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  1. #1
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Exclamation LAB Reform News – LAB Elections

    At the risk of blowing my cover as an anti-motoring/cycling inferioritist I present the following at least so LAB members can be informed on the issues. I encourage all LAB members to write to the candidates of their region about issues that they feel are important.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Oswald for LAB Reform
    We are now in election season, with four director seats up for grabs. All members can vote for the "At-Large" seat and you can vote for the other seats if you live in region 2, 3 or 5. Below is a brief summary of our recommendations. For details, please see http://www.labreform.org/2008election/

    At Large (all LAB members can vote for this spot)
    LAB Reform Endorsed Candidate: Hans van Naerssen,

    Region 2: DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, and WV
    Bill Hoffman, LAB Reform Endorsed Candidate

    Region 3: AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, PR, SC, TN, and VA
    Bruce Rosar, LAB Reform Endorsed Candidate

    Region 5: AR, AZ, CO, IA, KS, LA, MN, MO, MT, NE, ND, NM, OK, SD, TX, UT, WI, and WY
    Harry Brull (incumbent and not opposed)

    We added have several articles to the LAB Reform web site since we last wrote and we've revised many of the others. First, here are the main sections:

    "Home" page http://www.labreform.org/
    2008 Election http://www.labreform.org/2008election/
    Education Section http://www.labreform.org/education/
    Bicycle Blunders & Smarter Solutions http://www.labreform.org/blunders/index.html

    Here are some new articles:

    Why Move Out of Washington http://www.labreform.org/move.htm
    Who's Elitist? http://www.labreform.org/elitism.htm
    Armadillos and Cyclists http://www.labreform.org/education/armadillo.htm

    Please tell other cyclists about LAB governance and advocacy problems. Try to get articles in club newsletters and get links to us on websites. --- And please vote for our candidates.

    Thank you
    Fred Oswald
    for LAB Reform
    Cycling Advocate
    http://BaltimoreSpokes.org
    . . . o
    . . /L
    =()>()

  2. #2
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    there goes the neighborhood.

    Similar divisive tactics as those employed by LAB reform helped to paralyze, cripple and eventually weaken one of the unions I belong to. It's been painful to watch as a highly motivated agenda-oriented minority wears down membership by reframing arguments and preventing progressive dialogue by holding up on points of order and ridiculous minutiae that moves nothing forward. In the case of a union it can put one's earnings, health care and pension in serious jeapordy. But the stakes can also be really high in elections like these that decide how we are represented as a cycling community.

    Eventually the more open minded flexible individuals give up because every argument is reframed in the most polarizing context possible by the "reformers". Organizations that depend on voluntary participation of membership are particuarly prone to these tactics- it works! Eventually the minority takes control of boards and the organization's administrative agenda. Membership tends to drop and membership involvement and voluntary activity tends to diminish along with it. The organization may remain vocal for a period of time but grows more and more ineffective because in truth it represents the smallest possible constituency of the original organization.

    For those who may be seduced by the seemingly black and white simplification of issues I'd suggest some open-minded skepticism as you review the presentation of issues by LAB reform. There are often clear differences between how those they have targeted as the "opposition" present their points of view and how they are presented by LAW reform. It's worth it to do some balanced research.
    Last edited by buzzman; 12-11-07 at 06:14 AM. Reason: added word

  3. #3
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    While I don't focus on the same minutiae as several other members of LAB Reform, I am convinced that their primary motivation is to serve the interests of LAB members better than they are currently being served, and consequently strengthen the membership.

    I suspect their challenges to those currently in charge of LAB are responsible for LAB's very recent increase in attention to protecting rights of cyclists on our existing roadways. By comparison, LAB's unfortunate trend had been increasingly toward serving the interests of bicycle manufacturers and bike path planners no matter how poorly their products performed for LAB members.

  4. #4
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    I’m just going to say I like being informed about the issues. Reading the candidates response to the questioner is very informative no matter what side of the fence you are on.
    Cycling Advocate
    http://BaltimoreSpokes.org
    . . . o
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  5. #5
    Senior Member littlewaywelt's Avatar
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    I'm a member but I haven't heard of the Reform group/movement. What's their deal?
    One Less Car
    Conservation begins with you.

  6. #6
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Well there is the history that started the group and that gets rather ugly on both sides in my humble opinion but I think for the most part both sides are over the ugly bit but it still brings up some knee jerk reactions.

    You can follow the links in the OP to get more detail but I follow the group mainly because they stress VC and education.

    This is the best link of the lot:
    http://www.labreform.org/2008election/questionnaire.htm

    Nice layout and you just read about the questions and candidates responses.


    Anyway like a lot of things in life I am not 100% in either camp but as Steve suggested it does seem as if the pressure from LAB Reform has created some positive changes in LAB. I’m not sure if I would be happy if LAB Reform took over LAB but a compromise position seems like the idealistic place in my view.
    Cycling Advocate
    http://BaltimoreSpokes.org
    . . . o
    . . /L
    =()>()

  7. #7
    ParkingMeter
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    there goes the neighborhood.

    Similar divisive tactics as those employed by LAB reform helped to paralyze, cripple and eventually weaken one of the unions I belong to. It's been painful to watch as a highly motivated agenda-oriented minority wears down membership by reframing arguments and preventing progressive dialogue by holding up on points of order and ridiculous minutiae that moves nothing forward. In the case of a union it can put one's earnings, health care and pension in serious jeapordy. But the stakes can also be really high in elections like these that decide how we are represented as a cycling community.

    Eventually the more open minded flexible individuals give up because every argument is reframed in the most polarizing context possible by the "reformers". Organizations that depend on voluntary participation of membership are particuarly prone to these tactics- it works! Eventually the minority takes control of boards and the organization's administrative agenda. Membership tends to drop and membership involvement and voluntary activity tends to diminish along with it. The organization may remain vocal for a period of time but grows more and more ineffective because in truth it represents the smallest possible constituency of the original organization.

    For those who may be seduced by the seemingly black and white simplification of issues I'd suggest some open-minded skepticism as you review the presentation of issues by LAB reform. There are often clear differences between how those they have targeted as the "opposition" present their points of view and how they are presented by LAW reform. It's worth it to do some balanced research.
    I initially approached their website and articles with lots of skepticism, yet I'm forced to agree with much of their viewpoints because nearly all of them corroborate with my experiences with bicycle transportation in Eugene (a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community). I'll accept your contrary opinion, but hear mine out.

    In Eugene we have some seriously dangerous bike facilities. My own experiences have proved this to me, and accident statistics here seem to confirm it. Our modal share has decreased by 2.5% since 1990 (and is predicted to continue to fall) and our accident rate is increasing. Bike planning and advocacy is mostly squeezing in bike lanes on substandard roads and expanding our multi-use trail network at great expense. There are no provisions whatsoever for education, and you can easily see that by taking a stroll through downtown and observing the behavior of the average cyclist (mostly "rolling pedestrians" here).

    I'll name off a few bad approaches Eugene has taken that LAB reform points out: bike lanes on steep hills, a huge abundance of "door-zone" bike lanes, mixing pedestrians and cyclists (we've had a noticeable amount of bike-ped collisions over the years), poor street maintenance (largely in the name of discouraging driving, as far as I can tell) and no education or participation with law enforcement. With all the things I've noticed here, then confirmed on their website, it makes it very apparent to me that there are some serious problems with LAB. Yeah it's not black and white (and notice how LAB reform has pointed out the good things that LAB has done, they're not so black and white either). But as for a political agenda, they seem mostly to be focusing on improving safety above all else. That and the fact that they're running on a fraction of the monetary resources that LAB has available makes it difficult for me to accept that this is all a political show.

    The article on BFC spoke the loudest to me. Even before I read that, I had thought that Eugene's silver-level rating was a joke. Eugene I suppose is bike friendly (as in recreational riding on MUTs), but cyclist friendly it is not. The hostile atmosphere and militant drivers here make this town rather unpleasant for true bicycle transportation and commuting. The measures taken to separate bicycle traffic from motor traffic as much as possible only seem to reinforce the social expectation that bikes shouldn't be on normal roadways, which greatly hampers my ability to get where I need to go. I say good luck to LAB reform.

  8. #8
    Tom Frost Jr. TheWheelman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    there goes the neighborhood.

    Similar divisive tactics as those employed by LAB reform helped to paralyze, cripple and eventually weaken one of the unions I belong to. It's been painful to watch as a highly motivated agenda-oriented minority wears down membership by reframing arguments and preventing progressive dialogue by holding up on points of order and ridiculous minutiae that moves nothing forward. In the case of a union it can put one's earnings, health care and pension in serious jeapordy. But the stakes can also be really high in elections like these that decide how we are represented as a cycling community.

    Eventually the more open minded flexible individuals give up because every argument is reframed in the most polarizing context possible by the "reformers". Organizations that depend on voluntary participation of membership are particuarly prone to these tactics- it works! Eventually the minority takes control of boards and the organization's administrative agenda. Membership tends to drop and membership involvement and voluntary activity tends to diminish along with it. The organization may remain vocal for a period of time but grows more and more ineffective because in truth it represents the smallest possible constituency of the original organization.

    For those who may be seduced by the seemingly black and white simplification of issues I'd suggest some open-minded skepticism as you review the presentation of issues by LAB reform. There are often clear differences between how those they have targeted as the "opposition" present their points of view and how they are presented by LAW reform. It's worth it to do some balanced research.
    It appears that your attempt to hijack this thread by writing the most polarizing post in it, failed. That's because, if you spent more time out in the real world meeting real cyclists instead of attacking them from behind a keyboard, you wouldn't be so ignorant of such things as the fact that cyclists have LA[W]reform-endorsed candidate Bill Hoffman to thank for the access that was opened up through certain freeway-only bottlenecks in Pennsylvania. I've been using one of them, rt. 22/322 north of Harrisburg, on my sporadic rides downstate since before it became a freeway, and I'm thankful to him for being able to continue to use it including on my way to some of the events that I've met him at.

    Are you even a member of the League, Mr. Buzzman? I'm Life Member #502.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    there goes the neighborhood.

    Similar divisive tactics as those employed by LAB reform helped to paralyze, cripple and eventually weaken one of the unions I belong to. It's been painful to watch as a highly motivated agenda-oriented minority wears down membership by reframing arguments and preventing progressive dialogue by holding up on points of order and ridiculous minutiae that moves nothing forward. In the case of a union it can put one's earnings, health care and pension in serious jeapordy. But the stakes can also be really high in elections like these that decide how we are represented as a cycling community.

    Eventually the more open minded flexible individuals give up because every argument is reframed in the most polarizing context possible by the "reformers". Organizations that depend on voluntary participation of membership are particuarly prone to these tactics- it works! Eventually the minority takes control of boards and the organization's administrative agenda. Membership tends to drop and membership involvement and voluntary activity tends to diminish along with it. The organization may remain vocal for a period of time but grows more and more ineffective because in truth it represents the smallest possible constituency of the original organization.

    For those who may be seduced by the seemingly black and white simplification of issues I'd suggest some open-minded skepticism as you review the presentation of issues by LAB reform. There are often clear differences between how those they have targeted as the "opposition" present their points of view and how they are presented by LAW reform. It's worth it to do some balanced research.
    Indeed, this issue of divisiveness needs to be discussed in a truthful way. It is quite true, as buzzman writes, that in a membership organization a small group that is organized around a strict policy and agenda can take control of the organization and redirect it to new ends. Frequently, membership drops and voluntary activity tends to diminish with it. The League of American Wheelmen, now doing business as the League of American Bicyclists, is a textbook example of that process; well, not exactly, not just one example, but several in succession. The original LAW died before World War 1, as members defected to motoring. I am talking about the recreated LAW that has existed since the Great Depression, when it was recreated because economic conditions restored respectability to bicycle touring. LAW existed as a membership organization that served the interests of the cyclists who were its members, serving them with many volunteer-operated services that provided services that cyclists want. For that matter, the whole organization was entirely volunteer operated for many years.

    However, since then there have been successive takeover waves (with partial recovery interludes) by two different interests that happen to have a common agenda: the bicycle industry and the anti-motorists. The bicycle industry's initial interest was in selling more American-made bicycles through government regulation (the Federal CPSC bicycle design regulation). However, it later decided that influencing government to produce bikeways promised higher returns, and in this it found common ground with the anti-motorist bikeway promoters.

    Through these processes, LAB has turned itself into no more than just another professionally operated lobbying organization, this one with the purpose of getting more money for bikeways. The volunteer-operated member services have practically disappeared, and those member services that still operate are not in the line of interest of the management, and get done badly because those operating them do not really understand what is needed.

    So you see, buzzman, that while your observational hypothesis is accurate, the facts to which it applies are the opposite of what you thought.

    There, I'm being patronizing again. However, I know nothing about your life beyond what you recently published in these discussioins, and far be it from me to criticize your choice of living style, because that is not really relevant to the description of what most people do and their motives in doing it. You apparently find it difficult to look beyond your own choices in life at the choices that the majority of other people have made, and their reasons for them. In discussions of this type, the individual example can be used to illustrate some particular point, but when discussing such matters as urban pattern it is necessary to largely consider the causes of that pattern, and, mostly, that has to refer to the actions and motives of the majority, or at least the majority of those producing the changes under discussion.

  10. #10
    ParkingMeter
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    there goes the neighborhood.

    Similar divisive tactics as those employed by LAB reform helped to paralyze, cripple and eventually weaken one of the unions I belong to. It's been painful to watch as a highly motivated agenda-oriented minority wears down membership by reframing arguments and preventing progressive dialogue by holding up on points of order and ridiculous minutiae that moves nothing forward. In the case of a union it can put one's earnings, health care and pension in serious jeapordy. But the stakes can also be really high in elections like these that decide how we are represented as a cycling community.

    Eventually the more open minded flexible individuals give up because every argument is reframed in the most polarizing context possible by the "reformers". Organizations that depend on voluntary participation of membership are particuarly prone to these tactics- it works! Eventually the minority takes control of boards and the organization's administrative agenda. Membership tends to drop and membership involvement and voluntary activity tends to diminish along with it. The organization may remain vocal for a period of time but grows more and more ineffective because in truth it represents the smallest possible constituency of the original organization.
    Buzzman,

    I feel it is necessary to address this argument directly, because it is flawed. LAB now has 5 appointed board positions, does that not fall within the "divisive" tactics that you denigrade (and accuse LAB reform of)? Membership has also been falling, from what I can tell, for at least the last decade under this board. So the argument you apply to LAB reform can equally (and more strongly) be applied to those already controlling LAB. Do you even do any research into this stuff? Come on.

    I find it interesting that you portray this as Armageddon for the current policies of LAB, yet at best LAB reform will likely get one, maybe two of their candidates elected. And then they still have to abolish the system of appointing members to the board, just to get the League back into the control of League members, likely by pure persuasion. If the league members decide they like the current policies (BFC, apparent lack of emphasis on education and legal rights, etc.), then guess what, that will happen because they will vote accordingly! Divisive LAB reform is not, even if they "took over" LAB, that would be the result of the voting members, which will probably not include you, but c'est la vie. And even if LAB reform became LAB, they'd still be a minority among groups that support the current policies (Bikes Belong, America Bikes, many bike manufacturers, etc.), so you can relax; all the "hard work" and segregated facilities won't be disappearing anytime soon.

    I tend to lurk on this board because I don't care to get involved in the ideological bickering over bike lanes vs. wide curb lanes or whatever else. But from what I've observed, I'll probably be labeled accordingly as a "Foresterite" or "VCealot" or some similar bandwagon. But my support for LAB reform is based on my experiences and nothing else. I actually don't really care how other people ride (although I will offer voluntary advice, especially to friends and loved ones, and especially with regards to many of the dangerous facilities I've encountered as a cyclist). VC is a minority within a minority, so garnering public support (even support among all cyclists) is probably unlikely. The smaller the minority, the more it has to fight for it's rights for equality in the eyes of the law. There's so much negative press regarding VC that I won't even try to make it popular and convince those that oppose it that it's best for cyclists.

    At this point in my life, as a car-free cyclist, equal treatment socially and legally are most important to me (although the former will probably come more slowly or to a lesser extent). Once I gave up driving a car and reading into traffic laws and bike-specific laws I realized how incredibly discriminatory and dangerous many of Oregon's laws are to cyclists. We have a mandatory bike lane law that forces me to break the law to avoid getting doored (although there are subtle exemption clauses that give me some extra "freedom", but the burden of legal proof still falls upon me if I get ticketed, and motorists certainly harass me with impunity). Eugene Police are very apathetic towards enforcing laws (the non-discriminatory ones) or recognizing the rights of cyclists, as demonstrated by own experiences as well as those of some of my friends. EPD militantly quelled Critical Mass into nothing here (which, OK, cite the cyclists fairly for breaking the traffic laws), but has no interest in citing motorists for accidents they cause and certainly not for harassing cyclists. One of my friends was left-hooked three years ago while riding through an intersection at night w/ a bright head light. Not only did EPD not care, but the motorist's insurance company tried to sue her (and tried to prove that she didn't have adequate lighting), then proceeded to continually harass her for the next year when they couldn't file suit. To pile insult upon injury, she had to pay her own medical expenses and her bike was totaled. That enough to prove to me the grim state of cyclist advocacy in my area. When I see euphemistic descriptions of Eugene's "bicycle friendliness", it gets pretty frustrating.

    I'll be moving to Portland within the next month, simply to get into a city that at least has a healthier cycling atmosphere, but even the BTA has a rubbery spine when it comes to standing up for discrimination against cyclists. As far as I know, both the motorists involved in the two recent cyclist fatalities in Portland have not been cited (acknowledging the fact that the law they broke is a strange one, contrary to normal traffic operation, "not yielding to a bicyclist in a bicycle lane"). So the way I see it is I can trust the strange operating laws (IOW, blindly follow the bike lanes where ever they take me and expect motorists to yield) and I might get hit w/ no legal recourse (hopefully not killed), but I could just as easily get ticketed for avoiding the bike lanes and riding according to normal traffic operations, which means: NO LEGAL PROTECTION. For me, that's scary. Despite my love for cycling, that might be the only thing that turns me back to driving a car regularly for transportation. Sad.

    I'm guessing that there is so much apparent apathy towards obtaining equality in rights and duties as cyclists among the general cycling population as being a result of either people being sorta into bicycle transportation (meaning they can go back to driving anytime they want) or that they just haven't experienced the discrimination that the current legal situation allows. But I could be wrong, there might be other causes. Giving up driving and attempting to do the same things on my bike as I did when I had a car has made it glaringly clear the legal rights I've given up with selling my car. So the most important thing to me is not convincing you or anybody else that VC is so obviously right, but to get equal legal rights I enjoyed (often without even noticing) as a motorist. I won't hold you or anyone else responsible for stymying that, but I'll do what I feel is necessary to achieve that, if it's at all possible.

  11. #11
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkingMeter View Post

    ]I'll be moving to Portland within the next month simply to get into a city that at least has a healthier cycling atmosphere, but even the BTA has a rubbery spine when it comes to standing up for discrimination against cyclists. As far as I know, both the motorists involved in the two recent cyclist fatalities in Portland have not been cited (acknowledging the fact that the law they broke is a strange one, contrary to normal traffic operation, "not yielding to a bicyclist in a bicycle lane"). So the way I see it is I can trust the strange operating laws (IOW, blindly follow the bike lanes where ever they take me and expect motorists to yield) and I might get hit w/ no legal recourse (hopefully not killed), but I could just as easily get ticketed for avoiding the bike lanes and riding according to normal traffic operations, which means: NO LEGAL PROTECTION. For me, that's scary. Despite my love for cycling, that might be the only thing that turns me back to driving a car regularly for transportation. Sad.
    Bit of a sidenote here.

    What I would like to know is how Portland has a "healthier cycling atmosphere" and why said "atmosphere" cannot be promulgated throughout the US?

    John Forester is of the belief that one has to be anti-car for such a situation to exist; that the pro-bicycle situations in certain European cities exists primarily due to excessive automotive costs... IE fuel and other costs. Yet Portland is apparently an example of a pro-cycling city here in America with the same automotive infrastructure and costs as the rest of the nation, but it is perceived as pro-cycling.

    What does Portland have that gives it a "healthier cycling atmosphere" and why can't that situation be extended to other places in America?

    I suppose the other question is: Does Portland really have a "healthier cycling atmosphere?" Are there any real numbers to show that what is happening in Portland are due to what the cycling community is doing there, or is the "atmosphere" just a false impression? For instance what really is the situation with regard to police enforcement in say the deaths you mentioned? And what about the laws in general?

    Yes all this is connected to the LAB issues of this thread... for indeed if change can be brought about in a positive way for cyclists by an organization like the LAB... then perhaps all this political pandering is worthy of our attention, whereas on the other hand, if it is just simply some group of administrators finding a niche in which they can practice their trade with little actual regard for the outcome... well that is another situation all together.

    BTW hope you enjoy the move.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Bit of a sidenote here.

    What I would like to know is how Portland has a "healthier cycling atmosphere" and why said "atmosphere" cannot be promulgated throughout the US?

    John Forester is of the belief that one has to be anti-car for such a situation to exist; that the pro-bicycle situations in certain European cities exists primarily due to excessive automotive costs... IE fuel and other costs. Yet Portland is apparently an example of a pro-cycling city here in America with the same automotive infrastructure and costs as the rest of the nation, but it is perceived as pro-cycling.

    What does Portland have that gives it a "healthier cycling atmosphere" and why can't that situation be extended to other places in America?

    I suppose the other question is: Does Portland really have a "healthier cycling atmosphere?" Are there any real numbers to show that what is happening in Portland are due to what the cycling community is doing there, or is the "atmosphere" just a false impression? For instance what really is the situation with regard to police enforcement in say the deaths you mentioned? And what about the laws in general?

    Yes all this is connected to the LAB issues of this thread... for indeed if change can be brought about in a positive way for cyclists by an organization like the LAB... then perhaps all this political pandering is worthy of our attention, whereas on the other hand, if it is just simply some group of administrators finding a niche in which they can practice their trade with little actual regard for the outcome... well that is another situation all together.

    BTW hope you enjoy the move.
    genec, you describe my view as: "John Forester is of the belief that one has to be anti-car for such a situation to exist; that the pro-bicycle situations in certain European cities exists primarily due to excessive automotive costs... IE fuel and other costs." Your statement is both technically correct and utterly misleading, demonstrating that you don't understand the issues. The fuel cost is the same throughout each European nation (different nations have different taxing systems, but within each the system is uniform), yet European urban development is occurring in the suburbs, just as in the USA. That would not occur if fuel cost were the dominant factor. The dominant cost is the "other costs", of which the primary cost is the time value of the driver. Cycling is popular in Antwerp because it is as fast as, or even faster, than motoring, and certainly is faster than walking, when counting door to door trip time. To some extent, the same situation exists in Boston, Manhattan (NYC), Philadelphia, and San Francisco, which are recognized as having a larger than typical bicycle mode share. In other words, it does not require that an anti-auto policy be present, because the situation is self-determining. Of course, such a policy may be present, but it is not necessary.

    You also describe Portland as follows: "Yet Portland is apparently an example of a pro-cycling city here in America with the same automotive infrastructure and costs as the rest of the nation, but it is perceived as pro-cycling." That is not so. Portland OR is the large American city with the most aggressive anti-motoring policy, practices, and achievement. It's City Council has declared that it wants to emulate cities such as Amsterdam. However, what has occurred naturally in Amsterdam (simply because it is a walking city in the automotive age) cannot naturally occur in Portland. Therefore, the city has had to deliberately make motoring and parking in the urban center very difficult and congested. Other aspects of the anti-motoring policy have increased the motoring trip length so much that people and industry move away to more convenient locations.

    It is reasonable to raise the question of whether or not Portland actually has a pro-cyclist policy. I say that it does not. Portland's anti-motoring policy can achieve results (I don't say success; Portland is a disfunctional city) only by acting in accordance with the popular superstitions about bicycling. Wherever there is a conflict between popular superstition and cyclist safety, the city chooses to path of dangerous superstition. That is the nasty corner into which the anti-motoring policy pushes a city that is naturally automotive in an automotive society.

    genec, you suggest that: "...[F]or indeed if change can be brought about in a positive way for cyclists by an organization like the LAB... then perhaps all this political pandering is worthy of our attention ..."

    Well, yes, that is the aim of the LAB reform group, to return LAB to paying attention to the interests of cyclists rather than to anti-motoring, as has its management directed it for the last twenty years or so.

  13. #13
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkingMeter View Post
    Buzzman,
    ... Do you even do any research into this stuff? Come on.
    My research consists of personal experience, which dates back to membership in, what was then, LAW back in the early '70's. I was also actively involved in several New England organizations as well. In the late 70's the schism began and despite the fact that I was a cyclist that rode exclusively on the road and was, dare I say "militant" about my right to the road I could not abide the closed mindedness and lack of creative thinking on the part of so many of my fellow advocates. I admittedly moved out of advocacy work and club riding because I simply could not put up with the posturing and attitude on the part of riders who seemed to have forgotten all too quickly that the bicycle is a flexible machine that can be used in a variety of environments and in a variety of ways and to advocate only for road riders of a particular type ultimately served no one.

    Although I continued to cycle I watched the promise of a bicycling renaissance fade into the past during the 80's through the present day. LAB continued, for much of that time, to focus more or less exclusively on the rights and education of road cyclists and for that I appreciate their efforts but it did little to promote cycling nor did it promote weaving cycling into the fabric of our transportation infrastructure or future models- in fact many of the LAB leaders saw this as a "pipe dream" and not worth pursuing and actively worked to block such efforts.

    AFter some period of time members who were more willing to embrace bike ways, bike lanes, bike paths and integration of cycling facilities into urban renewal and redesign efforts gathered support and wrested control away from what has now resurfaced as LAB reform. Now the fight to regain control is back again because those members are unwilling to abandon the narrow minded philosophy that had it's heyday of popularity in the late 70's and into the 80's.


    Quote Originally Posted by ParkingMeter View Post
    ...even if they "took over" LAB, that would be the result of the voting members, which will probably not include you, but c'est la vie. And even if LAB reform became LAB, they'd still be a minority among groups that support the current policies (Bikes Belong, America Bikes, many bike manufacturers, etc.), so you can relax; all the "hard work" and segregated facilities won't be disappearing anytime soon.
    you're right. I would not be voting because I gave up my LAB membership years ago and put my efforts and support to organizations that have a broader perspective. And yes, you're right again if LAB reform became LAB they would indeed be a minority among groups because they would represent such a narrow spectrum of cyclists.

    Quote Originally Posted by ParkingMeter View Post
    I tend to lurk on this board because I don't care to get involved in the ideological bickering over bike lanes vs. wide curb lanes or whatever else.
    Precisely why I, and others like me, have abandoned LAB and at this point would almost rather see it fall into the hands of the LAB reformers and move to inevitable extinction like a weary old dinosaur.


    Quote Originally Posted by ParkingMeter View Post
    VC is a minority within a minority, so garnering public support (even support among all cyclists) is probably unlikely. The smaller the minority, the more it has to fight for it's rights for equality in the eyes of the law. There's so much negative press regarding VC that I won't even try to make it popular and convince those that oppose it that it's best for cyclists.
    This is such negative thinking about the very premise of LAB reform it exemplifies perfectly why they are pulling the momentum of present LAB down the drain. You see yourselves as the most persecuted, the most misunderstood and the most right.

    #1- Lots of us ride "vehiculary". We do it every day. We've done for as many miles and for as many years as any of the LAB reformers. And we do it just as well. The issue is not "vehicular cycling". There's nothing wrong with learning to ride a bicycle as a vehicle on the road.

    #2- Why is it on one hand that LAB reformers claim that LAB doesn't represent cyclists and yet claim to be such a minority among cyclists? This I don't get.


    Quote Originally Posted by ParkingMeter View Post
    At this point in my life, as a car-free cyclist, equal treatment socially and legally are most important to me (although the former will probably come more slowly or to a lesser extent). Once I gave up driving a car and reading into traffic laws and bike-specific laws I realized how incredibly discriminatory and dangerous many of Oregon's laws are to cyclists. We have a mandatory bike lane law that forces me to break the law to avoid getting doored (although there are subtle exemption clauses that give me some extra "freedom", but the burden of legal proof still falls upon me if I get ticketed, and motorists certainly harass me with impunity). Eugene Police are very apathetic towards enforcing laws (the non-discriminatory ones) or recognizing the rights of cyclists, as demonstrated by own experiences as well as those of some of my friends. EPD militantly quelled Critical Mass into nothing here (which, OK, cite the cyclists fairly for breaking the traffic laws), but has no interest in citing motorists for accidents they cause and certainly not for harassing cyclists. One of my friends was left-hooked three years ago while riding through an intersection at night w/ a bright head light. Not only did EPD not care, but the motorist's insurance company tried to sue her (and tried to prove that she didn't have adequate lighting), then proceeded to continually harass her for the next year when they couldn't file suit. To pile insult upon injury, she had to pay her own medical expenses and her bike was totaled. That enough to prove to me the grim state of cyclist advocacy in my area. When I see euphemistic descriptions of Eugene's "bicycle friendliness", it gets pretty frustrating.
    some of what you say above I can understand and relate to- to a degree. But talk about "cyclist-inferiority"- your complaints reek of it. I ride every day in a city that would not rate as terribly "bicycle friendly" and am subject to many of the "discriminations" you cite in your post but when it comes down to it I just ride my bike. When we give up our cars it doesn't take long to forget that driving a car has tremendous disadvantages that could almost seem like persecution and discrimination. Let's say I drive into Harvard Square in Cambridge to Christmas shop. I find a 1 hour parking meter and I run back to feed it every hour. Only to discover that I have a parking ticket anyway- it's not legal to keep feeding the meter, legally I should drive around and find a new spot. As a cyclist I see those inconveniences as part of why I don't drive much. But when I do use a car it feels so wrong. But places like Harvard Square are none to friendly to cars, bikes or pedestrians but with some creative redesign it could accommodate 2 out of 3 by reducing the number of cars that can come into the area. LAB reform would promote that the cyclists just ride on the road with the cars, neglect the needs of pedestrians- ain't none of our business- and not see bicycling as part of and solution to a larger picture and problem. Organizations like "Livable Streets" would address the issues more wholistically.



    Quote Originally Posted by ParkingMeter View Post
    I'm guessing that there is so much apparent apathy towards obtaining equality in rights and duties as cyclists among the general cycling population as being a result of either people being sorta into bicycle transportation (meaning they can go back to driving anytime they want) or that they just haven't experienced the discrimination that the current legal situation allows. But I could be wrong, there might be other causes. Giving up driving and attempting to do the same things on my bike as I did when I had a car has made it glaringly clear the legal rights I've given up with selling my car. So the most important thing to me is not convincing you or anybody else that VC is so obviously right, but to get equal legal rights I enjoyed (often without even noticing) as a motorist. I won't hold you or anyone else responsible for stymying that, but I'll do what I feel is necessary to achieve that, if it's at all possible.
    Yes, you're guessing about cyclist apathy.

    Yes, you could be wrong and yes, there are other causes.

    Doing the same things on your bike as you did when you had a car- this is an illusion. A bicycle is a vehicle but it's not the same as a car. When I can get my bike to go from 0-60 in less than 10 seconds, ride in the snow and rain without rain gear, mittens and not be cold or get wet, carry 3-4 other passengers and still go up hill at 55 mph, get rammed from the side by a car going 30 and get off my bike uninjured to inspect the damage I'll try to do the same things on my bike as I do in my car. Other than that- it's a vehicle when it's on the road but it ain't no car.

    yeah, riding vehicularly is obviously right on most roads. How "vehicularly" is interpreted is open to a wide range, whether it's always a pleasant experience to ride vehicularly on some roads is open to interpretation as well. I don't particularly like feeling like I'm fighting for my right to the road and fighting for my life on certain narrow, high traffic volumed poorly designed roads and highways. And why the correctness of riding vehicularly precludes support of facilities escapes me.

    Finally, I'm glad that there are cyclists so insistent on maintaining our rights to ride on the roads. They are a necessary part of the voice of cycling advocacy it's just a shame when they think they should be the only voice.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    genec, you describe my view as: "John Forester is of the belief that one has to be anti-car for such a situation to exist; that the pro-bicycle situations in certain European cities exists primarily due to excessive automotive costs... IE fuel and other costs." Your statement is both technically correct and utterly misleading, demonstrating that you don't understand the issues.
    Thanks once again for illustrating that you feel that anyone that is pro bicycle must be anti-car.

    If there was anything misleading about my statements it was simply that I chose to not be as verbose as you. Your biases are well documented.

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    LAB Reformers need to recognize the validity of bicycling infrastructure IMO.

    jhon is sooo inflamatory....

    Quote Originally Posted by jhon
    It is reasonable to raise the question of whether or not Portland actually has a pro-cyclist policy. I say that it does not. Portland's anti-motoring policy can achieve results (I don't say success; Portland is a disfunctional city) only by acting in accordance with the popular superstitions about bicycling. Wherever there is a conflict between popular superstition and cyclist safety, the city chooses to path of dangerous superstition. That is the nasty corner into which the anti-motoring policy pushes a city that is naturally automotive in an automotive society.
    WOW, how far out is that? my cheeks are burning I'm laughing so hard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Genec
    Does Portland really have a "healthier cycling atmosphere?"
    Yes, Gene.....Portland DOES have a healthier cycling atmosphere.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 12-21-07 at 11:14 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Thanks once again for illustrating that you feel that anyone that is pro bicycle must be anti-car.

    If there was anything misleading about my statements it was simply that I chose to not be as verbose as you. Your biases are well documented.
    Your statement is incorrect, demonstrating once again that you have your own specific, but unacknowledged, bias. One can be pro-cyclist, as I am, without being anti-motoring, but because I do not present anti-motoring arguments you assume that I cannot be pro-cyclist. What you see as pro-bicycle I recognize as being as much anti-motoring as pro-cycling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    LAB Reformers need to recognize the validity of bicycling infrastructure IMO.
    And likewise those pushing bicycling infrastructure have to recognize the validity of road cycling and education.

    The solution has to encompass both LAB and LAB Reform.
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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Your statement is incorrect, demonstrating once again that you have your own specific, but unacknowledged, bias. One can be pro-cyclist, as I am, without being anti-motoring, but because I do not present anti-motoring arguments you assume that I cannot be pro-cyclist. What you see as pro-bicycle I recognize as being as much anti-motoring as pro-cycling.
    John if someone is riding a bike, they are not driving a motor vehicle at the same time... And if people chose to commute by bike, then likely they are not commuting by car. If those FACTS make me anti car, then so be it. But I am pro bike and the results of more bodies on bikes is very much likely fewer bodies in cars.

    By the same token, if I promote the local trolley... does that too make me "anti-car?"

    Try to let that sink in.
    Last edited by genec; 12-21-07 at 10:37 AM.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    And likewise those pushing bicycling infrastructure have to recognize the validity of road cycling and education.

    The solution has to encompass both LAB and LAB Reform.
    You know "those pushing infrastructure" have never been anti education.

    No where will you find any "pro facilities" folks saying education is useless now and forever... but you will find certain Vehicular Cyclists saying exactly that about facilities.

    The pro facilities folks also tend to be positive about anything dealing with cycling.

    You will find pro facilities folks questioning the education methods of the other groups... for instance I find the whole "tupperware party" model of LAB education to be a joke... as it tends to only find those cyclists that least need education... where as those in greatest need have no clue as to what they should be doing nor where assistance is available.

    If the pro-education group was really proactive, no bikes would be sold without some form of literature pointing to education sources and the basics of proper cycling... as it is, lawyers have probably done more along this path than cycling advocates.

    Just for grins, go out to a few LBSs and ask if they know of any form of education available for "safe cycling" for cyclists.
    Last edited by genec; 12-21-07 at 10:36 AM.

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    JF promotes the fastest and safest way to get from point A to point B by bike if and only if that bike trip has no purpose or utility because if that trip had a purpose or utility it would be replacing a car trip which would be anti-motoring. So any argument that mentions the practicality of cycling results in an anti-motoring argument and therefore it does not promote cycling. So therefore the only true way to promote cycling is promoting frivolous bike trips only. And the best way to promote frivolous bike trips is to promote the fastest and most unpleasant path to nowhere. This is how anti-anti-motoring = pro-cycling and why us mere mortals cannot make any sense out of JF arguments. Promoting cycling should include all uses of the bicycle wither recreational, utilitarian or transportational. Picking only one and declaring war on the other two serves no purpose
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    My research consists of personal experience, which dates back to membership in, what was then, LAW back in the early '70's. I was also actively involved in several New England organizations as well. In the late 70's the schism began and despite the fact that I was a cyclist that rode exclusively on the road and was, dare I say "militant" about my right to the road I could not abide the closed mindedness and lack of creative thinking on the part of so many of my fellow advocates. I admittedly moved out of advocacy work and club riding because I simply could not put up with the posturing and attitude on the part of riders who seemed to have forgotten all too quickly that the bicycle is a flexible machine that can be used in a variety of environments and in a variety of ways and to advocate only for road riders of a particular type ultimately served no one.

    Although I continued to cycle I watched the promise of a bicycling renaissance fade into the past during the 80's through the present day. LAB continued, for much of that time, to focus more or less exclusively on the rights and education of road cyclists and for that I appreciate their efforts but it did little to promote cycling nor did it promote weaving cycling into the fabric of our transportation infrastructure or future models- in fact many of the LAB leaders saw this as a "pipe dream" and not worth pursuing and actively worked to block such efforts.

    AFter some period of time members who were more willing to embrace bike ways, bike lanes, bike paths and integration of cycling facilities into urban renewal and redesign efforts gathered support and wrested control away from what has now resurfaced as LAB reform. Now the fight to regain control is back again because those members are unwilling to abandon the narrow minded philosophy that had it's heyday of popularity in the late 70's and into the 80's.




    you're right. I would not be voting because I gave up my LAB membership years ago and put my efforts and support to organizations that have a broader perspective. And yes, you're right again if LAB reform became LAB they would indeed be a minority among groups because they would represent such a narrow spectrum of cyclists.



    Precisely why I, and others like me, have abandoned LAB and at this point would almost rather see it fall into the hands of the LAB reformers and move to inevitable extinction like a weary old dinosaur.




    This is such negative thinking about the very premise of LAB reform it exemplifies perfectly why they are pulling the momentum of present LAB down the drain. You see yourselves as the most persecuted, the most misunderstood and the most right.

    #1- Lots of us ride "vehiculary". We do it every day. We've done for as many miles and for as many years as any of the LAB reformers. And we do it just as well. The issue is not "vehicular cycling". There's nothing wrong with learning to ride a bicycle as a vehicle on the road.

    #2- Why is it on one hand that LAB reformers claim that LAB doesn't represent cyclists and yet claim to be such a minority among cyclists? This I don't get.




    some of what you say above I can understand and relate to- to a degree. But talk about "cyclist-inferiority"- your complaints reek of it. I ride every day in a city that would not rate as terribly "bicycle friendly" and am subject to many of the "discriminations" you cite in your post but when it comes down to it I just ride my bike. When we give up our cars it doesn't take long to forget that driving a car has tremendous disadvantages that could almost seem like persecution and discrimination. Let's say I drive into Harvard Square in Cambridge to Christmas shop. I find a 1 hour parking meter and I run back to feed it every hour. Only to discover that I have a parking ticket anyway- it's not legal to keep feeding the meter, legally I should drive around and find a new spot. As a cyclist I see those inconveniences as part of why I don't drive much. But when I do use a car it feels so wrong. But places like Harvard Square are none to friendly to cars, bikes or pedestrians but with some creative redesign it could accommodate 2 out of 3 by reducing the number of cars that can come into the area. LAB reform would promote that the cyclists just ride on the road with the cars, neglect the needs of pedestrians- ain't none of our business- and not see bicycling as part of and solution to a larger picture and problem. Organizations like "Livable Streets" would address the issues more wholistically.





    Yes, you're guessing about cyclist apathy.

    Yes, you could be wrong and yes, there are other causes.

    Doing the same things on your bike as you did when you had a car- this is an illusion. A bicycle is a vehicle but it's not the same as a car. When I can get my bike to go from 0-60 in less than 10 seconds, ride in the snow and rain without rain gear, mittens and not be cold or get wet, carry 3-4 other passengers and still go up hill at 55 mph, get rammed from the side by a car going 30 and get off my bike uninjured to inspect the damage I'll try to do the same things on my bike as I do in my car. Other than that- it's a vehicle when it's on the road but it ain't no car.

    yeah, riding vehicularly is obviously right on most roads. How "vehicularly" is interpreted is open to a wide range, whether it's always a pleasant experience to ride vehicularly on some roads is open to interpretation as well. I don't particularly like feeling like I'm fighting for my right to the road and fighting for my life on certain narrow, high traffic volumed poorly designed roads and highways. And why the correctness of riding vehicularly precludes support of facilities escapes me.

    Finally, I'm glad that there are cyclists so insistent on maintaining our rights to ride on the roads. They are a necessary part of the voice of cycling advocacy it's just a shame when they think they should be the only voice.
    Buzzman, your account of events is reasonably accurate; after all, you and I are seeing the opposite sides of the same coin. However, we disagree about the results that can be expected from the programs that are in place, or, for that matter, about the programs that have a reasonable chance of being instituted. This is because, in my view, the programs that you advocate both contain deep contradictions in themselves and fail to meet the facts of the real world.

    Consider first the real world. You write that in the 1980s you had hope for a bicycling renaissance, in which LAB might have had a leading part. Whatever might be the details of LAB's internal affairs, consider what actually occurred in the real world of American cities. Ostensible American policy and programs since the middle 1970s, by both governments and societal organizations, have favored bicycle transportation as you consider it, with results that are insignificant in relation to total transportation. The explanation is pretty simple; most American cities have developed as automotive cities in which personal motor travel is so useful that the proportion of trips that are best made by bicycle has shrunk. You happen to live in the American city that is least suited to automotive transportation, but which, the appeal of automotive transportation being as strong as it is, has suffered from great congestion.

    That congestion should be beneficial from your point of view, because that congestion makes motoring more difficult and, therefore, makes bicycle transportation more competitive. You have, indeed, so argued in this group. However, instead of being reasonable about this, you argue the reverse, that you don't like the congestion and present three desires about this. First, you wish that the cars were not present. However, you haven't presented a program of motoring exclusion that has any political chance. Second, you wish for additional space that would be devoted to bicycle transportation separated from motor traffic. However, the problem being both insufficient space and traffic patterns, there aren't enough such spaces left to serve as a bicycle transportation system. Third, you wish to divide the existing roadway space to provide separate streams of bicycle and motor traffic. This has two problems, one local and one general. In typical Boston area streets there is barely sufficient roadway width for one stream, so when that is divided we get door-zone bike lanes. However, the general problem is that the supposed motor and bicycle streams are not streams at all, but movements of individual vehicles that ought to move according to the rules of the road, and trying to divide the roadway width as if these were two different streams destroys that proper operation, leading to collisions.

    You write, buzzman, that you have always cycled in the vehicular style and appreciate that some people and organizations are interested in preserving the right to do so. I take it that you have good reasons for cycling in the vehicular style, but if you have such good reasons, why is it that you are not advocating for a road system that is better suited to cycling in the vehicular style? I don't consider that your advocacy of bike paths is a conflict with vehicular cycling, because bike path traffic does not operate according to the rules of the road, and in some locations and times bike paths provide a useful transportation service. I do say, though, that in the typical urban area bike paths cannot provide a bicycle transportation system, so that advocacy for such should limit itself to only that which is useful. In distinction to advocacy of bike paths is your advocacy of bike lanes, which clearly contradict the rules of the road and therefore contradict vehicular cycling. Since bike lanes contradict the rules of the road, then, in those locations and times when the contradiction exists, you must either follow the rules of the road and disobey the bike lane, or you must obey the bike lane and disobey the rules of the road. I don't know which you prefer to do, but the contradiction exists. So I ask you: Why do you advocate bike lanes instead of advocating vehicular cycling on roads that are better suited to vehicular cycling?

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    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    You know "those pushing infrastructure" have never been anti education.

    No where will you find any "pro facilities" folks saying education is useless now and forever... but you will find certain Vehicular Cyclists saying exactly that about facilities.

    The pro facilities folks also tend to be positive about anything dealing with cycling.

    You will find pro facilities folks questioning the education methods of the other groups... for instance I find the whole "tupperware party" model of LAB education to be a joke... as it tends to only find those cyclists that least need education... where as those in greatest need have no clue as to what they should be doing nor where assistance is available.

    If the pro-education group was really proactive, no bikes would be sold without some form of literature pointing to education sources and the basics of proper cycling... as it is, lawyers have probably done more along this path than cycling advocates.

    Just for grins, go out to a few LBSs and ask if they know of any form of education available for "safe cycling" for cyclists.
    I agree with much of what you wrote but there are critical education gaps that exist in at least some places. The most critical and almost universal gap IMHO is the lack of where bikes are allowed to be in the road for their safety in most drivers’ license tests. And some drivers’ manuals are lacking crucial points as well. In MD we have a defensive driving course that is required of professional drivers and those who are convicted of aggressive driving and it teaches that cyclists are hazards. Like that’s gong to help cyclists a lot.

    I have also seen education material out there that “cyclists must hug the line.” Not all educational programs are good.

    Here in MD we have a law that says all bicycles sold must also come with a booklet of the regulations and laws that regulate the operation of bicycles and it basically stinks not to mention most LBS do not have it in stock. Do to complaints about this booklet the State has published a fairly descent booklet on safe bicycling but that info is not up on the State’s web site nor is it included in the packet of bike related stuff that they do send you. [Heavy sigh.]

    Anyway while education is out there it still has a way to go and it needs to be pushed more then it has IMHO.
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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    I agree with much of what you wrote but there are critical education gaps that exist in at least some places. The most critical and almost universal gap IMHO is the lack of where bikes are allowed to be in the road for their safety in most drivers’ license tests. And some drivers’ manuals are lacking crucial points as well. In MD we have a defensive driving course that is required of professional drivers and those who are convicted of aggressive driving and it teaches that cyclists are hazards. Like that’s gong to help cyclists a lot.

    I have also seen education material out there that “cyclists must hug the line.” Not all educational programs are good.

    Here in MD we have a law that says all bicycles sold must also come with a booklet of the regulations and laws that regulate the operation of bicycles and it basically stinks not to mention most LBS do not have it in stock. Do to complaints about this booklet the State has published a fairly descent booklet on safe bicycling but that info is not up on the State’s web site nor is it included in the packet of bike related stuff that they do send you. [Heavy sigh.]

    Anyway while education is out there it still has a way to go and it needs to be pushed more then it has IMHO.
    Agreed on all counts...

    But the bottom line premise still exists... there are those that advocate education only, and at the same time deny facilities.

    Whereas facilities promoters don't tend to deny education.

    So one group of "advocates" tends to deny the work of the other group of advocates... but the other group doesn't deny the work of the first. Thus we have the "great divide" in cycling advocacy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Agreed on all counts...

    But the bottom line premise still exists... there are those that advocate education only, and at the same time deny facilities.

    Whereas facilities promoters don't tend to deny education.

    So one group of "advocates" tends to deny the work of the other group of advocates... but the other group doesn't deny the work of the first. Thus we have the "great divide" in cycling advocacy.
    The reason for this is that they are actually not supporters of cycling. They are actually supporters of the status quo, of motoring as primary transportation and as the transportation mode to build our cities and indeed our entire economies around.

    They see cycling as interfering with motoring. All their cries of the cycling advocates being anti-motoring serves only to obscure the truth which is that they themselves are anti-cycling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    The reason for this is that they are actually not supporters of cycling. They are actually supporters of the status quo, of motoring as primary transportation and as the transportation mode to build our cities and indeed our entire economies around.

    They see cycling as interfering with motoring. All their cries of the cycling advocates being anti-motoring serves only to obscure the truth which is that they themselves are anti-cycling.
    I give you credit, Diane, for believing what you write, rather than being a deliberate liar. However, in view of what I have written so many times, and the record of my actions, you are claiming that I am a liar. Well, either I am a liar, or you are deluded, persistently delusional. The historic record speaks for itself, you are deluded.

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