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Old 12-25-08, 08:56 PM   #1
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Old paradigm/new paradigm thinking in vehicular cycling advocacy

(this is getting some thoughts out I have about the nature of vehicular cycling advocacy and will be a work in progress)

Vehicular cycling is the concept of riding a bike according to the rules of the road for vehicles.

That's it.

what is vehicular cycling advocacy? Advocating the right to ride a bike according to the rules of the road for vehicles.

Imagine if vehicular cycling advocacy was a grand success, the public saw 'the light' about the ridiculously short trips they undertake by bike, and all of a sudden 28 percent of trips in america under a mile were undertaken by bike, or the nearly fifty percent of commutes that are less than six miles in america were undertaken by bike.

a lot of bicyclists on the roads, less motorists, and vehicular cycling achieved. Why then, does the notion of encouraging bicycling to a degree motoring is reduced anathema to some of the well known vehicular cyclists mouthpieces? Could all the bicyclists and motorists coexist without some compromises in the way public rights of way are designed? could 60mph cars and cycle commuters coexist if there were large numbers of vehicular cyclists?

I suspect this is against the grain of their emphasis, the supremacy of auto-weighted road rules.

I see, unfortunately, too much kowtowing to the supremacy of the automobile in current vehicular cycling advocacy. Motorcentricity. There are those who willingly accept bans of bicyclists along 'high speed roads' if reasonable alternatives are available for bicyclists. Doesn't this predicate the notion "bikes off of (high speed)roads for the convenience of motorized traffic?"

Roads are public rights of way; for over 5,000 years roads have been the domain of pedestrians and slow moving vehicles. In America, Centuries of precedent establishes roads as available to any member of the public, free to travel unfettered by excessive regulation. But in the last century the world saw the surrender of public rights of way to the supremacy of the automobile.

And now vehicular cycling tries to shoehorn very efficient modes of locomotion onto roads designed to the conveinence of motor traffic to the detriment of the public not motoring at any one moment. WHY should roads be EXPECTED to be the exclusive or near exclusive domain of motorists?

And there's a lot of talk in the vehicular cycling community about not caring to increase gross numbers of bicyclists, just advancing the ones able to cope under such autocentric conditions. More riders riding vehicularily and sometimes not even then. The core interest of vehicular cycling is the continuance of bicyclists continuing to hold their right to travel public rights of way.

If this is the core goal of VC, then so be it: fight mandatory use rules and restrictive vehicle codes, and the goal is acheived: Get out there, ride that 65mph narrow laned arterial, take the lane, and off you go! vehicular cycling acheived.

But some of us vehicular cyclists see greater goals: a redesign of the public landscape to further vehicular cycling in our society: to wit, more vehicular cycling, better roads for more vehicular cycling, and a redesign of road rules to better perpetuate vehicular cycling.

And, what is a road anyway? Does it need motor access to be considered a "road" I think not; there are select locales in the United States that have plenty of roads and no motor vehicles. but roads are there, in use by pedestrians, bicyclists, horses and carriages.

What happens when a road is 'closed' to motor vehicles? Does it cease to be a road? I think not: roads are useable and considered a road regardless of the presence of motor vehicle use. What, then is a MUP? Perhaps it too is a 'road', it certainly is a public right of way, just excluding motor vehicles.


IF mandatory education was enacted across the nation (paid for, perhaps, by a fifty cent gas tax ) and the end result were those 28 percent of trips being undertaken by bike, or fifty percent of commutes by bike, a new way of thinking about public space would HAVE to be undertaken: a new paradigm that rejects the old autocentric notions of the 20th century vehicular cycling paradigm.

I believe radical rethinking of public rights of way ,public space design, road rules and design plans are part of the new paradigm of vehicular thinking. the old concepts of simply assuring vehicular road use are met and continued to be fought for, but this is low hanging fruit, albiet difficult ones to pluck from the hands of motor addled state legislatures. But if the right to operate as a vehicle are what is needed, go take the lane of the 65mph arterial, and be gone with you! there's vehicular cycling in a very adverse environment and one never seriously able to be considered by more of the public than the currently brazen ones of us brave enough to call ourselves 'vehicular cyclists':

I suggest new ways of enabling greater vehicular cycling is a higher goal and a more valuable to society than simply assuring the shoehorning very small percent of the public onto autocentric roadways. Case in point: Wide Lanes. Wide lanes keep bicyclists out of the way of cars and do nothing to mitigate the inherent dangers of the hook and the cross, especially as roadway speed increase. there is much more, engineering and educationwise, to be more done for vehicular cycling than wide lanes and claims of statutorial equality.

Vehicular cycling needs to shift away from 20th century paradigm of road use, and raise the bar significantly than the past battles that have been fought and the compromises that have been made kowtowing to autocentricity. The current one perpetuates low rider share and continued autodomination of public rights of way.

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Old 12-26-08, 09:29 PM   #2
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So which bike lanes will you oppose in your new paradigm?

Let us see your plan for nationwide VC training?
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Old 12-26-08, 09:32 PM   #3
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same tired old argument against my perspective, eh, bike oahu? boy, probably some of the ones created under the old paradigm of autocentric streetscape designs.

get a grip, the new paradigm might not even NEED 'bike lanes' !?! What do you think about america's love of motorcentricity to the detriment of quality of life and modal share distribution?

You SHOULD be fully cognizant that your city officially recognizes the deluterious effect autocentricity has had on the quality of life in Honolulu. Honolulu is trying to affect a paradigm shift, albiet one of much more limited scope at the present time.

The current economic crisis might lead to a LOT more "learn as you ride" training regardless of the presence or absense of cyclist training. What if 30 percent of the population rode bikes? would people NEED cyclist ed, or would there be an organic uptake in riding technique?

my plan for nationwide vc training under my vision of a new transportation paradigm? Cyclist training would be concurrrent with driver's ed. driver testing would be undertaken on Worksman trikes. in traffic.

whatchoo think, cbhi?

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Old 12-27-08, 12:58 PM   #4
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same tired old argument against my perspective, eh,
Same old yack, yack; without even answering two simple questions. Notice Bek that I made no argument, I simply asked two questions about your supposed new paradigm.

What gives Bek, are the questions too hard or are you just afraid that honest answers will show your true strips?

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Old 12-27-08, 01:39 PM   #5
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So which bike lanes will you oppose in your new paradigm?
All of them. Lower speed limits on all surface non freeway roads and bike lanes are just wasted paint... as are most other road markings.

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Let us see your plan for nationwide VC training?

Treat it like any other school subject and teach it often, just like history, english and math.

Make driver's license tests as complex as the SAT.
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Old 12-27-08, 03:25 PM   #6
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Does anyone ever ponder the theory that its a societal thing, and the
auto stuff is just one facet of peoples psychological shortcomings ?
A guy who close passes, cuts off and long beeps in a car is most likely an
undesirable individual at his job, in the supermarket or at a restaurant.
No amount of gov. regulation can change peoples intrinsic nature.
As the population of an area grows, so does the negative stuff a vulnerable
user will suffer just due the the ratio of angry people getting larger.
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Old 12-27-08, 04:45 PM   #7
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Does anyone ever ponder the theory that its a societal thing, and the
auto stuff is just one facet of peoples psychological shortcomings ?
A guy who close passes, cuts off and long beeps in a car is most likely an
undesirable individual at his job, in the supermarket or at a restaurant.
No amount of gov. regulation can change peoples intrinsic nature.
As the population of an area grows, so does the negative stuff a vulnerable
user will suffer just due the the ratio of angry people getting larger.
And the angry people probably get angrier too, as congestion and faster speeds put them in contact with more irritants.

But society always tries to change people's intrinsic natures. In fact, that's pretty much what society is. Kindergarten is all about teaching people to work and play with others. So is middle school, for that matter, and church, Scouts, team sports, fraternities, military training, professional societies, internet forum moderators, etc.

I think teaching just two additional lessons in school would help a lot:
  1. It's OK for bikes to be in the streets
  2. Being in a hurry is not an excuse for treating others rudely
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Old 12-27-08, 08:30 PM   #8
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2. Being in a hurry is not an excuse for treating others rudely[/LIST]
+1

As we discuss how to get there, notice that this has already been accomplished in other countries. If you live in Amsterdam, you travel mostly by bicycle. I believe a painful gas tax would get the ball rolling.
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Old 12-28-08, 12:21 AM   #9
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I answered cbhis' questions. any views on a possible new paradigm, cbhi, or is the status quo satisfactory?

CBHI, why so enamored of autocentric roads in honolulu? your city government officially recognizes the deluterious effects traffic congestion, pollution and autocentricity has on the citizens there. Do YOU have any suggestions on how to deal with these issues? Cities cannot build their way out of congestion.

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Old 12-28-08, 02:26 AM   #10
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So which bike lanes will you oppose in your new paradigm?

Let us see your plan for nationwide VC training?
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I answered cbhis' questions. any views on a possible new paradigm, cbhi, or is the status quo satisfactory?
How about actually answering my questions rather than making false claims of doing so!

Seriously, why do such questions scare you so much?
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Old 12-28-08, 08:55 AM   #11
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what a hoot!

anything new from YOU, cbhi, or just 'same old, same old'?


if you want to discuss new paradigms in vehicular cycling advocacy, here's your chance. if you want to harp on me endlessly about the tired old paradigm, you really must be proud of yourself, eh, kid?
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Old 12-28-08, 09:04 AM   #12
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A
I think teaching just two additional lessons in school would help a lot:
  1. It's OK for bikes to be in the streets
  2. Being in a hurry is not an excuse for treating others rudely
I think that would be great...but how would any school system get such a controversial position to be teaching our children past the Mothers of America, the fathers who are enslaved by them and the litigators who would skewer school systems financially every time a kid got hurt riding in the street?

Indeed, cyclists cannot even agree amongst ourselves concerning the safety and/or wisdom of riding in the street.
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Old 12-28-08, 09:10 AM   #13
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Hello????

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Originally Posted by bekologist
boy, probably some of the ones created under the old paradigm of autocentric streetscape designs.
get a grip, the new paradigm might not even NEED 'bike lanes' !?!
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.... What if 30 percent of the population rode bikes? would people NEED cyclist ed, or would there be an organic uptake in riding technique?

my plan for nationwide vc training under my vision of a new transportation paradigm? Cyclist training would be concurrrent with driver's ed. driver testing would be undertaken on Worksman trikes. in traffic.
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Old 12-28-08, 09:11 AM   #14
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I seee CBHI is STUCK in the old paradigm of motorcentric road behaviors, all he wants to talk about is 'dangerous' bike lanes and cyclist training. paltry reframing of the 20th century american transportation paradigm. Think outside the box (lane), 'bike oahu'!! Get visionary!

What do you see as possible transportation shifts for honolulu in the 21st century, cbhi? more low speed limited mobility devices, small smart cars, more bicyclists? or continuance of autocentric rights of way perpetuated at the expense of the quality of life in your community? Honolulu city government officially recognizes the deluterious effects motorcentric community design has on your city, duuude.

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Old 12-28-08, 10:48 AM   #15
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I think that would be great...but how would any school system get such a controversial position to be teaching our children past the Mothers of America, the fathers who are enslaved by them and the litigators who would skewer school systems financially every time a kid got hurt riding in the street?

Indeed, cyclists cannot even agree amongst ourselves concerning the safety and/or wisdom of riding in the street.
We had this type of education already, back in the early 1960s era of conformity when I was a kid. We learned in primary school that "cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers." Even though that wasn't (and isn't) strictly true, it was an easily taught and remembered axiom. I remembered it 30 years later. When I resumed cycling, I immediately started riding in the street--even before I encountered the Advocacy and Safety forum.

BTW, we did not learn that young kids should ride in the street. We were told to follow pedestrian rules until we were older, but learned that older kids and adults had the right to use the streets. I think at that time "no riding on the sidewalk" was actually enforced for older riders.
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Old 12-28-08, 11:33 AM   #16
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We had this type of education already, back in the early 1960s era of conformity when I was a kid. We learned in primary school that "cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers." Even though that wasn't (and isn't) strictly true, it was an easily taught and remembered axiom. I remembered it 30 years later. When I resumed cycling, I immediately started riding in the street--even before I encountered the Advocacy and Safety forum.

BTW, we did not learn that young kids should ride in the street. We were told to follow pedestrian rules until we were older, but learned that older kids and adults had the right to use the streets. I think at that time "no riding on the sidewalk" was actually enforced for older riders.
Would you describe the location and type of school in which this instruction was given?
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Old 12-28-08, 12:38 PM   #17
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Would you describe the location and type of school in which this instruction was given?
It was Edmonson Elementary School in Madison Heights, Michigan, ca. 1960-65. Just your standard baby boom era suburban school. Information on bike safety was presented in every grade, along with the pedestrian safety stuff.

I also learned similar street safety lessons in the Cub Scouts. In fact, the current Boy Scout Manual for a Merit Badge in Cycling presents safety info along the lines of your Effective Cycling book.
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Old 12-28-08, 01:21 PM   #18
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So which bike lanes will you oppose in your new paradigm?

Let us see your plan for nationwide VC training?
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I answered cbhis' questions. any views on a possible new paradigm, cbhi, or is the status quo satisfactory?

CBHI, why so enamored of autocentric roads in honolulu? your city government officially recognizes the deluterious effects traffic congestion, pollution and autocentricity has on the citizens there. Do YOU have any suggestions on how to deal with these issues? Cities cannot build their way out of congestion.
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what a hoot!

anything new from YOU, cbhi, or just 'same old, same old'?


if you want to discuss new paradigms in vehicular cycling advocacy, here's your chance. if you want to harp on me endlessly about the tired old paradigm, you really must be proud of yourself, eh, kid?
Two simple questions on how bike lanes and VC training fit into your new paradigm and you refuse to answer them. Clearly you are unwilling to discuss the issue and wish to just toss out some gibberish. Clearly, your real intend is to get the VC advocates to simply drop their objections to your precious bike lanes.

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Old 12-28-08, 01:28 PM   #19
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Would you describe the location and type of school in which this instruction was given?
In a Denver suburb, I also remember seeing the cycling in the streets style 60's movies in grade school, but there was no "on bicycle training" included.

I am pretty sure that I read the Boy Scout cycling merit badge book, even through I did not obtain that merit badge, as I already had enough merit badges from within the required % group.

Most of my VC training came from "motorcycle" safety classes.
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Old 12-28-08, 01:34 PM   #20
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Would you describe the location and type of school in which this instruction was given?
Perhaps you've seen this action training film from 1963... which includes several references to cyclists acting just like auto drivers... including this tidbit... "should ride just like auto drivers drive...," and even references that sidewalk riding is unsafe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQgAMkMmsfg
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Old 12-28-08, 01:54 PM   #21
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And there is this 1950 bicycle training film... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QEKT...eature=related which does emphasize that bikes are vehicles and that cyclists have responsibilities such as obeying the rules of the road. (this film shows two ways to make a left turn). On the negative side, this film features many of the cyclists riding very very close to the curb... but later avoiding door zones.

Seems "education" has been a factor in the US for bike riders for quite some time... and yet, we just don't seem to have the modal share like some places that have really embraced cycling.
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Old 12-28-08, 01:55 PM   #22
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Perhaps you've seen this action training film from 1963... which includes several references to cyclists acting just like auto drivers... including this tidbit... "should ride just like auto drivers drive...," and even references that sidewalk riding is unsafe.
I don't remember the movie, but I remember that the main theme of the instruction was to ride like drivers drive. That's still a good rule of thumb, IMO, although there are some exceptions that should be noted.

Getting back to one of Bek's points, do you think this could make a good basis for contemporary cycling education for the masses? "Most of the time you should just ride your bike like car drivers drive." It is not nuanced, but it covers about 90 % of the situations. Most importantly, it clearly conveys the idea that cyclists have a right to use the streets and roads.
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Old 12-28-08, 02:15 PM   #23
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I don't remember the movie, but I remember that the main theme of the instruction was to ride like drivers drive. That's still a good rule of thumb, IMO, although there are some exceptions that should be noted.

Getting back to one of Bek's points, do you think this could make a good basis for contemporary cycling education for the masses? "Most of the time you should just ride your bike like car drivers drive." It is not nuanced, but it covers about 90 % of the situations. Most importantly, it clearly conveys the idea that cyclists have a right to use the streets and roads.
It's the same message that the VC crowd has been touting for years... and was touted for years before "Effective Cycling" was written... but in the mean time, the infrastructure that both cyclists and motorists use has been designed not as shareable roadway, but as auto centric roadway... with high speeds (unlike those in the movie), wide radius turns (as used on freeways) and merging ramps (again as used on freeways).

Bek is suggesting that perhaps the cycling community can raise their collective voice such that if auto centric designs are going to prevail, perhaps cycling infrastructure can be added to help cyclists... or better, perhaps designs can be modified to encourage sharing, thus increase modal share of cycling in the US similar to that of other countries.

Certainly education alone is not doing this... no matter how long we keep chanting the same "tunes."
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Old 12-28-08, 03:02 PM   #24
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Certainly education alone is not doing this... no matter how long we keep chanting the same "tunes."
In the 1960s, I and all the other kids either walked, cycled or rode a bus to school, up until we turned 16. Sadly, the education in most schools ended in the late 1960s and sometime after that, mothers began driving their kids to school; even though the roads where I grew up are the same and the schools are in the same place. So, some new perceived auto-centric roads design did not play a part in any such change. And OMG, there were not even bike lanes back then to somehow "keep us kids safe".
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Old 12-28-08, 03:15 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
. . . The core interest of vehicular cycling is the continuance of bicyclists continuing to hold their right to travel public rights of way.

If this is the core goal of VC, then so be it: fight mandatory use rules and restrictive vehicle codes, and the goal is acheived: Get out there, ride that 65mph narrow laned arterial, take the lane, and off you go! vehicular cycling acheived. . . .
The problem is that unless the law has an express exclusion, when you stripe a bike lane, you effectively eliminate the right to use the traffic lane unless the cyclist can convince a non-cyclist cop that we have a good enough reason to leave. This is because bike lanes are part of the roadway, and the law (with some variation on wording) requires us to stay as far right as practicable. A cop, prosecutor, judge or jury is almost certain to decide that it's practicable for us to use the provided bike lane.

Another problem is Complete Streets, which is the one-size-fits-all approach to cycling advocacy these days. Complete Streets does not acknowledge that many roads are just fine as they are and do not need special facilities. (I say "many" to stay non-controversial, I'd say, "almost all".) If you are complaining that Complete Streets is an insufficiently "radical rethinking of public rights of way, public space design, road rules and design plans," then maybe we have jumping off point.

But step one for bringing the traffic cyclists on board to your argument is fighting and winning an express legal right to leave bike lanes at the sole discretion of the cyclist. Once you've achieved that, come back. I agree that if we traffic cyclists don't have to use special facilities, many of the arguments against them go away. I can still look at a bike facility and think it's more dangerous. If less experienced cyclists really need the special facility to feel special about themselves, fine. Just don't make me use it.
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