we get leftovers (skinny and/or unswept BL's, etc.) because there are comparatively few of us out there compared to motorists.

    (Oops, this is the "WOL" thread...anyway, back to regularly scheduled programming.)
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 07-10-07 at 04:46 PM.
    No worries

  12. #12
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951
    4 feet when next to a 12 foot lane and 5 feet when next to an 11 foot lane, not including gutter pan. Seems reasonable considering many standards allow the gutter pan to be counted as width.
    Actually not counting the gutter pan is fantastic... I can't tell you the number of times around here where the stencil for a BL barely fit, and that included the gutter pan.

    What I was thinking however is that the 12 foot lane is likely to be a high speed road (hence wider). I want more room there. Especially if, like in this area, motor traffic is moving at 50+MPH.

    BTW Ranch all the way. Ketchup for Onion rings.
    Last edited by genec; 07-10-07 at 05:10 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Instead of arguing over which is better, blue cheese or ranch, why don't the WOL advocates huddle up and provide clear guidelines for WOLs and the BL advocates huddle up and provide clear guidelines for bike lanes.

    And when a city asks about how to accomodate cyclists, we present a menu instead of an argument.
    That would be an appropriate suggestion if, indeed, you did ask a city how cyclists should be accommodated. However, you are not asking that question, but you are providing facilities choices instead.

    When considering how a city should accommodate cyclists, the issue boils down to one pair of options. Should the city consider that cyclists should operate as drivers of vehicles? Or should the city consider that cyclists should not operate as drivers of vehicles?

    If it is decided that cyclists should operate as drivers of vehicles, then the issues are easily settled. Roads need to be designed to accommodate cyclists so operating, traffic police need to be so trained, educators need to be encouraged to teach that method of operation.

    If it is decided that cyclists should not operate as drivers of vehicles, the issues become far more complicated because nobody in America has worked out how this should be done. Without knowing how this should be done, there is no basis for designing facilities, let alone all the other relevant items. One might try the Dutch sidepath system, which is probably the most comprehensive of the non-vehicular systems, but that is unlikely to succeed in an American city.

  14. #14
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I prefer a little mustard mixed with ketchup on my onion rings.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    That would be an appropriate suggestion if, indeed, you did ask a city how cyclists should be accommodated. However, you are not asking that question, but you are providing facilities choices instead.

    When considering how a city should accommodate cyclists, the issue boils down to one pair of options. Should the city consider that cyclists should operate as drivers of vehicles? Or should the city consider that cyclists should not operate as drivers of vehicles?

    If it is decided that cyclists should operate as drivers of vehicles, then the issues are easily settled. Roads need to be designed to accommodate cyclists so operating, traffic police need to be so trained, educators need to be encouraged to teach that method of operation.

    If it is decided that cyclists should not operate as drivers of vehicles, the issues become far more complicated because nobody in America has worked out how this should be done. Without knowing how this should be done, there is no basis for designing facilities, let alone all the other relevant items. One might try the Dutch sidepath system, which is probably the most comprehensive of the non-vehicular systems, but that is unlikely to succeed in an American city.
    I disagree with your paradigm; that should be quite obvious. Bike lanes are a vehicular facility. An example of a system that considers that "cyclists should not operate as drivers of vehicles" would be a network of bike paths separate from the roadway which segregates bicyclists from other traffic.

    So my "menu" is made up primarily of choices of methods to accomodate cyclists bicycling vehicularly. As you have pointed out, a non-vehicular system is quite impractical in terms of both treasure and space.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Let's not confuse operating in a bike lane with not operating vehicularly. There is a reason why this thread is in the "Vehicular Cycling" forum. This "menu" (as it were) contains vehicular options; I think we can agree that vehicular cycling is the most practical way of getting around the typical American city.

    Consider a bike lane a lane, since that is the ideal and we are describing the ideal. There are irregularities, but then again, there is no way to allow vehicles with vastly different speed characteristics on the same road with the same smoothness as a road with a uniform vehicle type. For instance, WOLs are irregular because there is no other instance that I know of, of a lane which allows two vehicles to drive side by side at speed.

    I'm asking you all to drop the opposition stances and work on whatever part of the menu you believe in. Concentrate on developing your own ideas rather than tearing another's idea down. Bike lanes are ridden vehicularly, so are WOLs. They both require cyclist and motorist education in various degrees and they both work more or less equally well. I am convinced through these discussions that it is all a matter of taste.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951
    4 feet when next to a 12 foot lane and 5 feet when next to an 11 foot lane, not including gutter pan. Seems reasonable considering many standards allow the gutter pan to be counted as width.
    These are intended as minimums, but unfortunately some road engineers consider them to be standard sizes.

    Some cities in NC are squeezing in 4' lanes next to 11' lanes, and some bike lane proponents are advocating splitting 14' wide outside lanes into narrow travel lanes next to narrow bike lanes.

    I prefer 16' total width or more on busy roads. And of course, I prefer the separating stripe be omitted.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Bruce Rosar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Consider a bike lane a lane...
    I can see how someone might look at the term "designated bicycle lane" and say: It must be a travel lane for bikes; it's got lane and bicycle in the name! but names can be deceptive. Peeking under the cover (i.e., examining the definition) reveals that a designated bicycle lane is:
    a portion of a roadway or shoulder which has been designated for use by bicyclists.
    In other words, it's no more a lane in the traveled way than a parking lane or a shoulder is (heck, it may even be a shoulder).

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    WOLs are irregular because there is no other instance that I know of, of a lane which allows two vehicles to drive side by side at speed.
    I've seen groups of vehicles driving side by side at speed (40+ mph) in non-wide travel lanes. The vehicles had handelbars, two wheels in-line and pedals (aka pedal-cycles), but motor-cycles would have worked too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    I am convinced through these discussions that it is all a matter of taste.
    State-sanctioned separation of individuals on the basis of a classification which affects a common and fundamental right (travel) isn't just a matter of "taste"; it's also a matter of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
    Last edited by Bruce Rosar; 07-11-07 at 11:53 PM.

  19. #19
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Rosar
    In other words, it's no more a lane in the traveled way than a parking lane or a shoulder is (heck, it may even be a shoulder).
    It is more of a travel lane then a parking lane because of the designation. For something to be designated for a certain purpose it has to meet certain standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Rosar
    I've seen groups of vehicles driving side by side at speed (40+ mph) in non-wide travel lanes. The vehicles had handelbars, two wheels in-line and pedals (aka pedal-cycles), but motor-cycles would have worked too.
    There is a huge difference between friends riding to the same destination together in the same lane on narrow vehicles and the chaotic nature of multiple independent vehicles calling a wide lane one or two lanes depending on their whim. We have a few 20+ foot lanes here and motorists are very confused on whither it is one or two lanes. One can observe numerous (and extremely close) passing of motorists who think it is one lane by motorist who think it is two lanes. This is a major problem when the safe and proper use of the roadway is not inherent in the design. (A technical note: while most travel lanes are 10’ wide we still have a lot of cars that are only 6 feet wide so a 20 foot lane would allow for three 6’ wide cars to fit across so there is no way for a single vehicle to effectively take the lane here.)

    Similarly if a cyclist takes the lane in a WOL and if the motorist thinks this should be a lane for motorists and a (implied) lane for cyclists the result could be unsafe passing. This behavior can vary a great deal depending on location. (A technical note: a WOL of 14’ wide and car that is 6 feet wide can unsafely squeeze by a cyclist taking the lane so there is no effective way for a cyclist to take the lane in a WOL.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Rosar
    State-sanctioned separation of individuals on the basis of a classification which affects a common and fundamental right (travel) isn't just a matter of "taste"; it's also a matter of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
    Personally I find pluses and minuses to both bike lanes and WOLs but I do not find that bike lanes adversely affect my right to the road any more then WOLs or any other extra space that is perceived that cyclists must/should use.
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  20. #20
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    I disagree with your paradigm; that should be quite obvious. Bike lanes are a vehicular facility. An example of a system that considers that "cyclists should not operate as drivers of vehicles" would be a network of bike paths separate from the roadway which segregates bicyclists from other traffic.
    I disagree with this because if you built that network as a transportation system, then to say that just because it is separated from motorized vehicles it isn't a vehicular facility doesn't make any sense.

    What is also completely illogical is to say that because we want to treat bicycles as vehicles the best way to do that is not to accommodate them at all.
    ~Diane
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Bruce:

    Consider a bike lane a lane.

    Ha ha. Even motorcyclists will tell you that you don't share lanes with someone you aren't riding with, I'd suspect - seems dangerous to me if you don't know the person you are sharing the lane with. Have you any others which don't rely on the drivers of the two vehicles knowing and putting extra trust in the other? And of course, bicyclists also don't share lanes unless they know each other as well.

    I'm looking for an example where two strangers are asked (and indeed, required) to share lanes with one another at speed.

    Ah, your segregation argument. I don't really care about your unique views of sociology here. As an aside, the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment doesn't apply for two reasons: 1) cyclists are not a protected class, and 2) the 14th Amendment only applies to the federal government. You might find something similar in your state constitution, but it isn't the 14th amendment. Finally, there are always restrictions on the "fundamental right to travel". I mean, banning cars from a city center would be a restriction on the "fundamental right to travel". Restricting trucks to the right lane on the freeway is a restriction on the "fundamental right to travel". But a cyclist can still get to where he wants to go, right? Despite the supposed bike lane "restrictions" (I put the term in quotes because I don't view bike lanes as restrictive)?

    By elevating the argument to cry "Segregation!!!", you are doing all us cyclists a huge disfavor: you envoke the civil rights era where segregation was specifically used to make the lives of blacks unteniable and unbearable, in the context of a line of paint on the road. Think about that for a moment. It makes us seem... trite and it makes us into whinners. Go back to arguing safety like everyone else.
    Last edited by Brian Ratliff; 07-12-07 at 08:20 AM.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    I disagree with this because if you built that network as a transportation system, then to say that just because it is separated from motorized vehicles it isn't a vehicular facility doesn't make any sense.

    What is also completely illogical is to say that because we want to treat bicycles as vehicles the best way to do that is not to accommodate them at all.
    Context. I am focusing on primarily on-road facilities. I agree with you that well placed and well designed bike specific paths can be used to enhance a bike network, but I cannot say that a system consisting of only paths will make any sense from a technical point of view.

    A WOL is an accomodation... of sorts. I am convinced that a "network" of WOL roads for the purpose of accomodating cyclists will not garner the same increases in ridership that a network of bike lanes and other facilities (like paths) will garner. But there is no direct data supporting my point of view, though I must say that there is scant data to this point at all and you will have more difficulty trying to claim that WOLs will garner more ridership than bike lanes enhanced with paths and other forms of accomodation. I am on firmer ground though, that a bike lane network is sufficient for the purpose of helping to increase ridership, without a direct comparison to a network of WOLs.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  23. #23
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff

    A WOL is an accomodation... of sorts. I am convinced that a "network" of WOL roads for the purpose of accomodating cyclists will not garner the same increases in ridership that a network of bike lanes and other facilities (like paths) will garner.
    AGREED.

    WOLs will not increase ridership in communities.

    WOLs will keep some cyclists on the sidewalks.

    WOLs leave 'average' cyclists curb hugging, dodging in and out of parked cars and incorrectly positioned at intersections.


    There are many flaws in promoting WOLs' as 'accomodation' for bicycling.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  24. #24
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    I'm looking for an example where two strangers are asked (and indeed, required) to share lanes with one another at speed.
    Most states have laws requiring slower motorists to use the rightmost lane on multilane roads. Being anywhere in the rightmost lane is sufficient for compliance.

    But for cyclists, most states go even further than that and require cyclists to ride as "far right as practicable". Thus, a cyclist is required to ride far enough right in a WOL to allow faster drivers to pass in the same lane, something which no other drivers have to do.

    Therefore, on a road with a WOL, a motorist slower than other motorists and a cyclist slower than all traffic are both required to share the outside lane.

  25. #25
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Instead of arguing over which is better, blue cheese or ranch, why don't the WOL advocates huddle up and provide clear guidelines for WOLs and the BL advocates huddle up and provide clear guidelines for bike lanes.

    And when a city asks about how to accomodate cyclists, we present a menu instead of an argument.
    But we can't look at facilities in isolation from the laws that govern their use. Cyclists have no more restrictions than slow motorists on NOL, slightly more restrictions on WOL (due to the far to the right laws), and (at least in California) severe restrictions where there is a BL (due to mandatory bike lane use laws).

    If we didn't have far to the right laws and mandatory bike lane use laws, then I could agree with BrianR.

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