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Old 01-13-14, 05:04 PM   #276
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Seeing this handwriting on the wall, some of us are now, belatedly, insisting that if it's going to be built and we're going to have to use it, we want it done right. We sure wish we had been insisting on this forty years ago when some of this stuff was first being done, ...
+1

I've told some public officials that a bike lane in the door zone is worse than nothing and to not do it. Pretty much the same for sharrows and bike route signs. From a design standpoint we need to design safe segregated bikeways the same as streets/roads/stroads so that people can safely ride at a comfortably high speed.
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Old 01-13-14, 07:59 PM   #277
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When the "infrastructure" is based on what I consider to be an irrational fear of same-direction traffic and is shoe-horned into spaces where it both adds peculiar dangers (door zones, right-hooks) and is discontinuous (on-again-off-again), then I would recommend passing on it until something better can be built. If we're talking about communities that have the courage and wisdom to put in two meter wide bike lanes totally clear of the door zone, even if that means removing some car storage facilities and even some travel lanes, then there's some potential there. Sure, there's still intersection issues to be hammered out. (If they want to slow all the traffic down by banning right turn on red for automobiles and using separate signals for bikes and other traffic I would be interested to see how that works in an American environment.)

Perhaps our longer experience with segregated facilities and poorly done bike lanes out here in the west can explain some of our objections to things that seem fresh and wonderful back east. After "infrastructure" WILL come mandatory use laws. These laws will likely become more and more severe as infrastructure is added. Eventually, cyclists will be fighting for the right to use roads that are even parallel to something that has been officially designated as a bike route (that's where the fight is currently in Oregon).

Seeing this handwriting on the wall, some of us are now, belatedly, insisting that if it's going to be built and we're going to have to use it, we want it done right. We sure wish we had been insisting on this forty years ago when some of this stuff was first being done, because it's a lot harder to get dangerous, inconvenient things removed after the fact than it would have been to force them to be done well at the outset. Unfortunately, cycling advocates were just too giddy over getting something "bikey" to see the unintended consequences of what we got.

However, in the end, I don't think the lines and concrete are the biggest factors. (Note: I'm not saying they are unimportant.) When I have been in times/places where traffic laws are vigorously enforced, I rarely have any issues. In those times/places where everyone knows there are no consequences for uncivilized behavior, then things aren't quite as pleasant. Police departments don't operate in a vacuum. They will do the bidding of the elected officials, who in turn will do what they see as in their interests. So, we're back to that positive feedback loop of more cyclists leads to more demands for a better cycling environment, leads to more cyclists...with the twist that we shouldn't ignore the social/legal environment.
There's a lot of really good stuff in this post. And a bit of hyperbole and bias but not worth picking apart since there's so much that makes sense.

In any case, regarding the question: "Will they really come if you build it?" I think the basic answer is, "Yes." You have said as much when you admitted that quality infrastructure attracts cyclists. Spare-wheel has referred to it as "essential". There doesn't seem to be any evidence presented of any city or community in the United States with a relatively high modal share of cyclists that does not have infrastructure specific to cyclists.

If there is a city in North America with cadres of vehicular cyclists riding on traffic calmed streets and LEO's enforcing traffic law in cyclists favor and no other infrastructure specific to cyclists and a high modal share please let me know.

But it seems to me that even what I referred to as "subsistence infrastructure" or even relatively poor infrastructure does increase the numbers of cyclists. Please keep in mind I am not saying that the fact that poorly designed infrastructure can increase the numbers of cyclists is a good or a bad thing- that is another question. Nor am I saying that the building of infrastructure of any quality is an absolute guarantee of an increase in the numbers of cyclists. I'm not into "absolutes".

Bicycle counts, despite the misgivings that you and spare_wheel have expressed (and when challenged regarding the Boston Count were so unfamiliar the region and the methodology that it makes me wonder why you're both such sticklers for hard data when you seem to be basing a lot of what you say on assumptions, bias and opinion) but, anyway, despite the misgivings you may have it is hard for some of us to ignore them when they support our own personal observations.

Anyway, thanks for an interesting thread. Your questions and points about what makes quality infrastructure and your reservations about how best to implement infrastructure into a community without making the errors of other cities is certainly worth another thread specific to that topic.
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Old 01-13-14, 08:36 PM   #278
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no other infrastructure specific to cyclists and a high modal share please let me know.
Most places areas with high mode share have a mix of facilities so your request is not really very serious.
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Old 01-13-14, 10:30 PM   #279
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+1

I've told some public officials that a bike lane in the door zone is worse than nothing and to not do it. Pretty much the same for sharrows and bike route signs. From a design standpoint we need to design safe segregated bikeways the same as streets/roads/stroads so that people can safely ride at a comfortably high speed.
I see. Huffy v. Ferguson. Maybe we should make alleys off-limits to the garbage collector. Oops, those pesky cross streets. We built this city on rock and roll and we can tear it down for Trek.

Sounds like Brasilia II.
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Old 01-13-14, 10:33 PM   #280
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+1

I've told some public officials that a bike lane in the door zone is worse than nothing and to not do it. Pretty much the same for sharrows and bike route signs. From a design standpoint we need to design safe segregated bikeways the same as streets/roads/stroads so that people can safely ride at a comfortably high speed.
Did you also tell the public officials that your views are not necessarily shared by other bicyclists or potential bicyclists in your area, and in fact only represented your own personal opinion?
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Old 01-13-14, 10:38 PM   #281
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At least nobody has told them to get off their lawn.
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Old 01-13-14, 10:47 PM   #282
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There's a lot of really good stuff in this post. And a bit of hyperbole and bias but not worth picking apart since there's so much that makes sense.
Did you mean the loaded rhetoric of "what I consider to be an irrational fear of same-direction traffic" and phrases like "car storage facilities" to describe car parking?

Bombastic VC Speak may impress the lunatic crowd and the so-called big names in the field of bicycle traffic engineering but sounds more like deliberate poison pill rhetoric intended to kill any serious consideration by public officials (or the public) of any "good stuff" suggestions that accompany it.
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Old 01-13-14, 10:57 PM   #283
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Car storage facility?

Beverly Hills? Movie stars?
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Old 01-13-14, 11:25 PM   #284
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Car storage facility?

Beverly Hills? Movie stars?
Nope, it is smug rhetoric used by some anti-motorist types to describe and denigrate parking for cars, especially on street parking.
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Old 01-13-14, 11:51 PM   #285
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You mean nobody has to fetch a hickory stick?
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Old 01-14-14, 09:27 AM   #286
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Did you mean the loaded rhetoric of "what I consider to be an irrational fear of same-direction traffic" and phrases like "car storage facilities" to describe car parking?

Bombastic VC Speak may impress the lunatic crowd and the so-called big names in the field of bicycle traffic engineering but sounds more like deliberate poison pill rhetoric intended to kill any serious consideration by public officials (or the public) of any "good stuff" suggestions that accompany it.
Say.... are any of these "big names" in bicycle traffic engineering actually engineers with degrees recognized as being for traffic engineering, and have they actually designed anything for bicycle traffic engineering?

I know one name that comes up quite often acts like he is some sort of bicycle psychologist with his certain theories...
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Old 01-14-14, 10:16 AM   #287
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Did you also tell the public officials that your views are not necessarily shared by other bicyclists or potential bicyclists in your area, and in fact only represented your own personal opinion?
Ten years ago I might have been alone in that opinion, but today the number of people who support door zone bike lanes has dwindled to a very few VCs and non-bicycling traffic engineers and politicians.
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Old 01-14-14, 11:47 AM   #288
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+1

I've told some public officials that a bike lane in the door zone is worse than nothing and to not do it. Pretty much the same for sharrows and bike route signs. From a design standpoint we need to design safe segregated bikeways the same as streets/roads/stroads so that people can safely ride at a comfortably high speed.
completely disagree as segregated bikeways:

will result in more law's restricting use to such lanes, further enforcing the idea that bikes do not belong on the road

will never have the coverage to go all places a bicyclist might want to go

will not be high speed

Segregated does not automatically equal safe.
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Old 01-14-14, 12:38 PM   #289
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completely disagree as segregated bikeways:

will result in more law's restricting use to such lanes, further enforcing the idea that bikes do not belong on the road
OK may be an issue... but truth be told there are roads on which bikes really don't belong... and we cyclists all know those roads here and there...
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will never have the coverage to go all places a bicyclist might want to go
Don't need to, never needed to, this is just a red herring... We have loads and loads of interstate Freeway in this nation that "don't go everywhere..." nor do arterial roads go "everywhere" yet we keep building those. Frankly, a good path should just be used where suitable roads are not available.
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will not be high speed
So what... ever hear of speed limits for motor vehicles... sure you may think you are Lance out for training everyday, but the fact is that transportation cyclists don't need to hit top speed every foot of their commute... and many cyclists rarely go above 12MPH. So do we really have to build everything for "racer boys?"
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Segregated does not automatically equal safe.
Very true... so how about some real safety standards to deal with paths to make them safer... design in traffic signals if needed. Rather than doing the typical 2nd class patchwork designs that tend to result in "park paths."

Treat cycling as transportation and make suitable paths.

The fact is that paths are often not considered as part of an overall transportation plan, but are often given over to parks and rec groups... who treat them as park "toys." If cycling is to be taken as a serious mode of transportation in America, then we need "complete paths..." including bike highways... the latter being a safe and more direct route to get from one area of town to another, much as urban freeways work for automobiles.

Paths are never going to go door to door for everyone... but they can serve as corridors from residential areas to business areas and from neighborhood core to neighborhood core.

And certainly a well designed path is far better and safer than "sharing" a high speed wide arterial road with distracted drivers.

The basic issue is getting standards for real transportation paths.
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Old 01-14-14, 12:59 PM   #290
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will never have the coverage to go all places a bicyclist might want to go
Don't need to, never needed to, this is just a red herring... We have loads and loads of interstate Freeway in this nation that "don't go everywhere..." nor do arterial roads go "everywhere" yet we keep building those.
??? This makes no sense.

Bike facilities are isolated by "scary" streets. Freeways are not isolated at all (cars can easily get from one freeway to another). The analogy is pedestrian walkways. These are frequently blocked by freeways which make things very inconvenient for pedestrians.

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The fact is that paths are often not considered as part of an overall transportation plan, but are often given over to parks and rec groups... who treat them as park "toys." If cycling is to be taken as a serious mode of transportation in America, then we need "complete paths..." including bike highways... the latter being a safe and more direct route to get from one area of town to another, much as urban freeways work for automobiles.
And then, you contradict your point here! Oye!!

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Old 01-14-14, 01:16 PM   #291
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??? This makes no sense.

Bike facilities are isolated by "scary" streets. Freeways are not isloated at all (cars can easily get from one freeway to another). The analogy is pedestrian walkways. These are frequently blocked by freeways which make things very inconvenient for pedestrians.
Bike paths are like interstate freeways... they do not need to go everywhere... Freeways ARE indeed isolated... can you take one from your front door to the mall 10 miles down the road... NO... you use residential streets, to get to arterial roads to get to freeways. Just as freeways terminate to surface streets, bike paths can terminate into low speed residential streets or low speed downtown streets. There is nothing wrong with cycling on low speed streets... Cycling in such areas tends to be safe.

Paths are only really needed when and where suitable low speed (30MPH and lower) are not available for cyclists. When the ONLY roads available are 50MPH and 65MPH arterial roads... then suitable paths should be provided for cyclists. And yes, suitable sidewalks should be provided for pedestrians.

This is the very core of the problem with our current autocentric designs... a car can go everywhere, but not so bikes or peds... If a car can get there, there should be safe provisions for both bikes and peds.

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And then, you contradict your point here! Oye!!
Hardly a contradiction... I wrote about the current state of paths... which is that they are generally 2nd class and hardly usable for transportation... which is why I call for real standards when designing real transportation paths...
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Old 01-14-14, 03:13 PM   #292
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Ten years ago I might have been alone in that opinion, but today the number of people who support door zone bike lanes has dwindled to a very few VCs and non-bicycling traffic engineers and politicians.
What makes you think you know that other cyclists prefer no bike lanes rather than bike lanes that are in the so-called door zone, which is often the only practical alternative to no bike lanes? What makes you think that all other cyclists are ignoramuses that cannot/will not use caution when riding in such lanes if parked cars are present?
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Old 01-14-14, 03:17 PM   #293
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Say.... are any of these "big names" in bicycle traffic engineering actually engineers with degrees recognized as being for traffic engineering, and have they actually designed anything for bicycle traffic engineering?

I know one name that comes up quite often acts like he is some sort of bicycle psychologist with his certain theories...
They have the one almighty qualification, they publicly worship at the alter of John Forester Brand Vehicular Cycling, and preach his Good Words to the heathen.
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Old 01-14-14, 03:31 PM   #294
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Freeways ARE indeed isolated... can you take one from your front door to the mall 10 miles down the road... NO... you use residential streets, to get to arterial roads to get to freeways.
???? They aren't "isolated". It's easly for cars to get to a freeway. There is no barrier for a car to get to or use a freeway.

"Isolated" refers to things that are hard to get to.

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Just as freeways terminate to surface streets, bike paths can terminate into low speed residential streets or low speed downtown streets. There is nothing wrong with cycling on low speed streets... Cycling in such areas tends to be safe.
??? Many bicycle paths don't terminate into "low speed residential streets". In many cases, you can't get from one bike path to another without using fairly bicycling-inappropriate streets. That is, many bicycle paths are "isolated". That is, at the current time, they aren't really like freeways at all (because, unlike freeways, they are often hard to get to).

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This is the very core of the problem with our current autocentric designs... a car can go everywhere, but not so bikes or peds... If a car can get there, there should be safe provisions for both bikes and peds.

Hardly a contradiction... I wrote about the current state of paths... which is that they are generally 2nd class and hardly usable for transportation... which is why I call for real standards when designing real transportation paths...
Freeways/roads also support shipping/commerse. You are going to find it hard to find $$ to pay for "bicycle freeways" to support a few cyclists. There might be a few cases, in urban areas, where there might be enough cyclists but there are still going to be quite a few barriers/impediments to cyclists in many other parts of the country.

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Old 01-14-14, 03:34 PM   #295
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Ten years ago I might have been alone in that opinion, but today the number of people who support door zone bike lanes has dwindled to a very few VCs and non-bicycling traffic engineers and politicians.
???? A basic principle of "vehicular cycling" is that cyclists don't need bike lanes.
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Old 01-14-14, 04:12 PM   #296
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Go back and read my first post on this where I say at least twice that we need STANDARDS for PROPER PATHS...

Yes I agree that the paths that tend to exist (but not all cases) are poor... which I why I again say WE NEED STANDARDS FOR PROPER PATHS.

Indeed I COMPLAINED about how paths tend to fall into the control of parks departments not transportation departments and THIS IS A PROBLEM... (that was the part you said was contradictory... what I wrote was a reflection of what we have now, THAT IS POORLY DONE... due to lack of standards)

I am going to say it one more time WE NEED STANDARDS FOR PROPER BICYCLE TRANSPORTATION PATHS.

Now lets discuss Freeways... Does one come right to your front door? Not to mine, not to anyone I know... because Freeways are only a partial solution... they connect areas, cores and cities. Bicycle paths can do the same thing... connect subdivisions, connect neighborhood cores and connect residential neighborhoods to business districts... but like Freeways, they DO NOT HAVE TO GO DOOR TO DOOR. Low speed (30MPH) streets that tend to exist in neighborhoods and downtown cores can serve bicycles just as easily as they now serve cars.

The problem I see right now is that wide high speed arterial roads (45MPH+) and Freeways serve motorists fine, but leave cyclists out in the cold... this is where properly designed bicycle transportation paths fit in. There is no need for such paths to go door to door, just as there is no need for a freeway to go door to door. But right now, automobiles are well served as they have the means to go from low speed streets to freeways, back to low speed streets.

Cyclists, on the other hand, are either restricted from freeways or they are forced to ride on marginal bike lanes , in high speed situations designed for fast automobiles (or on the current crappy paths). This is where proper paths should exist... so that cyclists do not have to use freeways and wide high speed arterial roads (designed for automobiles) to allow cyclists to connect to the same places that automobile drivers connect to in our auto centric society.

Is this clear yet... or should I show you google maps and how freeways DO NOT go from door to door... just as bike paths do not have to go from door to door.

And yes I agree with your comment as to the fact that "many bike paths are isolated and don't even go to low speed streets..." INDEED THIS IS A PROBLEM... because current paths are for recreation, not TRANSPORTATION. THUS WE NEED STANDARDS FOR TRANSPORTATION BIKE PATHS that DO connect to low speed streets and complete the entire transportation infrastructure for cyclists, much as that which motorists have today.

Stop pointing out what doesn't work, and start thinking about how to make a system that will work... rather than depending on our crappy automotive centric system that depends on cyclists being "brave," "the alpha dog," "strong" and "a road sneak" to get around on a system designed for drivers of automobiles. If we don't define what we want, we will only get more of the same second class crap!

If we build a system that properly addresses the needs of cyclists... indeed they will come. But as yet, we have not built such a system... we are instead treated to second class bandaid "solutions" that tend to be dangerous and poorly constructed... but as yet, none of our "Bicycle Transportation Engineers" has stepped up to address what real transportation bike paths, integrated with slow speed streets, should look like... thus we have a public that pretty much refuses to go out and play "road sneak" et. al. on a system designed for high speed heavy motor vehicles.


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???? They aren't "isolated". It's easly for cars to get to a freeway.


Except that many bicycle paths aren't connected by "low speed streets". Many of them are, in fact, "isolated": many riders have to use roads they don't find particularly safe to ride on.


You are contradicting yourself again. This is exactly why freeways are not like bike paths or highways.
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Old 01-14-14, 04:17 PM   #297
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???? A basic principle of "vehicular cycling" is that cyclists don't need bike lanes.
You are right... those cyclists just need to be brave, strong, alpha dogs playing road sneak on infrastructure designed for automobiles...

And the numbers of cyclists doing so, reflects just how well that works.
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Old 01-14-14, 04:47 PM   #298
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Most places areas with high mode share have a mix of facilities so your request is not really very serious.
Oh, I am very serious. If infrastructure doesn't increase modal share why are there no areas with high modal share and no facilities?

And I'm still waiting for your proof as to the lack of legitimacy of the Boston Bike count, which you so readily dismissed and disparaged. Could you simply identify where on the count there is infrastructure and where there is not (since you insisted it was skewed because they only count where infrastructure exists). And, please, what proof do you have that the numbers have been skewed or deliberately manipulated in order to justify added infrastructure.

Oh, and while you're at it. Please illuminate us on how the NY DOT got it wrong on their count as well.
And I'm not just asking your opinion based on your bias but a touch of evidence would be really welcome.

Could I be any more condescending? Probably.

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Old 01-14-14, 05:53 PM   #299
John Forester
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Go back and read my first post on this where I say at least twice that we need STANDARDS for PROPER PATHS...

Yes I agree that the paths that tend to exist (but not all cases) are poor... which I why I again say WE NEED STANDARDS FOR PROPER PATHS.

Indeed I COMPLAINED about how paths tend to fall into the control of parks departments not transportation departments and THIS IS A PROBLEM... (that was the part you said was contradictory... what I wrote was a reflection of what we have now, THAT IS POORLY DONE... due to lack of standards)

I am going to say it one more time WE NEED STANDARDS FOR PROPER BICYCLE TRANSPORTATION PATHS.

Now lets discuss Freeways... Does one come right to your front door? Not to mine, not to anyone I know... because Freeways are only a partial solution... they connect areas, cores and cities. Bicycle paths can do the same thing... connect subdivisions, connect neighborhood cores and connect residential neighborhoods to business districts... but like Freeways, they DO NOT HAVE TO GO DOOR TO DOOR. Low speed (30MPH) streets that tend to exist in neighborhoods and downtown cores can serve bicycles just as easily as they now serve cars.

The problem I see right now is that wide high speed arterial roads (45MPH+) and Freeways serve motorists fine, but leave cyclists out in the cold... this is where properly designed bicycle transportation paths fit in. There is no need for such paths to go door to door, just as there is no need for a freeway to go door to door. But right now, automobiles are well served as they have the means to go from low speed streets to freeways, back to low speed streets.

Cyclists, on the other hand, are either restricted from freeways or they are forced to ride on marginal bike lanes , in high speed situations designed for fast automobiles (or on the current crappy paths). This is where proper paths should exist... so that cyclists do not have to use freeways and wide high speed arterial roads (designed for automobiles) to allow cyclists to connect to the same places that automobile drivers connect to in our auto centric society.

Is this clear yet... or should I show you google maps and how freeways DO NOT go from door to door... just as bike paths do not have to go from door to door.

And yes I agree with your comment as to the fact that "many bike paths are isolated and don't even go to low speed streets..." INDEED THIS IS A PROBLEM... because current paths are for recreation, not TRANSPORTATION. THUS WE NEED STANDARDS FOR TRANSPORTATION BIKE PATHS that DO connect to low speed streets and complete the entire transportation infrastructure for cyclists, much as that which motorists have today.

Stop pointing out what doesn't work, and start thinking about how to make a system that will work... rather than depending on our crappy automotive centric system that depends on cyclists being "brave," "the alpha dog," "strong" and "a road sneak" to get around on a system designed for drivers of automobiles. If we don't define what we want, we will only get more of the same second class crap!

If we build a system that properly addresses the needs of cyclists... indeed they will come. But as yet, we have not built such a system... we are instead treated to second class bandaid "solutions" that tend to be dangerous and poorly constructed... but as yet, none of our "Bicycle Transportation Engineers" has stepped up to address what real transportation bike paths, integrated with slow speed streets, should look like... thus we have a public that pretty much refuses to go out and play "road sneak" et. al. on a system designed for high speed heavy motor vehicles.
Genec has made a specific proposal for appropriate bikeways. That is, every street with a speed limit over 30mph shall be paralleled by either a path built to his high standards or, I suppose, a parrallel roadway with speed limit no higher than 30mph. Since this is a definite proposal, its practicality can be considered.
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Old 01-14-14, 06:16 PM   #300
njkayaker
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You are right... those cyclists just need to be brave, strong, alpha dogs playing road sneak on infrastructure designed for automobiles...

And the numbers of cyclists doing so, reflects just how well that works.


Pointing out that vehicular cycling isn't about bike lanes isn't recommending it.
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