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  1. #451
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    I repeat the argument that I have been making for a long time. The Dutch cycled a lot because their situation was such that walking and cycling were very useful and suited their low income relative to other European nations. Sure, the arrival of mass motoring reduced the amount of cycling, but, in the older areas the characteristics that suited cycling still existed. That enabled the Dutch to return to much of their historical cycling pattern.

    Consider the American contrast. America never had a cycling society during the automotive era; membership in the League of American Wheelmen collapsed in 1898. The urban development since then, shall we say during all of the era of American economic power, was based on either the existing rail transit or the newer automotive pattern.
    What's the contrast suposed to tell us? That Americans are somehow genetically different? That Americans can't bike?

    How about the Brits? You know, they used to bike quite a lot. The development of Holland would probably have been totally parallel to GB, had the Dutch not chosen otherwise in the 70's. As would the development of Copenhagen etc. The disaster was very close, really...

  2. #452
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    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    What's the contrast suposed to tell us? That Americans are somehow genetically different? That Americans can't bike?

    How about the Brits? You know, they used to bike quite a lot. The development of Holland would probably have been totally parallel to GB, had the Dutch not chosen otherwise in the 70's. As would the development of Copenhagen etc. The disaster was very close, really...
    Some people argued at some times that Americans were genetically superior because it was the best of Europeans who emigrated to America. However, that argument has never had scientific support.

    As for Americans, you need to realize that their then existing rail mass transit and their growing automotive transportation met their travel needs quite well. Their bike boom up to 1898 was fashionable, not utilitarian, which is why it collapsed in 1898. They didn't need to cycle, so they didn't.

    As for the British, I am a fourth-generation British cyclist, and Britain has its own unique cycling history. The British fashionable cycling boom collapsed during World War I. However, British cycling revived because at the end of that war British workers first had a two-day weekend, thus giving skilled workers the time and money to cycle on very good bicycles, custom-made bicycles. That enabled George Herbert Stancer to revive the Cyclists' Touring Club, so that Britain had a lively cycling society through the 1920s and 1930s and until the end of the recovery from World War II. (Not that there ever was a complete recovery from the two disasters of the two world wars.) The first survey, of road traffic, in 1951, showed that 25% of the vehicle miles on British roads were by bicycle. However, because of her earlier industrial supremacy, Britain had the world's most extensive system of mass rail transit and, until government action in 1947, it was able to produce many automotive-based suburban areas. As a result, the British had less need to cycle than did people of some other nations, so cycling declined.

  3. #453
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    ...........automotive-based suburban areas. As a result, the British had less need to cycle...........


    CURIOUS logic!

    John must think he's flooring the crowd with his assertions building sprawling, auto-addled cities makes cycling less feasible and attractive.

    Yawn. It isn't news, and doesn't merit laudations by a erstwhile cycling educator. Something furtive drives that apologist prattle.

    Curious how the bleating echoes a fondness of motordom and sprawl, rather than the brilliance of the bicycle.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 04-06-13 at 03:57 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  4. #454
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post


    CURIOUS logic!

    John must think he's flooring the crowd with his assertions building sprawling, auto-addled cities makes cycling less feasible and attractive.

    Yawn. It isn't news, and doesn't merit laudations by a erstwhile cycling educator. Something furtive drives that apologist prattle.

    Curious how the bleating echoes a fondness of motordom and sprawl, rather than the brilliance of the bicycle.
    AND it doesn't take into account the link posted above, showing that Amsterdam and Copenhagen share the sprawl that VC apologists are so fond of thinking is an American particularity; or British, or Australian, or whereever cycling is marginal.

  5. #455
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    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    AND it doesn't take into account the link posted above, showing that Amsterdam and Copenhagen share the sprawl that VC apologists are so fond of thinking is an American particularity; or British, or Australian, or whereever cycling is marginal.
    That link does not distinguish between core cities, or old core cities, and much larger areas of suburbs. Certainly, in those widespread areas travel patterns are much more like those in America. Wendell Cox, in New Geography, discussing Amsterdam, states that in the Netherlands as a whole, 85% of personal travel is by car.

    I argue that the high bicycle mode share in the old core part of Amsterdam is because the pattern of that area makes for useful walking and cycling trips. The old core part developed as a walking city, so that all of its society's operations were located, to each other, within the range of walking and cycling trips. Those characteristics existed right up to the advent of mass motoring in the urban core. They had to, or the city could not have existed. The time between the arrival of mass motoring in the urban core and its dismissal was too short for the city's pattern to have changed. Therefore, after that dismissal, those characteristics remained, so that cycling was still as useful as before. It is not only density, although that is part of it; it is the pattern of activities so located that they can be participated in by trips suitable for walking or cycling that is the most important part.

    That's my argument. I don't see why Hagen is so disposed to try to disprove it, but attempting to do so by advancing the density statistics for wide suburban areas is irrelevant. As Wendell Cox states in New Geography, when discussing Amsterdam, for the Netherlands in total 85% of personal travel is by car.

  6. #456
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    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    Strict liability is an after-the-fact thing. And I doubt that it has very much to say in the context of mass biking. Traffic calming is mostly used in residential areas.
    oh bollocks. mode share started growing well before most of that fancy new infrastructure was built. moreover, the idea that holland's bike infrastructure has anything to do with its high mode does not explain mode share in the 50s, 40s, 30s, 20s, etc.

  7. #457
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    oh bollocks. mode share started growing well before most of that fancy new infrastructure was built. moreover, the idea that holland's bike infrastructure has anything to do with its high mode does not explain mode share in the 50s, 40s, 30s, 20s, etc.
    Bullocks yourself. Mode share dived dramatically with increasing car traffic and car-related cyclist fatalities. Biking increased again with the dedicated infrastructure. It's as simple as that.

    The only person you're cheating is yourself.

  8. #458
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    That link does not distinguish between core cities, or old core cities, and much larger areas of suburbs. Certainly, in those widespread areas travel patterns are much more like those in America. Wendell Cox, in New Geography, discussing Amsterdam, states that in the Netherlands as a whole, 85% of personal travel is by car.

    I argue that the high bicycle mode share in the old core part of Amsterdam is because the pattern of that area makes for useful walking and cycling trips. The old core part developed as a walking city, so that all of its society's operations were located, to each other, within the range of walking and cycling trips. Those characteristics existed right up to the advent of mass motoring in the urban core. They had to, or the city could not have existed. The time between the arrival of mass motoring in the urban core and its dismissal was too short for the city's pattern to have changed. Therefore, after that dismissal, those characteristics remained, so that cycling was still as useful as before. It is not only density, although that is part of it; it is the pattern of activities so located that they can be participated in by trips suitable for walking or cycling that is the most important part.

    That's my argument. I don't see why Hagen is so disposed to try to disprove it, but attempting to do so by advancing the density statistics for wide suburban areas is irrelevant. As Wendell Cox states in New Geography, when discussing Amsterdam, for the Netherlands in total 85% of personal travel is by car.
    Cycling is not only a thing of the medieval "walking city" city cores in neither Amsterdam nor Copenhagen. Bike trips are in average much, much longer than in the USA etc. Because it's safe, easy, convenient etc. And it's safe, easy, convenient etc. because of the bike infrastructure.

  9. #459
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    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    Cycling is not only a thing of the medieval "walking city" city cores in neither Amsterdam nor Copenhagen. Bike trips are in average much, much longer than in the USA etc. Because it's safe, easy, convenient etc. And it's safe, easy, convenient etc. because of the bike infrastructure.
    The convenience exists because of the spatial relationships between desired activities, so that the desired trips are within the convenient distance for walking and cycling trips. Since the bikeways did not change those spatial relationships, they did not make cycling more convenient. As for ease, it is not obvious how bikeways make a cycling trip easier; they don't make trips shorter, they don't tunnel through hills. Just how do bikeways make cycling trips easier?

  10. #460
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    I'm still waiting to hear how the medieval "walking city" of London failed to go the way of other medieval "walking cities" like Copenhagen and Amsterdam. I am especially curious about London as John has told us that people used to bike there in his youth...

    Even Paris was a medieval "walking city," and while the French do embrace cycling, they don't do it at the same high rate as the folks in Copenhagen.

    Makes me wonder if there was perhaps "something else" besides being a medieval "walking city" that made the difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Is is possibly that motorists are more likely to feel that hitting a small cyclist is less likely to damage their car?
    Talk about a statement that requires some data to back it up!

    Do you really believe that drivers are thinking it's OK to run over children (likely killing them) because it would be "less likely to damage their cars"? Even being "small", I'd hazard to guess that it still would be mightily inconvenient to run them over.

  12. #462
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    Simply pre-car isn't enough, it must be 'medieval' so as to exclude New Amsterdam and Boston from consideration of cities laid out prior to the motorcar.
    I don't think bicycling was ever a large portion of traffic in these cities.

  13. #463
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    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    What's the contrast suposed to tell us? That Americans are somehow genetically different? That Americans can't bike?
    Cycling (as far as I know) was ever a large proportion of the means of getting around in the US. In the US, cars were (are) much less expensive than they are in Europe. That, the related push to build-out suburbs (which increased after WWII, and the "urban flight" of the middle class (among other things), assured that automobiles (and commuter mass transit) would become the dominant form of transport in the US.

    Not that long ago, many typical Europeans could manage without a car. If you don't have a car, it isn't remarkable to consider using a bicycle.

    If you have a car and it's convenient to use (what's been the situation in the US for 70+ years), it's not likely that many people are going to consider using a bicycle.

    That is, the US is/was different than Europe.

    What would be interesting is to see the automobile usage compared to bicycle use in the Netherlands and Denmark over the past 100 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    Bullocks yourself. Mode share dived dramatically with increasing car traffic and car-related cyclist fatalities. Biking increased again with the dedicated infrastructure. It's as simple as that.
    So, bicycling was prevalent before "diving dramatically". It was never prevalent in the US.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 04-07-13 at 12:31 PM.

  14. #464
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I'm still waiting to hear how the medieval "walking city" of London failed to go the way of other medieval "walking cities" like Copenhagen and Amsterdam. I am especially curious about London as John has told us that people used to bike there in his youth...

    Even Paris was a medieval "walking city," and while the French do embrace cycling, they don't do it at the same high rate as the folks in Copenhagen.

    Makes me wonder if there was perhaps "something else" besides being a medieval "walking city" that made the difference.
    As I have already written, London has the greatest extent of rail mass transit of any city or urban area in the world. London was the first city to make the transition from walking city to rail mass transit city. Of course, as in any other city, Londoners continued to walk, and the combination of walking and rail mass transit provided the personal transportation required for The City area to function.

    Paris was probably the second city to make that transition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    As I have already written, London has the greatest extent of rail mass transit of any city or urban area in the world. London was the first city to make the transition from walking city to rail mass transit city. Of course, as in any other city, Londoners continued to walk, and the combination of walking and rail mass transit provided the personal transportation required for The City area to function.

    Paris was probably the second city to make that transition.
    The London subway existed before cycling (of any significant sort). It may have blocked cycling from being a large mode of transport in London. That is, if there is good short-hop mass transit in a city, that might reduce the need/convenience of cycling.

  16. #466
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Cycling (as far as I know) was ever a large proportion of the means of getting around in the US. In the US, cars were (are) much less expensive than they are in Europe. That, the related push to build-out suburbs (which increased after WWII, and the "urban flight" of the middle class (among other things), assured that automobiles (and commuter mass transit) would become the dominant form of transport in the US.

    Not that long ago, many typical Europeans could manage without a car. If you don't have a car, it isn't remarkable to consider using a bicycle.

    If you have a car and it's convenient to use (what's been the situation in the US for 70+ years), it's not likely that many people are going to consider using a bicycle.

    That is, the US is/was different than Europe.

    What would be interesting is to see the automobile usage compared to bicycle use in the Netherlands and Denmark over the past 100 years.


    So, bicycling was prevalent before "diving dramatically". It was never prevalent in the US.
    But cycling and rail were prevalent in London before the car was prevalent... so how did the car shove cycling and rail aside and become so prevalent in London? Motoring in London is now becoming even more expensive... now with the Congestion Charge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    But cycling and rail were prevalent in London before the car was prevalent...
    Was rail prevalent in the city? What fraction of transportation was cycling? When did cycling become affordable/practical (certainly after "pennyfarthings") for normal people?

    People moved around London before cycling.

    In the case of NYC, many people commute in/out using mass transit. A fair number drive (mind boggles). The distances and traffic make bicycling generally inconvenient.

    People using bikes in the city are ever concerned that they will be stolen or damaged. And there's a good subway and an OK bus system in place (at the mercy of heavy surface traffic). And there are a fair number of hills.

    It would not surprise me if some of these things pertained to London. If there's no option, people will (maybe) cycle. The Netherlands and Denmark are unusual. Amsterdam, for inexplicable reasons, doesn't have a subway.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    so how did the car shove cycling and rail aside and become so prevalent in London? Motoring in London is now becoming even more expensive... now with the Congestion Charge.
    Who is driving these cars? Is it city dwellers? If it's people in the suburbs commuting, the alternative isn't going to be bicycling.

    People really like cars. We are seeing it in China and India (at a time where the problems of automobiles is well-known).

    How do you propose getting people to take up cycling to replace something they really like?

    =============================

    http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com...ample-but.html
    Last edited by njkayaker; 04-07-13 at 01:21 PM.

  18. #468
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    It would not surprise me if some of these things pertained to London. If there's no option, people will (maybe) cycle. The Netherlands and Denmark are unusual. Amsterdam, for inexplicable reasons, doesn't have a subway.
    It's my impression that cycling was prevalent in Londn as well as most of GB well into the 50's.

    Who is driving these cars? Is it city dwellers? If it's people in the suburbs commuting, the alternative isn't going to be bicycling.
    Most car rides are very short. The potential for cycling is enormous.

    How do you propose getting people to take up cycling to replace something they really like?

    =============================

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    The Dutch really like their cars - or so one must think, given the high ownership rate. It's just that biking is convenient and safe. And most times even pleasurable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    The convenience exists because of the spatial relationships between desired activities, so that the desired trips are within the convenient distance for walking and cycling trips.
    To repeat myself: Lots and lots and lots of car rides are very short. The potential for biking is enormous.

    Oh, and bikeways make cycling pleasurable. Someone choosing between using the car for a three-mile ride or using the bike, might well choose the gas-saving bike if biking is safe and easy. As it is on Dutch-style bike paths.

    Today, I took a shortish ride (some 35 miles), most of it on bike paths on the roads north of Copenhagen. On the short stretches of minor country roads without bike infrastructure, I was buzzed three times. THAT's unpleasant. And unsafe.

  20. #470
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    But cycling and rail were prevalent in London before the car was prevalent... so how did the car shove cycling and rail aside and become so prevalent in London? Motoring in London is now becoming even more expensive... now with the Congestion Charge.
    London is a very large city. I was born in Dulwich and, after infancy, grew up in Upper Sydenham, not far from the Crystal Palace, on the far end of which was Norwood, but I cycled daily back over the hill to school in Dulwich. But my American passport lists my place of birth as London, because all of these places are some of the great number of places within London. But when we consider the old walking city, The City is part of that, I do not recall any reference to cycling in that area. There was considerable cycling in these suburbs, for there were cycling clubs named for many of these places. In Effective Cycling there is a posed group photograph of, probably, the Forest Hill Cycling Club, with my maternal grandparents and other family members of that generation.

    As for the claim that motoring pushed aside London's mass rail transit, it didn't. London's mass rail transit is still being expanded and its trains are running full. I have used them recently. Motoring simply added to London's transportation mix, and, so far as the center area is concerned, the motorists largely come from the far suburbs.

  21. #471
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Amsterdam, for inexplicable reasons, doesn't have a subway.
    Seems pretty explicable to me, perhaps the water table has something to do with it, doncha think?

    I know I took a subway while in Amsterdam. I looked it up. It does.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pyFtDEI0SA
    Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 04-07-13 at 03:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Seems pretty explicable to me, perhaps the water table has something to do with it, doncha think?
    So, how obvious does obvious sarcasm need to be for you to get it.

  23. #473
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    So, how obvious does obvious sarcasm need to be for you to get it.
    Get what? You made an incorrect statement for some inexplicable reason. I corrected it. You are are trying to get the last word. Whatz there to get?

  24. #474
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Get what? You made an incorrect statement for some inexplicable reason. I corrected it. You are are trying to get the last word. Whatz there to get?
    You didn't notice the irony. Seemed pretty obvious to me, but then, I'm a bloody foreigner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Get what? You made an incorrect statement for some inexplicable reason. I corrected it. You are are trying to get the last word. Whatz there to get?


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_Subway

    NYC: Population: 7 million. Subway 1.65 billion rides (in 2012). A factor of 235 (rides per capita).

    Amsterdam. Population 820,000. Subway: 290,000 passengers (in 2009) A factor of 0.35 (rides per capita). (It's not clear how much of it is actually underground.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amsterdam_Metro

    The subway in NYC is used a factor of 672 times per capita than in Amsterdam. People likely use the subway in NYC, London, Paris in a very different manner than they do in Amsterdam, "doncha think"? (Never mind.)

    One might gather that the reasons the Amsterdam system isn't bigger is due, in part, to the canals.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 04-07-13 at 05:50 PM.

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