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  1. #1
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    (LTBL:Abstract) Listening to Bike Lanes: Moving Beyond the Feud

    I thought this paper might be of interest to discuss and since it really is too much to discuss at once, I thought posting small sections of it at a time might help contain discussion points to a single thread.

    - THC

    http://www.wright.edu/~jeffrey.hiles...ning/home.html

    by Jeffrey A. Hiles, 1996

    Abstract

    One group of bicycle advocates insists that cities need special facilities to separate bicyclists from motor traffic and make cycling less intimidating. Another group argues that such an approach compromises bicyclists’ safety by putting riders at odds with traffic, and that the best way to help cyclists ride safely and confidently is through cyclist training. In recent years, many in the first group have embraced bike lanes as their preferred type of facility. The second group rallies around a League of American Bicyclists’ training program called Effective Cycling.

    This paper critically reviews the claims of advocates on each side of this controversy and finds that what passes for hard fact is often conjecture and exaggeration, including assertions about car-bike crashes, and the potential of both bike lanes and education to affect bicyclist safety and behavior. In an effort to find a less one-sided viewpoint, the author employs concepts from the fields of cognitive psychology and environmental design to explore alternative ways of describing and explaining how bicyclists and motorists are influenced by the environments through which they move.

    The author recommends steps that bicycle transportation advocates can take to help them move beyond simplistic beliefs that heat arguments over bike lanes: Move away from theories that equate bicyclists’ skill and experience with their comfort in traffic, and toward a philosophy that respects as normal and natural a range of traffic tolerance. Realize that this “folk transportation” is guided by many intuitive factors and that advocacy philosophies that rely heavily on getting bicyclists to behave ideally are not in tune with this reality. Also, where bike lanes are employed, advocate the use of “hybrid” lanes and broken lines to encourage more fitting mental models of car-bike dynamics. Know that no single bike facility or program is a miracle cure. And finally, take a problem-solving approach to bicycle transportation planning and strive to enhance bicyclists’ sense of competence in getting where they want to go.

    Disclaimer

    This text is presented as I wrote it in 1996. I don’t intend to update it.

    The opinions expressed here are mine and have no official connection to Wright State University.

    -Jeff Hiles, February, 2002
    Cycling Advocate
    http://BaltimoreSpokes.org
    . . . o
    . . /L
    =()>()

  2. #2
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Listening to bikelanes? That article is QUITE dated.

    For starters, the LAB no longer teaches 'effective' cycling. they dropped that moniker like a hot potato when the time was right to move beyond the feud, so to speak. The LAB teaches 'Traffic skills 101' now isn't it?

    As to design guidance for bikeways, the FHWA has been quite progressive in developing better roadway design standards for bicycle facilities since Jeff wrote that almost 15 years ago.

    The extant body of bicycle transportation research has also been greatly enlarged since 1996.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-11-10 at 11:27 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post


    for starters, the LAB no longer teaches 'effective' cycling. they dropped that moniker like a hot potato when the time was right to move beyond the feud, so to speak. The LAB teaches 'Traffic skills 101' now isn't it?
    You are amazingly erudite, Bek. From where did you learn that little factoid?

  4. #4
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    the hot potato business? maybe it coincided with john forester admitting he no longer cared about the american bicycling public.

    as to the other bit, yes, the FHWA has been quite progressive in developing better roadway design standards for bicycle facilities since Jeff wrote that almost 15 years ago. AND the body of transportation research greatly enlarged since the mid 90's.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    the hot potato business? maybe it coincided with john forester admitting he no longer cared about the american bicycling public.

    as to the other bit, yes, the FHWA has been quite progressive in developing better roadway design standards for bicycle facilities since Jeff wrote that almost 15 years ago. AND the body of transportation research greatly enlarged since the mid 90's.
    Your first claim is another of those for which you have no evidence. Your second claim is unsupported by evidence, because the AASHTO Guide, used by FHWA, has not changed in any significant extent since it was first written. It is still based on the original California bikeways designs intended to restrict cyclists. Your third claim is correct, but only in a meaningless way; much research activity performed, with approximately zero useful results.

  6. #6
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    John, you just said i was erudite about the LAB dropping the moniker like a hot potato. I DON'T know if it coincided with john forester deciding he no longer cared about the american cycling public.

    John forester now audaciously claims FHWA design guidance has not developed or changed significantly since 1996.

    A founding fraudulence in the foundation of john foresters superstitions.

    Maybe the time is well overdue that john forester needs to 'listen to the bikelanes' and 'move beyond the feud' dontchyathink????
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-11-10 at 05:42 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    John, you just said i was erudite about the LAB dropping the moniker like a hot potato. I DON'T know if it coincided with john forester deciding he no longer cared about the american cycling public.

    John forester now audaciously claims FHWA design guidance has not developed or changed significantly since 1996.

    A founding fraudulence in the foundation of john foresters superstitions.

    Maybe the time is well overdue that john forester needs to 'listen to the bikelanes' and 'move beyond the feud' dontchyathink????
    I see, Bek, that you have lived so long expressing such superstitions as you do, without being exposed to sarcasm. Your usual readers must have a very high degree of gullibility, or, I suppose, subservience. The claim in your first sentence is false. The claim in your second sentence is both false and spurious, as you admit that you don't have the knowledge to support it.

    As for your claim that FHWA design guidance has improved greatly (although I never specified the year of 1996 in that regard), then please support your claim with detailed demonstrations of improvements that indicate a change in policy.

  8. #8
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    why is john forester even posting to this thread? the insults merely denigrate the discussion and serve as a thread derail.

    its a fact the LAB choose to drop the EC like a hot potato and calls their basic bike ed 'traffic skills 101'. this is indisputable. john calls it a factiod, but then denigrates me for mentioning the truth?

    what gall.


    john forester is clearly not understanding the threads he responds to and is posting boilerplate screed to advance his faulty dogma.

    if john wants to ruin every discussion with his accusations of superstitions and with such acrimony maybe this forum should be called 'john forester's addled soapbox'

    time to move beyond the bikelane arguments, to recognize that

    Quote Originally Posted by moving beyond the bikelanes
    Move away from theories that equate bicyclists’ skill and experience with their comfort in traffic, and toward a philosophy that respects as normal and natural a range of traffic tolerance.
    yes, john forester, the design guidance of the FHWA green book has been expanded substantially since the mid 90's. there is no need to explain this in detail. one word - sharrows - is simple and abundant.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-11-10 at 06:19 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    why is john forester even posting to this thread? the insults merely denigrate the discussion and serve as a thread derail.

    its a fact the LAB choose to drop the EC like a hot potato and calls their basic bike ed 'traffic skills 101'. this is indisputable. john calls it a factiod, but then denigrates me for mentioning the truth?

    what gall.


    john forester is clearly not understanding the threads he responds to and is posting boilerplate screed to advance his faulty dogma.

    if john wants to ruin every discussion with his accusations of superstitions and with such acrimony maybe this forum should be called 'john forester's addled soapbox'

    time to move beyond the bikelane arguments, to recognize that



    yes, john forester, the design guidance of the FHWA green book has been expanded substantially since the mid 90's. there is no need to explain this in detail. one word - sharrows - is simple and abundant.
    Regarding significant bikeway design changes, my statement was: "Your second claim is unsupported by evidence, because the AASHTO Guide, used by FHWA, has not changed in any significant extent since it was first written." You, Bek, now argue that I am wrong because "the design guidance of the FHWA green book has been expanded substantially since the mid 90s." The FHWA (and AASHTO) Green Book is the policy book on geometric highway design, but it does not control bikeways, which are controlled by the AASHTO Guide to Bicycle Facilities, which has been adopted by the FHWA and to which the Green Book refers. You have tried to surreptitiously change the subject, Bek.

    But you say that sharrows represent a significant change in policy. I think that sharrows are used only when other bikeways could not be produced. I'm pretty sure that there are no sharrows alongside bike lanes, and I estimate that there are no sharrows alongside side paths. Therefore, since you, cyclist, cannot ride in a bike lane or on a side path, we show you the lateral position that we think you should occupy. However, since it is impossible for any bicycle planner to accurately state the lateral position that cyclists ought to occupy, I think that sharrows represent no significant change in the policy of incompetent cycling on bikeways.

    I have stated before, and repeat, that your statements about why LAB is no longer using the title Effective Cycling are false, yet you keep on repeating them. What is your evidence that supports your argument?

  10. #10
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    maybe john forester can explain why the LAB moved beyond effective cycling. wait, maybe his acrimony already has!

    perhaps john forester can put his ego in check and discuss the thread topic instead of trying to burnish his sullied reputation at the expense of dialogue on subjects of interest to those of us still concerned about the american bicycling public.

    time to move beyond the bikelane feud, john forester. get a grip in the 21st century.

    john forester sounds -he's "pretty sure" and he "estimates" - like he has never even HEARD of design guidance placing bikelanes and sharrows along the same bikeway depending on traffic patterns, road width, intersections, etc. and has never heard of design guidance that emphasizes both sidepath MUP and shared lane road use simultaneously along a significant traffic corridor for bicyclists.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-11-10 at 07:25 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    maybe john forester can explain why the LAB moved beyond effective cycling. wait, maybe his acrimony already has!

    perhaps john forester can put his ego in check and discuss the thread topic instead of trying to burnish his sullied reputation at the expense of dialogue on subjects of interest to those of us still concerned about the american bicycling public.

    time to move beyond the bikelane feud, john forester. get a grip in the 21st century.

    john forester sounds -he's "pretty sure" and he "estimates" - like he has never even HEARD of design guidance placing bikelanes and sharrows along the same bikeway depending on traffic patterns, road width, intersections, etc. and has never heard of design guidance that emphasizes both sidepath MUP and shared lane road use simultaneously along a significant traffic corridor for bicyclists.
    The official guidance in the MUTCD states that sharrows shall not be used where a bike lane or shoulder is present. So far as I know, it says nothing about sharrows adjacent to a side path.

  12. #12
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Design guidance from the FHWA clearly indicates acceptable combination use of both shared lane arrows and bikelanes along emphasized bikeway corridors, dependent on a host of factors. Bikelaned routes can very well have sharrows in the same block with bikelanes dependent on intersections, traffic patterns, roadway width, etc....

    Additionally, FHWA design guidance emphasizes roadway cycling should be considered even along routes that have been improved with class I bikeways.....a combination of class I and Class II or III bikeways will be seen adjacent to one another in many places. with the recent inclusion of sharrows in the MUTCD, expect to see more sharrows along some road corridors that have MUPs alongside.

    One notable example of multiple design acommodations for bicyclists is the traffic corridor that stretches between Seattle and Everett WA. Adjacent to the hugely popular and facilitatory Interurban Trail there is a class III bikeway along a high ADT, 40mph state highway in the form of 'bus, bike and RTO lanes' in Snohomish county for traffic tolerant bicyclists.

    Shared lane and sidepath in the same traffic corridor. The pics above are of another mup/shared lane roadway along the Burke Gilman Trail in Seattle. the B-G was the first urban rails to trails conversion in the country, hugely popular with both transportation and recreational users since its inception, a trail well known to (and derided by) mr forester.

    Quote Originally Posted by john forester
    I'm pretty sure....
    ...I estimate...
    So far as I know....
    There's a lot john forester doesn't know about bicycle transportation policy. perhaps it is time for john forester to 'move beyond the feud'.
    a small concession to johns position- yes, bikelane and a shared lane arrow are not placed directly adjacent to one another. HOWEVER, bikelanes and sharrows are most assuredly used concurrently along new hybrid bikeway designs that move beyond the false dichotomy overemphasized by Jeffery Hiles in his dated 1996 missive.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-12-10 at 12:05 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    The title of this discussion is Moving Beyond the Feud. That's real easy. Have bicycle advocates get the three anti-cyclist restrictive laws (whichever exist in each jurisdiction) repealed. Then those of us who know better won't be under the official persecution when we choose not to use the facilities advocated by bicycle advocates.

  14. #14
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    that tired canard of vc dogmatism?

    Recognize that bicycle specific protections from bikes FRAP laws are more permissive for bicyclists than general SMV FRAP laws, and that a removal of these protections would lead to greater restrictions on cyclists right to take the lane for our safety.

    Mandatory bikelane and shoulder use laws should be fought against. luckily there are in only a handful of states.

    Bikeways planning needs to follow and develop in the directions 21st century design guidance (federal or states, barry) already has.

    Build better bikeways along emphasized transportation corridors in communities so as to facilitate populist bicycling.

    Plan for roadway bicycling on all roads except those bicyclists are prohibited.

    Plan for all of the public rather than just the traffic tolerant 'expert' cyclists in a community, as those few are both traffic tolerant and will always be the extreme minority among the american bicycling public.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-12-10 at 10:50 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    Listening to bikelanes? That article is QUITE dated.

    For starters, the LAB no longer teaches 'effective' cycling. they dropped that moniker like a hot potato when the time was right to move beyond the feud, so to speak. The LAB teaches 'Traffic skills 101' now isn't it?

    As to design guidance for bikeways, the FHWA has been quite progressive in developing better roadway design standards for bicycle facilities since Jeff wrote that almost 15 years ago.

    The extant body of bicycle transportation research has also been greatly enlarged since 1996.
    Dated, you bet. Still, for me, interesting reading and a productive framework for analysis. I especially like the last sentence.

    But those are old stories. I predict that the new stories, the ones to move us forward, will come from the details. They will come from planners, engineers, advocates and researchers who try bike lanes, or hybrid lanes, or new intersection designs, or education programs and then have the courage to find out how those efforts affect the beliefs and feelings of bicyclists and motorists and how those meanings in turn affect the ways in which cars and bikes mix on the streets. Instead of being one-eyed champions of a single approach to helping bicyclists, we will be better off when we have many choices and understand each choice enough to know when it is appropriate and when it is not:
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    Dated, you bet. Still, for me, interesting reading and a productive framework for analysis. I especially like the last sentence.

    But those are old stories. I predict that the new stories, the ones to move us forward, will come from the details. They will come from planners, engineers, advocates and researchers who try bike lanes, or hybrid lanes, or new intersection designs, or education programs and then have the courage to find out how those efforts affect the beliefs and feelings of bicyclists and motorists and how those meanings in turn affect the ways in which cars and bikes mix on the streets. Instead of being one-eyed champions of a single approach to helping bicyclists, we will be better off when we have many choices and understand each choice enough to know when it is appropriate and when it is not:
    My conclusion to my review of Hiles's paper is:
    3 Hiles's Conclusion: My Summary

    Hiles is dissatisfied with all of the current systems or theories about bicycle transportation. He asserts that the American bicycle transportation system ought to be emotionally attractive to people with all the different opinions about bicycling. He explicitly states that he makes no suggestions about the design of a system that might achieve this goal. In fact, his suggestions about the philosophy that might be followed to start to learn about that design are mutually contradictory.



    To expound further for this discussion, Hiles has no theory, no standards beyond good feelings, no designs to offer, nothing but his wish that something wonderful will be discovered. However, because of his self-chosen intellectual limitations, even if something happened that might be "wonderful", Hiles would be unable to evaluate it to determine whether or not it actually was wonderful. In short, Listening to Bike Lanes is a completely useless paper.

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    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    . . . In short, Listening to Bike Lanes is a completely useless paper.
    Yes, it was not written by you so cannot be helpful.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  18. #18
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    What seems to be working here in Fort Worth is the concept of the road diet- converting traffic lanes to bike lanes. On a .7 mile stretch of Magnolia Avenue in the Near Southside, the two-lanes-each-direction configuration was reduced to one lane each way with a center turn lane, plus a bike lane on each side. Whenever we eat at one of the restaurants on Magnolia I see several dozen cyclists rolling up and down the street (over, say, an hour's time).

    But where do all the bikes come from? Most of the cycling arterials that feed into this area are simply sharrow-marked bike routes from neighborhoods to the south and west (and to a lesser extent, to the north and east). The people who live in these neighborhoods (and beyond, in my case) travel to that little strip of restaurants and shops from miles around. A short stretch of road that's been put on a diet has become the center of local bike culture.

    The city is planning to do the same thing on the west side, just over the river from the downtown area, along 7th Street, which also has several restaurants, bars and shops, along with newer high-density housing. This could eclipse Magnolia for bikey-ness in that there is a fairly large population within just a few blocks of the retail area, and it also has direct access to the Trinity River Trail MUP.

    The road diet does more than attract cyclists, though, it creates little urban villages within the city.

    So, to sum up- road diets resulting in bike lanes can create bicycle destinations in a city. Providing minimal cycling infrastructure through the adjacent neighborhoods and trails pulls in cyclists from adjoining areas. The result is an increased awareness, even among cagers, that bicycles are valid transporaton.

    Most of my transportation miles in Fort Worth are riding VC style. But road diets don't hurt my feelings any. I was skeptical about Magnolia at first; I'm not crazy about the idea of being told where to ride, especially when there's a door zone to contend with, but it really is a great place to ride. Because it has increased the area's identity of an urban village, cars expect bicycle traffic and if they are in a hurry they can take Rosedale, two blocks over to the north. I kind of expect the same thing will hapen when West 7th goes on its road diet, and again once the urban village identity is solidified, drivers who are in a hurry will know not to take 7th street and will divert to Lancaster, 4 blocks south.

    A little bit of bike lane, fed by longer stretches of sharrows (with basically VC ridership) along with the already-developed river MUP is transforming Fort Worth into a very neat little bike city, even if it flies under the radar of official bike friendly designations.

    I think we're moving beyond the feud, kind of.


    EDIT: I think the City of Fort Worth is doing exactly what Hiles predicted. They are utilizing various forms of bicycle infrastructure and slowly changing the culture of the city resulting in greater numbers of cyclists and greater acceptance of cycling by motorists.
    Last edited by Doohickie; 10-12-10 at 02:41 PM.
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    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    What seems to be working here in Fort Worth is the concept of the road diet- converting traffic lanes to bike lanes. On a .7 mile stretch of Magnolia Avenue in the Near Southside, the two-lanes-each-direction configuration was reduced to one lane each way with a center turn lane, plus a bike lane on each side. Whenever we eat at one of the restaurants on Magnolia I see several dozen cyclists rolling up and down the street (over, say, an hour's time).

    But where do all the bikes come from? Most of the cycling arterials that feed into this area are simply sharrow-marked bike routes from neighborhoods to the south and west (and to a lesser extent, to the north and east). The people who live in these neighborhoods (and beyond, in my case) travel to that little strip of restaurants and shops from miles around. A short stretch of road that's been put on a diet has become the center of local bike culture.

    The city is planning to do the same thing on the west side, just over the river from the downtown area, along 7th Street, which also has several restaurants, bars and shops, along with newer high-density housing. This could eclipse Magnolia for bikey-ness in that there is a fairly large population within just a few blocks of the retail area, and it also has direct access to the Trinity River Trail MUP.

    The road diet does more than attract cyclists, though, it creates little urban villages within the city.

    So, to sum up- road diets resulting in bike lanes can create bicycle destinations in a city. Providing minimal cycling infrastructure through the adjacent neighborhoods and trails pulls in cyclists from adjoining areas. The result is an increased awareness, even among cagers, that bicycles are valid transporaton.

    Most of my transportation miles in Fort Worth are riding VC style. But road diets don't hurt my feelings any. I was skeptical about Magnolia at first; I'm not crazy about the idea of being told where to ride, especially when there's a door zone to contend with, but it really is a great place to ride. Because it has increased the area's identity of an urban village, cars expect bicycle traffic and if they are in a hurry they can take Rosedale, two blocks over to the north. I kind of expect the same thing will hapen when West 7th goes on its road diet, and again once the urban village identity is solidified, drivers who are in a hurry will know not to take 7th street and will divert to Lancaster, 4 blocks south.

    A little bit of bike lane, fed by longer stretches of sharrows (with basically VC ridership) along with the already-developed river MUP is transforming Fort Worth into a very neat little bike city, even if it flies under the radar of official bike friendly designations.

    I think we're moving beyond the feud, kind of.


    EDIT: I think the City of Fort Worth is doing exactly what Hiles predicted. They are utilizing various forms of bicycle infrastructure and slowly changing the culture of the city resulting in greater numbers of cyclists and greater acceptance of cycling by motorists.
    So, Fort Worth installed 0.7 miles of bike lane. Nothing new in that. And people like it. However you argue that cyclists come from miles away just to ride on this 0.7 miles of bike lane. I doubt it. I know a similar, but true, story. My mother, back in London about 1910, says that her schooling and morals were nearly ruined by an experimental length of road paving. Roller-skating kids came from miles around because that length of roadway provided by far the finest roller-skating surface available. Given the contrast between cobbles and a smooth surface, for the purpose of roller skating rather than for transportation by roller skate, the smooth surface wins hands down. I do not believe that the difference between a normal street and a short length of street with a bike lane is sufficient to drag people from miles around.

    You argue that this length of bike lane supports some noticeable and significant increase in roadside business of the bars and restaurant types. Again, without data, I doubt that.

    As I see it, you are pleased that Fort Worth has a bikeway program and you hope that that will improve the city.

    You also argue that this bit of bike lane

  20. #20
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    It's not that they come from miles around just to ride the bike lane, it's that the bike lane is an integral part of an urban village- a neighborhood in the city that has become a destination with a series of shops and restaurants. Adding the bike lane greatly increased its attractiveness as a bicycle destination (even though there is not an extensive system of bike lanes leading to it, just a series of marked bike routes in nearby neighborhoods).

    I think you are so down in the pedantic details that you fail to see the big picture.

    You can doubt all you want, but I've seen it. This is a neighborhood that 20 years ago was considered dangerous due to drugs and prostitution. 10 years ago it was turning around but businesses barely hung on and there was a lot of turnover. Now it is a trendy destination and considered safe for family riding- you see lots of parents and kids riding together. Yes, riders come from miles away. I live 10 miles from there and frequently ride over to meet with friends and go on regular social rides. They had an arts event there a couple weekends ago and people either took a city trolley bus or rode their bikes between the various exhibits.

    See, this is what you fail to grasp, John. You criticize the study because it's all full of undefined Kumbaya. (Your words were "He asserts that the American bicycle transportation system ought to be emotionally attractive to people with all the different opinions about bicycling. He explicitly states that he makes no suggestions about the design of a system that might achieve this goal.")

    But the basic idea is being worked on, acted on, and implemented in our city and it's resulting in bicycle destinations. How do you make bicycle transportation attractive? Creating bicycle friendly urban villages within a city is one way. With a minimal investment of .7 miles of bike lane, we've seen a definite change in a neighborhood. It was already trending up due to several other factors, but that one bike lane sent the message that this urban village was bicycle friendly, and now cyclists are taking the whole neighborhood over.

    Oh, and that line about "all the different opinions about bicycling"? You see everything from utility cyclists to families to cruisers to roadies to alt bikes, etc., at the social rides. It's a very loose confederation, but they greet all the changes the city makes toward bike friendliness with enthusiasm. And there is very little conflict with the motorized traffic crowd.

    They've done it once with great success. They are doing it now in a totally different area and I expect a similar transformation. And it is beginning to happen "organically" in another southside neighborhood- a bike shop, during the recent arts event I mentioned, painted a bike lane and a crosswalk in front of their storefront. So far the city is allowing it to stay, and motor traffic is being calmed in that area. The shop is a mile or so away from the other .7 mile long bike lane in a neighborhood best described as gritty industrial right now, but with the seeds of redevelopment. My prediction is that within 2-5 years, that area will be similar to the other southside neighborhood in terms of renewal and desirability. And bike friendliness.

    Still doubt? Read more on Fortworthology.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  21. #21
    genec genec's Avatar
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    OMG... Shades of Austin!

    My sister showed me how some neighborhoods are being transformed... she took me out by the old Montgomery Ward building that has been turned into condos and showed me how that whole once downtrodden area is now dramatically changing. How it is picking up local charm and shifting into something new. The area out on Main is only a short hop over to Trinity Trails, which in itself features a nice long bike path and some shops along the trails. And the aforementioned Montgomery Ward is now Montgomery Plaza... that whole area is taking on a whole new feel.

    That some folks fail to understand how a shift from a neighborhood that was driven through quickly before, to one that is now walked and biked, can make a huge difference in the character and feel of a place and become a "draw" to folks is their loss.

    Keep riding Doohickie. Ignore the old man... he prefers to drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    It's not that they come from miles around just to ride the bike lane, it's that the bike lane is an integral part of an urban village- a neighborhood in the city that has become a destination with a series of shops and restaurants. Adding the bike lane greatly increased its attractiveness as a bicycle destination (even though there is not an extensive system of bike lanes leading to it, just a series of marked bike routes in nearby neighborhoods).

    I think you are so down in the pedantic details that you fail to see the big picture.

    You can doubt all you want, but I've seen it. This is a neighborhood that 20 years ago was considered dangerous due to drugs and prostitution. 10 years ago it was turning around but businesses barely hung on and there was a lot of turnover. Now it is a trendy destination and considered safe for family riding- you see lots of parents and kids riding together. Yes, riders come from miles away. I live 10 miles from there and frequently ride over to meet with friends and go on regular social rides. They had an arts event there a couple weekends ago and people either took a city trolley bus or rode their bikes between the various exhibits.

    See, this is what you fail to grasp, John. You criticize the study because it's all full of undefined Kumbaya. (Your words were "He asserts that the American bicycle transportation system ought to be emotionally attractive to people with all the different opinions about bicycling. He explicitly states that he makes no suggestions about the design of a system that might achieve this goal.")

    But the basic idea is being worked on, acted on, and implemented in our city and it's resulting in bicycle destinations. How do you make bicycle transportation attractive? Creating bicycle friendly urban villages within a city is one way. With a minimal investment of .7 miles of bike lane, we've seen a definite change in a neighborhood. It was already trending up due to several other factors, but that one bike lane sent the message that this urban village was bicycle friendly, and now cyclists are taking the whole neighborhood over.

    Oh, and that line about "all the different opinions about bicycling"? You see everything from utility cyclists to families to cruisers to roadies to alt bikes, etc., at the social rides. It's a very loose confederation, but they greet all the changes the city makes toward bike friendliness with enthusiasm. And there is very little conflict with the motorized traffic crowd.

    They've done it once with great success. They are doing it now in a totally different area and I expect a similar transformation. And it is beginning to happen "organically" in another southside neighborhood- a bike shop, during the recent arts event I mentioned, painted a bike lane and a crosswalk in front of their storefront. So far the city is allowing it to stay, and motor traffic is being calmed in that area. The shop is a mile or so away from the other .7 mile long bike lane in a neighborhood best described as gritty industrial right now, but with the seeds of redevelopment. My prediction is that within 2-5 years, that area will be similar to the other southside neighborhood in terms of renewal and desirability. And bike friendliness.

    Still doubt? Read more on Fortworthology.
    Neighborhoods are changing all the time; some go up, some go down. You state that this neighborhood was already improving before the installation of the bike lane. All I have challenged is your attribution that the improvement has been produced by the short length of bike lane, and your statement agrees with my challenge. You now say that the presence of the bike lane "sent the message that this urban village was bicycle friendly." I don't dispute that; a great many people believe that bike lanes demonstrate bicycle friendliness. However, I see no data that the apparent bicycle friendliness has increased the profits of the local restaurants, as you seem to claim, to a greater extent than all the other factors that have made the difference.

    Your statement about the participants on social rides is irrelevant to this discussion, unless, of course, these are rides up and down the 0.7 mile of bike-laned street.

  23. #23
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    All I have challenged is your attribution that the improvement has been produced by the short length of bike lane, and your statement agrees with my challenge. You now say that the presence of the bike lane "sent the message that this urban village was bicycle friendly." I don't dispute that; a great many people believe that bike lanes demonstrate bicycle friendliness. However, I see no data that the apparent bicycle friendliness has increased the profits of the local restaurants, as you seem to claim, to a greater extent than all the other factors that have made the difference.

    Your statement about the participants on social rides is irrelevant to this discussion, unless, of course, these are rides up and down the 0.7 mile of bike-laned street.
    Oh, BS. The bike lane is an important component in motivating bike riders to ride, not only along the .7 miles of the actual lane, but along all the feeder bike routes that lead to it. The bike routes have been there for some time; it's only since the bike buzz got to Magnolia that people have started to seek them out. Even if the lane was only .1 miles long the perception of bike friendliness is crucial in that it actually gets people riding, which is more than I can say for your stodgy old book and your uncompromising doctrine. But you just don't get it.

    Frankly, I could care less whether you believe that the bike friendliness has been good for business. I know what I see and you can believe me or not, makes no difference to me. Is the bike lane the sole reason for the improvement in the area? Of course not. But it is a major contributor. When a local councilman that hasn't owned a bike in 10 years is riding around town, you know new people are beginning to ride.

    As for your assertion that participation in social rides is irrelevant, again you're mistaken. The rides start on Magnolia. Because it is bike friendly. Because of the bike lane. Because of all that, Magnolia has become the center of bike culture in Fort Worth.

    genec: Two things... First, the area that I said will be the next one to go on a road diet is right in front of Montgomery Plaza on 7th Street. Second, on one of our rides I got to talking with another cyclist who had recently moved here from Austin, and he said the bike crowd here is much more fun.
    Last edited by Doohickie; 10-13-10 at 06:51 AM.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  24. #24
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    Oh, BS. The bike lane is an important component in motivating bike riders to ride, not only along the .7 miles of the actual lane, but along all the feeder bike routes that lead to it. The bike routes have been there for some time; it's only since the bike buzz got to Magnolia that people have started to seek them out. Even if the lane was only .1 miles long the perception of bike friendliness is crucial in that it actually gets people riding, which is more than I can say for your stodgy old book and your uncompromising doctrine. But you just don't get it.

    Frankly, I could care less whether you believe that the bike friendliness has been good for business. I know what I see and you can believe me or not, makes no difference to me. Is the bike lane the sole reason for the improvement in the area? Of course not. But it is a major contributor. When a local councilman that hasn't owned a bike in 10 years is riding around town, you know new people are beginning to ride.

    As for your assertion that participation in social rides is irrelevant, again you're mistaken. The rides start on Magnolia. Because it is bike friendly. Because of the bike lane. Because of all that, Magnolia has become the center of bike culture in Fort Worth.

    genec: Two things... First, the area that I said will be the next one to go on a road diet is right in front of Montgomery Plaza on 7th Street. Second, on one of our rides I got to talking with another cyclist who had recently moved here from Austin, and he said the bike crowd here is much more fun.
    Yeah I was quite impressed by the numbers of cyclists in Austin. I was down there for the first time last year. The down town area sported bike racks at nearly every corner, with bikes in every one. It's little things like bike racks, bike lanes and paths that encourage people to ride bikes... in spite of what others may believe. If you have no place to park a bike and are constantly having to fight for a place on the road, it is easy to be discouraged; if on the other hand you find facilities equal to those provided for the automobile, it becomes a sign of acceptance that is encouraging.

    As for Fort Worth... I was a bit of a naysayer when my sister showed me the changes to Montgomery Plaza, but apparently the local businesses are embracing the changes and are encouraging the changes to the area. I'll be back in a year or so to visit family and I'll see all this with my own eyes.

  25. #25
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    If you will have a bike with you and you're interested, I can let you know about some of the group rides.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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