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Old 12-22-13, 07:57 PM   #101
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What brand new route across a bridge? Have I got it wrong or is the post you responded to in reference to Hudson
Greenway in NYC?
No...I got it wrong. For some reason Hudson River made me think new bridge path (and I clearly do not know this area). Nevertheless, I still think that these kind of street counts are anecdotal because they don't demonstrated an overall increase in mode share.

And NYC ACS mode share statistics are nothing to brag about:

http://www.streetsblog.org/wp-conten...hare-Graph.jpg
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Old 12-22-13, 08:53 PM   #102
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No...I got it wrong. For some reason Hudson River made me think new bridge path (and I clearly do not know this area). Nevertheless, I still think that these kind of street counts are anecdotal because they don't demonstrated an overall increase in mode share.

And NYC ACS mode share statistics are nothing to brag about:

http://www.streetsblog.org/wp-conten...hare-Graph.jpg
Okay, so figures that you seemed to have accepted when you thought they were a "bridge count" you now say are undependable when you realize they are for a segregated facility. I took another look at the OP and it seems some of us are on an endless loop of providing evidence that demonstrates in many cases that "when you build it they will come" but either the criteria for that information keeps changing or it gets rejected as propaganda.

Before I totally throw in the towel here I want to jump back to a previous post of yours.

You brought into the discussion the concept of "induced demand".


My guess is you are familiar with the theory as it applies to transportation infrastructure and that the basic premise is that building infrastructure or widening it will lead to an increase in traffic share. In other words, if you build it they will come.

My questions are: How would you define the induced demand theory? Do you ascribe to the theory of induced demand? Do you see any application of the induced demand theory as it applies to bicycle specific infrastructure?
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Old 12-22-13, 09:03 PM   #103
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That's actually a good effort....but it does not really get to the question being addressed here since you are showing induced demand from a new route, not an "improved" facility.
My post was to show that a new facility resulted in increased bike travel not displacing bikes from one facility to another.

There is an answer to your question regarding improving an existing facility in the same NYC study. The Queens approach to the Queensboro Bridge Bike Path was improved in 2011, as part of an Obama stimulus project. Prior to that, bikes had to merge with bridge bound motor traffic for about 5 blocks before the getting on the bridge's existing bike path. Getting off the bridge involved going the wrong way on a one-way street for 3 blocks.

The project placed separate, protected bicycle and pedestrian paths on a traffic median between two roadways leading onto the bridge. Here's the data before and after inbound bike count data.

Year: Inbound Count
2010: 1683
2011: 2223

The 2012 Hub Bound Report won't be available until Feb. 2014, if past experience is any guide. An improved treatment for the Manhattan approach was completed this month. Its effects will be included in the 2014 Hub Bound Report. We will have to wait until Feb 2016 to quantify any effect it may have on bicycle volumes.
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Old 12-22-13, 09:09 PM   #104
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You brought into the discussion the concept of "induced demand".

My guess is you are familiar with the theory as it applies to transportation infrastructure and that the basic premise is that building infrastructure or widening it will lead to an increase in traffic share. In other words, if you build it they will come.
This may not apply, though t might is some cases. Where there's proven demand and limited capacity, increasing the capacity would make a road more attractive and the demand will rise to meet capacity.

However in the bicycle infrastructure, we're not dealing with expanding existing bikeway capacity at choke points but discussing if providing bike infrastructure that's more convenient or seems safer (let's not jump off and debate whether it actually is, because that isn't relevant) would induce people to change their lifestyles.

IMO it probably would, but only for those who saw (mental/emotional) barriers removed, or as in the case of NYC bridges actual physical barriers. Otherwise there's no capacity problem, and folks who would want to bike already would be.

As for the actual data, part of the problem is timing. If bike infrastructure made the difference, we'd expect a static or slow growth, with a material increase soon after infrastructure was in place. However, many of the data show the growth trend well underway before the infrastructure was in place which would support the notion that biking leads to infrastructure and not the other way around.

We could go on forever, because there seems to be correlation sometimes, but often not. This shouldn't surprise anybody since the USA is a large and diverse country, and there are significant differences among cities of similar size.
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Old 12-22-13, 09:13 PM   #105
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No, I wasn't thinking of you, but some of the stronger advocates or believers who seem to think bicycles = good, cars = bad.

You and I probably agree on more than we disagree on relating infrastructure, though we may have larger differences in the specifics.

BTW- While pure logic definitions are different, I accept that we can discuss real world causal relationships that don't correlate 100%.

I doubt many would dispute that the claim that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, even though we know that large numbers of smokers will never get cancer.

In terms o bike infrastructure, I believe that if there are numbers of people on the fence about cycling, infrastructure can be the difference between whether they ride or not. However, I'm not sure that the pent up interest of these fence sitters is a big number, except where there's a serious impassable obstacle, such as a bridge link.

But the issue is still muddy as to the goals and metrics to justify public spending. Are we trying to make cyclists safer? Or are we trying to encourage more cyclists, if so why. Also, as a long time cyclist, not dependent on on street segregation, I see downsides to factor, such as establishing segregation as the norm, which could later become justification for road use restrictions.

I think the original causality question is a valid one that warrants discussion, along with others such as the downside questions, intersection vs. passing safety tradeoff, and possibly discussion about the actual safety of bicycling, and the best bang for the buck ways to improve it. Safety is a major issue for me, because increased participation will lead to increased accidents (rate stays the same), creating more of a spotlight on the issue, and leading scrutiny by government.
I don't believe that there really are many cyclists that are truly anti-car (John Foresters standard argument BTW). I think what they are against are whole areas designed with nothing but the motor vehicle in mind, thereby all but excluding any cyclist but the hardiest. I think the important thing is to keep in mind that economy and age can restrict from Motor Vehicles, and public transportation may not exist or only offers very limited access. (I found just that while trying to rail commute to North County San Diego... longer rail schedules would have allowed me to split a long commute between bike and rail... but otherwise it was impossible)

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Here we go again, claims of evidence and calling those that note your attempts at correlation as seeing conspiracy. We do know for a fact that there are governments that do force cyclists into the bike lanes and side paths and even more that have tried to do so. But that is not even the biggest issue. It is the myopic view that if you paint it, they will come.

If the paint proponents would actually work to remove mandatory use laws first, would only accept safe paint and paths and would give as much effort to public school cycling education, then you would not get so much resistance. When someone dies, because of the paint, the paint folks just brush it aside with false claims that more would die without the paint.

Many cyclist get tired of the harassment when they choose to ride on streets without the paint. Most give up and switch to the street with the paint, even if it is not their preferred route. That adds even more of a false correlation for your paint.
Two points that need to be addressed here... government (or more accurately road engineers) can and do create environments that in spite of paint are just not safe for mixed mode traffic... high speed wide arterial roads are a classic example... one should not have to rely on things such as being strong, brave, assertive or a "road sneak" to go a few miles down the road...

The second point is even more interesting... the harassment issue... just how much training do drivers need before they accept cyclists on the road?
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Old 12-22-13, 09:23 PM   #106
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Here's the entirety of the question about bicycles on the ACS.

http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acs-15.pdf

Any questions?

-mr. bill
And an interesting note indicates that the government uses the numbers to build infrastructure where the users ALREADY exist.

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Federal, state, and local policymakers use the ACS to guide decisions about how to allocate limited public resources devoted to transportation. Planners use ACS commuting data to guide transportation improvement strategies, predict future travel demand, and gauge the amount of pressure placed on transportation infrastructure.
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Old 12-22-13, 09:24 PM   #107
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I don't believe that there really are many cyclists that are truly anti-car.... think what they are against are whole areas designed with nothing but the motor vehicle in mind, thereby all but excluding any cyclist but the hardiest. I think the important thing is to keep in mind that economy and age can restrict from Motor Vehicles, and public transportation may not exist or only offers very limited access. (I found just that while trying to rail commute to North County San Diego...
I think there's a spectrum with some who truly hate cars and drivers (as evidenced by some of the posts on BF), and some that hate roads that don't lend themselves well to sharing. The mix probably varies depending on specific geographic and demographic considerations. But don't fool youself about the number of "bicycle advocates" that are more like "urbanistas" who envision car free cities built around the Copenhagen model.
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Old 12-22-13, 09:26 PM   #108
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My post was to show that a new facility resulted in increased bike travel not displacing bikes from one facility to another.

There is an answer to your question regarding improving an existing facility in the same NYC study. The Queens approach to the Queensboro Bridge Bike Path was improved in 2011, as part of an Obama stimulus project. Prior to that, bikes had to merge with bridge bound motor traffic for about 5 blocks before the getting on the bridge's existing bike path. Getting off the bridge involved going the wrong way on a one-way street for 3 blocks.

The project placed separate, protected bicycle and pedestrian paths on a traffic median between two roadways leading onto the bridge. Here's the data before and after inbound bike count data.

Year: Inbound Count
2010: 1683
2011: 2223
And if they simply fixed the bad road design with good road design that did not include bike specific infrastructure, the numbers still would have gone up.
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Old 12-22-13, 09:30 PM   #109
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The second point is even more interesting... the harassment issue... just how much training do drivers need before they accept cyclists on the road?
Before bike lanes, motorist were very accepting of me as a bicyclist. In the San Jose area in 1982, motorist were very non-accepting of me as a motorcyclist (I guess the Hells Angles gave us all a bad name); the biggest reason I started bicycle commuting.
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Old 12-22-13, 09:32 PM   #110
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I think there's a spectrum with some who truly hate cars and drivers (as evidenced by some of the posts on BF),
Careful, most only hate the 1% or less of bad motorist.
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Old 12-22-13, 09:34 PM   #111
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What I see as being the problem in the US is that most desirable routes that connect between the home, work, shopping, etc, have already been prioritized for motor vehicle use, with little or no room left over for segregated cycling infrastructure. Most grandmas on trikes and moms towing the kids just are not enthusiastic about mixing it up with motor vehicle traffic, painted lines or not, that is wanting to get their destination without delay. In my locale, there are segregate sections of cycling and walking infrastructures, but they are for scenic viewing and do not connect with any business, shopping,or school district, with the majority of users driving their motor vehicles to access them.
Building cycling infrastructure that is rife with autocentric compromises, only keeps commuting cyclists numbers low.

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Old 12-22-13, 10:43 PM   #112
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...Building cycling infrastructure that is rife with autocentric compromises, only keeps commuting cyclists numbers low.
Okay, so if that is the case, what solutions would you propose?
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Old 12-22-13, 10:54 PM   #113
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Okay, so if that is the case, what solutions would you propose?
Building cycling infrastructure similar to Dutch designs, that can be traveled as an optional use and not mandatory, along with making the responsibility of a collision automatically default to the larger,heavier vehicle unless proven otherwise.
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Old 12-22-13, 11:10 PM   #114
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It's good to see you hold yourself to the same high standards that you demand of others when making your own claims of correlation and causation.





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Before bike lanes, motorist were very accepting of me as a bicyclist.
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Originally Posted by CB HI
...before anyone ever heard of a bike lane, we would ride our bicycles to school. Now that we have bike lanes, Moms drive there kids to school.
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Originally Posted by CB HI
Many cyclist get tired of the harassment when they choose to ride on streets without the paint. Most give up and switch to the street with the paint, even if it is not their preferred route.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CB HI
And if they simply fixed the bad road design with good road design that did not include bike specific infrastructure, the numbers still would have gone up.

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Old 12-22-13, 11:16 PM   #115
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Building cycling infrastructure similar to Dutch designs, that can be traveled as an optional use and not mandatory, along with making the responsibility of a collision automatically default to the larger,heavier vehicle unless proven otherwise.

Those are sensible proposals.
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Old 12-22-13, 11:39 PM   #116
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Here's the entirety of the question about bicycles on the ACS.

http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acs-15.pdf

Any questions?

-mr. bill
Thank you for the nice link.
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The 2009 ACS question related to means of transportation asked respondents in the workforce, “How did this person usually get to work LAST WEEK?” (see Figure 1, Question 31). Although commutes may involve multiple transportation modes (for example, driving to a train station and then taking a train), respondents are restricted to indicating the single travel mode used for the longest distance.
The link leaves me with a comment and a question. First, that's a lame way to collect and process data. It would be pretty straightforward to simply ask the length of the segments and do the arithmetic to show the true amount of each mode, either by time or by distance. Imagine a community in which everyone drives twenty percent of their commute to catch a train for fifty percent and then use a bike-share for the final thirty percent. According to the ACS, that's a community that is 100% public transit. In reality, that mythical community is far from that. This problem is only going to get worse as more regions get bike-share and multi-modal trips get more common.

My question is: Has it ever been thus? The one ACS I filled out several years ago asked about trip segments. I don't remember if there was a separate commuting question, but it asked the purpose of each segment. The link was from 2009, so I assume they have been doing it this way since at least then. Was it done differently prior to 2009?
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Old 12-22-13, 11:58 PM   #117
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It's good to see you hold yourself to the same high standards that you demand of others when making your own claims of correlation and causation.

Simple statements of facts, observations and things that have been related to me. I made no claims of causation. Seems you cannot get off you stick that correlation is causation.

Example, did I claim that Mom's now drive there kids to school because we now have bike lanes? No.
But it is unlikely you will see the difference or maybe dispute that fewer kids cycle to school even with more bike lanes. If you build it, they will ride where true, should there not be more kids riding to school than in the 1960s?
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Old 12-23-13, 12:04 AM   #118
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And if they simply fixed the bad road design with good road design that did not include bike specific infrastructure, the numbers still would have gone up.
Let's put things in perspective. Honolulu's population density is: 5574/sq mi vs. NYC's 27,550/sq mi. NYC does not have 5 times the number of roads as Honolulu. Therefore it's safe to assume NYC streets are much more crowded than Honolulu's. This makes "good road design" more difficult.

The Manhattan bound approach to the Queensboro Bridge was designed in 1900, one year before automobiles became street legal. It consists of 2 4-lane roadways which merge down to 2 2-lane roadways because there are 2 2-lane Manhattan bound roadways on two levels on the Queensboro Bridge. A total of 89,528 vehicles use these Manhattan bound roadways each day. That's approximately 23% of Honolulu's population.

Complicating any major road redesign are 2 elevated lines that run overhead for the length of the approach and an underground subway line that crosses the approach. These lines carry a total of 455,208 passengers on 1137 trains daily. No road redesign can interrupt this service which runs 24/7.

NYC chose to use an existing 36 foot wide median between the two roadways for separate pedestrian and bicycle paths to and from the bridge. This median had been originally been used for trolleys going onto the bridge and for supporting the elevated structure. The bridge's pedestrian/bicycle path had originally dedicated for trolleys going to Manhattan.

I'm awaiting a "good roadway design" solution that will place two-way bicycle traffic on the same street as one-way traffic without special bicycle facilities.
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Old 12-23-13, 12:08 AM   #119
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Building cycling infrastructure similar to Dutch designs, that can be traveled as an optional use and not mandatory, along with making the responsibility of a collision automatically default to the larger,heavier vehicle unless proven otherwise.
It's my understanding that the "Dutch solution" evolved over a period of several years.

What do you propose as a first step to start the change?
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Old 12-23-13, 12:09 AM   #120
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I hope by my post you're not thinking I see this in black and white terms either- as I said, "its not guaranteed" and there are "many factors at play".

With regards the correlation/causation argument. In true logical terms it would not be accurate to say that "separated bike infrastructure causes increases to bike ridership". It would be true to say, "that there is a correlation between added infrastructure and increased ridership". The reason being that in the causation example it is not 100% true. Simply adding bike infrastructure does not lead to increases in ridership 100% of the time. I can't dispute that.
I was beginning to think that you were finally going to let go of that yarn. I'm disappointed. That was the point of the OP. The city's that get the most press regarding their infrastructure expenditures have been overselling the correlation. By the numbers, they haven't seen much, or in the case of PDX over the past five years, any, bang for their efforts.

Labeling something as bike infrastructure doesn't necessarily make it something that people will want to ride on. Quality builds, like those that allow cyclists to get through pinch-points (bridges, freeway ramps and such) are unarguably good things that have their intended consequences. Just putting bike lanes in the door zones and turning sidewalks into mandatory-use sidepaths will, in my opinion and experience, suppress ridership. I think we agree on the first thing, but not on the second. If this were baseball, we'd have great batting averages in the game of creating agreement.

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The pertinent question then is are there times and circumstances under which adding infrastructure doescause an increase in ridership? The answer is, "yes." Those factors are:

Economics- everything from the changing distribution of wealth in this country leading to large numbers of younger, educated Americans being jobless, underemployed, in debt for education and/or underpaid to the cost of gasoline and owning and maintaining a private automobile.

Cultural Trends- fitness crazes, environmental concerns, hipness, peer pressure, media influences can shift people to ride or at least want to ride.

Convenience- traffic congestion, parking issues, fines, penalties, tolls, insurance and other car ownership issues make auto commuting unpalatable for many. As do subway and public transit crowding, breakdowns, and poor scheduling or lack of point to point availability.

If any or all of the above factors are at play in an area and there are no infrastructural accommodations specifically for bikes then the adding of infrastructure will give an outlet for potential ridership that is greater than the number of riders, who might otherwise begin bicycling for transpiration.

In that case, we are satisfying a demand not creating a demand. Deliberately creating legislation to make it even more unpalatable to drive or forcing public opinion as an objective is not something I think is a good strategy.
I very much agree with this entire segment of your comment. Regarding the satisfying demand vs creating demand: That demand is at its highest when the sheer volume of cars has so congested the public roadways that their average speed has gotten down to that of an average cyclist. Add in space constraints that make parking a time-consuming and costly endeavor, and we have a recipe for an urban bike boom. (Of course, the economic condition of our young is certainly playing a large role too.)

In many of the places I have looked, this boom started before any paint was put on the ground and didn't pick up speed with the addition of the paint. This is the problem: everything is/has been in place for a boom. Yet, we are stalling out. The stall appears to coincide with the rise of the supporters of segregation, but correlation isn't causation.

To repeat what Spare_Wheel has said, show me the city that committed to a significant build of bike infrastructure and saw an increase in the rate of increase of cycling as a result. I'd almost accept no decline in the rate of increase or even any continued increase at this point. Then, let's look at what they did and see what is going right.

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Old 12-23-13, 02:42 AM   #121
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Let's put things in perspective. Honolulu's population density is: 5574/sq mi vs. NYC's 27,550/sq mi. NYC does not have 5 times the number of roads as Honolulu. Therefore it's safe to assume NYC streets are much more crowded than Honolulu's. This makes "good road design" more difficult.
Seems you assume the topography of Honolulu and NYC are the same. They are not, so that makes the rest of your post pointless.


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I'm awaiting a "good roadway design" solution that will place two-way bicycle traffic on the same street as one-way traffic without special bicycle facilities.
One-way traffic design is not good bicycle design. Fix that and you are on your way to a much better, more friendly bicycling city. Honolulu makes similar auto-centric traffic designs, which is sad.

My original point still stands.
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Old 12-23-13, 06:54 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Thank you for the nice link.


The link leaves me with a comment and a question. First, that's a lame way to collect and process data. It would be pretty straightforward to simply ask the length of the segments and do the arithmetic to show the true amount of each mode, either by time or by distance. Imagine a community in which everyone drives twenty percent of their commute to catch a train for fifty percent and then use a bike-share for the final thirty percent. According to the ACS, that's a community that is 100% public transit. In reality, that mythical community is far from that. This problem is only going to get worse as more regions get bike-share and multi-modal trips get more common.

My question is: Has it ever been thus? The one ACS I filled out several years ago asked about trip segments. I don't remember if there was a separate commuting question, but it asked the purpose of each segment. The link was from 2009, so I assume they have been doing it this way since at least then. Was it done differently prior to 2009?
The "long form" from 2000.
The ACS from 2013.

The 2000 census was the last year of short form/long form census. The 2010 census was short form only.

What is now the ACS began testing in the mid 1990s though early 2000s, and was rolled out starting in 2005. I don't know what form you remember filling out, but it was might have been one of those tests.


The ACS is more current but FAR less precise than the old short form/long form census. IMO, to a first approximation, the only folks who rely on the bicycle data from the ACS are "bicycle advocates" on the internet. Anyone who finds XKCD funny should know better than to rely on statistically meaningless data.

-mr. bill
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Old 12-23-13, 07:00 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
I don't believe that there really are many cyclists that are truly anti-car (John Foresters standard argument BTW). .....

.............. one should not have to rely on things such as being strong, brave, assertive or a "road sneak" to go a few miles down the road........

The second point is even more interesting... the harassment issue... just how much training do drivers need before they accept cyclists on the road?
Some people just enjoy argument.... don't they. Those statement reinforce that idea. These forums are rife with terms such as "cagers" and other shameful name-calling remarks. How on Earth could any thinking persons plan for human powered transportation that doesn't depend on strong, fit, brave humans? I mean.... just think for a minute... the entire concept of human powered transportation RULES OUT huge portions of the population.

Your 2nd point.... of training DRIVERS... to deal with the fears of cyclists? The fear is real (for sure)... but it isn't generated by the motorist. Fear is generated inside the fearful. It the one who owns the fear.....that requires the training.
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Old 12-23-13, 07:56 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
With all due respect there is little debate in cycling advocacy that new separated infrastructure tends to concentrate bike traffic along particular routes. These kinds of individual examples do not provide good evidence of correlation between the installation of new cycling infrastructure and increases in overall mode share, which is the topic of this thread.
You are so right! I've rarely seen such a definitive example than our very own Minuteman Bikeway.

Here, you can *see* the Minuteman Bikeway concentrating the traffic - the red/orange diagonal line above.
Even the minor Reformatory Branch Trail between Bedford and Concord (the red dot above) - is concentrating the traffic along itself too!


But wait, let's look a bit closer.

Huh, well, turns out the Reformatory Branch Trail doesn't actually concentrate any bicycle traffic. In fact, cyclists seem to be taking to Concord Road instead. Could be because the Reformatory Branch Trail is a mostly unimproved dirt path? But still, it's completely clear that the Minuteman Bikeway concentrates the traffic along the bikeway.


But wait, let's look a bit closer still.

Well I'll be, turns out that *LOTS* of bicyclists take the Minuteman Bikeway, but *LOTS* of bicyclists take Mass Ave too. Wonder why?

Hint, it mostly depends on start location and end location of your trip, and personal preferences.

For example, if you are heading to Alewife Station (next to "North Cambridge" label above), you'll probably end up taking the Minuteman Bikeway if you are coming from the northwest.

And you might even lock your bicycle in the secure bicycle specific parking infrastructure which they've built. Odd how bicycles have come to fill them all up.

(Data from Garmin, hinting at the power of crowd sourced data.)

-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 12-23-13 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 12-23-13, 09:56 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
Some people just enjoy argument.... don't they. Those statement reinforce that idea. These forums are rife with terms such as "cagers" and other shameful name-calling remarks. How on Earth could any thinking persons plan for human powered transportation that doesn't depend on strong, fit, brave humans? I mean.... just think for a minute... the entire concept of human powered transportation RULES OUT huge portions of the population.

Your 2nd point.... of training DRIVERS... to deal with the fears of cyclists? The fear is real (for sure)... but it isn't generated by the motorist. Fear is generated inside the fearful. It the one who owns the fear.....that requires the training.
Funny how you turned the comment of harassment by motorists into fear by cyclists. Talk about maximum spin. If a cyclist is riding straight calm and predictable down the road and a motorist comes by and honks or yells... it is NOT the problem of the cyclist.

Cyclists have had things thrown at them, again while just riding down the road; cyclists have had passengers lean out of passing vehicles and hit them... this is a motorist problem... the cyclist is not the cause of such issues. Your spin is just outrageous.
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