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Vehicular Cycling (VC) No other subject has polarized the A&S members like VC has. Here's a place to share, debate, and educate.

View Poll Results: after a riders criterea are met can they ride vehicularily in a bike lane?
Yes, it is possible to ride vehicularily in a bike lane. 19 50.00%
No, it is impossible to ride vehicularily in a bike lane. 2 5.26%
What is vehicular bicycling? 9 23.68%
Always with chocolate. 11 28.95%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-10-08, 07:10 AM   #1
Bekologist
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vehicular cycling in the bike lane

I'm an avid, daily, transportational bicyclist and very 'vehicular' in my operation. I take the lane a LOT.

At the same time, I can recognize well provided bike lanes and ride in them as a vehicular cyclist without issue. If a bike lane is well provided, they are often a 'natural' placement, very proper and 'flowy' for lack of a better terms. their use is very smooth, even thru intersections and past curb cuts. By my own eyes, I can see bike lane design and placements improving in america.

To me, it is readily apparant a vehicular cyclist can ride in a bike lane vehicularily. As Bike Forums examples,

1) noisebeam, one of the forums' best video posters of vc can endorse bike lanes IF they are only on high speed arterials and end 200 feet before all intersections- a bit excessive IMO but hey, for noisebeam, these criteria make for acceptable bike lanes for him.

2) john forestor endorses? or begrudgingly accepts, some limited application of bike lanes that do not contradict with vehicular positioning rules.

3) Helmet head would often use SOCAL bike lanes vehicularily in the presence of faster, passing traffic.

4) The recent video links provided by invisiblehand of cyclistlorax twostepping VC in SOCAL traffic unsuccessfully edited out a diehard VC riding in a bike lane past a driveway- even the most diehard vehicular cyclists can use use bike lanes vehicularily IMO.

Yet I pose it as a question : can a bicyclist, if their own criteria is met, use a bike lane vehicularily? QUALIFICATIONS ASIDE can a bicyclist ride vehicularily in a bike lane? By 'qualifications aside, I mean if the bike lane already meets the riders criterea.

This is not a debate about how or why or what disqualifiies a bike lane from it's 'vehicularity', I'm asking AFTER the riders' criterea are met, can a vehicular cyclist ride vehicularily in a bike lane?

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Old 04-10-08, 08:08 AM   #2
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If I understand the question, yes. I also want chocolate.
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Old 04-10-08, 08:15 AM   #3
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I'm an avid, daily, transportational bicyclist and very 'vehicular' in my operation. I take the lane a LOT.

At the same time, I can recognize well provided bike lanes and ride in them as a vehicular cyclist without issue.
That all sounds fine, but in another post you cited the Santa Monica Blvd bikelane in Hollywood, Los Angeles as an example of a bikelane which you like. Having ridden on that street quite a bit both before and after the redesign in circa 2005 I was appalled by the bikelane positioning. Before it's possible to discuss this topic (which you're very keen on doing) it would be useful to provide specifics, i.e. photos, videos, physical addresses and googlemaps links and other streetplans.

Otherwise this topic is all just hot air founded upon mutual misunderstandings and recriminations.
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Old 04-10-08, 08:48 AM   #4
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walt- dude. follow along. its possible to discuss this minus any glossy photographs with circles and arrows and paragraphs on the back explaining each one.

regards LA bicycling, santa monica better than sunset in hollywood, neither very appealing. many more bicyclists on santa monica. totally irrelevant to the topic, walt.

Walt - once a bike lane meets your criterea, can you ride vehicularily in it?

As a bonifide vehicular cyclist, walt, have you ever ridden in a bike lane?

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Old 04-10-08, 09:19 AM   #5
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walt- dude. follow along. its possible to discuss this minus any glossy photographs with circles and arrows and paragraphs on the back explaining each one.

regards LA bicycling, santa monica better than sunset in hollywood, neither very appealing. many more bicyclists on santa monica. totally irrelevant to the topic, walt.

Walt - once a bike lane meets your criterea, can you ride vehicularily in it?

As a bonifide vehicular cyclist, walt, have you ever ridden in a bike lane?

You've posed something of a "do you still beat your wife" question.

I mean hey if a bike lane meets all my requirements... sure I'd ride in it... (I do often) I don't know if that is or isn't "vehicular," but it works for me.

And I want chocolate.
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Old 04-10-08, 09:30 AM   #6
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I don't find 'do you still beat your wife?' as an appropriate or accurate analogy, gene.
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Old 04-10-08, 09:48 AM   #7
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I don't find 'do you still beat your wife?' as an appropriate or accurate analogy, gene.
Not an analogy... a example of a deadended question.

Your question was if a BL suited you, would you ride it... it is a dead end question... there is no answer that doesn't take explanation.
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Old 04-10-08, 10:10 AM   #8
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1) noisebeam, one of the forums' best video posters of vc can endorse bike lanes IF they are only on high speed arterials and end 200 feet before all intersections- a bit excessive IMO but hey, for noisebeam, these criteria make for acceptable bike lanes for him.
Thanks.

This is true, but additional qualification on the bike lane on higher speed roads/arterials is that they are wide (wider than AASTHO 4' minimum, 6' for example) and has a funded regular maintenance plan.

Also, while I don't believe a stripe dividing a WOL into a 'primary' lane and a bike lane is needed on slower than arterial roads, I won't argue against them if the stripes end 100-200' before all intersections.

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Old 04-10-08, 10:50 AM   #9
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To answer Bek's question, in short - Yes!

By my way of thinking the bike lane is absolutely a part of the roadway. This is made clear in the highway/vehicle code (UK/Calif.). I'm happy to use it and make use of the advantages it can offer

I would not care for bike lane use to be mandatory.

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Old 04-10-08, 10:50 AM   #10
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walt- dude. follow along. its possible to discuss this minus any glossy photographs with circles and arrows and paragraphs on the back explaining each one.
Yeah it's possible to discuss it but the discussion will be trivial, non-informative and ultimately merely divisive. If that's what you want then it would be nice if you'd mark the threads with: CONTENT-FREE FLAMEBAIT. PLEASE IGNORE. Thanks.

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regards LA bicycling, santa monica better than sunset in hollywood, neither very appealing. many more bicyclists on santa monica. totally irrelevant to the topic, walt.
Better in what sense? I'd actually completely disagree with you. In order to move this on from pointless "yes it is, not i isn't", the specifics I'd point to are the pinch-point/bulb-outs on Santa Monica Blvd, the doorzone bikelane all through Hollywood, esp. WeHo with not a single attempt to put a control on the frequent intersections. It's worth describing this area for those not familiar with it. It's a very busy road with a lot of cafes, bars and restaurants. S.M.Blvd exiting WeHo and entering Beverley Hills /is/ a stretch which could conceivably have benefited from a bikelane for those who like such things. A bikelane is entirely inappropriate to the urban character of WeHo.

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As a bonifide vehicular cyclist, walt, have you ever ridden in a bike lane?
I don't know that I'd claim to be a bonafide vehicular cyclist. I just find that it is more convenient and seems safer to me in nearly all situations to follow the basic traffic rules and that the facilities I've encountered either endanger or inconvenience me. I have done lots of dumb things: ridden inside HGVs, ridden alleycats, ridden on freeways, and ridden on bikepaths. I've learned from experience not to do them. I wouldn't take me as an example of anything other than someone that genuinely has never seen a nice bike facility. (I'll make the exception of the totally closed to traffic roads of Griffith Park, L.A.)
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Old 04-10-08, 10:55 AM   #11
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Better in what sense? I'd actually completely disagree with you. In order to move this on from pointless "yes it is, not i isn't", the specifics I'd point to are the pinch-point/bulb-outs on Santa Monica Blvd, the doorzone bikelane all through Hollywood, esp. WeHo with not a single attempt to put a control on the frequent intersections. It's worth describing this area for those not familiar with it. It's a very busy road with a lot of cafes, bars and restaurants. S.M.Blvd exiting WeHo and entering Beverley Hills /is/ a stretch which could conceivably have benefited from a bikelane for those who like such things. A bikelane is entirely inappropriate to the urban character of WeHo.



I don't know that I'd claim to be a bonafide vehicular cyclist. I just find that it is more convenient and seems safer to me in nearly all situations to follow the basic traffic rules and that the facilities I've encountered either endanger or inconvenience me. I have done lots of dumb things: ridden inside HGVs, ridden alleycats, ridden on freeways, and ridden on bikepaths. I've learned from experience not to do them. I wouldn't take me as an example of anything other than someone that genuinely has never seen a nice bike facility. (I'll make the exception of the totally closed to traffic roads of Griffith Park, L.A.)
Hey Walt head out to Malibu... right along the northern coast there is a 10 foot wide bike lane that anyone could love.

Yeah I am being a bit sarcastic... apparently this was once part of the old coast hiway and they closed it to cars and now call it a bike lane... 10 feet of pavement (if it has not washed away yet)... a beautiful thing... and no intersections. Indeed a rare find.
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Old 04-10-08, 02:49 PM   #12
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I ride the same way I drive. Stop, look, signal etc.....
On the bike, I just do it in the lane, 9" to the right of all the chaos.
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Old 04-10-08, 06:04 PM   #13
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A bikelane is entirely inappropriate to the urban character of WeHo.
I am not sure what about an urban area precludes bike lanes? in fact, bike lanes seem to be ideally suited to an urban area where density allows you to cut out small trips in cars. Bike lanes give comfort to the lay user and encourage people to make more commuting trips by bike. Riding in the road clearly is not the preferred way to use a bike, hence why so many novice bike users ride on sidewalks. Only a relatively exclusive group have the courage to move into traffic.

I mean, the chief argument against vehicular cycling in my mind, is that not everyone wants to do it. Its very hard, that isn't to say it isn't rewarding but if we really want to lure the masses out of their steel cages do we want to make things harder or easier on them? I suppose the main point I am trying to make is that when bike lanes work, they are great. I don't think most vehicular cyclists would disagree that a good bike lane, is indeed a good thing. I happily concede that not every bike lane is as a good one, and very often a poorly designed one will do more harm than good.

But I think the to "bike lane, or not to bike lane" argument is a false one. The real question is not if bike lanes are good or not, but why do some bike lanes work, and why don't others. The people who design the lanes clearly don't have the answers to that question.

So to keep this constructive, what are some traits of good bike lanes?

-Accessibility is a key one I have noticed. will the lane let you get where you want to go
-Size, a 2 wide ft bike lane feels more like a prison than a lane
-Door Zone, a 4 ft. wide bike lane in he door zone can be just as dangerous as riding in regular traffic.
-Grade, when avoidable bike lanes should seek to avoid hills
-Land Use, I tend to feel land use has a lot to do with a good bike lane, this ties heavily into accessibility as well. a bike lane system that connects to commercial developments will get you to the store, to a restaurant, to a bar, not just from nowhere to nowhere.
-Connection to transit, lots of people talk about how bike lanes and paths should connect to transit corridors. this seems especially true in a city like LA where is is not possible to expect an average person to have the energy or time to bike for 20-30 miles to get to work.
-Inclusive, really when it comes down to it, a bike lane needs to facilitate the travel you choose, not try to direct where you want to go. The exclusive nature of many bike lane systems across the country I tend to feel is what inspires such ire about them.

I know there are many more factors that go into a successful bike lane, so help me out.
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Old 04-10-08, 06:45 PM   #14
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Does seem like a self-answering question to me. It's much like asking 'if you can ride vehicularly in the bike lane, do you ride vehicularly in it?'
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Old 04-10-08, 07:24 PM   #15
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so, this is self evident?

its within the scope of possibility for vehicular cyclists to ride in bike lanes vehicularily?
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Old 04-10-08, 07:43 PM   #16
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Otherwise this topic is all just hot air founded upon mutual misunderstandings and recriminations.
Mods, I think we found the perfect tagline for the VC subforum!!!


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If that's what you want then it would be nice if you'd mark the threads with: CONTENT-FREE FLAMEBAIT. PLEASE IGNORE. Thanks.
It's easy. If Bek starts a thread in VC that is pretty much a given.


I like chocolate. But since the option didn't specify as to the type of chocolate I am having a hard time voting. My favorite right now would be extra dark.

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Old 04-10-08, 07:48 PM   #17
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The VCealots are starting to regroup, I see.
Im starting to see how the new regime is going to shape up.

Why are anti-lane comments being placed in this lane specific thread ?
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Old 04-10-08, 07:55 PM   #18
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The VCealots are starting to regroup, I see.
Im starting to see how the new regime is going to shape up.
Funny. Everyone who maybe doesn't agree 100% is a zealot. Good preliminary strike.

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Why are anti-lane comments being placed in this lane specific thread ?
Interesting. I re-skimmed the thread and so far I haven't seen any real anti-lane comments. Mostly comments seem to be of the "the topic is to vague to be debated in any useful manner" variety.


I still like chocolate.

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Old 04-10-08, 09:53 PM   #19
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I guess I'm kinda baffled as to what is actually meant by the VC faithful when they say 'vehicular'. I get the feeling that they actually mean 'like a motor vehicle', which is not the definition I'd use at all. I think a bicycle is unique enough that it should be considered a vehicle type in it's own right. It's foolish to try and emulate exactly the way motor traffic operates on the road on a bike, simply because it's physically impossible.

I ride my bike 'vehicularly' in the simple sense that a bike is a vehicle, and I ride it according to the rules of the road for bicycles, which , whilst having many similarities to the rules for motor vehicles, are not quite the same. I don't think there's much usefulness in defining certain riding techniques as 'vehicular' or 'non-vehicular' as it's simply too vague, and everyone seems to have their own idea as to what that even means. I think it's better to just talk in terms of what is legal and safe and what is not.

For example: Footpath cycling is legal in some areas. I think it's better to discuss ways to do it safely than to just offer a carte blanche condemnation of it as 'non-vehicular'. Fact is, some people prefer it, and I'd rather help them than judge them.
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Old 04-10-08, 10:38 PM   #20
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its possible to discuss this minus any glossy photographs with circles and arrows and paragraphs on the back explaining each one...
Thanks to Arlo Guthrie. "I don't want a pickle; I just wanna ride on my motor sickle."

No offense, Bek, but you've beaten this topic to death. Of course it's possible to ride according to the vehicular rules of the road in a bike lane.

To even ask the question is to set up a straw man. Even the most fanatical VC-ists rarely deny that they sometimes use the extra road width represented by a bike lane.

A more relevant question is whether it's possible to design a bike lane that does not conflict with the vehicular rules of the road.

Forester has implied that it's impossible. The idea that bike lanes contradict thie rule of the road is a basic tenant of VC-ist dogma.

It's bull! One of the big lies of VC-ism.

Bike lanes that end before intersections are entirely consistant with the vehicular rules of the road, not to mention basic traffic principles. Such bike lanes, if they are treated as real lanes (which, unfortunately, some BL proponents have have argued that they shoudn't be), simply represent speed positioning between intersections. The fact that they end before intersections allows for destination position at intersections.

Bike lanes consistant with the vehicular rules of the road already exist, VC-ist obstructionism notwithstanding.

(begin rant)

A pox on both your houses!

by both your houses I mean:

--the pro-bike lane fanatics who are under the illusion bike lanes represent protected space and are willing to accept bike lanes that violate basic traffic principles

as well as:

--the foaming-at-the-mouth bike lane hating nutcases that have made VC-ism such a laughingstock.

The bike lane debate is surely stupid. In the long run, it isn't going to mean squat.

I'm reminded of delegates to a peace conference who spend all their time arguing about the shape of the table.

Bike lanes, shmike lanes. Who give a rat's behind? Bike lanes are one of the biggest non-issues I've ever seen in my life.

Bike lanes aren't going to save the world, nor is it in the best interest of bicyclists to oppose bike lanes on principle (don't even get me started on the crackpot idea that bike lanes are some kind of motorist plot, and similar Forester-inspired VC-ist lunacy).

It's past time for bicyclists to find common ground and speak with one voice.

The real issues are protecting the rights of bicyclists and ensuring that bicyclists are taken into account when roads are designed and maintained.

(end of rant)
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Old 04-10-08, 11:32 PM   #21
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I guess I'm kinda baffled as to what is actually meant by the VC faithful when they say 'vehicular'. I get the feeling that they actually mean 'like a motor vehicle', which is not the definition I'd use at all. I think a bicycle is unique enough that it should be considered a vehicle type in it's own right. It's foolish to try and emulate exactly the way motor traffic operates on the road on a bike, simply because it's physically impossible.

I ride my bike 'vehicularly' in the simple sense that a bike is a vehicle, and I ride it according to the rules of the road for bicycles, which , whilst having many similarities to the rules for motor vehicles, are not quite the same. I don't think there's much usefulness in defining certain riding techniques as 'vehicular' or 'non-vehicular' as it's simply too vague, and everyone seems to have their own idea as to what that even means. I think it's better to just talk in terms of what is legal and safe and what is not.

For example: Footpath cycling is legal in some areas. I think it's better to discuss ways to do it safely than to just offer a carte blanche condemnation of it as 'non-vehicular'. Fact is, some people prefer it, and I'd rather help them than judge them.
It sounds to me like you are describing like what we can all agree are good cycling habits. How is vehicular any different from just being a good cyclist?
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Old 04-10-08, 11:57 PM   #22
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what is a 'good cyclist'?

The Only Good Cyclist
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Old 04-10-08, 11:58 PM   #23
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right, that is a valid question. certainly though I think it would include all of what allister included. But I don't consider myself a Vehicular Cyclist (nor am I anti-VC).
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Old 04-11-08, 12:11 AM   #24
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It sounds to me like you are describing like what we can all agree are good cycling habits. How is vehicular any different from just being a good cyclist?
It's not, but it is different than acting like a motor vehicle driver, which seems to be what VCists think of as vehicular, as though motor vehicles are the only valid users of the roadways, and cyclists need to emulate them as closely as possible just to survive. For me, there are times that that is appropriate, but other times I'll ride in a manner entirely unlike a motor vehicle (eg lane-splitting), but I still consider that as using my bike as a vehicle.

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Old 04-11-08, 03:19 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by derath View Post
Funny. Everyone who maybe doesn't agree 100% is a zealot. Good preliminary strike.



Interesting. I re-skimmed the thread and so far I haven't seen any real anti-lane comments. Mostly comments seem to be of the "the topic is to vague to be debated in any useful manner" variety.


I still like chocolate.

-D

#10
#16

Again, what do these have to do with the way you ride a bike lane ?

Really, not trying to be antagonistical, but if one doesnt ride lanes why
would you post to this 'how do you ride lanes' thread at all ?
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