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  1. #1
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    Vehicular Cycling - a motorhead's wet dream?

    What other form of cycling completely ignores the benefits of cycling in service of a deep love for traffic engineering standards? I can't think of any, can you?

    The problem with being so deeply in love with traffic engineering (as it is practiced in the U.S.), is that this trade is completely circumscribed by the interests of private motorists.

    How do traffic engineers measure a roadway?

    Level Of Service, Average Daily Trips, Vehicle Miles Traveled, "mobility" (miles traveled, by car, in a set time period) to name just a few.

    All of these measures have to do with the number, volume, and speed of private automobiles. No other type of measurements are used to design and plan a roadway. Well, they do use fatalities at crosswalks to eliminate pedestrian facilities, and fatalities on bike lanes to eliminate bike lanes, but you get the idea.

    Vehicular Cycling ignores practical methods to affect a better regime of roadway planning in the U.S. - political and cultural change that will lead to a reworking of these car-based standards.

    The whole thing reminds me of the inward turning self-improvement movements of the 1970's (after real change in this country was squashed by the government).

    If nothing else, VC has turned some of the smartest and hard working cyclists in a generation into anti-human, anti-bike, snobs. They condescend the common man or woman (or child) that wants to safely ride around town to perform the same sort of utilitarian tasks people use their cars for now. I'm 29, and relatively fit - so I use what little I've learned from VC proponents to protect myself. This is like survival training for young men in the military, "Carry this large backpack of water and supplies on you at all times, as you'll need it to survive (young and old folks need not apply)."

    This approach to cycling advocacy overlooks the benefits of cycling in a larger transportation planning regime, and it puts off people who don't want to (or simply cannot) ride on city streets averaging 18-25mph on a bike.

  2. #2
    uke
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    Of course. This is why VC alone will never lead to more than 1% of the country choosing the bicycle as a means of transportation. Every bike friendly city in the past 50 years has followed the same formula: reduce and restrict the automobile while increasing bike and public transport infrastructure. It's a proven, workable formula that's seen success all over Europe. Most "serious" cyclists in the US, however, insist on trying to push the square wheel of vehicular cycling. And unsurprisingly, we continue to fail each year while other cyclists in other countries follow the blueprint and take back their cities from the automobile. Our loss.

    JesseDuncan:I just love how "cars will be forced to cross the double yellow lines on dangerous limited visibility roads".

    I don't want to have a head on but oh god, I HAVE to fling myself into oncoming traffic to pass, theres no alternative!!!

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    Yet time and again, the lone rear-view mirrored VC proponent shows up at community meetings and demands that bike lanes be removed from transportation plans.

    This is so frustrating!

    It sometimes feels like their solution to everything is, "Take my Road 1 course!"

    I just had to vent, after reading so much inane banter about bike lanes being the work of satan.

  4. #4
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Yawn.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

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    Lol?

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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Typical anti-VC rant. A lot of name calling and nothing of substance.

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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Seems a little VC education might do you some good.

    http://ubrayj02.blogspot.com/2005/12....html#comments

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    I have to wonder how you people are riding to get anywhere without using vehicular cycling. It's must be one heck of a free-for-all out there in your towns and cities. Nothing wrong with cycle-specific lanes and paths if they get you where you want, but the problem is, the non-vehicular cyclists are not following normal or common-sense rules of the road on the lanes and paths either. This is why these are so dangerous to ride on if you're a "serious" cyclist (and no, riding dangerously fast in a permanent time-trial on a new Cervelo doesn't make you a serious cyclist). The people in those European cities that people like to give as an example are part of a civilization that is actually civilized. Bike lanes and paths work there because people ride their bikes more sensibly. There is a sense of being part of a community and the common good there. This isn't the case in the me-first and everyone-else-be-damned mentality so prevalent in North America.

  9. #9
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uke View Post
    of course. This is why vc alone will never lead to more than 1% of the country choosing the bicycle as a means of transportation. Every bike friendly city in the past 50 years has followed the same formula: Reduce and restrict the automobile while increasing bike and public transport infrastructure. It's a proven, workable formula that's seen success all over europe. Most "serious" cyclists in the us, however, insist on trying to push the square wheel of vehicular cycling. And unsurprisingly, we continue to fail each year while other cyclists in other countries follow the blueprint and take back their cities from the automobile. Our loss.
    word.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  10. #10
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubrayj02 View Post
    What other form of cycling completely ignores the benefits of cycling in service of a deep love for traffic engineering standards? I can't think of any, can you?

    The problem with being so deeply in love with traffic engineering (as it is practiced in the U.S.), is that this trade is completely circumscribed by the interests of private motorists.

    How do traffic engineers measure a roadway?

    Level Of Service, Average Daily Trips, Vehicle Miles Traveled, "mobility" (miles traveled, by car, in a set time period) to name just a few.

    All of these measures have to do with the number, volume, and speed of private automobiles. No other type of measurements are used to design and plan a roadway. Well, they do use fatalities at crosswalks to eliminate pedestrian facilities, and fatalities on bike lanes to eliminate bike lanes, but you get the idea.

    Vehicular Cycling ignores practical methods to affect a better regime of roadway planning in the U.S. - political and cultural change that will lead to a reworking of these car-based standards.

    The whole thing reminds me of the inward turning self-improvement movements of the 1970's (after real change in this country was squashed by the government).

    If nothing else, VC has turned some of the smartest and hard working cyclists in a generation into anti-human, anti-bike, snobs. They condescend the common man or woman (or child) that wants to safely ride around town to perform the same sort of utilitarian tasks people use their cars for now. I'm 29, and relatively fit - so I use what little I've learned from VC proponents to protect myself. This is like survival training for young men in the military, "Carry this large backpack of water and supplies on you at all times, as you'll need it to survive (young and old folks need not apply)."

    This approach to cycling advocacy overlooks the benefits of cycling in a larger transportation planning regime, and it puts off people who don't want to (or simply cannot) ride on city streets averaging 18-25mph on a bike.
    I feel that cyclists are not all the same (just take a look at this website!) So any attempt to put all cyclists into one box is futile.

    But VC expanded my horizons in daily commuting. I'm grateful for that, but I also encourage a more open-minded, all-inclusive cycling philosophy that embraces as many options for cyclists as possible.

    There really is no need for cyclists to war against each other, there are few who really understand us as it is.

    (My daily commute is 30 miles round-trip in Atlanta, and I've been commuting for over a decade. I use a MUP for about 2 miles of that trip, homebound only, the other 28 miles on normal roadways ranging from 25 mph to 45 mph., VC-style and very enjoyable.)
    No worries

  11. #11
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    ah, a representative from the 'one percent solution' club speaks out about his pleasures taking the lane in 45mph zones


    kowtowing to the current autocentricity thru the coping skills of vc is no way to build ridershare, unfortunately, littlebig.

    and that's what the op was talking about. I'm sure we're all real proud of your lane taking ability though!
    Last edited by Bekologist; 10-01-08 at 11:44 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  12. #12
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    More name calling and forum member derision from Bek. Interesting how the 2 west coast bike shop guys (ubrayj02 and Bek) attitudes match up.

  13. #13
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    ??????? derision...


    what attitude? the one succinctly espoused by uke?

    Quote Originally Posted by uke
    Every bike friendly city in the past 50 years has followed the same formula: reduce and restrict the automobile while increasing bike and public transport infrastructure. It's a proven, workable formula that's seen success all over Europe. Most "serious" cyclists in the US, however, insist on trying to push the square wheel of vehicular cycling. And unsurprisingly, we continue to fail each year while other cyclists in other countries follow the blueprint and take back their cities from the automobile. Our loss.
    more like a 'firm grasp on reality', CBHI
    Last edited by Bekologist; 10-04-08 at 10:54 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  14. #14
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    ??????? derision...


    what attitude? the one succinctly espoused by uke?



    more like a 'firm grasp on reality', CBHI
    So now you wish to follow Uke, the sidewalk cyclist who has not even figured out just how dangerous that behavior is?

  15. #15
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    More name calling and forum member derision from Bek. Interesting how the 2 west coast bike shop guys (ubrayj02 and Bek) attitudes match up.
    name calling? Uh, reaching a bit there CB... for what some personal vendatta?

    Look the OP brought up a good point... that essentially roads are not designed with cyclists in mind... and vehicular cycling is simply a coping mechanism to deal with an autocentric environment.

    If we ever expect cycling to gain widespread acceptance here in the States, people will have to perceive it as safe and easy as driving...

    Vehicular cycling alone is not likely to bring about this scene in America.


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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    ^^
    Yet countries that were so bicycle freindly, like China, are switching to motor vehicles now that the people can afford them. Other cities were designed in the 16 century based on the ox cart.

    So you wish to tear down our cities and convert them to ox cart designs, or would you rather people just become too poor to afford cars? Frankly, I prefer cycing at more then the 6-10 mph that most of those types of towns cyclist are able to travel.

    Put in some safe bike paths, that is fine for cut throughs and recreation. But side paths and bike lanes that increase the danger to cyclist is just plain wrong.

  17. #17
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    ^^
    Yet countries that were so bicycle freindly, like China, are switching to motor vehicles now that the people can afford them.
    I am willing to bet that the population of China never adopts the car to the same extent that the US has become dependent upon them. For instance, when I was in Hangzhou just a few years ago working in a brand new technical center with engineers there, I noticed that the placement of the buildings was such that no parking lots existed, nor was there room for parking lots. There were however lots and lots of bicycles. Frankly, they just do not plan for auto traffic. And with dense cities, while they can remodel as I outline below, it just doesn't make sense to not look at the lessons of both America and Europe and plan for people vice cars.

    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Other cities were designed in the 16 century based on the ox cart.
    So was Boston, and most of the eastern seaboard of the US... yet those cities managed to be changed to allow the autocentric lifestyle of Americans to exist.

    At the same time, many of those 16th century cities were bombed into rubble during a couple world wars... yet the countries (and people) determined that bicycles were effective enough transportation so that they did not adopt the "automania" of America.


    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    So you wish to tear down our cities and convert them to ox cart designs, or would you rather people just become too poor to afford cars?
    Such "conversion" happens all the time when a new freeway or Urban Renewal plan goes into effect... the key is designing for people, not just for cars. A recent survey of an east coast city (I believe Baltimore) discovered that over half of the expensive downtown square footage was devoted to autos rather than retail. That realization is causing a change in future plans.

    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Frankly, I prefer cycing at more then the 6-10 mph that most of those types of towns cyclist are able to travel.
    Ah, the classic "I wanna go fast" argument... funny, motorists feel the same way when they are driving in the presence of cyclists. How about if we all learn to slow down for the conditions. Save your fast pace for cross town trips on well designed bikeways. Otherwise share the space and moderate your speed for the conditions.

    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Put in some safe bike paths, that is fine for cut throughs and recreation. But side paths and bike lanes that increase the danger to cyclist is just plain wrong.

    Well designed facilities are the key... slapping down paint just anywhere is the wrong approach.

  18. #18
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Ah, the classic "I wanna go fast" argument... funny, motorists feel the same way when they are driving in the presence of cyclists. How about if we all learn to slow down for the conditions. Save your fast pace for cross town trips on well designed bikeways. Otherwise share the space and moderate your speed for the conditions.
    Limiting cyclist to 6-10 mph will not encourage cycle commuting. My 20 miles one way commute would go from 70 minutes and end up taking 2-3 hours each way. No way am I (and most in these forums) going to spend 4-6 hours a day just to cycle commute.

    How about you spend a month limiting your cycling speed to 6-10 mph, then report back to the forum on how much you enjoyed being limited to jogging speed.

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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Well designed facilities are the key... slapping down paint just anywhere is the wrong approach.
    Yet, that is pretty much all we have gotten from the bike lane advocates. They will not even work to fix the bad bike lanes. But they sure whine when other cyclist (especially those who support VC) oppose these bike lanes. I again point to the OP, Bek and Uke.

  20. #20
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    naw- thoughtful bike lane designs and poor bike lane remediation are both on the table of the accomodationalists, cbhi- what a load of strawman malarky you peddle.

    fingerpointing and why?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  21. #21
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Limiting cyclist to 6-10 mph will not encourage cycle commuting. My 20 miles one way commute would go from 70 minutes and end up taking 2-3 hours each way. No way am I (and most in these forums) going to spend 4-6 hours a day just to cycle commute.

    How about you spend a month limiting your cycling speed to 6-10 mph, then report back to the forum on how much you enjoyed being limited to jogging speed.
    CB HI's argument that "if a bicyclist has to slow down anywhere, he'll have to reduce his speed everywhere to that lowest speed on his entire route" is, at best, quite silly, and is no different than a commuting motorist whining that if he should slow down to 20 mph when in a school zone he will have to slow down to 20 mph for his entire journey. Pathetic, pitiful or hysterically funny, take your pick.

  22. #22
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Limiting cyclist to 6-10 mph will not encourage cycle commuting. My 20 miles one way commute would go from 70 minutes and end up taking 2-3 hours each way. No way am I (and most in these forums) going to spend 4-6 hours a day just to cycle commute.

    How about you spend a month limiting your cycling speed to 6-10 mph, then report back to the forum on how much you enjoyed being limited to jogging speed.
    Well slower speeds don't seem to have harmed folks in Europe or China... in fact they quite seem to enjoy moving at a safe and sane speed rather than dressing up like Lance and racing to work.

    But How likely is it that your entire 20 mile route would be at that speed?

    Further, with well designed wide bike paths, perhaps you could go your top speed for some large percentage of your commute without encountering traffic lights and other traffic, similar to what motorists on their highways enjoy. (or perhaps you'd encounter "rush hour" also like those motorists)

    The other thing to consider is that the rest of the population may very well be encouraged to move at a low speed when commuting, but racer boy cyclists may just have to find their thrills at different times/places.

    BTW for the record, my commute speed is at about 13MPH when I ride in the streets with traffic. (some of which includes bike lanes) My recreation speed on well designed paths is over 20MPH for the 20 miles of path available to me. (too bad the path doesn't go in the direction of my home)

  23. #23
    Senior Member Febs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Well slower speeds don't seem to have harmed folks in Europe or China... in fact they quite seem to enjoy moving at a safe and sane speed rather than dressing up like Lance and racing to work.
    I love the way that you are able to speak for the entire bicycling populations of Europe and China.

  24. #24
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Febs View Post
    I love the way that you are able to speak for the entire bicycling populations of Europe and China.
    Just like CBHI speaks for all cyclists.
    Limiting cyclist to 6-10 mph will not encourage cycle commuting.
    Lets face it, when it comes to cycling for transportation, the mere 1% of Americans doing it by bike are nothing compared to those in various other nations that manage as much as 28% rider share for transportation.

    So what is your suggestion for improving the picture here in America for cyclists? What wonderful suggestions do you have? Or are you here only to criticize?

  25. #25
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    CB HI's argument that "if a bicyclist has to slow down anywhere, he'll have to reduce his speed everywhere to that lowest speed on his entire route" is, at best, quite silly, and is no different than a commuting motorist whining that if he should slow down to 20 mph when in a school zone he will have to slow down to 20 mph for his entire journey. Pathetic, pitiful or hysterically funny, take your pick.
    Pure BS ILTB, I never said slowing in one area forces slow speeds everywhere. But since the paint and path crowd wants the slow style system everywhere, you should take up your complaint with them.

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