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  1. #1
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Bike Maps and VC

    First: a couple of hard-core VC mantras that I find, at the very least, confusing-

    a) Every lane is a bike lane.

    b) We have all the bike paths we need- they're called roads.

    IF the above are true then all cyclists would have no need for special bike maps in order to plan their routes be it recreational, transportational, commuting or otherwise because ANY up to date road map would have the route information they needed and VC techniques like steely eyed glances and lane positioning would ensure a cyclist's safety on ANY road.


    But many of us have preferred routes and avoid certain roads. So, for us, not every lane is a bike lane. And there are bike trails (here in MA it's the Ashuwillticook, Minute Man, and Cape Cod Rail Trails that come to my mind) that are often a preferable alternative to roads.


    Despite 4 decades of riding on Massachusetts and New England roads I still grab the Rubel Bike Maps to plan out some of my rides and find it enormously useful. n.b.- John Allen, no stranger to VC, is a contributor to Rubel Bike Maps.

    How do you hard-core VC'ers plan your routes? And if you do have preferred routes- why? If every lane is a bike lane is every road equally desirable for you to ride on?

    I'm really asking this in all seriousness. I've followed these endless debates for a couple of years now but have yet to see how blanket statements like the two I've cited above leave any room for dialogue.

  2. #2
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I don't find the local city bike route map very useful. Often the bike routes suggested end up having disconnects/jogs around direct routes, stretches of problematic MUPs, crossing of arterial roads with no traffic signal, etc.
    This is that map: http://www.tempe.gov/tim/Bike/pdfs/BikeMap2007.pdf

    A great map would be one that shows all city streets, how many lanes, what the vpd volume is, the width of the outside lane, the width of shoulder or bike lane. There would be no special markings for 'bike route'

    Here is a map (Full state map of AZ) I find does that to a degree and it better. Thru color coding and symbols it indicates traffic volume, shoulder width, grade (missing and useful would be number of lanes):
    http://www.azbikeped.org/images/map%...0(3-03-06).pdf
    To appreciate it you need to zoom in 200% or better.

    Al

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    I don't think I am a hard cor VC'r, but I just plan my routes via Google. For me I find pretty much all roads rideable. There are exceptions, such as Interstates that are not legal to bike on.


    But many of us have preferred routes and avoid certain roads. So, for us, not every lane is a bike lane.

    A bit of a stretch. Sure even I have preferred roads. But that is the difference between a rideable road, and a nicely rideable road. There are roads I prefer to others even when driving my car. It certainly doesn't mean there are roads that are unfit for my car. Just that some roads are more enjoyable than others.

    -D

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    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by derath View Post
    A bit of a stretch. Sure even I have preferred roads. But that is the difference between a rideable road, and a nicely rideable road. There are roads I prefer to others even when driving my car. It certainly doesn't mean there are roads that are unfit for my car. Just that some roads are more enjoyable than others.-D
    I would venture to say that the expression, "every lane is a bike lane" is "a bit of a stretch" but I'm not sure that's what you're saying.

    Although most roads in and around Boston are "fit for a car" they are not fit for all vehicles. Several roads do not allow trucks over a certain size for example. So if logic dictates that a road is "fit for a car" but not "fit for a truck" are all roads fit for all vehicles? You seem to be implying that if a road is "fit for a car" then you should be able to drive any vehicle on any road. My implication is that most existing roads are designed for passenger automobiles but NOT for all vehicles. Thus creating issues far more practical than "nice" when choosing a route.

    And what exactly makes one road "a ridable road" and another a "nicely rideable road"? My understanding from many of these threads is that being educated in VC techniques and appropriate practice of them makes all roads equally rideable. Am I misunderstanding VC?

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    I would venture to say that the expression, "every lane is a bike lane" is "a bit of a stretch" but I'm not sure that's what you're saying.
    Correct, that isn't what I am saying. But my point is that simply because you choose to avoid a certain road doesn't make that road un-rideable by bicycle. It may not be as enjoyable due to varying circumstances, but not unrideable. Also other people have different tolerances that they can handle. This isn't just in cycling however.

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Although most roads in and around Boston are "fit for a car" they are not fit for all vehicles. Several roads do not allow trucks over a certain size for example. So if logic dictates that a road is "fit for a car" but not "fit for a truck" are all roads fit for all vehicles? You seem to be implying that if a road is "fit for a car" then you should be able to drive any vehicle on any road. My implication is that most existing roads are designed for passenger automobiles but NOT for all vehicles. Thus creating issues far more practical than "nice" when choosing a route.
    Not at all. Just as I said in my post there are some roads (interstate) in my area which are restricted from bicycle riding. I think it would be safe to say the same for roads with other restrictions. Obviously those are special cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    And what exactly makes one road "a ridable road" and another a "nicely rideable road"? My understanding from many of these threads is that being educated in VC techniques and appropriate practice of them makes all roads equally rideable. Am I misunderstanding VC?
    Again, I am not a "VC" rider per se, in that I have never read any of the books that talk about it etc.

    As many around here however, you seem to be reading what you want into the arguments. I would be willing to bet even the hardcore VC advocates would agree that all roads are not created equal. And not all roads are equally enjoyable to ride on. The point is that even the roads that are not as enjoyable are still rideable. I guess you could read that as even the roads that aren't as much "fun" to ride can still be safely traversed.

    Let me take my commute for example. My commute is quite long, so it has varying degrees of road types.

    Actually I will use my commute home, since it is the only one I can find mapped out online. If you follow with the hybrid mode on you can see the road details via the satellite images.

    So in the beginning the commute is quite nice. I work my way through some neighborhoods. Low traffic. No shoulder.

    From mile 3.7-4.6 i would classify the ride as not being as enjoyable. But it is still rideable in that I can ride it safely. I have to deal with taking the lane in a 3 lane situation where 2 eventually turn left at RT 103 and the right lane is Rt turn only. You have cars moving around in the lanes to be in the right place at the light. I have to be more attentive and assertive in taking the lane. Once I turn left on Rt 103 I am dealing with heavier commuting traffic on a 2 lane road with no shoulder. Again it is not as "fun" but I still feel safe. And I don't get nasty honks. But I do have to control the lane to not get buzzed.

    Much of the rest of the ride varies from roads with wide shoulders to roads with no shoulder. And speeds from slow to over 60mph. Different sections require more vigilance and some are more enjoyable to be on than others. But all are rideable.

    I guess a different analogy is when I drive to work. I have several route choices in my car. one involves the beltway and mostly large interstate type roads. Other routes are more rural. While all are equally rideable, I enjoy the rural drive much more than the parking lot known as the beltway. I don't see how that is a hard thing to understand...

  6. #6
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    see the chestbeating and hoop-jumping about route choice in this thread

    Can vehicular bicyclists choose a more mellow route?

    I know some roads are more enjoyable and pleasant to ride on and so does everyone else that rides a bike.

    the 'every lane is a bike lane' argument is a fallacy regarding 'traffic parity' in dubious counterpoint to the reality of hostile, bicyclist unfriendly road and traffic conditions.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 11-03-07 at 06:09 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  7. #7
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    consider an old thread of mine: bike route map links . I was trying to create a source for all state bike route maps. Did get a lot of state maps and a number of local maps. Doing a "Compare and Contrast" on all the different standards for routes might get me a MS in something. My own local city map has a couple of sections of recommended routes that I, an adrenaline junkie with 50 years of cycling experience, do not like.

    To the OP, even the "optimum" computer created routes of routines like TomTom and GoogleMaps are usually altered by local motorists with local knowledge. Feel free to grant yourself permission to avoid any road that bothers you.
    This space open

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    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by derath View Post
    ... While all are equally rideable, I enjoy the rural drive much more than the parking lot known as the beltway. I don't see how that is a hard thing to understand...
    Thank you for your extensive post and please pardon my thick head but I find the following things hard to understand:

    Again, expressions like "Every lane is a bike lane.". It seems to me that statements like that are used not because they are true in any logical sense but because they stop the dialogue. What's hard for me to understand is how reluctant some people are to abandon those fallacious arguments and adhere to a kind of wishful thinking that they are, indeed, true. I'm not saying that is what you are doing but my general impressions when I read posts in the VC thread is that kind of thinking abounds and it makes progressive discourse virtually impossible. And I am not referring solely to roads like interstates where the law dictates that it is unridable but roads that are legally ridable but not necessarily a recommended route for any cyclist no matter their "skill level" or chutzpah.

    What's also hard for me to understand is how quickly the analogy is made to "when I drive in my car". Please note your use of the word "rideable" in your automobile analogy- perhaps a simple error but reflective of a lot of thinking in these threads. When I can get my bike to go 60 mph from a dead stop in less than 12 second on level ground I'll better understand the analogy but while I agree that both are "vehicles" analogies between the automobile and the bicycle also lead to a kind of fallacious thinking when selecting routes, designing roadways and techniques applied when riding a bike on a roadway, bike lane, bike path or MUP. My bicycle is no more like my car than my car is like a semi-trailer truck.

    I also find it difficult to understand the reluctance to refer to certain roads as "safer" or "less safe" for riding and instead euphemistic expressions like "more vigilance is needed" or "more enjoyable". These expressions are most often used with a qualifier like "it's equally rideable" as if to say, "if I wanted to I could ride on that road" perhaps out of a justifiable paranoia that to admit otherwise might mean risking the right to ride on certain roads. Some of us, like me, consider that roads needing "more vigilance" are actually, dare I say it- less safe and therefore not "equally rideable" as much as I might wish it to be. Often these suspicions are supported by accident statistics on these same roads. And while we support the right of cyclists to ride on every possible road we are pragmatic realists who recognize that some roads, due to design, traffic volume, condition of pavement etc, are just not worth it. And that despite all the experience, bicycle "education", vigilance and skill some cyclists may have nothing beats a well designed roadway conceived and built with bicyclists in mind.

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    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    see the chestbeating and hoop-jumping about route choice in this thread

    Can vehicular bicyclists choose a more mellow route?

    I know some roads are more enjoyable and pleasant to ride on and so does everyone else that rides a bike.

    the 'every lane is a bike lane' argument is a fallacy regarding 'traffic parity' in dubious counterpoint to the reality of hostile, bicyclist unfriendly road and traffic conditions.
    ahh, I see from your link that this road is a bit more well-travelled than I thought.

    Perhaps every avenue of discussion has already been explored and they all come out in the same place- nowhere.

    oh, well, it's a torrential Nor'easter and not such a great day for a bike ride- no matter what road I'm on- so I thought I'd run down a few dead ends on the internet superhighway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Again, expressions like "Every lane is a bike lane.". It seems to me that statements like that are used not because they are true in any logical sense but because they stop the dialogue. What's hard for me to understand is how reluctant some people are to abandon those fallacious arguments and adhere to a kind of wishful thinking that they are, indeed, true. I'm not saying that is what you are doing but my general impressions when I read posts in the VC thread is that kind of thinking abounds and it makes progressive discourse virtually impossible. And I am not referring solely to roads like interstates where the law dictates that it is unridable but roads that are legally ridable but not necessarily a recommended route for any cyclist no matter their "skill level" or chutzpah.
    First off, these forums are a bad place to gain any knowledge at all. The level of discourse has dropped down so far that nothing useful is really discussed.

    I have also stayed away from the specific VC issues in your post on purpose. As I have stated I am not a "VC'r" in that I haven't read any of the books etc which strictly talk about it. So I don't want to put words into their mouth when I may not be correct.

    The "every lane is a BL" to me means that I don't require a bike lane to feel safe riding in traffic. So far I haven't encountered a road which I have felt unsafe riding. Keep in mind however, as is evident in my commute link, that I live in a more suburban/rural area. I don't bike downtown very often (no need) so my experience is distinctly different than city dwellers. I am also lucky to see a shoulder on most of the roads I ride. And none have bike lanes.

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    What's also hard for me to understand is how quickly the analogy is made to "when I drive in my car". Please note your use of the word "rideable" in your automobile analogy- perhaps a simple error but reflective of a lot of thinking in these threads. When I can get my bike to go 60 mph from a dead stop in less than 12 second on level ground I'll better understand the analogy but while I agree that both are "vehicles" analogies between the automobile and the bicycle also lead to a kind of fallacious thinking when selecting routes, designing roadways and techniques applied when riding a bike on a roadway, bike lane, bike path or MUP. My bicycle is no more like my car than my car is like a semi-trailer truck.
    Then you need to look up analogy. Analogies are not direct comparisons. Sure my bike and car are not even close in acceleration etc. But the analogy works partly because many people drive cars and many times have more experience in their car than on a bike.

    My analogy is to illustrate the following point. I feel safe wherever I have ridden. I also feel safe in my car. I can choose 2 paths to drive my car in the morning. One is the major highways/beltway. It offers the possibility of getting to work slightly faster, but I find it more frustrating, due to the nature of large multilane highways during rush hour. The other is a more rural route (actually the identical path I bike). I find it more enjoyable as I don't have to keep track of 6 lanes of traffic around me.


    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    I also find it difficult to understand the reluctance to refer to certain roads as "safer" or "less safe" for riding and instead euphemistic expressions like "more vigilance is needed" or "more enjoyable". These expressions are most often used with a qualifier like "it's equally rideable" as if to say, "if I wanted to I could ride on that road" perhaps out of a justifiable paranoia that to admit otherwise might mean risking the right to ride on certain roads. Some of us, like me, consider that roads needing "more vigilance" are actually, dare I say it- less safe and therefore not "equally rideable" as much as I might wish it to be. Often these suspicions are supported by accident statistics on these same roads. And while we support the right of cyclists to ride on every possible road we are pragmatic realists who recognize that some roads, due to design, traffic volume, condition of pavement etc, are just not worth it. And that despite all the experience, bicycle "education", vigilance and skill some cyclists may have nothing beats a well designed roadway conceived and built with bicyclists in mind.
    That is because I don't find the differing roads "safer" or "less safe". The smaller neighborhood roads have less traffic. So I don't have to necessarily be as "vigilant" with my lane handling etc. But I still could get T-boned by the soccer mom backing out of her driveway. But these quiet roads tend to be more enjoyable.

    The sections of road that I find less enjoyable are not "less safe" But I do have to be more alert as there is more going on. I have to pay more attention to the traffic around me, the same way I would if I were in my car etc. But I still don't feel "less safe".


    The key is, by using VC type techniques I can ride safely everywhere that I have tried so far. I don't disagree that a roadway designed with cyclists in mind may be more enjoyable, most haven't been designed this way. I would hate to feel i was constrained to only using those roads designed for cyclists as I would have very few option in my area at all.

    Now, one problem I do have with the general VC debate is the converse. There are many who seem to feel that by simply training cyclists they will instantly be comfortable riding safely anywhere. This of course is not true. We all have different temperments and limits on what we can deal with. Some people will simply not feel comfortable in some situations regardless of their training.

    -D

  11. #11
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    I more or less agree that 'every lane is a bike lane', which is not to say that there aren't some that you'd choose to avoid.

    AS for maps - I've only ever glanced at the one for Brisbane. It's interesting look at as it highlights just how disconnected the 'bike routes' are, but as a rout planner, it's no better than a regular map, and considering it's small scale, worse than some.

    I just use a regular street map (i like Bikely now, as it gives an elevation diagram too), and plan my route for highest efficiency, and it's usually the same route I'd choose if I drove the car. Recreational rides, I plan my route for most fun, but still with the regular map.

    edit: I ride my bike vehicularly, but don't follow the VC religion.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

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    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Derath

    once again, thanks for your thoughtful and honest posts.

    You've clarified some of what I was not understanding in your previous post.

    Regarding analogies I could argue that while a bike and a car are have similarities drawing on them for accurate analogies in these threads has been counterproductive.

    I understand that you are not a "hard-core VC'er" and appreciate your answering in their stead. I would venture that they might take issue with something I want to ask about- you use the expression "feel safe". When others have used that term often the argument in response is that it is subjective ie. "I feel safe when I wear a helmet." "I feel safer in a bike lane." "I feel safer on a bike path." all of which is subject to criticism when weighed against facts, statistics and their interpretation- and, again, the dialogue stops there. "Feeling safe", it has been argued, is a state of mind and not a statement of fact.

    You say, "I feel safe wherever I have ridden."

    Tonight I could choose to ride my bike 40 miles but it's dark, the winds are gusting to 60 mph, there is a steady and, at times, torrential downpour. I would not feel "safe" riding on most roads on my bike.(not that it isn't doable- I've done it on many an occasion in even worse conditions) I would feel "safer" driving that 40 miles in my car but I would not feel as "safe" as I would during a bright dry day.

    Do you only ride when weather conditions and light are so favorable? Sometimes I ride in to work and it's gorgeous only to have to ride home in quite the opposite conditions- I choose a different route because it feels "safer" to me- am I being unreasonable?

    Do you ever feel "unsafe"? And why? And if automobiles and bicycles are so analogous why do weather conditions alter when someone might choose to use one or what route they take- as evidenced by so many in "How was your commute today?". I don't think it's just a matter of "comfort" or "enjoyable" but "safety". For example a nicely plowed bike path beats sharing a road with sliding automobiles on a snowy evening for "feeling safe"- but, again, it's subjective though my guess is that statistics might support that feeling.

    I really am perplexed by the "I feel safe wherever I ride"- *it's yet another blanket statement that feels patently untrue and closes the dialogue. I use my sense of "safe" versus "not safe" as a barometer of where and when to ride.

    *edited for clarity
    Last edited by buzzman; 11-03-07 at 08:55 PM. Reason: clarity

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    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister View Post
    I more or less agree that 'every lane is a bike lane', which is not to say that there aren't some that you'd choose to avoid.
    a statement that people "more or less agree" with or that requires caveats like "not...that there aren't some you'd choose to avoid" hardly builds my confidence in the statement as the kind of truism I see it used as in these forums.

    I also could claim to riding vehicularly but not an adherent to it as a religion but as I read these threads I resist admitting that because I have no desire to be associated with the faithful.

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    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    a statement that people "more or less agree" with or that requires caveats like "not...that there aren't some you'd choose to avoid" hardly builds my confidence in the statement as the kind of truism I see it used as in these forums.
    The point is that not everyone will want to jump right into merging across busy multi-lane roads (for example) on their first day out. But as experience grows, it becomes less daunting. No lane is out of bounds to bikes, but it may take a while to get there.

    Whether it's a 'truism' or not is something I care not to debate, as I don't care either way.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

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    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister View Post
    The point is that not everyone will want to jump right into merging across busy multi-lane roads (for example) on their first day out. But as experience grows, it becomes less daunting. No lane is out of bounds to bikes, but it may take a while to get there.

    Whether it's a 'truism' or not is something I care not to debate, as I don't care either way.
    My guess is that many cyclists may never want to have to develop the skills, speed and tactics necessary to cross multiple lanes and would choose to not cycle rather than face that reality.

    When faulty "truisms" like "every lane is a bike lane" are used to argue against options like bike lanes and bike paths that might provide alternatives for those cyclists I do care.

    And I am a cyclist that merges across multi-lane roads pretty much daily. My wife, who also commutes by bike, avoids those circumstances like the plague despite having commuted (primarily on a bike path) for several years.

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    Wow, this thread has had the best dialog for an A&S thread I have seen in a long time.

    Hmm, "feeling safe" Maybe it isn't the best way to describe it. Feeling safe is largely an illusion, since something can come by and smack you down in a heartbeat. But let me see if I can clarify.

    I ride in varying conditions. Usually nice, but I have ridden in less than stellar weather. I take the same route regardless (due to distance I have little choice).

    I will also go back to driving. I am an IT consultant so when I am not in the office (or working from home) I am gong to client sites, 99% are too far to bike to. So I put a larger than average amount of miles in my car as well. And that is driving done in fair to horrible traffic conditions (the Baltimore Washington DC corridor can have some nasty traffic). I keep a high level of situational awareness when I both drive and cycle. If asked I can usually at any moment describe exactly what is around me and my likely "escape route" should I need to quickly get out of the way. This isn't done out of fear, in fact I don't even think about it. It is just a habit born from techniques I learned from my dad when first learning to drive.

    In addition to this situational awareness, I also position myself to maximize my "options" One of the problems of sometimes cycling way to the right is you cut off your manovering options. Similarily in my car I pick a lane usually for it's safety, not it's speed.

    Similarily, I will pick routes (again both in the car and on the bike) depending on time of day, weather conditions etc to maximize my safety I would think that is just common sense.

    I think part of the problem especially in a forum such as this, is that examples can be given and taken as blanket statements even when they aren't. The difficulty lies in the fact that in order to explain things fully often you end up with posts so long nobody would read them.

    Hope this clarifies.

    -D

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    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    "every lane is a bike lane" fallacious VC 'talking point' that undermines planning for bicycling as transportation in the USA. A forestorite fallacy.

    "If it's not safe for an 8 year old, IT'S NOT A BIKE LANE" the former Mayor of Bogota in reference to his city's accomodation plans for bicycling that have increased bicycling as transportation in one of the largest cities in the americas.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by derath View Post

    I think part of the problem especially in a forum such as this, is that examples can be given and taken as blanket statements even when they aren't. The difficulty lies in the fact that in order to explain things fully often you end up with posts so long nobody would read them.

    Hope this clarifies.

    -D
    thanks it does. Yeah, though your posts have been far more interesting to me than the short "sound bite" types that lead nowhere- worth reading. Perhaps because they seem relatively open minded.

    I'm seeing a slight difference in perspective- I didn't learn to drive a car until I was over 18 (I started being pretty fanatical about riding a bike everywhere at age 15 and refused to get a license). I'd already ridden across the country a few times before I owned my first automobile. So my reference point for driving is in comparison to how I ride a bike and seldom the reverse.

    I notice you tend to draw comparisons with how you drive- and here I am not making a judgement as to it's value- it seems to be working for you- but that's often a leap for me. I'm wondering if that could be one of the reasons I can't grasp some of what the VC zealots propose. It seems to be modeling cycling behavior more from an automobile paradigm than from a cycling one.

    One last thought- I don't shy away from using the word "fear" to describe why I might not ride a certain road under certain conditions. "Fear" in more biological terms is simply adrenal cortical activity that through a chemical wash produces feelings of fear and anxiety. While experience reduces the feeling of "fear" the fear response is necessary to learn how to do certain complicated tasks. "Fear" can also be tied into our sense of responsibility. I tend to feel more "fearful" when I'm taking other less experienced riders out for a ride than when I solo. I think "fear" can be useful and instructive when properly managed. And I'm not afraid to admit it!

  19. #19
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    shoehorning bikes into the dystopian autocentric road model IS what VC is all about, buzzman.

    planning for bicycles in the transportation mix is something altogther different.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  20. #20
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    When faulty "truisms" like "every lane is a bike lane" are used to argue against options like bike lanes and bike paths that might provide alternatives for those cyclists I do care.
    Well I would certainly never argue that. Bike lanes and bike paths serve a valid function as much as any lane. It still doesn't reduce the validity of riding in any other lane.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister View Post
    The point is that not everyone will want to jump right into merging across busy multi-lane roads (for example) on their first day out. But as experience grows, it becomes less daunting. No lane is out of bounds to bikes, but it may take a while to get there.
    When I started cycling again after many years off the bike, it was for commuting. I picked a route to/from work that minimized left turns from busy arterials. This route happened to have fewer bike lanes than an alternate route, but for me my biggest discomfort was merging across several lanes of fast busy traffic and once there trying to pick the gap to turn left on, which most often was a balance between the light turning yellow and opposing traffic stopping.

    Al

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    The simple point of saying or writing "every lane is a bike lane" is to counter contrary notions to that, such as:

    • Lanes that are not bike lanes are car lanes.
    • Cyclists needs their own space.
    • Roads without space for bikes are not appropriate for bicycling.


    The statement obviously has some hyperbole in it - it's clearly not a truism. With respect to freeways, for example, there is no truth to it at all. Isn't this obvious? Does every invocation have to come with a clarifying footnote spelling all this out?

    All it means is that regular traffic lanes on surface streets are just as appropriate for bicyclists to use as they are drivers of motor vehicles, subject to the same vehicular rules of road (including following speed positioning rules between intersections).

    As far as the biking maps go - what they are most useful for to me is identifying where the bike paths are. But as far as identifying the most appropriate street routes - not so much. But, then, because of all of our mesas and canyons, routes in San Diego are probably determined much more by geography than in most other municipalities. There just aren't that many different ways to reasonably get from A to B.

  23. #23
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    There are many roads that even drivers of cars would like to avoid, and even fearless drivers of cars will avoid certain roads under certain circumstances. For example, yesterday laden with lumber I opted not to take the freeway and instead to take the quieter surface streets. I don't need a bunch of jackasses tailgaiting and getting all upset expecting a 4-cylinder POS truck burdened with lumber to act like race cars.

    Is this fear? Is this anti-VC? Why is it any different if I select similar routes when I'm riding a similarly under-powered, more vulnerable bicycle? More vulnerable due to load. More vulnerable due to lack of mass. The only real difference is political.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    There are many roads that even drivers of cars would like to avoid, and even fearless drivers of cars will avoid certain roads under certain circumstances. For example, yesterday laden with lumber I opted not to take the freeway and instead to take the quieter surface streets. I don't need a bunch of jackasses tailgaiting and getting all upset expecting a 4-cylinder POS truck burdened with lumber to act like race cars.

    Is this fear? Is this anti-VC? Why is it any different if I select similar routes when I'm riding a similarly under-powered, more vulnerable bicycle? More vulnerable due to load. More vulnerable due to lack of mass. The only real difference is political.
    No, this is not anti-VC. There is nothing contrary to VC in the act of choosing a route based on all types of criteria that are appropriate to cycling.
    You may start with the idea that you want to avoid traffic, but it won't work that way. More than motorists, you need a route with minimum stops and slow-downs, because these tire you as well as delay you. So you will ride the main streets because these are protected by Stop signs, have signals set in your favor , and have better sight distances at hazardous places, which are also the reasons that motorists choose these routes. You will separate from the main motor traffic if the route takes a short-cut over a hill where you would rather go a bit further around on the level, or if it goes over a section of road or bridge prohibited to you. --John Forester, Selecting a Route, Commuting and Utility Cycling, Effective Cycling, pp 390-391

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    Motorists choose main streets primarily based on reducing travel time.

    Stop lights on arterials are timed based on cars and trucks traveling at or above speed limits that are generally 60-70kmh. On a bike this timing is unfeasible except during strong tailwinds, and I rarely realize any time savings on major arterials. In fact I often just end up rolling from red light to red light.

    And this is not factoring in traffic back-ups, which tend to be the worst on major roads. The litmus test for this is that side streets in my area are overflowing with through-traffic taking short cuts to reduce travel time, despite the turn restrictions, traffic calming, and stop signs attempting to minimize this.

    Another factor that puts most motorists on main roads that these streets most often offer freeway access, another useless attribute for non-motorized road users.
    Last edited by ghettocruiser; 11-05-07 at 01:38 PM.

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