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  1. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Ultimately one has to wonder what will be more sustainable over the long haul... and keep in mind that the automobile has only been a part of the world for the last 100 years or so... prior to that, walking was used quite a bit more frequently for human transportation needs as were trolleys, carts and other forms of more public transit. The bicycle too has a longer history than the automobile.

    So that "utility" you mention is something rather short lived, thus far, in the overall history of man...
    In that 100 years, the world has changed pretty dramatically. The widespread use of internal combustion engines had a great deal to due with that change. The US had a tremendous advantage in the post war years in that the infrastructure was spared the destruction that was visited on much of the western world. While other nations struggled to get back on their feet, the US vastly expanded its transportation infrastructure and in the process became the world's leading economic power. It is arguable that without the tremendous economic expansion that centered around the growth of automotive transportation, the rest of the technological advances we enjoy today would not have happened. The vibrant economy created in part by the automobile created an environment where other technologies could flourish. A great deal of the post war growth was facilitated by the ability to move goods and people quickly and efficiently.

    In retrospect it's easy to see areas where this growth could have happened in better fashion. There was certainly for a time a concerted effort on the part of automobile manufacturers and oil interests to kill public transportation. But even that is a bit of a double edged sword, as these industries were a substantial factor in the growth of the economy and the creation of a large middle class. This doesn't justify the planning errors resultant from influences of this cabal, but it does offset at least in part whatever economic detriments stemmed from them.

    That era of growth is now seemingly on a downward slide as the advantages once enjoyed over the rest of the world have begun to disappear. Whether or not the use of automobiles is sustainable, the economic boom they once provided certainly is not. But absent a total economic collapse, I don't see us ever returning to a world of carts, trolleys and bicycles as the dominant forms of transportation. New energy sources will arise and other forms of transit will be developed, but transportation will remain substantially mechanized. I enjoy the notion of returning to a simpler time, but I honestly don't wish to live to see that as I think it would come only as a result of economic devastation so severe that our world would be a pretty grim place for quite a long time.

  2. #227
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    Genec, i was speaking of utility as used by economics - the total of value, monetary and non-monetary that is derived. In economic theory, people will act in such a way to maximize their utility. And, for most of the population, driving/owning automobiles has a far greater utility than public transportation or bicycling. I don't believe that will change anytime soon.
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  3. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
    In that 100 years, the world has changed pretty dramatically. The widespread use of internal combustion engines had a great deal to due with that change. The US had a tremendous advantage in the post war years in that the infrastructure was spared the destruction that was visited on much of the western world. While other nations struggled to get back on their feet, the US vastly expanded its transportation infrastructure and in the process became the world's leading economic power. It is arguable that without the tremendous economic expansion that centered around the growth of automotive transportation, the rest of the technological advances we enjoy today would not have happened. The vibrant economy created in part by the automobile created an environment where other technologies could flourish. A great deal of the post war growth was facilitated by the ability to move goods and people quickly and efficiently.

    In retrospect it's easy to see areas where this growth could have happened in better fashion. There was certainly for a time a concerted effort on the part of automobile manufacturers and oil interests to kill public transportation. But even that is a bit of a double edged sword, as these industries were a substantial factor in the growth of the economy and the creation of a large middle class. This doesn't justify the planning errors resultant from influences of this cabal, but it does offset at least in part whatever economic detriments stemmed from them.

    That era of growth is now seemingly on a downward slide as the advantages once enjoyed over the rest of the world have begun to disappear. Whether or not the use of automobiles is sustainable, the economic boom they once provided certainly is not. But absent a total economic collapse, I don't see us ever returning to a world of carts, trolleys and bicycles as the dominant forms of transportation. New energy sources will arise and other forms of transit will be developed, but transportation will remain substantially mechanized. I enjoy the notion of returning to a simpler time, but I honestly don't wish to live to see that as I think it would come only as a result of economic devastation so severe that our world would be a pretty grim place for quite a long time.
    Sure we took the ball and ran with it... but again... now that the rest of the world is catching up, and we no longer have the advantage of that headstart... what hath we wrought.

    I want to touch just for a second on your line of "I don't see us ever returning to a world of carts, trolleys and bicycles as the dominant forms of transportation...." and at the risk of cross posting point to this concurrent thread...
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ystem-possible

    Just pop in there for a moment while your mind still has "carts and trolleys" still ringing inside... and look at the OP.

    Then let me throw this tidbit at you... google cars... self driving cars that will in all likelihood not be owned by individuals (this will of course happen over a long period of time) but will come and go on demand. We may just find that the ever trusty bicycle is a bit handier than ordering and waiting for the car to show up... just to go down the road a 1/2 mile or so to grab a beer.

    The mind just reels in the irony of the bike being the key to individual mobility in that future scenario.

  4. #229
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    Genec, i was speaking of utility as used by economics - the total of value, monetary and non-monetary that is derived. In economic theory, people will act in such a way to maximize their utility. And, for most of the population, driving/owning automobiles has a far greater utility than public transportation or bicycling. I don't believe that will change anytime soon.
    Probably not in my life time... but in the next 100 years or so... http://www.templetons.com/brad/robocars/

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    I hadn't seen that thread, genec, but yes, I could certainly envision a future with something like that. And could see over the long term the privately owned passenger vehicle substantially declining (perhaps even disappearing). And in such a scenario, bicycles would be of great utility for the short haul.

    As an unrelated aside, it occurs to me that technologies to reduce theft might increase such utility cycling. When you park your car, you don't really think twice about whether or not it will be there when you return. With a bike in many urban areas you do (if only subconsciously through the rather more involved process of locking).

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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    1. Install bike infrastructure.
    2. The 1-2% of the population that cycles gets excited (woo hoo bike lane!) and stops using alternate parallel routes.
    3. Count bikes only on new infrastructure.


    Boston ACS cycling mode share data from 2008-2012:

    1.6, 2.1, 1.4, 1.7, 2.0

    Did they suddenly stop building bike lanes in boston?

    Or...mebbee...just...mebee the spike every major city saw in 2008 had more to do with great recession (e.g. a disincentive to drive) than the build out in 2008 (sarcasm).
    Please differentiate for me in the Boston Bike Count I posted which areas of the study had or added bike infrastructure and which areas, if any in the count, did not. I am curious as to how you surmised the Bike Count was limited to areas with bike infrastructure only.

    You seem to place a lot of merit on the reliability of the ACS numbers. Do these numbers take into account transient members of a community, like students, or non-residents of a city like Boston or NYC where a sizable portion of bike riders actually live in a surrounding community and bike to a destination within the city on a daily basis? How do the ACS counts separate out the cyclists within the city who are residents and those that ride there?

  7. #232
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
    In that 100 years, the world has changed pretty dramatically. The widespread use of internal combustion engines had a great deal to due with that change. The US had a tremendous advantage in the post war years in that the infrastructure was spared the destruction that was visited on much of the western world. While other nations struggled to get back on their feet, the US vastly expanded its transportation infrastructure and in the process became the world's leading economic power. It is arguable that without the tremendous economic expansion that centered around the growth of automotive transportation, the rest of the technological advances we enjoy today would not have happened. The vibrant economy created in part by the automobile created an environment where other technologies could flourish. A great deal of the post war growth was facilitated by the ability to move goods and people quickly and efficiently.

    In retrospect it's easy to see areas where this growth could have happened in better fashion. There was certainly for a time a concerted effort on the part of automobile manufacturers and oil interests to kill public transportation. But even that is a bit of a double edged sword, as these industries were a substantial factor in the growth of the economy and the creation of a large middle class. This doesn't justify the planning errors resultant from influences of this cabal, but it does offset at least in part whatever economic detriments stemmed from them.

    That era of growth is now seemingly on a downward slide as the advantages once enjoyed over the rest of the world have begun to disappear. Whether or not the use of automobiles is sustainable, the economic boom they once provided certainly is not. But absent a total economic collapse, I don't see us ever returning to a world of carts, trolleys and bicycles as the dominant forms of transportation. New energy sources will arise and other forms of transit will be developed, but transportation will remain substantially mechanized. I enjoy the notion of returning to a simpler time, but I honestly don't wish to live to see that as I think it would come only as a result of economic devastation so severe that our world would be a pretty grim place for quite a long time.
    Yes, the explosive growth after WWII was in many ways rare if not unique. It was rare that the conqueror rebuilt the nation and economy of the vanquished. Yet, by way of the Marshall Plan the US did exactly that to the Axis Powers, primarily Germany, and changed Japan forever. Along the way it supported and built economies all over the globe.

    That certainly did not happen after WWI when the losers were hit with crippling sanctions that certainly helped create and sustain the actions that led to WWII.

    Arguably the greatest invention, not discovery, of the period and maybe of the century was the jet engine. It made possible the global economy we have today. It also set the stage for much other technological development. So, today, for better or worse, we live in an inextricably intertwangled global economy.

    Yes, indeed, companies like GM did buy and shut public transportation in favor of the products they were building. Looking back had they not done that the society we live in would be different for sure. Better? Worse? There are so many variables that depend on each other that will probably be subject for academic speculation well into the future. But, such speculation is not productive.

    How does this relate to the OP's point and to those who want to place barriers for private transportation to force people to ride bikes? The answer is pretty clearly that people will always act in their own perceived best interests. Note I said "perceived". If you want someone to willingly do something there are basically two ways; fear and profit. Fear doesn't last in the long run. Profit does. So, don't tout "better for the environment", or "social responsibility" , or "we are going to make private vehicle operation so untenable you Have to ride". Don't grimace and moan.

    Instead find creative ways to use bikes in daily life. Show how it makes sense to the average person. The planet won't be saved by bike riding. Nor, will it be destroyed by cars and trucks. Humanity might be. But, the planet won't. Be positive, upbeat and appealing to people's best perceived interests. That is going to be tough. But, it has been done in lots of other areas. If you match your passion with intelligent action it can be done in cycling as well.

  8. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    Yes, the explosive growth after WWII was in many ways rare if not unique. It was rare that the conqueror rebuilt the nation and economy of the vanquished. Yet, by way of the Marshall Plan the US did exactly that to the Axis Powers, primarily Germany, and changed Japan forever. Along the way it supported and built economies all over the globe.

    That certainly did not happen after WWI when the losers were hit with crippling sanctions that certainly helped create and sustain the actions that led to WWII.

    Arguably the greatest invention, not discovery, of the period and maybe of the century was the jet engine. It made possible the global economy we have today. It also set the stage for much other technological development. So, today, for better or worse, we live in an inextricably intertwangled global economy.

    Yes, indeed, companies like GM did buy and shut public transportation in favor of the products they were building. Looking back had they not done that the society we live in would be different for sure. Better? Worse? There are so many variables that depend on each other that will probably be subject for academic speculation well into the future. But, such speculation is not productive.

    How does this relate to the OP's point and to those who want to place barriers for private transportation to force people to ride bikes? The answer is pretty clearly that people will always act in their own perceived best interests. Note I said "perceived". If you want someone to willingly do something there are basically two ways; fear and profit. Fear doesn't last in the long run. Profit does. So, don't tout "better for the environment", or "social responsibility" , or "we are going to make private vehicle operation so untenable you Have to ride". Don't grimace and moan.

    Instead find creative ways to use bikes in daily life. Show how it makes sense to the average person. The planet won't be saved by bike riding. Nor, will it be destroyed by cars and trucks. Humanity might be. But, the planet won't. Be positive, upbeat and appealing to people's best perceived interests. That is going to be tough. But, it has been done in lots of other areas. If you match your passion with intelligent action it can be done in cycling as well.
    Unless there are some barriers to the complete intrusion of the motor vehicle into every space possible, then frankly it doesn't make sense to the average person to not use a car.

    The fact is that there are places that are ONLY reachable by car due to the design of the roads and bridges, and walking and cycling are quite discouraged... so those of us "perceived" as "wanting to place barriers to the car" are in fact merely asking that provisions be made for other than the car... and yes, in some circumstances perhaps access by auto should be limited.

    We do have some barriers to entry for the auto now for some large shopping mall interiors... and there are a few city cores where walking/cycling is preferable... is that really a bad thing?

    Cars are great for long distances, high speeds, cargo and passengers, but really are a terrible waste of resources for short trips and individual use... yet most of our modern city spaces are geared to primarily serve the auto, not the human passenger... and in some places transitioning from auto to pedestrian can be quite awkward due to those auto-centric designs.

  9. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Please differentiate for me in the Boston Bike Count I posted which areas of the study had or added bike infrastructure and which areas, if any in the count, did not. I am curious as to how you surmised the Bike Count was limited to areas with bike infrastructure only.

    You seem to place a lot of merit on the reliability of the ACS numbers. Do these numbers take into account transient members of a community, like students, or non-residents of a city like Boston or NYC where a sizable portion of bike riders actually live in a surrounding community and bike to a destination within the city on a daily basis? How do the ACS counts separate out the cyclists within the city who are residents and those that ride there?
    These counts by the BTs or DOTs who install the infrstructure are more about boosterism than statistical validation. While the census counts do not do a good job of capturing all cyclists I don't see any reason why they cannot be used to accurately gauge qualitative changes.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    ... The people had voted with their feet....
    .
    The phrase "voting with one's feet" is usually reserved to describe emigration or moving away. In this case it might be more appropriate to say they voter with their purse.

    OTOH- I agree with the general sense of this post. Infrastructure should follow transport trends, not try to dictate lead them
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  11. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    1. Install bike infrastructure.
    2. The 1-2% of the population that cycles gets excited (woo hoo bike lane!) and stops using alternate parallel routes.
    3. Count bikes only on new infrastructure.


    Boston ACS cycling mode share data from 2008-2012:

    1.6, 2.1, 1.4, 1.7, 2.0

    Did they suddenly stop building bike lanes in boston?

    Or...mebbee...just...mebee the spike every major city saw in 2008 had more to do with great recession (e.g. a disincentive to drive) than the build out in 2008 (sarcasm).
    Or, mebee...just...mebee - you not only like to quote noisy data, you like to selectively quote noisy data? (no sarcasm)

    2012 2.0 +/- 0.4
    2011 1.7 +/- 0.5
    2010 1.4 +/- 0.4
    2009 2.1 +/- 0.7
    2008 1.6 +/- 0.4
    2007 1.0 +/- 0.3
    2006 1.2 +/- 0.3
    2005 0.9 +/- 0.4


    But yeah, you are right. The Harvard Bridge (often mistakenly called the MIT Bridge, famous for Smoots) - that's a real concentrator of bike traffic, since folks go a mile or two out of their way to cross it in your theory. Oh wait, bike traffic is up on the Longfellow Bridge too, which is now under construction. And most amazing, it's even up on the Larz Anderson bridge - which has been under construction for way too long.

    -mr. bill
    Last edited by mr_bill; 01-10-14 at 06:54 PM.

  12. #237
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    Whether good or bad, waste of resources or satisfying the public's needs is best answered by the public. I recently was in a mid-western city where their car free business and social area was in the process of being remodeled back to streets and sidewalks. I asked why. The answer was that although the car free zone had been pushed and lots of taxpayer money had been spent on it the public rejected the whole idea. As a result the businesses in the area were strangling there was a danger of not having enough revenue to pay for city services. The people had voted with their feet.

    As has been posted by others, riding bikes for daily life works for some, not very well for most. Even very authoritarian governments like the Chinese have not been successful in changing that. If people are Real Advocates as differentiated from what has been posted so often they will work on making daily life more livable and not focus on one particular mode of recreation and transportation.

    Work to remove barriers and make life better, not cause artificial pain or you will be plucked out like a splinter.
    Kind of an odd catch-22 in your last sentence... "remove barriers" (thus allow cars to penetrate everywhere) "and make life better" (not really the end result when people are driving everywhere and not getting any exercise).

    I wonder what mid-west town that was and how long they had gone with the car free zone. I wonder if the density of the design lead to things just being too far away to comfortably walk about.

    Here in San Diego there was quite a bit of merchant protest about modifying an area to narrow the roads and put in roundabouts vice 4 way stops... this was done to reduce the speeds in the area, which had typically been 35MPH, but were often driven faster. The end result was that the traffic flow was improved, even though the speeds went down to about 25-30 in the area. The merchants were ultimately surprised as foot traffic in the area improved, more people visited the shops and restaurants, and parking was actually easier, due to the narrower lanes and lower speeds. Thus a win-win all around.

    So it is not only what is done, but how it is done that makes the difference.

    BTW I fully agree that one should not focus on just one mode of transportation... which is why I find it so disheartening that so many areas are so car centric... and tend to exclude all other forms of transportation... from public to bike to pedestrian.
    Last edited by genec; 01-10-14 at 06:59 PM.

  13. #238
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    These counts by the BTs or DOTs who install the infrstructure are more about boosterism than statistical validation. While the census counts do not do a good job of capturing all cyclists I don't see any reason why they cannot be used to accurately gauge qualitative changes.

    What proof do you have that what you claim is applicable to the Boston Bike Count? What do you know of the methodology and the locations that supports that contention. Again, I ask you to please differentiate between areas in that count that have infrastructure and those that do not. Those of us who live and ride here are well aware of which is which, I am wondering if you are. If you are not, what is the basis of your assumption that the bike count only includes areas with new infrastructure?

    Given your categorical condemnation of the Boston Bike Count I find this statement of yours a bit tough to accept-"While the census counts do not do a good job of capturing all cyclists I don't see any reason why they cannot be used to accurately gauge qualitative changes."- Are you serious? What does that doublespeak even mean?

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman;16400839..."[I
    While the census counts do not do a good job of capturing all cyclists I don't see any reason why they cannot be used to accurately gauge qualitative changes."[/I]- Are you serious? What does that doublespeak even mean?
    To me it means that while I wouldn't use the ACS data to compare between regions, I am comfortable using it to note trends in one area. That may well not be what Spare_Wheel means by his statement.

    It's interesting that some of the folks from beantown vigorously defend their local bike counts. Having been a part of ours, I can state categorically that our local bike counts are totally fudged and have no meaning beyond serving as propaganda. I suspect the same problem exists in Portland. Thus some of us have a bias, born of our local experiences, against any counts done by people with a dog in the fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    Or, mebee...just...mebee - you not only like to quote noisy data, you like to selectively quote noisy data? (no sarcasm)

    2012 2.0 +/- 0.4
    2011 1.7 +/- 0.5
    2010 1.4 +/- 0.4
    2009 2.1 +/- 0.7
    2008 1.6 +/- 0.4
    2007 1.0 +/- 0.3
    2006 1.2 +/- 0.3
    2005 0.9 +/- 0.4


    But yeah, you are right. The Harvard Bridge (often mistakenly called the MIT Bridge, famous for Smoots) - that's a real concentrator of bike traffic, since folks go a mile or two out of their way to cross it in your theory. Oh wait, bike traffic is up on the Longfellow Bridge too, which is now under construction. And most amazing, it's even up on the Larz Anderson bridge - which has been under construction for way too long.

    -mr. bill

    So how do you explain the sudden spike mode share in 2008 (that occurred in every major city in the USA).

    *drums fingers*
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    While the census counts do not do a good job of capturing all cyclists I don't see any reason why they cannot be used to accurately gauge qualitative changes."- Are you serious? What does that doublespeak even mean?
    You are being completely disingenuous. Census mode share numbers do not count certain segments of the population...but they still measure changes in mode share that effect the population as a whole.
    Last edited by spare_wheel; 01-11-14 at 12:43 AM.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    It's interesting that some of the folks from beantown vigorously defend their local bike counts. Having been a part of ours, I can state categorically that our local bike counts are totally fudged and have no meaning beyond serving as propaganda. I suspect the same problem exists in Portland. Thus some of us have a bias, born of our local experiences, against any counts done by people with a dog in the fight.
    PBOT tends to publicize ACS census numbers these days.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    You are being completely disingenuous. Census mode share numbers do not count certain segments of the population...but they still measure changes in mode share that effect the population as a whole.

    I am not being disingenuous about Census Mode Share numbers. I really do not understand your confidence in them. If they do not count certain segments of the cycling population, and those segments are significant members of the cycling population ie. students, transients and cyclists traveling into a city from outlying districts then I don't see them as dependable other than as a very rough marker, as B. Carfree says, of trends. In which case, certainly as it applies to this thread, they are hardly a measure of real hard data as to how many cyclists are actually on the streets on any given day.

    I may be guilty of some disingenuousness with regards the Boston Bike Count. If you have serious doubts or evidence of fudging of the numbers or have questions about the methodology used I would encourage you to contact Najah Shakir, najah.shakir@boston.gov, at the Mayor's office immediately to express your concerns. And please, you claimed that the data was only gathered at places with new infrastructure in order to skew the totals, could you please, based on what seems to be some real insider knowledge of the city of
    Boston that you have and those of us who live here do not have, differentiate for me those places in the counts that have and/or do not have infrastructure.

    Bike counts from Boston, New York and Minneapolis have all been presented in defense of infrastructural implementation and they have all been summarily dismissed by you and B.Carfree with the same unsubstantiated claims of propaganda and bias.

    The news has been flooded with the recent "traffic scandal" in New Jersey. Messing with people's daily commutes due to a political agenda is not only a matter of inconvenience but a matter of public safety and misuse of public funds. If you, B. Carfree and others have such strong misgivings and suspicions about the Bike Counts in Portland, or any other city, you should present it to responsible parties in government and or advocacy.

    Since the topic seems to be data, reliability, bias and trust my expectation in this dialogue would be that you would present some real hard, objective data to back your claims about the Boston Bike Count. If you are unwilling or unable to do so why should I take what you are saying with the least bit of seriousness?

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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    PBOT tends to publicize ACS census numbers these days.
    Yeah, they sure do. (yes, that's sarcasm.) Five year ACS, since the one year ACS is too damn noisy. There's not a single 1 year ACS number in this report.

    Note also they also use the of old school census data (1990 and 2000).

    And what's with automated bicycle counting (with *SEASONAL* data), volunteer bicycle counts, helmet use by section of the city, etc that dominates this report? Boosterism is what you called it?

    Again, the 1-year ACS bicycle data is so noisy to be near meaningless. If you are looking for "statistical validation" look elsewhere.

    -mr. bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Bike counts from Boston, New York and Minneapolis have all been presented in defense of infrastructural implementation and they have all been summarily dismissed by you and B.Carfree with the same unsubstantiated claims of propaganda and bias.

    The news has been flooded with the recent "traffic scandal" in New Jersey. Messing with people's daily commutes due to a political agenda is not only a matter of inconvenience but a matter of public safety and misuse of public funds. If you, B. Carfree and others have such strong misgivings and suspicions about the Bike Counts in Portland, or any other city, you should present it to responsible parties in government and or advocacy.

    Since the topic seems to be data, reliability, bias and trust my expectation in this dialogue would be that you would present some real hard, objective data to back your claims about the Boston Bike Count. If you are unwilling or unable to do so why should I take what you are saying with the least bit of seriousness?
    ACS counts are based on unbiased surveys and modelling of the decennial census. The census is run by highly a-political math wonks. Traffic departments/bureaus, on the other hand, are highly politicized and select count sites not based on a statistical model but based on political and/or arbitrary criteria.

    Since you agree that ACS numbers should reflect a trend in cycling then what exactly is your explanation for discrepancy in numbers between the ACS and the BBC?
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    And what's with automated bicycle counting (with *SEASONAL* data), volunteer bicycle counts, helmet use by section of the city, etc that dominates this report? Boosterism is what you called it?
    exactly. i consider PBOT bike counts to be completely irrelevant. and so do most people in portland who are interested in cycling. here is some evidence:

    http://bikeportland.org/2013/10/30/c...agnation-96367

    http://bikeportland.org/2013/09/19/c...es-climb-94248


    Again, the 1-year ACS bicycle data is so noisy to be near meaningless.
    Now you are just making stuff up. ACS data are based on a survey validated by a statistical model and come with standard errors and confidence limits.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    ACS counts are based on unbiased surveys and modelling of the decennial census. The census is run by highly a-political math wonks. Traffic departments/bureaus, on the other hand, are highly politicized and select count sites not based on a statistical model but based on political and/or arbitrary criteria.

    Since you agree that ACS numbers should reflect a trend in cycling then what exactly is your explanation for discrepancy in numbers between the ACS and the BBC?

    I'll let the DOT and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics explain that discrepancy. they do a far better job than I would.

    Here's some of what those "math wonks" say about their own census data as it pertains to bicycle pedestrian counts.

    Quote Originally Posted by US DOT and Bureau of Transportation Statistics
    Some commonly recognized limitations of census data for pedestrian and bicy- cle analysis are listed here:
    ● Only work trips are included. Thus, if census data are used to represent overall levels of walking and bicycling, these must be assumed to be in some proportion to work-trip use. Work trips make up less than one- quarter of all trips, so nonwork trip-making patterns are not captured by the census.
    ● The data may not represent “normal” pedestrian and bicycle work-trip mode use. The census is conducted the first week in April, and respon- dents are asked to report their most frequently used mode in the past week. Mode use may fluctuate depending on weather conditions, and occasional bicyclists or walkers would not be included. Also, trips by mul- tiple modes (e.g., a walk to the subway) cannot be determined.
    ● Data are not available at both the disaggregate level and a high level of geographic detail. PUMS disaggregated data are only available for small samples at the level of the city or county, and the application of PUMS data to pedestrian and bicycle analysis has been very limited...
    For more info go to this site:DOT/BTS document for more information on the gaps and limitations of census data and how the "math wonks" use an amalgam of bicycle counts, ACS and other census data to determine needs, usage and for design and effectiveness of various infrastructures. The "math wonks" do not dismiss one set of data, bike counts, census figures etc but instead weigh all the data with the pragmatic realization that the collection of data may have inherent flaws but can be cross checked to determine the most accurate measurements, which is all I am suggesting.

    I will ask you one more time and then I will give up but please show me in the Boston Bicycle Count which areas have infrastructure and/or which do not. You stated with certainty that the count was skewed in favor of infrastructure. That the counts were done only at places with new infrastructure. I'm really curious as to how you support that contention.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    ...
    Now you are just making stuff up. ACS data are based on a survey validated by a statistical model and come with standard errors and confidence limits.
    From your bikeportland.org - "Those figures are far within the Census survey's margin of error." As is your "sudden spike" in the Boston ACS 1 year data - which is why *I*, not you, include the margin of error in the results. There is no "sudden spike" in the Boston ACS data. This isn't hard stuff.

    Me, I'm completely enjoying my imaginary friends on my rides around these parts. Because, well, according to you, the 1-year ACS says they aren't there, so clearly they are imaginary.

    -mr. bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    exactly. i consider PBOT bike counts to be completely irrelevant. and so do most people in portland who are interested in cycling. here is some evidence:

    http://bikeportland.org/2013/10/30/c...agnation-96367

    http://bikeportland.org/2013/09/19/c...es-climb-94248
    .
    The two links you posted are hardly evidence that the bike count was irrelevant. If anything, I think it demonstrates that the ACS data, which is a survey is hardly reliable on its own and that there seems to be a group of the "sky is falling" cyclists jumping to hasty conclusions based on very inconclusive evidence. Not that the ACS data is entirely useless or irrelevant, nor that the hastily jumped to conclusion of cycle commuting in Portland stagnating is not necessarily accurate but that the ACS data is simply not enough of a proof of cause. You and B.Carfree seem to have made the additional leap to new infrastructure being the culprit or at the very least not a solution. I'm still not seeing any evidence of that whatsoever.

    Could the discrepancy in the count numbers with the ACS numbers be based on the possibility that while the number of people commuting has leveled the number of people riding bikes for more general transportation purposes- going to the market, visiting friends, even riding recreationally has increased? The ACS survey simply asks how someone got to work the prior week of the survey in April. Doesn't really ask if you rode a bike for some other purpose.

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    Which is why I get counted in a Cambridge Bike Count, but won't get counted by the ACS - ever.
    My modes of transportation by time are walking, cycling, driving, public transit - in that order. My modes of transportation by distance is driving, cycling, public transit, walking. (Actually, flying is first in distance, last in time, but....)

    -mr. bill

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