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Old 03-10-09, 11:34 AM   #26
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Huh? I guess I make that mistake quite often, as I don't live "downtown."
Yes, that is a mistake.
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Old 03-10-09, 11:36 AM   #27
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Patrick,
Are you actually paid for being a "traffic planner" or you just studying/dabbling in the field? I find it hard to believe anyone pays real money for the plans from someone so wrapped up in dogma.
Yes, I am paid, not very well (like every other government "transportation planner").

What is my "dogma"? That roads designed for high speeds and volume are inherently dangerous (for both motorists and cyclists)?
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Old 03-10-09, 11:54 AM   #28
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Don't let the b@st@rds get ya down, Patrick. The world outside cycling doesn't appreciate what cyclists' needs are. The hardcore cyclists see all cars as the enemy. In your line of work, you can't win.

I'm kind of fortunate, I guess, because the busy roads I ride on mostly do have a little extra room in the right lane. I think Fort Worth is actually one of the more quietly bike friendly cities going, although I know many people that would differ with my opinion.
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Old 03-10-09, 11:55 AM   #29
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Yes, I am paid, not very well (like every other government "transportation planner").

What is my "dogma"? That roads designed for high speeds and volume are inherently dangerous (for both motorists and cyclists)?
You will find all forms of transportation (and movement) that are not at rest are inherently "dangerous," if "dangerous" means to you any possibility of mishap exists. Are airplanes and trains, ships inherently dangerous too? How about slow moving wheelchairs?

If you are looking for inherent safety (i.e. 100% protection from mishap) with moving objects you are not likely to find it except maybe sitting on a park bench watching the birds fly about. Just be sure to wear a hat.
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Old 03-10-09, 12:13 PM   #30
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You will find all forms of transportation (and movement) that are not at rest are inherently "dangerous," if "dangerous" means to you any possibility of mishap exists. Are airplanes and trains, ships inherently dangerous too? How about slow moving wheelchairs?

If you are looking for inherent safety (i.e. 100% protection from mishap) with moving objects you are not likely to find it except maybe sitting on a park bench watching the birds fly about. Just be sure to wear a hat.
"Inherently dangerous" meaning more dangerous than walking. Bicycling (even on a separate right-of-way) is inherently dangerous. Trains, aeroplanes, etc. are inherently dangerous. Not a slow moving wheelchair.

The most dangerous form of (common) transportation is, without a doubt, the motorcar. Rocketing down the road in a cage of glass and steel at 60 MPH is dangerous, no matter what the design of either the vehicle or road may be.

The point of this thread was that I grew up riding in an on bicycle lanes and paths, and did so regularly (several miles per day, every single day). When I went to a place without separate facilities, I stopped bicycling because I was under the impression it was more dangerous. From my recent experience, bicycling in an urban environment without facilities (i.e., bicycle lanes) is no more dangerous or frightening than in an urban environment with facilities, as long as I drive my bicycle like an automobile.
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Old 03-10-09, 02:13 PM   #31
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The most dangerous form of (common) transportation is, without a doubt, the motorcar. Rocketing down the road in a cage of glass and steel at 60 MPH is dangerous, no matter what the design of either the vehicle or road may be.
I don't really feel like digging up the statistics right now, but I believe the the motorcycle is the most dangerous, with only the school bus being less dangerous than cycling. Being a pedestrian shows to be more dangerous than cycling. (edit: For on-road transportation.)

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The point of this thread was that I grew up riding in an on bicycle lanes and paths, and did so regularly (several miles per day, every single day). When I went to a place without separate facilities, I stopped bicycling because I was under the impression it was more dangerous. From my recent experience, bicycling in an urban environment without facilities (i.e., bicycle lanes) is no more dangerous or frightening than in an urban environment with facilities, as long as I drive my bicycle like an automobile.


I think the best bicycle facilities are roads with narrow, multiple same direction lanes, with sharrows giving the cyclist the entire right lane. This design makes plain that the right lane is as far right as practicable while giving the cyclist plenty of room to avoid hazards and bad situations, the lane is too narrow to share, and gives motorists at least one other same direction lane in which to pass.

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Old 03-10-09, 02:20 PM   #32
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"Inherently dangerous" meaning more dangerous than walking. Bicycling (even on a separate right-of-way) is inherently dangerous. Trains, aeroplanes, etc. are inherently dangerous. Not a slow moving wheelchair.
Would it be safe to say that is your own definition of dangerous, not a definition accepted/used by any recognized safety, traffic engineering or traffic planning organization?
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Old 03-10-09, 02:26 PM   #33
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Would it be safe to say that is your own definition of dangerous, not a definition accepted/used by any recognized safety, traffic engineering or traffic planning organization?
I'm not so sure there is an "official" definition of "dangerous".
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Old 03-10-09, 03:20 PM   #34
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I'm not so sure there is an "official" definition of "dangerous".
Try a dictionary.
It doesn't normally mean anything with any possibility of mishap is "dangerous". Especially when any alternative action (or inaction) also entails some degree of risk.

Perhaps you should look up the term "acceptable risk" before bringing up the issue of the "inherently dangerous" use of various transportation modes.

I would guess that walking across the country or very long distances to avoid the "inherently dangerous" modes of faster transportation would expose the walker to even greater potential dangers. Especially if they actually have a reason to be concerned with time.
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Old 03-10-09, 03:37 PM   #35
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Yes, that is a mistake.
And yet I live within 3 minutes of my place of work and my grocery store(s) and 10-15 minutes of my place of education (all by bike of course). Hmmm....

*edit: this may be unfair of me, if your definition of "downtown" and mine differ greatly.
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Old 03-10-09, 03:42 PM   #36
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am I the only one that would like multiple lane streets to have a smaller right lane with sharrows painted in the middle?
that would give the idea to cars that bicycles have to ride in the middle of the lane instead of shy away hugging the curb, and the faster and rather wide left lane would invite cars to pass slower vehicles like cyclists...
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Old 03-10-09, 03:51 PM   #37
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I don't think so, see my earlier post.

The only difference is I wouldn't make the right lane narrower so that motor vehicles could use it in the absence of bikes. I think 10' lanes would work well for this. No wider than 12'.
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Old 03-10-09, 04:18 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick_C View Post
"Inherently dangerous" meaning more dangerous than walking. Bicycling (even on a separate right-of-way) is inherently dangerous. Trains, aeroplanes, etc. are inherently dangerous. Not a slow moving wheelchair.

The most dangerous form of (common) transportation is, without a doubt, the motorcar. Rocketing down the road in a cage of glass and steel at 60 MPH is dangerous, no matter what the design of either the vehicle or road may be.
How do you know this? That is what metrics are you using and what data are those measurements based on?
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Old 03-10-09, 09:07 PM   #39
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I would guess that walking across the country or very long distances to avoid the "inherently dangerous" modes of faster transportation would expose the walker to even greater potential dangers.
At the point that walking some distance further than "X" (e.g., 1/2 mile) or some product "Y" (e.g., food) incurs more danger than benefits, we can say that it is "inherently dangerous". The benefit of the bicycle is that is stretches "X" for the same product "Y".

The motorcar simply stretches "X" for certain products "Y". For example, local bread is no "better" than bread trucked in. However, local emergency medical procedures are not NEARLY as valuable as those that can be obtained at long distances. Therefore, it makes more sense to buy bread locally and your heart surgeries "non-local".
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Old 03-10-09, 09:11 PM   #40
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And yet I live within 3 minutes of my place of work and my grocery store(s) and 10-15 minutes of my place of education (all by bike of course). Hmmm....

*edit: this may be unfair of me, if your definition of "downtown" and mine differ greatly.
Living close to your suburban job is commendable; it is responsible. However, from a design standpoint, it is not optimal. Efficient bicycle travel is found in compact cities, not less dense suburbs - this is just a fact of nature.

The fact that YOU live within 3 minutes of your place of work doesn't mean anyone else you work with does. Efficient cycling take a community, not just "you".
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Old 03-10-09, 09:16 PM   #41
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am I the only one that would like multiple lane streets to have a smaller right lane with sharrows painted in the middle?
that would give the idea to cars that bicycles have to ride in the middle of the lane instead of shy away hugging the curb, and the faster and rather wide left lane would invite cars to pass slower vehicles like cyclists...
I am with you all the way.

The WOL just causes more problems than it solves, in my opinion. Give the right lane to vehicles turning right, etc., but with the understanding that it is also the lane predominantly used by bicyclists.

Every day, twice a day, I cross the Market Street Bridge, lane width 9'. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...00000000000115

There are no problems crossing the Bridge. Motorists pass in the left hand lane - there's no way to get around me in the right hand lane (after all, it's only 9' wide, and I'm right in the middle).
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Old 03-10-09, 10:50 PM   #42
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Living close to your suburban job is commendable; it is responsible. However, from a design standpoint, it is not optimal. Efficient bicycle travel is found in compact cities, not less dense suburbs - this is just a fact of nature.

The fact that YOU live within 3 minutes of your place of work doesn't mean anyone else you work with does. Efficient cycling take a community, not just "you".
Ottawa's a pretty small city, what I call "downtown" is less than 10km away although the edge of the city is closer. I certainly don't live in the suburbs.

But I wouldn't hesitate to live farther away and cycle into town. All I'm saying is that I don't see how it's a "mistake" to do so.

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Old 03-10-09, 11:42 PM   #43
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In my years as a transportation planner, I have never even HEARD of a cyclist being run over by a motorcar driver directly from behind. ...
I watched it happen twice to other bicyclists. And my wife was hit in that fashion on her way to work, broke her back. So now you've heard.

It's true that motorists are least likely to overlook the bicyclist who is directly in their line of sight for the longest period of time, but they overlook even those bicyclists occasionally. A bicyclist struck from behind by a car traveling over 30 mph is likely to be gravely injured or killed. It's good to consider this while American-style biking.
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Old 03-11-09, 12:01 AM   #44
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Let me see if I've got this straight:

The OP grew up in the Netherlands, where a lot of people biked, and they didn't do much planning for bike travel except build bikelanes, paths, bike parking, human scaled streetscapes and what not. people still rode bikes on plain jane city streets like seen in photos posted by the OP.

Then, he's moved to the USA, where the car is king and cyclists need to live downtown, cities shouldn't plan for bicyclists and they should just take the lane or get off the roadway when there's traffic.

and in his assessment as a 'transportation planner',

he thinks that despite vehicular, on street cycling being the core component of american cycling policy -even in cities with bike lanes- this key component doesn't matter, because bicycles can travel like motorcars (but only when there's not much traffic)?

I might be a little confused about all this.

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Old 03-11-09, 05:03 AM   #45
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Let me see if I've got this straight:

The OP grew up in the Netherlands, where a lot of people biked, and they didn't do much planning for bike travel except build bikelanes, paths, bike parking, human scaled streetscapes and what not. people still rode bikes on plain jane city streets like seen in photos posted by the OP.

Then, he's moved to the USA, where the car is king and cyclists need to live downtown, cities shouldn't plan for bicyclists and they should just take the lane or get off the roadway when there's traffic.

and in his assessment as a 'transportation planner',

he thinks that despite vehicular, on street cycling being the core component of american cycling policy -even in cities with bike lanes- this key component doesn't matter, because bicycles can travel like motorcars (but only when there's not much traffic)?

I might be a little confused about all this.
Riding a bicycle was easy in The Netherlands because the city streets were built for people and bicycles. Moving out of the right bicycle lane to the left bicycle turn lane was easy - traffic looked out for you, almost all of the drivers were also bicyclists.

In the USA, the suburbs are a wasteland, designed and built for the motorcar, not people. Riding a bicycle in those areas is dangerous. Most downtown areas are smaller, thus were designed before the motorcar came to rule the road. It is relatively easy to bicycle in these areas, even without the separate facilities that I grew up riding on in The Netherlands.

Bicycle lanes, paths, etc. are all necessary in the suburbs, where otherwise bicyclists would be subjected to riding on roads designed for high speeds and high traffic volumes. Expecting a cyclist to ride on a road that carries 30,000 vehicles per day at 50 miles per hour is crazy.

Here's the catch: the suburban cities, towns, and (especially) state DOTs are not going to be too keen on building separate bicycling facilities outside of the dense urban core, where most people tend to bicycle. SO, bicycle lanes and paths are generally built where they are not as needed: dense urban areas with slower traffic speeds and lower volume.
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Old 03-11-09, 06:48 AM   #46
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Here's the catch: the suburban cities, towns, and (especially) state DOTs are not going to be too keen on building separate bicycling facilities outside of the dense urban core, where most people tend to bicycle. SO, bicycle lanes and paths are generally built where they are not as needed: dense urban areas with slower traffic speeds and lower volume.
Building separate bicycling facilities, i.e. "paths", in dense urban areas in the U.S. Really? Where?
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Old 03-11-09, 07:07 AM   #47
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Building separate bicycling facilities, i.e. "paths", in dense urban areas in the U.S. Really? Where?
http://www.nycbikemaps.com/maps/manhattan-bike-map/

My question is: why are there bike lanes in Manhattan, NYC?
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Old 03-11-09, 07:41 AM   #48
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http://www.nycbikemaps.com/maps/manhattan-bike-map/

My question is: why are there bike lanes in Manhattan, NYC?
Bike lanes are one thing; paths being built anywhere in dense urban areas but in parks are a completely different breed of facility. Don't confuse the two, it clouds your credibilty on the subject of bicycling facilities.
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Old 03-11-09, 08:05 AM   #49
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Bike lanes are one thing; paths being built anywhere in dense urban areas but in parks are a completely different breed of facility. Don't confuse the two, it clouds your credibilty on the subject of bicycling facilities.
My apologies on conflating bicycle lanes and paths.

The point was that bicycle lanes (not necessarily paths) are built in urban areas where they are not as needed, when compared to the less densely populated suburbs (where separated bicycle paths would probably make more sense, since bicycling on busy, fast arterial streets is rather dangerous).

Peachtree City, Georgia has a wonderful system of separate paths (warning, large PDF document: http://www.peachtree-city.org/docume...06_map_web.pdf)- used mostly by "golf cart" type vehicles, but also bicyclists. It is a good example of what a suburban path system could be, but a bad example if tried to be applied to a dense "downtown" urban area.

Once again, the point was: riding in traffic here in Downtown Chattanooga does not feel unsafe, but as safe as in bicycle lanes and on paths that I grew up riding in The Netherlands. Separate facilities do not make bicycling "safer" in congested areas, the "congestion" itself does; i.e., lower vehicle speeds and volumes.
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Old 03-11-09, 09:14 AM   #50
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but when a bike would hold up traffic in these urban areas patrick thinks don't need bike infrastructure, the cyclist should leave the road entirely for the conveinence of motorists.

bikes also should also not be riding on higher speed roads.

and communities shouldn't plan for bikes by adding bike lanes in urban areas, just paths.

got it.

here's the catch, patrick:

cities that have bike master plans and are building bike lanes in urban areas embrace on-street 'vehicular cycling' as fundament in their bicycle transportation planning.

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