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  1. #51
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    This is probably worth its own thread (or may have been argued in multiple older threads that I can't find):

    Do we have a chicken & egg problem? Many feel that ridership will increase if we invest in cycling-specific infrastructure, and point to cities like Copenhagen that have both high ridership and infrastructure investments. Build it and they will come goes the argument.

    Or is it come and they will build it? Seems like, given how difficult it is to afford, drive, and park a car in Copenhagen, people would tend to prefer bicycles for their convenience, regardless of the infrastructure. And in that environment, it's easier to generate the political will and resources to invest in infrastructure that people already want?

    I'm starting to come to the opinion that significantly more people will ride bicycles only when it is the most convenient alternative in terms of time and money. Not when it's safer, not when there is more infrastructure, but when it's faster and cheaper.

    I think Portland is probably most the obvious counter example to my opinion, because it appears that they have invested in infrastructure and seen an increase of ridership. The question I'd have for Portland bicycle commuters is if their bicycle commute is faster and cheaper than commuting by car (or bus or train).

  2. #52
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    Obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles is the best way to cycle on the American road system. Nobody has invented a better way. And the official way produced by government was, for decades, a childishly simple way for incompetent cyclists that drove them into traffic conflicts. As I said, those cyclists who graduated from the former official method to obeying the rules of the road reduced their car-bike collision rate by 75%.

    This seems about the only 'evidence' presented here. And I must admit I'm unable to make any sense of it. I know of no time at which the government suggested that bicyclists should not follow the rules of the road. Is this just an oblique reference to 'taking the lane' as opposed to riding FRAP? Certainly if any group of cyclists did not follow established rules and then began to follow them, one might expect their accident rate would decline, but I rather suspect that isn't the point. If the cyclists being studied showed fewer accidents over time, would one not have to norm the study to account for their greater experience over that time? Or are we actually speaking of the accident rate for a selected group of cyclists vs. some general accident rate rather than their own rate as stated?

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruiserhead View Post
    No, that is not it.

    Cycling infrastructure should be made so to encourage it's use.
    This is always done with cars, why not bicycles?
    Roads are expanded, they are revised, evolve and built all to encourage car use- to make car travel easier.

    The problem is the priority of car travel has overwhelmed everything else- so that cars "own the road" and everyone else (pedestrians and cyclists) is chattle to the demands of the automobile.


    Road does not = domain of the car.
    Road = shared use roadway for people to travel.

    Evolving and re-prioritizing the roadways sounds good to me. Buffered lanes and all.


    I take your lack of response to "the rest" of my comments to mean you have no counterpoint for it and thus agree.
    Debating the word "completely" while I was just enjoying the video, while ignoring the bulk of what I wrote kind of proves you are stuck on the peas and not the steak.
    Why should "cycling infrastructure be made so to encourage it's use"? The assertion that this is always done with cars is completely incorrect. Roads are built to serve the demonstrated demand for their use, and, often, only long after that demonstrated demand has been demonstrated by congestion.

    I quite agree that roads should be built and used for people to travel. The roadways should be built for and used by all those drivers who obey the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles. Cars don't "own the road" with everybody else being no more than "chattel to the demands of the automobile". That's your personal feeling, the feeling of inferiority to motorists that I have described for decades. I've never felt that emotion.

    As for the rest of your comments, the fact that I wrote a reply to one of them, instead of delivering a pistache of combined ideas, does not imply that I agree with the rest of your comments.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruiserhead View Post
    I don't see it that way at all. But I appreciate this perspective on it. It's thought provoking.

    I see it as giving cyclists more priority on the roadway. Roads cannot be widened in the urban setting so these lanes would replace car lanes.
    To my eyes, this tells people that cycling is valued and has priority.
    Visually, the "world" is not all about cars and get out of the way if you're not one.

    Not all roads can have buffered lanes, but that attitude shift will certainly carry over to shared traffic roads. With more cyclists, it also curbs motorists "own the road" mentality as well.

    I also like the fact the cars are kept "to the center" and away from pedestrians as well.

    When I see the video, the idea that a family can ride bikes- kids and all- on a busy, main street through NYC- with complete safety, it's pretty neat.
    It is also attractive in that it is relatively quick and inexpensive to make these kinds of changes, where the city is re-purposing exisiting roadways with road paint and barriers.

    Also, the reason there is no growth in cycling could be that there is no infrastructure that supports or encourages it. Despite that, people still do it and at least in my area, it is growing.
    If buffered lanes were widespread, i know even more would use it.
    Cruiserhead asserts that bike lanes "tell people that cycling is valued and has priority. Visually, the "world" is not all about cars and get out of the way if you're not one." On the contrary, bike lanes tell people that cyclists are a roadway nuisance that needs to be kept out of the way of motorists. That, after all, was the design purpose of American bike lanes, designed by the motoring establishment and forced on cyclists to do just that. That's historical fact.

    You like cycle tracks, but without any understanding of the traffic engineering and safety problems that they cause. And you hope that others will be just as ignorant and incompetent as you are, so that cycle track building will get more such cyclists on the roads. I think that that is a bad, unethical, policy.

  5. #55
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    It is very true when one says, "If you build it, they will come".

    Provide practical infrastructure for motorists or cyclists and they will come and utilize those facilities and this is not always a positive as when it comes to cars, opening up roads and multi-lane routes and expressways increases traffic and leads to congestion which then requires additional roadways to address congestion while doing nothing to encourage the use of alternative modes of transportation.

    In the Netherlands the car was king until the middle of the 20th century and their roads were not much different from those in North America or other cities in Europe. A conscious effort was made to improve the infrastructure that supported cycling and other modes of transportation to reduce the dependence on cars which was made easier because of the more compact nature of European cities.

    In North America urban sprawl is one of the most serious issues we face as it creates an infrastructure that is not sustainable in the long term and puts a great burden on those municipalities to extend their services farther and farther outward.

    It does nothing to encourage alternative transportation and when people's vehicular commutes start to become onerous it is a clear sign of poor planning.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daves_Not_Here View Post
    This is probably worth its own thread (or may have been argued in multiple older threads that I can't find):

    Do we have a chicken & egg problem? Many feel that ridership will increase if we invest in cycling-specific infrastructure, and point to cities like Copenhagen that have both high ridership and infrastructure investments. Build it and they will come goes the argument.

    Or is it come and they will build it? Seems like, given how difficult it is to afford, drive, and park a car in Copenhagen, people would tend to prefer bicycles for their convenience, regardless of the infrastructure. And in that environment, it's easier to generate the political will and resources to invest in infrastructure that people already want?

    I'm starting to come to the opinion that significantly more people will ride bicycles only when it is the most convenient alternative in terms of time and money. Not when it's safer, not when there is more infrastructure, but when it's faster and cheaper.

    I think Portland is probably most the obvious counter example to my opinion, because it appears that they have invested in infrastructure and seen an increase of ridership. The question I'd have for Portland bicycle commuters is if their bicycle commute is faster and cheaper than commuting by car (or bus or train).
    I agree with Dave's conclusion that bicycle transportation gets done, rather regardless of infrastructure, when it is the faster and most convenient of the available choices. That is the message provided by the European cities with high bicycle modal share. Remember, when those cities encountered the modern mass availability of motor transport, they became clogged up to an extent never seen in America, not even in Boston or Manhattan NYC. Just see the photos circulated in these discussions to observe this point. The immediate revulsion to this, and the desire to get back to their old walking and bicycling system, is what drove events in those cities.

    However, Portland is not the most obvious counter example to this view. This is because Portland has long had a massive anti-motoring campaign to make motoring difficult, to support both its mass transit system and bicycle transportation. It could not prevent private businesses from leaving downtown Portland because of the motoring and parking difficulties, but it could, and does, require by law that a great many of the government offices be in downtown Portland, to keep the office space filled.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    It is very true when one says, "If you build it, they will come".

    Provide practical infrastructure for motorists or cyclists and they will come and utilize those facilities and this is not always a positive as when it comes to cars, opening up roads and multi-lane routes and expressways increases traffic and leads to congestion which then requires additional roadways to address congestion while doing nothing to encourage the use of alternative modes of transportation.

    In the Netherlands the car was king until the middle of the 20th century and their roads were not much different from those in North America or other cities in Europe. A conscious effort was made to improve the infrastructure that supported cycling and other modes of transportation to reduce the dependence on cars which was made easier because of the more compact nature of European cities.

    In North America urban sprawl is one of the most serious issues we face as it creates an infrastructure that is not sustainable in the long term and puts a great burden on those municipalities to extend their services farther and farther outward.

    It does nothing to encourage alternative transportation and when people's vehicular commutes start to become onerous it is a clear sign of poor planning.
    Sixty Fiver's message is full of the typical misconceptions. First, that of induced traffic. This says that building roads generates more traffic to fill them, which leads to congestion. The point is that in many places the road system does not provide as much transportation as people need; the people are deprived of transportation that they could use to better their life. When road capacity increases, that previously unmet need gets satisfied. Just building roads does not generate their use; there are plenty of roads in the USA that are not used to capacity. Roads are used to capacity only when the need to use them exceeds their capacity. Since using those new roads provides for transportation that people use to better their lives, increasing road capacity to satisfy that need for transportation is a good thing.

    Sixty Fiver asserts that in the Netherlands the car was king until the middle of the 20th century, and their roads were not much different from those in North America or other cities in Europe. As for similar roads, compare the pictures of Amsterdam's roads, even now, but better then. Like nothing in even Boston, the most European of American cities. As for the car being king until 1950 or thereabouts, up to that time the car was not king at all; the Netherlands had suffered relative poverty, first from the burden of the East Indian empire, and then from the German invasion and all the consequences of that. The moving picture shown in these discussions of Amsterdam traffic in 1937 show that cars were certainly not the kings of transportation, but were just one part of the rather slow traffic mix. It was only when prosperity entered, about 1960, that mass motoring could be afforded.

    Whether or not the American urban pattern is not sustainable is a rather open question. Whether or not it puts a great burden on the center cities is also an open question, but with rather more data to support the idea that that burden is not greater than the benefits to the center cities. Of course, all of this argument is clouded by the efforts of the center-city landholders to get greater density to raise the rents that they can charge (that's why the French rentier is a dirty word).

    Sixty Fiver also asserts that "when people's vehicular commutes start to become onerous it is a clear sign of poor planning." Really? One of the nation's worst vehicular commutes is that to Manhattan NYC. Is that a sign of poor planning, or is it a sign of planning that has concentrated so many extremely profitable activities in that area that people are desperate, despite the difficulties, of going to work in that area? Without that enormous economic incentive, Manhattan NYC would not have transportation difficulties, but the office buildings would be empty and their owners bankrupt.

  8. #58
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daves_Not_Here View Post
    I think Portland is probably most the obvious counter example to my opinion, because it appears that they have invested in infrastructure and seen an increase of ridership. The question I'd have for Portland bicycle commuters is if their bicycle commute is faster and cheaper than commuting by car (or bus or train).
    In Portland it is very dependent on where one lives and works... for my wife to get to work it is far faster to cycle than to drive or use transit but she lives centrally and also works downtown.

    When I was attending classes on the north side my 6 mile commute from the south side was just as easily accomplished by bicycle as it was when I drove and only did so because of other events that required me to use the car afterwards.

  9. #59
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Sixty Fiver's message is full of the typical misconceptions. First, that of induced traffic. This says that building roads generates more traffic to fill them, which leads to congestion. The point is that in many places the road system does not provide as much transportation as people need; the people are deprived of transportation that they could use to better their life. When road capacity increases, that previously unmet need gets satisfied. Just building roads does not generate their use; there are plenty of roads in the USA that are not used to capacity. Roads are used to capacity only when the need to use them exceeds their capacity. Since using those new roads provides for transportation that people use to better their lives, increasing road capacity to satisfy that need for transportation is a good thing.

    Sixty Fiver asserts that in the Netherlands the car was king until the middle of the 20th century, and their roads were not much different from those in North America or other cities in Europe. As for similar roads, compare the pictures of Amsterdam's roads, even now, but better then. Like nothing in even Boston, the most European of American cities. As for the car being king until 1950 or thereabouts, up to that time the car was not king at all; the Netherlands had suffered relative poverty, first from the burden of the East Indian empire, and then from the German invasion and all the consequences of that. The moving picture shown in these discussions of Amsterdam traffic in 1937 show that cars were certainly not the kings of transportation, but were just one part of the rather slow traffic mix. It was only when prosperity entered, about 1960, that mass motoring could be afforded.

    Whether or not the American urban pattern is not sustainable is a rather open question. Whether or not it puts a great burden on the center cities is also an open question, but with rather more data to support the idea that that burden is not greater than the benefits to the center cities. Of course, all of this argument is clouded by the efforts of the center-city landholders to get greater density to raise the rents that they can charge (that's why the French rentier is a dirty word).

    Sixty Fiver also asserts that "when people's vehicular commutes start to become onerous it is a clear sign of poor planning." Really? One of the nation's worst vehicular commutes is that to Manhattan NYC. Is that a sign of poor planning, or is it a sign of planning that has concentrated so many extremely profitable activities in that area that people are desperate, despite the difficulties, of going to work in that area? Without that enormous economic incentive, Manhattan NYC would not have transportation difficulties, but the office buildings would be empty and their owners bankrupt.
    It is amazing what the Dutch have done in a span of 50 years...

    When your commute is an hour one way because of suburban sprawl... that is poor planning.

    The automobile and it's culture have encouraged this suburban sprawl where the work is central and the people who do the work are far removed from their workplace.

    If North American cities were to move upward instead of outward this would mark a great improvement in many North American cities... I live in one where the sprawl problems are among the worst but where people are also realizing that this type of planning is not sustainable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
    Obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles is the best way to cycle on the American road system. Nobody has invented a better way. And the official way produced by government was, for decades, a childishly simple way for incompetent cyclists that drove them into traffic conflicts. As I said, those cyclists who graduated from the former official method to obeying the rules of the road reduced their car-bike collision rate by 75%.

    This seems about the only 'evidence' presented here. And I must admit I'm unable to make any sense of it. I know of no time at which the government suggested that bicyclists should not follow the rules of the road. Is this just an oblique reference to 'taking the lane' as opposed to riding FRAP? Certainly if any group of cyclists did not follow established rules and then began to follow them, one might expect their accident rate would decline, but I rather suspect that isn't the point. If the cyclists being studied showed fewer accidents over time, would one not have to norm the study to account for their greater experience over that time? Or are we actually speaking of the accident rate for a selected group of cyclists vs. some general accident rate rather than their own rate as stated?
    Various US state governments have had laws, going back to about 1940, prohibiting cyclists from using any but the edge of the roadway or none of the roadway if there was a usable path beside the road. The instruction that has been provided was just that, stick close to the edge of the roadway, stop at stop signs, and stick out your arm before turning left from the curb position. No American government has had a program of teaching cyclists to obey the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles. Such was proposed in 1973, and worked out rather completely, but the California Highway Patrol killed it. It is only in the last few years that American governments have issued pamphlets and such that describe cyclists obeying the rules of the road, largely to inform motorists of that fact, but without providing any training.

    The relative crash rates for different populations of cyclists were collected, back in the 1970s when some scientific interest existed, that showed that club cyclists had much lower crash rates than the general public cyclists, say only about 25% of that of the latter, and also that four years of club cycling produced much the same effect, as shown by crash rates for the first year members versus the crash rates of four year members. There is also considerable evidence about measuring the behavior of different populations of cyclists with respect to whether or not they were obeying the rules of the road. That evidence showed that club cyclists scored above 95% on the scale, while the general cycling employed adult populations of the same area scored a flunking 55%. The evidence is not absolutely scientifically proved, but it is still pretty good evidence and the differences are so enormous that they really must be considered to be significant.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    It is amazing what the Dutch have done in a span of 50 years...

    When your commute is an hour one way because of suburban sprawl... that is poor planning.

    The automobile and it's culture have encouraged this suburban sprawl where the work is central and the people who do the work are far removed from their workplace.

    If North American cities were to move upward instead of outward this would mark a great improvement in many North American cities... I live in one where the sprawl problems are among the worst but where people are also realizing that this type of planning is not sustainable.
    What have the Dutch done in that span of 50 years? All that they have done, really, is to exclude motor traffic so that the historic pattern of walking and cycling could be renewed.

    Certainly, the availability of personal motor transport has allowed people to live further from their workplace, but it has not, as you apparently believe, limited them to working in the center city. On the exact opposite, the availability of motoring has allowed people to live and work in many more places that suit them and their employers, to produce the modern multicenter urban area in which living is better and business more profitable. That may not be planning, but it is an advantage that was produced by the availability of mass motoring without the intervention of planning. The statistics on this matter are quite persuasive. You need to learn about these things before proclaiming the common prejudices.

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    Thank you for fleshing that out. It would seem that experience, as in most endeavors, plays a significant role. It also leads me to wonder about the type of roadways the cyclists are using. I would expect the accident rate for even experienced commuters in urban areas to be higher than that of club riders, who have the option of seeking the best places to ride. I happen to live in an area most favored by local club riders as there are almost endless miles of lightly traveled roads.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    You like cycle tracks, but without any understanding of the traffic engineering and safety problems that they cause. And you hope that others will be just as ignorant and incompetent as you are, so that cycle track building will get more such cyclists on the roads. I think that that is a bad, unethical, policy.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    I don't know where that traffic engineer got his training and certification, but he is either incompetent for lack of knowledge or professionally negligent for hiding the knowledge he is supposed to possess. He fails to mention any of the traffic-engineering difficulties of cycle tracks, then known as side paths, that were published almost forty years ago, and for which California failed to install such facilities and AASHTO recommended against them.

    The argument that bike lanes and cycle tracks provide a message for the general public is as old as they are, and just as indeterminate. To the majority of Americans who believe that cyclists should not use the roads, they indicate that those facilities are where the cyclist ought to be, out of the way of motorists. That tells lawful competent cyclists that they are supposed to stay off the roadways. That argument is a two-edged sword, depending on what one initially believes. To those who believe that cyclists should be using the roadways, it tells them that they are being dumped into a second-class facility for second-class road users. To those who believe that cyclists should not be using the roadways it represents a heaven-sent gift.

    None of these American bikeways have been proved to be safer than lawful use of the roadway, despite forty years of trying by their advocates, both the motoring establishment and the bicycle advocates. Making American cycling safer and more convenient is going to be a much bigger task than bicycle advocates consider, particularly because that, up to this date, they have no evidence of changes that have done so.
    John, I am a safety professional who has been bicycling for many years also. I've also been hit several times, and had two trips to the hospital. I have worked for 35 years in the safety profession, and have been in industry protecting employees from industrial processes. So my perspective is different from yours. In the safety profession, we use the Hierarchy of Controls to protect employees. Elimination and substitution are the best workplace controls, followed by engineering controls, then administrative and behavioral controls, and finally personal protective equipment.

    The problems I see in your position concerning vehicular bicycling is that it depends on the good intentions and competence of both the drivers and the bicyclists. Neither can be relied upon. Vehicular cycling as you have described it (and yes, I've read your book), puts the cyclist into the traffic, to be dealt with as a "vehicle" in the traffic pattern. However, what happens is that the cyclist, even the elite cyclists, creates a deflection of traffic flow patterns. American drivers are notoriously impatient, and I've honked at at 25 mph+ going downhill here in the Portland area. Now, there is a national epidemic of distracted driving which is throwing a real monkey wrench into your vehicular cycling assumptions. And, we still have the epidemic of DUII, which took the life of one of your main proponents, Ken Kifer.

    All of this tells me that we need to look elsewhere for answers to getting more people bicycling, which from your lecture and writings here apparently is not a priority of yours. The Dutch have very good ideas that are being listened to and brought back here too. When I was a kid, I rode my bike everywhere (1952-1967, after which I entered the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War). I rode to school daily, and downtown to the YMCA for swim team practice.

    But the traffic then was much different, as Salem, Oregon had a population of 49,313 (I know, as I passed that sign daily riding to grade school). The population today (2011) of Salem, Oregon is not 156,244, mostly on the same roads that I rode my bike on in the 1950s and 1960s. My family had one car, and now most family have one car per adult driver in the household. So things have changed dramatically since you first started the Vehicular Cycling concept in your book (my Sixth Edition Effective Cycling, by John Forester has a copyright of 1993). So we are facing the same problems that the Dutch were facing in the 1970s with the increasing density of auto traffic, yet we depend on the sale of cars for much of our economy.

    The deflection of traffic by the bicyclist I mentioned above is caused by the slower cyclist being in the traffic, and results in what I call a "bicycle-car (or truck) interaction." This happens whenever either the bicyclist or the driver must alter their behavior in response to the other. Whenever this happens with a discontinuity of travel patterns, there is the potential for an error, and a resulting traffic accident. This can happen even to the most competent bicyclist; witness what happened recently to Bradley Wiggins! "Wiggins was thrown off his bike when a white Vauxhall Astra Envoy is thought to have pulled out of a petrol station in Wrightington and collided with him." I would not call an Olympic Champion and Tour de France winner "incompetent". You'll need to find a better means of explaining accidents such as these, and the same goes for your description of traffic engineers and others trying to find new ways of keeping cyclists healthy and promote cycling in the USA.

    John

    John C. Ratliff, CSP, CIH, MSPH
    Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 11-18-12 at 11:23 PM.
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  14. #64
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    What have the Dutch done in that span of 50 years? All that they have done, really, is to exclude motor traffic so that the historic pattern of walking and cycling could be renewed.
    Not an insignificant achievement.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Certainly, the availability of personal motor transport has allowed people to live further from their workplace, but it has not, as you apparently believe, limited them to working in the center city. On the exact opposite, the availability of motoring has allowed people to live and work in many more places that suit them and their employers, to produce the modern multicenter urban area in which living is better and business more profitable. That may not be planning, but it is an advantage that was produced by the availability of mass motoring without the intervention of planning. The statistics on this matter are quite persuasive. You need to learn about these things before proclaiming the common prejudices.
    I do not believe I said this limited people to working in the city... would you not agree that many people do not live in close enough proximity to their places of work to allow for the convenient use of alternative modes of transportation ?

    The availability of personal motor transportation has it benefits but is also the chief cause of urban sprawl.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daves_Not_Here View Post
    This is probably worth its own thread (or may have been argued in multiple older threads that I can't find):

    Do we have a chicken & egg problem? Many feel that ridership will increase if we invest in cycling-specific infrastructure, and point to cities like Copenhagen that have both high ridership and infrastructure investments. Build it and they will come goes the argument.

    Or is it come and they will build it? Seems like, given how difficult it is to afford, drive, and park a car in Copenhagen, people would tend to prefer bicycles for their convenience, regardless of the infrastructure. And in that environment, it's easier to generate the political will and resources to invest in infrastructure that people already want?

    I'm starting to come to the opinion that significantly more people will ride bicycles only when it is the most convenient alternative in terms of time and money. Not when it's safer, not when there is more infrastructure, but when it's faster and cheaper.

    I think Portland is probably most the obvious counter example to my opinion, because it appears that they have invested in infrastructure and seen an increase of ridership. The question I'd have for Portland bicycle commuters is if their bicycle commute is faster and cheaper than commuting by car (or bus or train).
    I tend to think they act as a force multiplier. On their own they don't affect ridership much, but as more people cycle they tend to multiply that momentum and draw even more people in. I think this is because the people who ride it have positive experiences and pass that on within their circles, leading to more people trying it and telling their friends, and so on. So, if you have moderate to high ridership, it becomes more effective as a tool to draw people in, since you have more people "spreading the news". $.02.
    "The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind. I love the bicycle. I always have. I can think of no sincere, decent human being, male or female, young or old, saint or sinner, who can resist the bicycle."

    - William Saroyan

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    On the exact opposite, the availability of motoring has allowed people to live and work in many more places that suit them and their employers, to produce the modern multicenter urban area in which living is better and business more profitable. That may not be planning, but it is an advantage that was produced by the availability of mass motoring without the intervention of planning. The statistics on this matter are quite persuasive.

    Seems rather a euphemistic manner in which to describe what we used to refer to as "white flight." To some extent, I can understand your advocacy against bicycle infrastructure (although I certainly don't agree with the seeming absolutism of the stance). Advocating in favor of urban sprawl (admittedly not really the topic of conversation here) is much harder to understand as the many pitfalls of this blight seem self evident. Aside from the tremendous cost to society and the significant increase in our dependance on fossil fuels, this trend has resulted in the virtual death of the central city in many areas and created a series of roadways that are quite ill suited to bicycle transportation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    I don't know where that traffic engineer got his training and certification, but he is either incompetent for lack of knowledge or professionally negligent for hiding the knowledge he is supposed to possess.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    You are utterly uninformed.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Hagen can't see beyond his own backyard. .
    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Adamhenry writes that he speaks from experience that he cannot enjoy cycling on the normal roadway, but when he enters a bike lane he finds cycling to be "fun". That statement proves that Adamhenry, like most Americans, is afflicted with the cyclist-inferiority/motorist-superiority complex and, furthermore, is completely ignorant of the real hazards of cycling in traffic and the statistics of car-bike collisions.
    yep, pompous
    QED

    I think the proof is in the pudding. Modal share of bikes hasn't risen much in the US (that , thanks to JF has very limited infratructure) while in Europe, (that hasn't listened to JF's pearls of wisdom like above) has.

    Sure, can you VC everywhere? Yes you can. Is it the Best Way to get people to actually bike? No it's not. Sorry John, but the vast majority of people are not Olympians like you that are comfortable with riding in the streets with their kids, and you can continue to blather about how it due to their incompetence etc, BUT IT WONT CHANGE ONE DAMN THING. Just like it hasn't for THE PAST 40 YEARS.How's that for effectiveness?
    Last edited by delcrossv; 11-19-12 at 08:44 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Not an insignificant achievement.



    I do not believe I said this limited people to working in the city... would you not agree that many people do not live in close enough proximity to their places of work to allow for the convenient use of alternative modes of transportation ?

    The availability of personal motor transportation has it benefits but is also the chief cause of urban sprawl.
    So, excluding motor traffic from Amsterdam and such, so that the historic pattern of walking and cycling can be resumed is a significant achievement? Mass motoring in Amsterdam is like trying to serve soup in an ice cream cone; it just doesn't work. All the Dutch did was to recognize that and return to serving their soup in cups or bowls, that is, walking and cycling, just as they always had.

    Yes, it is correct that many people do not live in close proximity to their places of work, and are enabled to do so by automotive travel. That's their choice, made (except for short-term dislocations) because they see that as best suiting their needs. That is a major social benefit of automotive travel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
    Thank you for fleshing that out. It would seem that experience, as in most endeavors, plays a significant role. It also leads me to wonder about the type of roadways the cyclists are using. I would expect the accident rate for even experienced commuters in urban areas to be higher than that of club riders, who have the option of seeking the best places to ride. I happen to live in an area most favored by local club riders as there are almost endless miles of lightly traveled roads.
    That is not quite true. In the years when these data were collected, club cyclists were active urban cyclists, doing much of what bicycle commuting was being done and, when starting on club rides, riding from their city homes. This was not the era of "car start rides". Club cyclists were the all round cyclists of the time, not being just neighborhood cyclists, or university students, or racers, or tourists. They did it all, as I did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
    John, I am a safety professional who has been bicycling for many years also. I've also been hit several times, and had two trips to the hospital. I have worked for 35 years in the safety profession, and have been in industry protecting employees from industrial processes. So my perspective is different from yours. In the safety profession, we use the Hierarchy of Controls to protect employees. Elimination and substitution are the best workplace controls, followed by engineering controls, then administrative and behavioral controls, and finally personal protective equipment.

    The problems I see in your position concerning vehicular bicycling is that it depends on the good intentions and competence of both the drivers and the bicyclists. Neither can be relied upon. Vehicular cycling as you have described it (and yes, I've read your book), puts the cyclist into the traffic, to be dealt with as a "vehicle" in the traffic pattern. However, what happens is that the cyclist, even the elite cyclists, creates a deflection of traffic flow patterns. American drivers are notoriously impatient, and I've honked at at 25 mph+ going downhill here in the Portland area. Now, there is a national epidemic of distracted driving which is throwing a real monkey wrench into your vehicular cycling assumptions. And, we still have the epidemic of DUII, which took the life of one of your main proponents, Ken Kifer.

    All of this tells me that we need to look elsewhere for answers to getting more people bicycling, which from your lecture and writings here apparently is not a priority of yours. The Dutch have very good ideas that are being listened to and brought back here too. When I was a kid, I rode my bike everywhere (1952-1967, after which I entered the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War). I rode to school daily, and downtown to the YMCA for swim team practice.

    But the traffic then was much different, as Salem, Oregon had a population of 49,313 (I know, as I passed that sign daily riding to grade school). The population today (2011) of Salem, Oregon is not 156,244, mostly on the same roads that I rode my bike on in the 1950s and 1960s. My family had one car, and now most family have one car per adult driver in the household. So things have changed dramatically since you first started the Vehicular Cycling concept in your book (my Sixth Edition Effective Cycling, by John Forester has a copyright of 1993). So we are facing the same problems that the Dutch were facing in the 1970s with the increasing density of auto traffic, yet we depend on the sale of cars for much of our economy.

    The deflection of traffic by the bicyclist I mentioned above is caused by the slower cyclist being in the traffic, and results in what I call a "bicycle-car (or truck) interaction." This happens whenever either the bicyclist or the driver must alter their behavior in response to the other. Whenever this happens with a discontinuity of travel patterns, there is the potential for an error, and a resulting traffic accident. This can happen even to the most competent bicyclist; witness what happened recently to Bradley Wiggins! "Wiggins was thrown off his bike when a white Vauxhall Astra Envoy is thought to have pulled out of a petrol station in Wrightington and collided with him." I would not call an Olympic Champion and Tour de France winner "incompetent". You'll need to find a better means of explaining accidents such as these, and the same goes for your description of traffic engineers and others trying to find new ways of keeping cyclists healthy and promote cycling in the USA.

    John

    John C. Ratliff, CSP, CIH, MSPH
    I know about the safety program hierarchy. But we don't have such a system now. Effective Cycling (now the 7th edition, this year) is directed at the cyclist who desires to best use cycling in the conditions that we have.

    You assert that the cyclist, being slow, causes a deviation in the traffic pattern. Well, so does any vehicle traveling at slower than typical speed, and traffic operation has to allow for that situation. If it did not, road travel would be impossible. And, you being the safety engineer and all, to justify your argument that this is very important (If it isn't, why did you introduce it as your major point?), please provide the proportion of car-bike collisions that are caused by that deviation. Come on, we are all waiting with bated breath.

    As for your assertion that Wiggins crash cannot be attributed to his traffic incompetence because he rides on a Tour de France team, that is complete nonsense. I know nothing about Wiggins, but I do know that a great many racing cyclists are traffic incompetent and I also know that the racing organization USCF has never had any interest in the traffic safety of its cyclists. Besides which, from your description, Wiggins was involved in a crash caused by a motorist improperly exiting a driveway, and that, for sure, has nothing to do with whatever may have been Wiggins's speed at the time (barring some steep descent on which cyclists could exceed the speed limit).

    You also assert that the increase in average vehicle density has made cycling less safe. Probably so, in that there are more traffic movements per mile of cyclist travel, but that means only that it is more important than before that the cyclist operate properly according to the rules for traffic operation.

    Lastly, you complain that I am not supporting "traffic engineers and others trying to find new ways of keeping cyclists healthy and promote cycling in the USA." That is quite correct. I reject promoting ways of attracting the general public to cycling for health reasons when those ways promote dangerously incompetent cycling, as is being done at present. Dumbed-down cycling is not the proper policy because it endangers those it entices. Think of it, Mr. Safety Engineer, which type of workforce would you prefer in your workplace, competent or incompetent?

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
    On the exact opposite, the availability of motoring has allowed people to live and work in many more places that suit them and their employers, to produce the modern multicenter urban area in which living is better and business more profitable. That may not be planning, but it is an advantage that was produced by the availability of mass motoring without the intervention of planning. The statistics on this matter are quite persuasive.

    Seems rather a euphemistic manner in which to describe what we used to refer to as "white flight." To some extent, I can understand your advocacy against bicycle infrastructure (although I certainly don't agree with the seeming absolutism of the stance). Advocating in favor of urban sprawl (admittedly not really the topic of conversation here) is much harder to understand as the many pitfalls of this blight seem self evident. Aside from the tremendous cost to society and the significant increase in our dependance on fossil fuels, this trend has resulted in the virtual death of the central city in many areas and created a series of roadways that are quite ill suited to bicycle transportation.
    Oh, yes, the demise of the central city. Those cities in which urban activities are distributed, as is enabled by automotive transport, have higher productivity than those in which growth has been limited to the central city. Two important reasons are that the central city imposes excessively high mass transportation costs (much higher than motoring) and much of the increase in wealth has been captured by the owners of downtown property.

    You claim that the roadways that exist in the distributed urban area are unsuited to bicycle transportation. Meaning what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
    yep, pompous
    QED

    I think the proof is in the pudding. Modal share of bikes hasn't risen much in the US (that , thanks to JF has very limited infratructure) while in Europe, (that hasn't listened to JF's pearls of wisdom like above) has.

    Sure, can you VC everywhere? Yes you can. Is it the Best Way to get people to actually bike? No it's not. Sorry John, but the vast majority of people are not Olympians like you that are comfortable with riding in the streets with their kids, and you can continue to blather about how it due to their incompetence etc, BUT IT WONT CHANGE ONE DAMN THING. Just like it hasn't for THE PAST 40 YEARS.How's that for effectiveness?
    This is one more expression of the claim that I have prevented progress in American bicycle transportation for the past forty years. All that I did was to demonstrate, through the pattern of car-bike collisions disclosed by the Cross statistics, that American bikeway designs could not make cycling safe, that is, could reduce only a small fraction of the car-bike collisions that were occurring and while they introduced complications that increased the probability of the much larger fraction of those car-bike collisions. None of the bikeways advocates has ever been able to demonstrate that my analysis is inaccurate, despite thirty-five years of trying. And the evidence on the ground since then has supported that; American bikeways have not significantly decreased the car-bike collision rate. And any improvement appears to be from a side issue, that they have persuaded some cyclists to switch from the enormously dangerous ways of cycling on sidewalks and in the wrong direction.

    That's it, by discrediting the most perniciously dangerous of the lies of the bikeway advocates, the lie that American bikeways make cycling safe, I have removed the most politically potent argument for those facilities.

    Therefore, Delcrossv is complaining, because he wants to use the lying bikeway safety argument to entice ill-informed people into switching trips from motor to bicycle transport. That is, Delcrossv prefers more people cycling in their typically dangerous incompetent manner on bikeways to either having them continue motoring or learning to cycle safely by obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles. That is a policy that I consider so unethical that I reject it entirely.

    Oh, yes, there's this issue of my pomposity. When readers are so ignorant that they refuse to understand the facts of the discussion, they consider it pomposity to be reminded of those facts. That's a strange definition of pomposity.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
    John, I am a safety professional who has been bicycling for many years also. I've also been hit several times, and had two trips to the hospital. I have worked for 35 years in the safety profession, and have been in industry protecting employees from industrial processes. So my perspective is different from yours. In the safety profession, we use the Hierarchy of Controls to protect employees. Elimination and substitution are the best workplace controls, followed by engineering controls, then administrative and behavioral controls, and finally personal protective equipment.

    The problems I see in your position concerning vehicular bicycling is that it depends on the good intentions and competence of both the drivers and the bicyclists. Neither can be relied upon. Vehicular cycling as you have described it (and yes, I've read your book), puts the cyclist into the traffic, to be dealt with as a "vehicle" in the traffic pattern. However, what happens is that the cyclist, even the elite cyclists, creates a deflection of traffic flow patterns. American drivers are notoriously impatient, and I've honked at at 25 mph+ going downhill here in the Portland area. Now, there is a national epidemic of distracted driving which is throwing a real monkey wrench into your vehicular cycling assumptions. And, we still have the epidemic of DUII, which took the life of one of your main proponents, Ken Kifer.

    All of this tells me that we need to look elsewhere for answers to getting more people bicycling, which from your lecture and writings here apparently is not a priority of yours. The Dutch have very good ideas that are being listened to and brought back here too. When I was a kid, I rode my bike everywhere (1952-1967, after which I entered the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War). I rode to school daily, and downtown to the YMCA for swim team practice.

    But the traffic then was much different, as Salem, Oregon had a population of 49,313 (I know, as I passed that sign daily riding to grade school). The population today (2011) of Salem, Oregon is not 156,244, mostly on the same roads that I rode my bike on in the 1950s and 1960s. My family had one car, and now most family have one car per adult driver in the household. So things have changed dramatically since you first started the Vehicular Cycling concept in your book (my Sixth Edition Effective Cycling, by John Forester has a copyright of 1993). So we are facing the same problems that the Dutch were facing in the 1970s with the increasing density of auto traffic, yet we depend on the sale of cars for much of our economy.

    The deflection of traffic by the bicyclist I mentioned above is caused by the slower cyclist being in the traffic, and results in what I call a "bicycle-car (or truck) interaction." This happens whenever either the bicyclist or the driver must alter their behavior in response to the other. Whenever this happens with a discontinuity of travel patterns, there is the potential for an error, and a resulting traffic accident. This can happen even to the most competent bicyclist; witness what happened recently to Bradley Wiggins! "Wiggins was thrown off his bike when a white Vauxhall Astra Envoy is thought to have pulled out of a petrol station in Wrightington and collided with him." I would not call an Olympic Champion and Tour de France winner "incompetent". You'll need to find a better means of explaining accidents such as these, and the same goes for your description of traffic engineers and others trying to find new ways of keeping cyclists healthy and promote cycling in the USA.

    John

    John C. Ratliff, CSP, CIH, MSPH
    JCR,
    I think that's a great explanation as to why bicycling is not an encouraging alternative form of transport.
    There are many real world issues that cyclists are confronted with that, I believe, could be addressed to make everyone happier and safer- motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

    Just a footnote to add: Wiggo was also being followed by his team van at the time.

    Shane Sutton, world class rider and Wiggo's coach, had a run in not a week later:
    “British Cycling has confirmed that Shane Sutton, Head Coach for the GB Cycling Team, was involved in an incident this morning on the A6 near Levenshulme in Manchester. Shane was taken into hospital where it was identified he has suffered bruising and bleeding on the brain.

    "Cycling is not an intrinsically dangerous activity but there is much more to be done to improve conditions for cyclists on the roads. British Cycling is calling on the government to put cycling at the heart of transport policy to ensure that cycle safety is built into the design of all new roads, junctions and transport projects, rather than being an afterthought."


    John Forester,
    I no longer find any value in responding.
    It's clear by now that you have no interest in discussion and are firm in your stance. You present your opinion buried in statistics (sometimes as old as the 70's) to bridge your arguments. You present them as facts, but really aren't.

    It seems that anything that is outside what you are advocating is wrong or foolish. This is also apparent in the video. The utter lack of the ability to consider something outside the scope of your stance, or other perspectives than your own.
    Most of all, the constant name calling and immature, lack of ability to conduct reasonable discussion is just tedious to read.

  24. #74
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    This is one more expression of the claim that I have prevented progress in American bicycle transportation for the past forty years. All that I did was to demonstrate, through the pattern of car-bike collisions disclosed by the Cross statistics, that American bikeway designs could not make cycling safe, that is, could reduce only a small fraction of the car-bike collisions that were occurring and while they introduced complications that increased the probability of the much larger fraction of those car-bike collisions. None of the bikeways advocates has ever been able to demonstrate that my analysis is inaccurate, despite thirty-five years of trying. And the evidence on the ground since then has supported that; American bikeways have not significantly decreased the car-bike collision rate. And any improvement appears to be from a side issue, that they have persuaded some cyclists to switch from the enormously dangerous ways of cycling on sidewalks and in the wrong direction.

    That's it, by discrediting the most perniciously dangerous of the lies of the bikeway advocates, the lie that American bikeways make cycling safe, I have removed the most politically potent argument for those facilities.

    Therefore, Delcrossv is complaining, because he wants to use the lying bikeway safety argument to entice ill-informed people into switching trips from motor to bicycle transport. That is, Delcrossv prefers more people cycling in their typically dangerous incompetent manner on bikeways to either having them continue motoring or learning to cycle safely by obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles. That is a policy that I consider so unethical that I reject it entirely.
    I think the basic problem that you're dealing with is that most drivers and itenerant cyclists ARE incompetent by your standards. if you haven't noticed, the whole of American road infrastructure is designed so that a minimally competent person can drive from A to B with a pretty good chance of getting there. Add in the additional electronic distractions and the scofflaw attitude of the American motorist and you have the present situation. Whether it actually could be marginally more dangerous to have seperated facilities is not germane to the point that perceptually, street riding is considered dangerous. FWIW you have NOT convinced me that VC is actually safer than Dutch style seperated facilities.In fact I highly doubt it. (And I ride on the streets 5 days a week commuting)

    Oh, yes, there's this issue of my pomposity. When readers are so ignorant that they refuse to understand the facts of the discussion, they consider it pomposity to be reminded of those facts. That's a strange definition of pomposity.
    No but deriding those who don't agree with you is. Since cities are now starting to put seperated facilities in, I think that effort , although happening much later that it could have, is the best demonstration of VC's bankruptcy for the "average" cyclist.
    Last edited by delcrossv; 11-19-12 at 12:40 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruiserhead View Post
    JCR,

    snipped
    John Forester,
    I no longer find any value in responding.
    It's clear by now that you have no interest in discussion and are firm in your stance. You present your opinion buried in statistics (sometimes as old as the 70's) to bridge your arguments. You present them as facts, but really aren't.

    It seems that anything that is outside what you are advocating is wrong or foolish. This is also apparent in the video. The utter lack of the ability to consider something outside the scope of your stance, or other perspectives than your own.
    Most of all, the constant name calling and immature, lack of ability to conduct reasonable discussion is just tedious to read.
    You claim that what I assert to be facts are not facts at all. If that is so, then it ought to be easy to disprove them, which you have not done. You assert that, for some reasons including my supposed immaturity, I fail to conduct a reasonable discussion. Considering what has been written, I consider that my responses have been both factual and reasonable.

    I claim that vehicular cycling is the best way for cyclists to operate on the American road system. I also assert, although this is only a far peripheral issue when considering the best way for cyclists to operate, that there are good reasons why American cities have developed in the way that they have. It appears that your objection to my stances on these issues is that you don't like them, even though you have nothing better to offer. Even more so, your objection is really based on the fact that vehicular cycling does not appeal to those of the general public who might, somehow, be persuaded to switch trips from motor to bicycle transport. Well, that's the factual bind in which your hopes must operate.

    If a program of research, design, test, successful results, and start of implementation shows that some different system will produce safe, convenient, and popular cycling, then I will be all for it. But America has not even started the research phase of such a program. All that we have produced recently are further dumbed-down facility designs with the hope that something good might result.

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