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  1. #301
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    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.
    They aren''t "isolated".

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    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.
    You are going to wait a very long time for that (to be wide-spread).
    Last edited by njkayaker; 01-14-14 at 05:30 PM.

  2. #302
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    They aren''t "isolated".
    Take away the low speed surface streets (that cyclists can use) and can you even connect to a freeway? Does that freeway go somewhere? That is isolation my friend. Freeways need low speed surface streets to make a freeway effective... otherwise said freeway is like that park bike path out in the middle of nowhere.

    Now look at it from a cyclists perspective... a cyclist can go anywhere low speed streets exist... but to go beyond that, it takes a whole bunch of brave, strong, alpha dog, road sneak. Or as you put it earlier, the low speed streets suffer isolation by "scary" streets. Make connections around the "scary streets" for cyclists, and you have a complete transportation network.
    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    You are going to wait a very long time for that (to be wide-spread).
    True... So why put off defining that need... define it today and determine what has to be done to fix it... it may be a combination of road diets and bike boulevards... to solve the "scary street" situation in some places, and probably adding paths where only freeway-like roads exist today. The one thing we don't need however is paths everywhere. Some areas are already nice grids of low speed streets... and those areas can be easily used by cyclists now... if cyclists from outside those areas could connect to those areas. But as long as we have incomplete transportation networks and "scary streets..." well, we have the picture we have today.

  3. #303
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    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...
    Genec's questions concerning the discipline of bicycle traffic engineering elicit strong comments. First, Dan Gutierrez is a fine engineer in fixing earth satellite problems; that clearly involves both intense engineering understanding of complex problems and the ability to get corrective measures implemented. Brian Desousa is a chemical engineer with good experience; chemical engineering combines chemical reactions with rates of reaction and rates of flow, and such, which has some analogy to traffic flow. I am an industrial engineer, registered in California; industrial engineering combines physical processes with the facilities required to perform those processes and consideration of the human factors which enable people to operate the system safely and efficiently. The similarity to traffic operations should be obvious. There may be others with similar engineering qualifications; there hasn't been any need to inquire. None of us has designed any specific bicycle traffic engineering facility, but both Dan and myself have prepared design standards which we believe should be followed.

    As for those who designed the laws and bikeway standards that we have had since 1980, all of whom I observed at work, none of them showed any sign of understanding bicycle traffic engineering. Which of them were certified traffic engineers is not known to me; I suspect only a few.

    Traffic engineers are not the brightest of engineers. Nearly all of their work is following rulebook rules; they understand the rules, but typically they don't understand the facts and theory, or history, on which the rules are based. Furthermore, few traffic engineers have had courses having to do with bicycle traffic, and the little that they get are courses on how to follow, again without understanding, the AASHTO (or maybe, now, the NACTO) standards. I have sat through several of these, and I have a copy of the FHWA "proposed" university course. Also, I ought to point out, I taught, for the University of California in Berkeley, the first real course in bicycle traffic engineering, twice, for which a fee was charged in the normal manner. The FHWA sent a student to the second iteration, with instructions to then teach an FHWA course which was then offered for free. Naturally, that course simply followed the FHWA's bikeway rules rather than the bicycle traffic engineering that I had been teaching.

    The majority of the bikeway construction programs about which we read are designed by bikeway consulting firms (Alta comes to mind). I know of no traffic engineers employed by these, but, as I have written above, traffic engineering training is not a qualification for doing bicycle traffic engineering. There are two reasons why these firms don't use traffic engineering skills; the rules that they follow contradict standard traffic engineering, and those who employ them, cities and counties mostly, want popular bikeways according to the bikeway rules.

    The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals falsely boasts that it is the technical society for bicycle traffic engineering. I say falsely, because true technical societies sustain inquiry into the scientific knowledge on which their technology is based. Instead, APBP is a money-earning (rather than "professional") group that kicks out those who inquire into its supposed basic science. It has to, because there is no scientific foundation for the bikeway designs, except, of course, the psychological reasons which so many of you deride.

  4. #304
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    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.
    You misunderstood my comment completely. The "build it they and will come" crowd love to attribute increases in mode share to particular types of infrastructure when it's quite possible that other types of infrastructure also contribute. So when you asked me to provide an example of traffic-calmed vehicular infrastructure solely being responsible for increases mode share you are asking for something that does not exist. Likewise the same could be said about Dutch cycle paths. These paths do not exist in a vacuum and there is plenty of traffic calmed vehicular-style infrastructure in Holland.
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  5. #305
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    You misunderstood my comment completely. The "build it they and will come" crowd love to attribute increases in mode share to particular types of infrastructure when it's quite possible that other types of infrastructure also contribute. So when you asked me to provide an example of traffic-calmed vehicular infrastructure solely being responsible for increases mode share you are asking for something that does not exist. Likewise the same could be said about Dutch cycle paths. These paths do not exist in a vacuum and there is plenty of traffic calmed vehicular-style infrastructure in Holland.

    The question asked in the OP was not about specific infrastructure. But regardless of that fact there is a reason why those communities with a higher mode share all have infrastructure (and not just traffic calming). The consistent component across the board in higher modal share communities is infrastructure.

    Are you ever going to address your accusations about Bike Counts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    The consistent component across the board in higher modal share communities is infrastructure.
    You mean other than the myriad monetary disincentives to drive, road diets, parking reduction, and traffic calming etc.

    Are you ever going to address your accusations about Bike Counts?
    Later...very busy now.
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  7. #307
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    You mean other than the myriad monetary disincentives to drive, road diets, parking reduction, and traffic calming etc.



    Later...very busy now.

    Granted the slow eroding of automotive dominance due to congestion, gas prices, economics and, to some degree, urban planning concepts like traffic calming and limited parking creates an environment conducive to alternatives like bicycling and mass public transit but without specific bike infrastructure there is no spike in modal share. And if your theory of the great recession of 2008 were accurate as the primary cause for biking spikes why is that spike only in cities that added bike infrastructure during that time?

    Regarding your evidence of Boston bike count fraud I just can't wait for my lesson in the streets and infrastructure of Boston.

  8. #308
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Take away the low speed surface streets (that cyclists can use) and can you even connect to a freeway? Does that freeway go somewhere? That is isolation my friend. Freeways need low speed surface streets to make a freeway effective... otherwise said freeway is like that park bike path out in the middle of nowhere.
    ????? Yes, if you change everything about the world, i suppose they could be isolated.

    But, of course, in the real world, there are surface streets. There wouldn't be freeways without them. They would not would not exist if they were "isolated".
    Last edited by njkayaker; 01-14-14 at 09:20 PM.

  9. #309
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    The question asked in the OP was not about specific infrastructure. But regardless of that fact there is a reason why those communities with a higher mode share all have infrastructure (and not just traffic calming). The consistent component across the board in higher modal share communities is infrastructure.
    Not quite. The question really probed whether what we are currently building as bike infrastructure is sufficient to bring about a significant increase in cycling. As pointed out by many people, several jurisdictions have added tremendous quantities of this infrastructure and seen either flat levels of bike use or, frighteningly, decreases. (Yes, some have pointed out places where the counts by the people who built the facilities indicate moderate increases relative to national trends, but let's set that aside for a moment.) Those are sufficient, in the absence of reasonable alternate explanations, that what we are building is failing. Of course some folks say it isn't segregated enough to work and they could be correct. Others, including me, think that it has often been built so as to enhance intersection and door zone issues, both of which seem to be inherent problems in segregation-style builds.

    Rather than look for the place that has seen better than average growth of cycling in the absence of adding any bike-specific infrastructure, which is somewhat problematic since most of us accept that if the cyclists are already there then it will be built (for better or worse, and often both), let's look at a place that has fairly extensive bike infrastructure but hasn't been able to leverage that into meaningful numbers of people on bikes. I suspect these places are a dime a dozen, but to just pull someplace out of a hat, how about Fresno, CA. To satisfy those who are concerned about the inherent uncertainty of measuring small numbers (always a problem when counting cyclists in our anti-cycling country), let's smooth things out with the three-year data from the ACS.

    In 2007, Fresno had one to two times the national average number of cyclists, with 0.8% +/- 0.2 versus the national average of 0.5% +/-0.1. In the 2012 count (remember, these are three-year numbers), Fresno gained no ground on the rest of the nation with 1.0% +/-0.2 versus 0.6% +/- 0.1.

    And what about the infrastructure? Well, Fresno has an extensive grid of bike facilities, largely because is has to show the federal government that it is doing something about its horrid air quality in order to not be banned from highway funds. (The oxygen in Fresno has a nasty habit of being three atoms to a molecule, if you know what I mean.)

    fresno.jpg

    They built it. No one came. Case closed? No, of course not. They may have built it poorly. In fact, it no doubt has abundant door zone bike lanes. It sure does not include much in the way of segregated facilities and I honestly have no idea how wide the bike lanes are. That's the point, in a way. We are building bikey infrastructure without regard to quality and then are surprised when no one is riding.

    That brings me to my ulterior motive for starting this thread. For too long we have been at each others throats fighting over whether we should build a small piece of cycletrack or widen the bike lanes or whatever and the traffic engineers have simply built the kind of crap that meets the minimal AASHTO guidelines, which are horrid. To be honest, I place the blame for this on the pro-segregation crowd who call anyone who doesn't want to be riding between a curb and a car door VC, fast and fearless, or alpha-dog, anti-beginner or some such and dismiss our experience and knowledge. To be fair, our response has been to arrogantly dismiss such concerns as those of Noobs rather than working to explain why what we're doing can work for most people in many, but not all, settings.

    I hope we can soften the infighting and push together to change the engineering standards so that we can have things that work well. If we get some segregated cycletracks, let's make sure they don't have mid-block driveway issues and deal with the intersections in a way that gives us safe and reasonably quick access. (I'm not willing to average the same speed on my bike as I do walking, which is what happens with some of what I have seen.) Let's change the standard for bike lanes so they can't be in the door zone. When we place sharrow markings, let's mandate the "Cyclists May Use Full Lane" sign to help educate motorists and cyclists alike. And let's not dismiss the importance of adequate law enforcement. I'm sure you all have many more and better suggestions. Bring them on.

    (By the way, I am going to be leading a small charge on the Eugene City Council this year to change this city's engineering standards to reflect what I just wrote. We may go down in flames, but our failure may offer some lessons for some of you more capable advocates to have success. Good luck.)

  10. #310
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    The spike to ~6% in PDX was well outside the margin of error.

    2008:| 17365 2061 5.96% 2007:| 10987 1587 3.91%
    (counts, margin of error, percentage)

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...=sharing#gid=0
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    ...
    Now go back at the OP and look at the Portland ACS data and add in the margin of error. Again, all you can really say is there are more primary bicycle commuters in Portland since 2008 than 2005. [EMPHASIS ADDED] However, the change of commuters since 2008 is small compared to the margin of error, which is large! We can't say if it is flat, increasing, or decreasing. Panic over not knowing from the ACS? Or use other, more precise numbers that Portland collects?

    The Boston ACS numbers are even more all over the place, and other than there are more cyclists commuting primarily by bicycle than in 2005, there's not much more to say. But local measurements tell the story.

    That's my only point.

    ...

    -mr. bill
    Please be careful about switching back and forth between mode share and counts, especially with the ACS-1 year numbers. You have a noisy numerator and a noisy denominator. If you want to talk mode share, talk mode share.

    This is really not hard stuff. For example, to make it clear what error you are repeating - the Boston ACS-1 year numbers for:
    2007: 1.0% +/-0.3%
    2008: 1.6% +/- 0.4%

    The delta between 2008 and 2007 is 0.6%, outside of the margin of error, right? Wrong.

    The 2007 confidence interval is between 0.7%...1.3%
    The 2008 confidence interval is between 1.2%...2.0%

    The two noisy values overlap. You see a spike that may or may not be there - you simply can't tell from the ACS 1-year numbers. And you refuse to look at any other numbers. So I don't know what to tell you, other than repeat again. From the ACS-1 year data, Portland since 2008 has more bicycle commuters (>=5% share) than they did before 2008 (<=5% share). There is nothing else to see there.


    You are making the same mistakes that so many minor party candidates make with polls (and astonishingly, one MAJOR party candidate who really didn't think he was going to lose made).

    1- Small numbers changing a small amount but within the margin of error shows a HUGE swing to my candidate.

    Wohoo, my candidate's numbers went from 5%+/-3% to 10%+/-5%. Look at that spike - we doubled!

    2 - Finding flaws in *EVERY* method of measuring that doesn't tell the story you believe is happening. Straight FUD.

    Wohoo, my candidate has momentum, there are inherent "biases" in the pools that show the incumbent 5% ahead when really, after adjusting for the inherent "bias" or ignoring the "biased" polls, our guy is blowing him away. And besides, Tioga county!

    -mr. bill
    Last edited by mr_bill; 01-15-14 at 06:48 AM.

  11. #311
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    ...
    In 2007, Fresno had one to two times the national average number of cyclists, with 0.8% +/- 0.2 versus the national average of 0.5% +/-0.1. In the 2012 count (remember, these are three-year numbers), Fresno gained no ground on the rest of the nation with 1.0% +/-0.2 versus 0.6% +/- 0.1.

    And what about the infrastructure? Well, Fresno has an extensive grid of bike facilities, largely because is has to show the federal government that it is doing something about its horrid air quality in order to not be banned from highway funds. (The oxygen in Fresno has a nasty habit of being three atoms to a molecule, if you know what I mean.)

    They built it. No one came. Case closed? No, of course not. They may have built it poorly. In fact, it no doubt has abundant door zone bike lanes. It sure does not include much in the way of segregated facilities and I honestly have no idea how wide the bike lanes are. That's the point, in a way. We are building bikey infrastructure without regard to quality and then are surprised when no one is riding.
    ...
    Or you could do a trivial amount of research and figure out the actual state of things in Fresno. It actually doesn't have many door zone bike lanes. And the few bike lanes adjacent to on-street parking nobody seems to park on street, or if there is any parking the lanes are wide enough to be out of the door zone. Take a few minutes and tour with street view. (See East Dakota near Manchester North Shopping mall and near the airport, M street downtown for typical.)

    My opinion?

    1) It's a car-dependent city (I'm sorry if that seems pejorative, it's not meant too, it's a Walkscore term). You can barely walk to complete a single stop errand. Multi-stop errand? Probably not. Google steet views confirms that few people walk. If few people walk, fewer people bike. There is no there there to go to. You have to go there, there, and then another there. Often miles apart from each destination.

    2) It's an all too common California development model.

    A grid of large multi-lane relatively high speed arterials, little on-street parking, large parking lots in front of strip malls that have entrances at the quarter super-block.
    Housing blocks are all housing, low speed, lots of stop signs, joining the superblocks mid-block with right turn only access to the arterial. Very little mixed development in the housing blocks, and where there is mixed development, it's all arterial focused. (Example in the report is a school in a housing block, you have to walk around the outside of the block to get to the school!)
    Biking in the housing blocks is trivial. Biking between the housing blocks is not. You can't get across town without crossing an uncross-able arterial because of the right turn only access.
    But no matter, the alignment of streets in adjacent housing blocks are confounding. Because nobody drives between housing blocks, why would anybody ever want to walk or bike between them?
    To see the best case of a cross town route on a minor road with only minor confounding connections, see E. Princeton Ave.

    3) It's hot. Damn hot. Damn damn hot.

    4) Yeah, they even have some substandard "bike" infrastructure. (See E. Princeton Ave. Sierra Freeway crossing.)

    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    ...
    That brings me to my ulterior motive for starting this thread. For too long we have been at each others throats fighting over whether we should build a small piece of cycletrack or widen the bike lanes or whatever and the traffic engineers have simply built the kind of crap that meets the minimal AASHTO guidelines, which are horrid. To be honest, I place the blame for this on the pro-segregation crowd who call anyone who doesn't want to be riding between a curb and a car door VC, fast and fearless, or alpha-dog, anti-beginner or some such and dismiss our experience and knowledge. To be fair, our response has been to arrogantly dismiss such concerns as those of Noobs rather than working to explain why what we're doing can work for most people in many, but not all, settings.

    I hope we can soften the infighting and push together to change the engineering standards so that we can have things that work well....
    ...
    We have the luxury here of having very good bicycle laws here in Massachusetts. You might want to work on the law side of advocacy (take a look at Massachusetts as a model).

    Good law is very liberating. Rather than mandating standards everywhere there's a lot more tolerance to experimenting. (Don't get me wrong, our standards are evolving to better over time.)

    We still fight, but at the end of the day, if it's less awful than it was, it's still a win. If I like it, I use it. If I don't, I don't. For me, a bike lane is most useful as a passing lane. And I never, ever ride in any door zone. But yet I still ride sometimes in so-called "door zone" bike lanes.

    See these three examples:

    Mass Ave before:



    Mass Ave after (Buzzman will probably be able to explain why there is no right hook risk on the outbound side of Mass Ave, and why the dotted lines are actually an error). And yes, the inbound bike lane you will hate.



    Mass Ave & Vassar. Note there are bike lanes leading to one way cycle tracks.
    (Sadly, this was the location of a fatality when a cyclist was struck by a right turning truck. No, it's not the right from Vassar onto Mass Ave. It's the right from Mass Ave onto Vassar. The truck encroached on the left turn only lane.) And yes, this example also shows design problems. But last time I looked at the studies, nobody had been injured by the side by side optional right turn lanes. (And there have been *LOTS* of accident at this high volume intersection.)


    -mr. bill
    Last edited by mr_bill; 01-15-14 at 08:57 AM.

  12. #312
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    ????? Yes, if you change everything about the world, i suppose they could be isolated.

    But, of course, in the real world, there are surface streets. There wouldn't be freeways without them. They would not would not exist if they were "isolated".
    OK no point in going on with you... you apparently don't see the utility of giving cyclists similar infrastructure to that which motorists take for granted.

    Bye.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    Not quite. The question really probed whether what we are currently building as bike infrastructure is sufficient to bring about a significant increase in cycling. As pointed out by many people, several jurisdictions have added tremendous quantities of this infrastructure and seen either flat levels of bike use or, frighteningly, decreases. (Yes, some have pointed out places where the counts by the people who built the facilities indicate moderate increases relative to national trends, but let's set that aside for a moment.) Those are sufficient, in the absence of reasonable alternate explanations, that what we are building is failing. Of course some folks say it isn't segregated enough to work and they could be correct. Others, including me, think that it has often been built so as to enhance intersection and door zone issues, both of which seem to be inherent problems in segregation-style builds.

    Rather than look for the place that has seen better than average growth of cycling in the absence of adding any bike-specific infrastructure, which is somewhat problematic since most of us accept that if the cyclists are already there then it will be built (for better or worse, and often both), let's look at a place that has fairly extensive bike infrastructure but hasn't been able to leverage that into meaningful numbers of people on bikes. I suspect these places are a dime a dozen, but to just pull someplace out of a hat, how about Fresno, CA. To satisfy those who are concerned about the inherent uncertainty of measuring small numbers (always a problem when counting cyclists in our anti-cycling country), let's smooth things out with the three-year data from the ACS.

    In 2007, Fresno had one to two times the national average number of cyclists, with 0.8% +/- 0.2 versus the national average of 0.5% +/-0.1. In the 2012 count (remember, these are three-year numbers), Fresno gained no ground on the rest of the nation with 1.0% +/-0.2 versus 0.6% +/- 0.1.

    And what about the infrastructure? Well, Fresno has an extensive grid of bike facilities, largely because is has to show the federal government that it is doing something about its horrid air quality in order to not be banned from highway funds. (The oxygen in Fresno has a nasty habit of being three atoms to a molecule, if you know what I mean.)

    fresno.jpg

    They built it. No one came. Case closed? No, of course not. They may have built it poorly. In fact, it no doubt has abundant door zone bike lanes. It sure does not include much in the way of segregated facilities and I honestly have no idea how wide the bike lanes are. That's the point, in a way. We are building bikey infrastructure without regard to quality and then are surprised when no one is riding.

    That brings me to my ulterior motive for starting this thread. For too long we have been at each others throats fighting over whether we should build a small piece of cycletrack or widen the bike lanes or whatever and the traffic engineers have simply built the kind of crap that meets the minimal AASHTO guidelines, which are horrid. To be honest, I place the blame for this on the pro-segregation crowd who call anyone who doesn't want to be riding between a curb and a car door VC, fast and fearless, or alpha-dog, anti-beginner or some such and dismiss our experience and knowledge. To be fair, our response has been to arrogantly dismiss such concerns as those of Noobs rather than working to explain why what we're doing can work for most people in many, but not all, settings.

    I hope we can soften the infighting and push together to change the engineering standards so that we can have things that work well. If we get some segregated cycletracks, let's make sure they don't have mid-block driveway issues and deal with the intersections in a way that gives us safe and reasonably quick access. (I'm not willing to average the same speed on my bike as I do walking, which is what happens with some of what I have seen.) Let's change the standard for bike lanes so they can't be in the door zone. When we place sharrow markings, let's mandate the "Cyclists May Use Full Lane" sign to help educate motorists and cyclists alike. And let's not dismiss the importance of adequate law enforcement. I'm sure you all have many more and better suggestions. Bring them on.

    (By the way, I am going to be leading a small charge on the Eugene City Council this year to change this city's engineering standards to reflect what I just wrote. We may go down in flames, but our failure may offer some lessons for some of you more capable advocates to have success. Good luck.)
    You and I seem to be singing the same song here... that real standards need to be devised for proper bicycle transportation infrastructure.

    I certainly tend to agree that the usual park path and the usual painted line on a fast high speed road are less than inviting for cyclists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    OK no point in going on with you... you apparently don't see the utility of giving cyclists similar infrastructure to that which motorists take for granted.

    Bye.
    Calling freeways "isolated" makes no sense. Arguing that they would be if the world magically changed (in making secondary streets disappear) is wacky.

    That you say bizarro stuff isn't really my fault.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Genec's questions concerning the discipline of bicycle traffic engineering elicit strong comments. First, Dan Gutierrez is a fine engineer in fixing earth satellite problems; that clearly involves both intense engineering understanding of complex problems and the ability to get corrective measures implemented. Brian Desousa is a chemical engineer with good experience; chemical engineering combines chemical reactions with rates of reaction and rates of flow, and such, which has some analogy to traffic flow. I am an industrial engineer, registered in California; industrial engineering combines physical processes with the facilities required to perform those processes and consideration of the human factors which enable people to operate the system safely and efficiently. The similarity to traffic operations should be obvious. There may be others with similar engineering qualifications; there hasn't been any need to inquire. None of us has designed any specific bicycle traffic engineering facility, but both Dan and myself have prepared design standards which we believe should be followed.

    As for those who designed the laws and bikeway standards that we have had since 1980, all of whom I observed at work, none of them showed any sign of understanding bicycle traffic engineering. Which of them were certified traffic engineers is not known to me; I suspect only a few.

    Traffic engineers are not the brightest of engineers. Nearly all of their work is following rulebook rules; they understand the rules, but typically they don't understand the facts and theory, or history, on which the rules are based. Furthermore, few traffic engineers have had courses having to do with bicycle traffic, and the little that they get are courses on how to follow, again without understanding, the AASHTO (or maybe, now, the NACTO) standards. I have sat through several of these, and I have a copy of the FHWA "proposed" university course. Also, I ought to point out, I taught, for the University of California in Berkeley, the first real course in bicycle traffic engineering, twice, for which a fee was charged in the normal manner. The FHWA sent a student to the second iteration, with instructions to then teach an FHWA course which was then offered for free. Naturally, that course simply followed the FHWA's bikeway rules rather than the bicycle traffic engineering that I had been teaching.

    The majority of the bikeway construction programs about which we read are designed by bikeway consulting firms (Alta comes to mind). I know of no traffic engineers employed by these, but, as I have written above, traffic engineering training is not a qualification for doing bicycle traffic engineering. There are two reasons why these firms don't use traffic engineering skills; the rules that they follow contradict standard traffic engineering, and those who employ them, cities and counties mostly, want popular bikeways according to the bikeway rules.

    The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals falsely boasts that it is the technical society for bicycle traffic engineering. I say falsely, because true technical societies sustain inquiry into the scientific knowledge on which their technology is based. Instead, APBP is a money-earning (rather than "professional") group that kicks out those who inquire into its supposed basic science. It has to, because there is no scientific foundation for the bikeway designs, except, of course, the psychological reasons which so many of you deride.
    John I have a degree from SDSU in industrial engineering with emphasis in CAD and electronic engineering. I spend my working hours designing the printed circuit boards and housings used for multi-mode multi-frequency communication devices ranging from VSAT sat com gear to Globalstar portable equipment to a wide variety of cell phones to machine to machine communication equipment. I have a background in chemical processes as related to various metals used in processing PCBs, and their related housings, as well as electronic theory that allows me to understand queuing theory as related to communication devices... as well as extensive RF and digital theory. By my "resume" I am as qualified as the other engineers you mentioned above.

    I feel that none of that qualifies me as a "traffic engineer," any more than Dan or Brian is a "traffic engineer."

    On the other hand I have some 40 years experience cycling and observing cycling and traffic situations both here and abroad using both vehicular cycling methods and some fine infrastructure. Does that make me a bicycle traffic engineer? No, I don't think so, nor does my degree and experience (which oddly deals with the routing high speed signals in a manner in which they don't interfere with one another) make me a bicycle traffic engineer.

    But my observations have lead me to strongly believe that without proper infrastructure, people (excepting a tiny sect) will not bike and will not attempt to share the roads with large fast motor vehicles. I also strongly believe that those that call themselves bicycle traffic engineers are doing cyclists no favors by insisting that the current AASHTO designs are adequate to encourage transportation cycling. To this end I believe that those that call themselves bicycle traffic engineers need to evaluate and propose proper safe facilities for transportation cycling and stop insisting that the current motor vehicle roadway designs are suitable for cyclists.
    Last edited by genec; 01-15-14 at 11:09 AM.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Calling freeways "isolated" makes no sense. Arguing that they would be if the world magically changed (in making secondary streets disappear) is wacky.

    That you say bizarro stuff isn't really my fault.
    That you fail to understand basic thought experiments is not my fault.

    That you fail to understand that freeways need all the other infrastructure to work as a transportation network is your fault as this is quite readily observable. Until you understand these basics, there is no point in going further with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    John I have a degree from SDSU in industrial engineering with emphasis in CAD and electronic engineering. I spend my working hours designing the printed circuit boards and housings used for multi-mode multi-frequency communication devices ranging from VSAT sat com gear to Globalstar portable equipment to a wide variety of cell phones to machine to machine communication equipment. I have a background in chemical processes as related to various metals used in processing PCBs, and their related housings, as well as electronic theory that allows me to understand queuing theory as related to communication devices... as well as extensive RF and digital theory. By my "resume" I am as qualified as the other engineers you mentioned above.

    I feel that non of that qualifies me as a "traffic engineer," any more than Dan or Brian is a "traffic engineer."
    Good points, Genec.

    The bottom line in John Forester Land is that a railroad locomotive operator (commonly called an Engineer), the Man in the Moon, and the Man on the Street can all be considered bicycle traffic engineers as long as they have the all important qualification of believing in and espousing John Forester Brand of Bicycling Dogma. No other qualifications or training is necessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    ...

    We have the luxury here of having very good bicycle laws here in Massachusetts. You might want to work on the law side of advocacy (take a look at Massachusetts as a model).

    Good law is very liberating. Rather than mandating standards everywhere there's a lot more tolerance to experimenting. (Don't get me wrong, our standards are evolving to better over time.)

    We still fight, but at the end of the day, if it's less awful than it was, it's still a win. If I like it, I use it. If I don't, I don't. For me, a bike lane is most useful as a passing lane. And I never, ever ride in any door zone. But yet I still ride sometimes in so-called "door zone" bike lanes.
    -mr. bill

    What an excellent post! So glad to see Boston so well represented by such an informed open minded, pragmatic and realistic point of view.

    I'm completely on board with that last statement.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    mr_bill I am curious about something I understand is a law in Mass... perhaps you can confirm this for me... I understand that it is illegal for cyclists to use roadways (highways) with speed limits over 50MPH in that state. How is this supported? Are there always alternative routes available for cyclists such that they are not forced to use a high speed roadway?

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    That you fail to understand basic thought experiments is not my fault.
    The thought experiment doesn't make any sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    That you fail to understand that freeways need all the other infrastructure to work as a transportation network is your fault as this is quite readily observable. Until you understand these basics, there is no point in going further with you.


    Bizarre.

    That freeways need all the "infrastructure" is exactly why they are not "isolated". Actually, the "infrastructure" is what allowed the freeways to be created (as I said earlier).

    This is why your insistence that freeways are "isolated" is nonsensical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    mr_bill I am curious about something I understand is a law in Mass... perhaps you can confirm this for me... I understand that it is illegal for cyclists to use roadways (highways) with speed limits over 50MPH in that state. How is this supported? Are there always alternative routes available for cyclists such that they are not forced to use a high speed roadway?
    That understanding doesn't appear to be correct.

    http://massbike.org/resourcesnew/bike-law/

    You may ride your bicycle on any public road, street, or bikeway in the Commonwealth, except limited access or express state highways where signs specifically prohibiting bikes have been posted.
    This is the same thing that many (if not all) states do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    mr_bill I am curious about something I understand is a law in Mass... perhaps you can confirm this for me... I understand that it is illegal for cyclists to use roadways (highways) with speed limits over 50MPH in that state. How is this supported? Are there always alternative routes available for cyclists such that they are not forced to use a high speed roadway?
    You've got us confused with Maryland.

    -mr. bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    Please be careful about switching back and forth between mode share and counts, especially with the ACS-1 year numbers. You have a noisy numerator and a noisy denominator. If you want to talk mode share, talk mode share.

    This is really not hard stuff. For example, to make it clear what error you are repeating - the Boston ACS-1 year numbers for:
    2007: 1.0% +/-0.3%
    2008: 1.6% +/- 0.4%

    The delta between 2008 and 2007 is 0.6%, outside of the margin of error, right? Wrong.

    The 2007 confidence interval is between 0.7%...1.3%
    The 2008 confidence interval is between 1.2%...2.0%

    The two noisy values overlap. You see a spike that may or may not be there - you simply can't tell from the ACS 1-year numbers. And you refuse to look at any other numbers. So I don't know what to tell you, other than repeat again. From the ACS-1 year data, Portland since 2008 has more bicycle commuters (>=5% share) than they did before 2008 (<=5% share). There is nothing else to see there.


    You are making the same mistakes that so many minor party candidates make with polls (and astonishingly, one MAJOR party candidate who really didn't think he was going to lose made).

    1- Small numbers changing a small amount but within the margin of error shows a HUGE swing to my candidate.

    Wohoo, my candidate's numbers went from 5%+/-3% to 10%+/-5%. Look at that spike - we doubled!

    2 - Finding flaws in *EVERY* method of measuring that doesn't tell the story you believe is happening. Straight FUD.

    Wohoo, my candidate has momentum, there are inherent "biases" in the pools that show the incumbent 5% ahead when really, after adjusting for the inherent "bias" or ignoring the "biased" polls, our guy is blowing him away. And besides, Tioga county!

    -mr. bill
    nice straw men.

    1. the increase in PDX is significant. (the standard errors have no overlap)

    2. i never stated that the 2007 vs 2008 comparison in boston is significant. however, a comparison over a period of several years is significant (2005-2007 vs 2008-2010). how do you explain this increase? what is your narrative? and why is it that you are so reluctant to admit the possibility that cycling in the usa has had a resurgence, not due to infrastructure build out, but due to high gas prices and recession?
    Last edited by spare_wheel; 01-15-14 at 01:00 PM.
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    We still fight, but at the end of the day, if it's less awful than it was, it's still a win.
    Wow...what a glowing endorsement.

    We in the PNW are a little less enthusiastic about "world class european-style infrastructure" because we have seen this scenario repeated over and over again:

    http://bikeportland.org/2013/11/20/c...e-bridge-97471

    If I like it, I use it. If I don't, I don't.
    Illegal in OR.
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    You've got us confused with Maryland.

    -mr. bill
    Thanks.

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