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  1. #1
    genec genec's Avatar
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    The case for advocacy and the history of cycing in Davis.

    Quite an interesting read.

    Talks about cycling in Davis and how it all came about and why it has been on the decline as of late.

    In spite of the decline, Davis still has a greater cycling mode share than any other city in the US.

    http://www.des.ucdavis.edu/faculty/h...ke_history.pdf

    Above all, this is the key:

    These other success stories suggest that bicycling levels can be dramatically
    increased in many American cities in the future. The combined experiences of Portland,
    Boulder, and Davis suggest that the requirements for high levels of bicycle use are not, as
    has often been cited in the Davis case, “ideal geography and a university town” but rather
    “a strong advocacy coalition, clear identification of problems facing bicyclists,
    nourishment of political will, and development of policy solutions.”
    With this as a basic
    requirement, Davis is well positioned to regain lost bicycle mode share, and many other
    cities around the country, regardless of geographical and other physical challenges, are
    candidates for comparable achievements in enabling large numbers of Americans to
    bicycle for their daily travel needs.

  2. #2
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Thanks for the alert.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Quite an interesting read.

    Talks about cycling in Davis and how it all came about and why it has been on the decline as of late.

    In spite of the decline, Davis still has a greater cycling mode share than any other city in the US.

    http://www.des.ucdavis.edu/faculty/h...ke_history.pdf

    Above all, this is the key:
    I went to UCD as an undergraduate from 1991-1995. Back then, it was a lot less convenient to own a car. The giant parking structure wasn't completed until 1992 or so, and there simply was no parking for students. As the school became a more popular alternative to CAL, and the richer, entitled kids started to attend, they demanded more parking and got it. Now, there are still a lot of bikes, but the city and the university really bent over backwards to accommodate cars, and the result is less bikes. I returned for grad studies in 2001, and a girlfriend of mine got right hooked crossing the street along the bike path on Russel. She had a green light, and a bike light, but the idiot cops ruled in favor of the jack ass turning right, because she didn't have a green Walk signal on the light!

  4. #4
    High Roller
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    “a strong advocacy coalition, clear identification of problems facing bicyclists,
    nourishment of political will, and development of policy solutions.”


    Very true, but much easier said than done. And apparently diligent maintenance efforts are required as well, so that all the progress doesn't slide back into the car culture abyss.

  5. #5
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    how does that opinion about Davis, Portland, or other cities with high rider share mesh with the vehicular cycling camps' obsessive fear of bike specific infrastructure, high roller?

    isn't kowtowing to autocentric road design primarily what the vc platform offers as subtext?

    and does this suggest then, that vc 'activists' with views similar to yourself feel fractured & divided cycling advocacy is the best way to achieve the goals of the vehicular cyclists?

    Is part of the VC M.O. seeking to obstruct & divide the active bicycling advocacy as seen in Davis & Portland, etc, that has helped lead to this high ridership in well facilitated communities?

    (is this the point in the discussion where the VCist camp would typically chime in with that 'university town and ideal geography' fallacy?)
    Last edited by Bekologist; 03-04-10 at 08:47 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  6. #6
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    how does that opinion about Davis, Portland, or other cities with high rider share mesh with the vehicular cycling camps' obsessive fear of bike specific infrastructure, high roller?

    isn't kowtowing to autocentric road design primarily what the vc platform offers as subtext?
    I've found that in real life advocacy groups and efforts riders with various needs and styles can work very well together. VC riders, for example, can and do support specific infrastructure. MUP only recreational riders can and do support street rider issues.
    George
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  7. #7
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I dunno, i always hear that bankrupt mantra 'every lane is a bikelane' shouted out in public hearings from someone in the obstructionist camp.

    i see the reality of bicycling advocacy, i train and biked it to the 2010 active transportation lobbying day at the state capitol I understand the common goals and working together of all types of cyclist in actual public policy setting. There's a LOT of give and take in the political lobbying process fer shure!

    nonetheless, i strongly suspect some of the active vehicular cyclists to be against strong bicycling advocacy if it leads to more paint and path.... one quick look at the 'chainguard' or 'bicycledriving' user groups will clearly indicate the obstructionism from some of the more active vcists. Can anyone say 'LAB reform' too bad they've got some infiltration there now, i find Dan Guiterrez' position with LAB to be toxic.

    Sorry to go a bit off topic, but i think there is strong opposition to Davis - like bicycling plans, and divided cycling advocacy is something that thwarts greater social enhancements towards enabling greater numbers of americans to engage in bicycling for their daily transportational needs.

    Great link to the article, thanks Gene. The quote in your original post is right on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Davis article
    "The combined experiences of Portland,
    Boulder, and Davis suggest that the requirements for high levels of bicycle use are not, as
    has often been cited in the Davis case, “ideal geography and a university town” but rather
    “a strong advocacy coalition, clear identification of problems facing bicyclists, nourishment of political will, and development of policy solutions.” With this as a basic requirement, Davis is well positioned to regain lost bicycle mode share, and many other cities around the country, regardless of geographical and other physical challenges, are candidates for comparable achievements in enabling large numbers of Americans to bicycle for their daily travel needs."
    Last edited by Bekologist; 03-04-10 at 10:37 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  8. #8
    High Roller
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    "how does that opinion about Davis, Portland, or other cities with high rider share mesh with the vehicular cycling camps' obsessive fear of bike specific infrastructure, high roller?"

    Correct me if I am wrong, genec, but I don’t think the intent of the OP was to initiate yet another bike lane debate.

    The quote to which I was responding goes way beyond just cycling-specific infrastructure. It encompasses all of the LAB’s “Six Es” that must be considered in making a community more bicycle-friendly:

    1. Engineering (road improvements, bike lanes, signage, signalization, visibility, maintenance).
    2. Enforcement (code changes, enforcement priorities, penalties; for both cyclists and motorists).
    3. Education (cyclist/motorist training, promotional programs, publications, officer training).
    4. Encouragement (promotion of cycling as a healthy and environmentally sound method of transportation and recreation).
    5. Equality (cyclists’ ability to utilize roadways and access all destinations).
    6. Evaluation (continuous improvement). Maybe this is where Davis dropped the ball.

    Over-engineering the physical environment, as a substitute for doing the other five (probably more difficult) things, is not going to achieve success.

    To me, cycling advocacy has succeeded when we have transformed a community’s perception of the bicycle as a toy used by children, indigents, and racer boys to a vision of cycling as a legitimate and viable form of transportation.
    Last edited by High Roller; 03-04-10 at 11:02 AM.

  9. #9
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    my apologies if you thought i was degenerating the thread into a 'bikelane debate'.

    why the large type?

    I wondered how the successes in encouraging daily ridership in cities like Davis and Portland, a result of clear support of extensive, communitywide interventions that encourage bicycling, run counter to the typical chainguarder vc's opposition to what has led Portland or Davis to their high rider shares.

    I opine a tactic of fracturing bicycling advocacy was an unwitting or cunning stinkbomb let loose in cycling advocacy efforts in the usa to enable twisted visions of ' ride like a car, wot? - let the car traffic intimidate those less worthy' that really underserve the majority of americans.

    certainly, the tactics employed were those like derisively casting off Davis' ridershare as a result of ideal topography and a university town for example, instead of resoundingly recognizing the value in community wide plans to facilitate road ridership.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 03-04-10 at 11:22 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  10. #10
    High Roller
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    "why the large type?"

    I made no edits to the default BF font. Not seeing any large type in my browser (IE 7).

  11. #11
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    is that a ruse? the old 'fail to talk about the relevant issue' sidetrack?


    With vague references to the five E's you support what's been done in davis and portland then to foster such high ridershare, and continued efforts to do so.

    great.

    maybe you'd care to explain why references to Davis (and Portlands) successes get loggerheaded and derisively explained away by some of the usual suspects as 'ideal topography and a university town' versus resoundingly recognizing what led theses cities to such a high ridership.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 03-04-10 at 01:32 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  12. #12
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by High Roller View Post
    "how does that opinion about Davis, Portland, or other cities with high rider share mesh with the vehicular cycling camps' obsessive fear of bike specific infrastructure, high roller?"

    Correct me if I am wrong, genec, but I don’t think the intent of the OP was to initiate yet another bike lane debate.

    The quote to which I was responding goes way beyond just cycling-specific infrastructure. It encompasses all of the LAB’s “Six Es” that must be considered in making a community more bicycle-friendly:

    1. Engineering (road improvements, bike lanes, signage, signalization, visibility, maintenance).
    2. Enforcement (code changes, enforcement priorities, penalties; for both cyclists and motorists).
    3. Education (cyclist/motorist training, promotional programs, publications, officer training).
    4. Encouragement (promotion of cycling as a healthy and environmentally sound method of transportation and recreation).
    5. Equality (cyclists’ ability to utilize roadways and access all destinations).
    6. Evaluation (continuous improvement). Maybe this is where Davis dropped the ball.

    Over-engineering the physical environment, as a substitute for doing the other five (probably more difficult) things, is not going to achieve success.

    To me, cycling advocacy has succeeded when we have transformed a community’s perception of the bicycle as a toy used by children, indigents, and racer boys to a vision of cycling as a legitimate and viable form of transportation.
    My reason for posting the original data was to show that by creating a city that was not focused 100% on the automobile, we don't end up with an auto centric environment. Since most cities fail to do anything beyond plan for cars, the end result is peds and cyclists are treated as 2nd class users. But by having the political will to look beyond that automotive single focus, an area can be made quite friendly to both peds and cyclists.

    BTW as far as your "type," you chose a different font, which is quite evident to anyone responding to your post...

  13. #13
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    Davis is a weird place as cycling goes. Yes, there are many people on bikes, but in proportion, the 'community' is small, and the average cyclist there is fairly lacking in the knowledge of law, in safe riding techniques, and in technical proficiency with their bikes. I think a lot of people ride bikes simply because the exorbitant cost of living + tuition often precludes owning a car.

    There's a cheap community bike shop in place, but its floundering (I blame this partly on the fact that many bikes in Davis are not worth the time or money to repair).

    There are unique (for most of CA) intersections and paths in place, but not much in the way of anything new or innovative in the last decade or more. The newest roads are efficient and fairly high-speed, and, TBQH, not as enjoyable to ride as the older, more isolated side roads, traffic-calmed neighborhoods, and paths.

    Davis prides itself on is bike infrastructure, but is also very isolated and anti-big-business (you need a car to get to, say, IKEA or Wal-Mart). Rail travel to big cities is possible but very expensive (the closest stop, downtown Sacramento, is a $16 round-trip).

    Just some thoughts.

  14. #14
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiden View Post
    Davis is a weird place as cycling goes. Yes, there are many people on bikes, but in proportion, the 'community' is small, and the average cyclist there is fairly lacking in the knowledge of law, in safe riding techniques, and in technical proficiency with their bikes. I think a lot of people ride bikes simply because the exorbitant cost of living + tuition often precludes owning a car.
    Ya mean the cyclists of Davis don't meet the high standards and profile set by a technically proficient Real Cyclist™ such as yourself?

    Yoew! That is weird!We sure don't want their kind mucking up our bicycling community, doWe?

  15. #15
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    Its the city that's failing to meet my standards. With the minds, money, and research it has, there shouldn't be a reason for California's self-proclaimed flagship cycling city to be reverting into a typical auto-centric suburb.

  16. #16
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiden View Post
    Its the city that's failing to meet my standards. With the minds, money, and research it has, there shouldn't be a reason for California's self-proclaimed flagship cycling city to be reverting into a typical auto-centric suburb.
    Strange, I read nothing about the city's alleged failure in policies, facilities or lack of such in your post #13, only disparagement of the Davis cyclists who don't meet your standards of competency.Thanks for the clarification.

  17. #17
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    I think it's great that Davis has been marketing bicycle transportation for so long; some schools such as my alma mater are just beginning to do this, after past years of downright discouraging behavior, such as not providing nearly enough bike parking for the demand, and impounding bikes locked at places other than the designated racks (a problem while I was attending). My former school is now using the Web and Facebook to engage the university community on cycling issues, particularly education and encouragement, and has been employing sharrows on a number of its narrow campus streets. Outside the campus, however, where most of the students live, the infrastructure is up to the city of Raleigh, which was never very interested in cycling or in the University in general. Street connectivity near the University isn't very good compared to other schools that are located closer to the center of their towns, so there aren't as many low-traffic/low speed alternate routes around my former school as there ought to be.

    There are lots of bicycling-related encouragement, education, enforcement, and engineering efforts that college campuses can engage in that don't conflict with the normal vehicular rules for bicycle operation, and so they don't bother vehicular cycling advocates. Some specific facility designs have operational problems that vehicular cycling advocates object to, but these objections do not apply to the rest of the programs. It seems unlikely to me that avoidance of the controversial facility designs would have any measurable effect on the cycling mode share, particularly if replaced by alternative designs that are just as appealing to novice cyclists without creating the added traffic conflicts.
    Last edited by sggoodri; 05-04-10 at 04:40 PM.

  18. #18
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiden View Post
    Its the city that's failing to meet my standards. With the minds, money, and research it has, there shouldn't be a reason for California's self-proclaimed flagship cycling city to be reverting into a typical auto-centric suburb.
    The issue there is that folks are moving in from outside the region, and commuting to work outside the city... thus bringing in an auto centric attitude and maintaining it for their lifestyle. Further more, the original planners have moved on and there has been something of a lack of continuity regarding the incorporation of newer ideas.

    Some of those issues and more are explored in this unfinished thesis.
    http://www.davisbicycles.org/Buehler...FinalDraft.pdf
    Even in the unfinished state, it is worth the read to explore the history and the current state.

  19. #19
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post


    Is this the point in the discussion where the VCist camp would typically chime in with that 'university town and ideal geography' fallacy?
    BTW as a clear counterpoint to that fallacy is the fact that near Davis are other small flat college towns, such as Chico, which did nothing to balance the auto-centric designs of their cities, and in fact are not ultimately considered all that bike friendly. Comparisons are made in about page 100 or so (and beyond) of this thesis.
    http://www.davisbicycles.org/Buehler...FinalDraft.pdf

    The bottom line is that cycling needs advocates to balance out the constant push toward auto-centric thinking (which comes from many sources)... and if a place is made to feel inviting to cyclists, people will ride bikes.

    It's the old cliche: "when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

    When everything looks like hiways, people tend to drive.

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