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  1. #151
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I might also point out that, like many things, bicycling suffers from the success plants the seeds of failure mode. Greater number of bicyclists, lead to greater numbers of accidents. Actually not only do the number rise, but for a while so do the rates while the percentage of newer riders is higher. These accidents eventually catch the eye of the media who start reporting them creating the illusion of an epidemic. Eventually the message gets out that bicycling is dangerous (despite the fact that as more riders gain experience the accident rate is actually declining) and politicians feel they must do something (doing meaningless unnecessary things is how they get re-elected). Eventually the numbers revert to a more historical level setting the stage for the next generational cycle.

    My only hope is that this particular cycle doesn't reach the point where folks talk seriously of things like helmet regulation.
    I wonder about this. Minneapolis has seen a huge increase in biking but the risk of being in a car/bicycle accident has decreased significantly in the last 20 years.


  2. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    I wonder about this. Minneapolis has seen a huge increase in biking but the risk of being in a car/bicycle accident has decreased significantly in the last 20 years. ...
    Thanks for the chart. It's an interesting point in that it shows the accident rate declining. There are many possible reasons, from drivers simply getting more used to bicyclists, to changes in the average age, experience and skill of the riding population, to the infrastructure itself making roads safer.

    Regardless of the cause or causes, the reduction in the rate is a good thing. That the rate reduction is enough to fully offset the increased numbers is an especially good thing,because it proves that there are ways to make bicycling safer. Of course there'll be endless debate about what accounts for the improvement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Genec is now arguing that he, with his admittedly anti-motoring agenda, is typical of the American cycling population. Not only is that a rather grandiose claim, but I suspect that he has no statistics on which to base it.
    Yeah, genec made a meal of that. You divide transportation activists into three camps: Anti-motoring, Anti-cyclist and Pro-cyclist. The "great bulk" of activists are anti-motoring, anti-cycling, or both. I'm sure you have statistics on which to base that claim.

    -mr. bill
    Last edited by mr_bill; 12-23-13 at 06:33 PM.

  4. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Frankly, it's been a while since i've visited Portland and I had been encouraged by friends and what I'd been reading of the infrastructure of the city that it could serve as a model for making cites more habitable for bicyclists. But after reading your and Bcarfree's posts it's neither a city I would recommend to cyclists nor one I am that interested in visiting much anymore.
    Oh...puhlease. Just because PDX is not following a particular playbook does not mean it's not an awesome city to bike in. I attribute the current levelling off of mode share increase in PDX to cheaper gas and a stronger economy. Once gas prices skyrocket and/or another recession rolls in I fully expect a new crop of PDXers will ditch their motorized couches! Hopefully the big increases in gas taxes/vehicle fees being discussed also materialize.


    What exactly are you using as your formula for "mode share"?
    ACS census numbers (see links and posts above) because it's the only metric that is widely available in the USA.
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  5. #155
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Genec is now arguing that he, with his admittedly anti-motoring agenda, is typical of the American cycling population. Not only is that a rather grandiose claim, but I suspect that he has no statistics on which to base it.
    Wow you sure read an awful lot into those couple of sentences... Interesting twists grand master.

    BTW have a Happy New Year too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Thanks for the chart. It's an interesting point in that it shows the accident rate declining. There are many possible reasons, from drivers simply getting more used to bicyclists, to changes in the average age, experience and skill of the riding population, to the infrastructure itself making roads safer.

    Regardless of the cause or causes, the reduction in the rate is a good thing. That the rate reduction is enough to fully offset the increased numbers is an especially good thing,because it proves that there are ways to make bicycling safer. Of course there'll be endless debate about what accounts for the improvement.
    Boy is that an understatement...

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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    ACS census numbers (see links and posts above) because it's the only metric that is widely available in the USA.
    Take another look at the OP. Notice the margin of error missing from the OP? I didn't think so.

    -mr. bill

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    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    i'd like to see ~15% of 18-60 year olds riding for transport before we start spending tons of money on infrastructure designed for 8 year olds. denmark and the netherlands first achieved 8/80 cycling in the victorian era (and never really lost it) so i don't think their current policy is always the best example of how we should get from 2% to 20%.
    I don't think you'll see 15% of 18-60-year-olds for the same reason you won't see 8-year-olds—doing battle with 4000 pound cars operated by humans who are very prone to error and distraction is not appealing. I think that the facilities that will allow 8-year-olds to ride a few miles to school by themselves are the exact same as the ones that will get everyday moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas to ride to the store or cafe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    I don't think you'll see 15% of 18-60-year-olds for the same reason you won't see 8-year-olds—doing battle with 4000 pound cars operated by humans who are very prone to error and distraction is not appealing. I think that the facilities that will allow 8-year-olds to ride a few miles to school by themselves are the exact same as the ones that will get everyday moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas to ride to the store or cafe.
    You don't get it. Riding to the store or cafe or school doesn't count. At all. Just riding to work. And better not ride to a bus or a train to work, because more likely than not, that doesn't count either.

    Add in noisy numbers (+/- 15% for Portland, +/- 30% and higher for Boston), and you can make whatever meaning you'd like from the numbers. The numbers are barely statistically meaningful, so make up a fact, whatever you'd like. That's the brilliance of some of the ACS numbers, like bike mode share.


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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Thanks for the chart. It's an interesting point in that it shows the accident rate declining. There are many possible reasons, from drivers simply getting more used to bicyclists, to changes in the average age, experience and skill of the riding population, to the infrastructure itself making roads safer.

    Regardless of the cause or causes, the reduction in the rate is a good thing. That the rate reduction is enough to fully offset the increased numbers is an especially good thing,because it proves that there are ways to make bicycling safer. Of course there'll be endless debate about what accounts for the improvement.
    Are you sure? Is it a good thing if the safety increase is due to fewer and fewer kids cycling. Kids are the highest risk cycling group, remove them from the picture and the safety stats improve. Personnally I would think that would be a bad thing.
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  11. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    ...Add in noisy numbers (+/- 15% for Portland, +/- 30% and higher for Boston), and you can make whatever meaning you'd like from the numbers. The numbers are barely statistically meaningful, so make up a fact, whatever you'd like. That's the brilliance of some of the ACS numbers, like bike mode share.

    The magnitude of the MOE still covers the differences some of us are citing. The semi-controlled comparison numbers I cited a page ago won't support making up facts. 2012: 4.5% +/- 0.8% MOE is larger than 2005: 2.4% +/- .5% --that's real data, and real growth. And, as I alluded to, I suspect that a lot of that MOE is month-of-year variation due to climate--the ACS is conducted every month, so Minneapolis, and other leading cycling areas, probably show lots of variance, but probably also approach or exceed double digit mode share in good weather in some areas . Yes, there is longitudinal variation. Yes, the numbers are still small. But there are data that need to be interpreted, not dismissed. I realize this is A&S, but numbers matter, too.
    Last edited by FanaticMN; 12-23-13 at 07:30 PM.

  12. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    Take another look at the OP. Notice the margin of error missing from the OP? I didn't think so.

    -mr. bill
    The ACS numbers have confidence limits and even small changes are often significant. Look up thread for the link b_carfree posted.
    Last edited by spare_wheel; 12-23-13 at 07:22 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    I don't think you'll see 15% of 18-60-year-olds for the same reason you won't see 8-year-olds—doing battle with 4000 pound cars operated by humans who are very prone to error and distraction is not appealing. I think that the facilities that will allow 8-year-olds to ride a few miles to school by themselves are the exact same as the ones that will get everyday moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas to ride to the store or cafe.
    You do realize large swathes of central Portland have cycling mode share in the 20% range? It's only the car-centric periphery that pulls those numbers down.
    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 CB HI View Post
    Are you sure? Is it a good thing if the safety increase is due to fewer and fewer kids cycling. Kids are the highest risk cycling group, remove them from the picture and the safety stats improve. Personnally I would think that would be a bad thing.
    I don't think the data supports that scenario.

    Here's the page linking to the study and all the raw data. Check it out!

    http://www.minneapolismn.gov/bicycles/data/safety

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    Yeah, genec made a meal of that. You divide transportation activists into three camps: Anti-motoring, Anti-cyclist and Pro-cyclist. The "great bulk" of activists are anti-motoring, anti-cycling, or both. I'm sure you have statistics on which to base it.

    -mr. bill
    The description of the three major types of persons active in bicycle transportation issues is reasonable, although only two of these are generally considered to be bicycling activists. I have not attempted to describe these by statistical numbers (which would be extremely difficult and expensive), but I evaluate their power by the effects that they have produced.

    The anti-cyclist ones permeate American society without being any specific group; that is why it has proved so difficult to get repeal of the anti-cyclist traffic laws (FTR, MBL, MPL), and why there is political support for the bikeway program that restricts cyclists' use of the roadway. One might say that these people constitute motordom, which is a convenient designation for their typical policies.

    The anti-motoring activists are primarily motivated by reducing motoring, but they have to have a substitute for that which they hope to replace. The substitutes that they favor are bicycle transport implemented by bikeways, mass transit, and urban densification. They tend to evaluate their agenda by the amount of motoring its actions may displace, rather than by the amount of good that is done for cyclists. They make sufficient political noise that they manage to control the government's program for bicycle transportation, so that the self-serving motorist anti-cyclist aspects of that program are concealed behind a smokescreen of claims of social improvement, patriotism, and similar.

    The pro-cyclist activists are concerned with the welfare of those who choose to cycle, with welfare being considered primarily by the standard transportation criteria of safety and convenience for those who choose to cycle. Quite clearly, these are only a small minority of the population, even of the bicycling population, but their activity is vital for preserving, against the opposition of the anti-cyclists and the negligent indifference of the anti-motorists, the operating rights which all cyclists need at times and places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Are you sure? Is it a good thing if the safety increase is due to fewer and fewer kids cycling. Kids are the highest risk cycling group, remove them from the picture and the safety stats improve. Personnally I would think that would be a bad thing.
    Yes, the reduction in cycling participation by kids, along with all non-organized outdoor activities isn't a good thing. My reference to the good thing, is strictly about no growth in fatalities and serious injuries. And before anybody give me false credit for caring, my interest is only in that it helps keep away government scrutiny.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    Oh...puhlease. Just because PDX is not following a particular playbook does not mean it's not an awesome city to bike in. I attribute the current levelling off of mode share increase in PDX to cheaper gas and a stronger economy. Once gas prices skyrocket and/or another recession rolls in I fully expect a new crop of PDXers will ditch their motorized couches! Hopefully the big increases in gas taxes/vehicle fees being discussed also materialize.
    Really? In all honesty you and BCarfree have totally turned me off on the Portland model.

    The idea of sitting around a city waiting for the next economic downturn hoping for an uptick in cyclists while riding on what sounds like a mess of poor infrastructure, presided over by Copenhaginistas forcing inadequate segregated bike paths down an unwilling populace's throats surrounded by cadres of simmering suburban motorists is not appealing.

    And riding on jammed infrastructure, which Bcarfree claims "intimidates, maims and kills", amidst a herd of smugly dissatisfied bicyclists feels like an Orwellian nightmare. I'll take the Utopic, pie in the sky, enthusiasm of a city like NY, Minneapolis or Boston any day.

    What in the world makes it such an awesome city to ride in?
    Last edited by buzzman; 12-23-13 at 10:42 PM.

  18. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I hesitate to bring this up and maybe it should be it's own thread, so please consider the following a think piece for reflection rather than a jumping off point.

    The OPs premise really begs a question or a few.

    Before we worry about whether infrastructure increases modal share in an absolute sense, we should consider the goals.

    For example how do we define success, or what are we willing to spend per additional rider. Even granting that we can show that if we build, they will come, we should consider how much is spent, and how many come.

    We also should decide if attracting more riders is by itself a social good, and if so what it's worth. The assumption here on a bike forum is more bicycles is good, but how and why is it good, and what is it worth?

    Lastly we need to think about why we're building infrastructure, to increase safety? or to drive a modal change. Again, depending on the objective, we need to define success, and set a cost benefit goal to measure by.

    Policy isn't (or shouldn't be) driven by absolutes, but on balance priorities and allocating scarce commodities, pavement space, money, etc. wisely. It might be possible (not saying it is or isn't) that the money spent to change modal share might be better spent on education or something else.

    From a purely selfish point of view, I don't believe increased bicycling beyond a certain level does me any good. It will increase the accident numbers (based on constant rate) increasing the level of government scrutiny which usually isn't a good thing. If segregation can be shown to reduce deaths (so far it hasn't) then I might support it to defuse calls for safety regulation.

    As I said, this is big picture stuff, and I'm not suggesting answers (I don't have them), just the questions that we should be asking ourselves under the theory that we need to be careful what we ask for, lest we get it.

    These are good questions and, while perhaps off topic, are worth considering.

    There is a certain complexity to this issue and it seems complexity doesn't lend itself to forum discussions.

    I'll take a stab at this with as basic a response as I can.

    #1 attributing too much weight to certain economic factors as a motivation for cycling can be misleading. I say this because the demographic of bike riders both recreational and those who commute tend to be in the higher economic brackets. They are often the people least affected by a rise in gas prices. In fact, look at the cities with higher bike shares. look at the cities adding bike infrastructure. It is the cities with the higher than average incomes. It's not like we're hearing America's poorer neighborhoods screaming for bike paths and lanes and watching streams of people pouring in and out of those neighborhoods on bikes. As popular as bike share programs are they are having difficulty taking off in economically deprived communities even when placed there.


    #2 It's possible the greatest motivating factor for riding a bike is its appeal to the young at heart, those who are physically motivated and enthusiastic about life. It is part of an appealing "lifestyle". Our cities are becoming social centers. Dave Cutter rightly points out in a post that our cities are changing from centers of commerce and business as we go increasingly virtual. What the thriving American cities are doing are becoming social centers. Mayors are revitalizing cities by adding theaters and art centers, building parks and open spaces, making cites more walkable, bike able. This is happening world wide- because it works. Paris took an old abandoned rail line and turned into a pedestrian walkway. NYC has done the same thing. NYC ripped down an old highway and got rid of crappy old buildings along the river, threw down some pavement and suddenly the waterfront comes to life- CHEAP with a big payoff!

    And here's where economics comes in. Often this takes place during an economic downturn. Why? Because these are actually less expensive ways of keeping people happy. Believe it or not when you look at the budget of big cities turning a couple of empty lots into a park or an abandoned building into a theatre or repaving a street and putting down some bikes lanes or turning an abandoned rail bed thru the city into a bike path are relatively cheap ways to make citizens happy. These kinds of changes are a form of stimulus to the economy. Build a theatre and two or three restaurants will follow. As will an increase in nearby property values. make it all easy to walk and bike around and it's even more pleasant and drives values up higher.

    #3 Bike riders are not driving these changes. In fact, they are barely a voice. It's why it would be better for cyclists to present a more unified voice or simply each of us go rogue and join whatever group more closely represents our needs. Bike infrastructure is being built to satisfy what has become an attractive lifestyle. And, it is. It's a much more livable city when you aren't dodging 4000 pounds of glass and metal every time you want a cup of coffee. It's a quieter city, too. Less congested, less stress, cleaner, better air, less pollution. Lots of payoffs.
    Last edited by buzzman; 12-23-13 at 11:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    What in the world makes it such an awesome city to ride in?
    Awesome cyclists? Or at least some cyclists who think they are more awesome than the so-called "fearful gutterbunny" riffraff found elsewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FanaticMN View Post
    I don't think the data supports that scenario.

    Here's the page linking to the study and all the raw data. Check it out!

    http://www.minneapolismn.gov/bicycles/data/safety
    OK, I am interested, I do note the table says 16+ commuters. Please provide the methods and parameters by which these ESTIMATES were normalized.

    Please list the infrastructure with dates opened each year from 1997 to 2004 (pics would be very helpful).

    Please provide the crash reporting criteria and changes by year for reporting criteria. As an example, SFPD will not take a report anymore unless the cyclist is taken away in an ambulance. Honolulu Police use to take reports if the damage exceeded $1,000, then it changed to $3,000 and now I believe it is only required if there is an injury or if traffic is blocked. Imagine how those changes in reporting criteria would impact a graph such as yours.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    OK, I am interested, I do note the table says 16+ commuters. Please provide the methods and parameters by which these ESTIMATES were normalized.

    Please list the infrastructure with dates opened each year from 1997 to 2004 (pics would be very helpful).

    Please provide the crash reporting criteria and changes by year for reporting criteria. As an example, SFPD will not take a report anymore unless the cyclist is taken away in an ambulance. Honolulu Police use to take reports if the damage exceeded $1,000, then it changed to $3,000 and now I believe it is only required if there is an injury or if traffic is blocked. Imagine how those changes in reporting criteria would impact a graph such as yours.
    Minneapolis police manual provides :

    7-501.01 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT REPORTS 09/03/03) (05/29/09)
    (A-B)
    A Traffic Accident Report shall be completed for motor vehicle accidents involving personal injury, a City vehicle, or combined property damage amounting to over $1,000.
    Officers shall directly enter all accident reports into the State of Minnesota Online Accident Reporting System, unless the system is down. When entering the report into the system, officers shall use a 10-digit case number format (example: MP03-123456).
    http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/poli...cy_7-500_7-500

    The $1000 threshold went into effect in 1994. Before that it was $500. Not only are police obligated to report, in Minnesota drivers of motor vehicles are obligated to file a report with the department of public safety if there is personal injury or damages exceeding $1000.


    If there is no personal injury or if the damage to personal property is less than $1000 then you have the option of making an online report. http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/poli...port/index.htm I don't know when this option went into effect. If anything, it may help increase reporting of incidents.


    Of course, for a variety of reasons many accidents don't end up being reported.

    As far as how the data was gathered for the reports, links provided in the report describe the data gathering process and methodology.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 12-24-13 at 08:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    Minneapolis police manual provides :

    7-501.01 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT REPORTS 09/03/03) (05/29/09)
    (A-B)
    A Traffic Accident Report shall be completed for motor vehicle accidents involving personal injury, a City vehicle, or combined property damage amounting to over $1,000.
    Officers shall directly enter all accident reports into the State of Minnesota Online Accident Reporting System, unless the system is down. When entering the report into the system, officers shall use a 10-digit case number format (example: MP03-123456).
    http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/poli...cy_7-500_7-500

    The $1000 threshold went into effect in 1994. Before that it was $500. Not only are police obligated to report, in Minnesota drivers of motor vehicles are obligated to file a report with the department of public safety if there is personal injury or damages exceeding $1000.


    If there is no personal injury or if the damage to personal property is less than $1000 then you have the option of making an online report. http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/poli...port/index.htm I don't know when this option went into effect. If anything, it may help increase reporting of incidents.


    Of course, for a variety of reasons many accidents don't end up being reported.

    As far as how the data was gathered for the reports, links provided in the report describe the data gathering process and methodology.

    Wow. Above and beyond the call of duty. I'd have made him do his own homework! But it's the time for gift giving. Merry, merry!

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Really? In all honesty you and BCarfree have totally turned me off on the Portland model.

    The idea of sitting around a city waiting for the next economic downturn hoping for an uptick in cyclists while riding on what sounds like a mess of poor infrastructure, presided over by Copenhaginistas forcing inadequate segregated bike paths down an unwilling populace's throats surrounded by cadres of simmering suburban motorists is not appealing.

    And riding on jammed infrastructure, which Bcarfree claims "intimidates, maims and kills", amidst a herd of smugly dissatisfied bicyclists feels like an Orwellian nightmare. I'll take the Utopic, pie in the sky, enthusiasm of a city like NY, Minneapolis or Boston any day.

    What in the world makes it such an awesome city to ride in?
    *20-25 mph speed limits.
    *Mostly tamed bulls.
    *Road dieted arterials.
    *Businesses designed for (and by) cyclists.
    *Bike parking.
    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

  24. #174
    Senior Member Brennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Brennan
    .... But the bike infrastructure transitions several times, from bike lane to bike sharrow to nothing at all. This puts the cycling infrastructure at a distinct disadvantage, and it's hard to gauge its effectiveness when it's not nearly equal to other infrastructures.
    So.... people like myself LOVE cycling because..... where I live we have easy, convenient, well engineered, and safe cycling infrastructure?!?!?!? Is this a JOKE? Or perhaps you design cycling infrastructures for a living?

    All the other cyclist I've met and talked to... also seem to have a love for cycling. People of my age remember the pure joy of cycling before the expenditure of taxpayer treasure. We cycle because we love to cycle.... not because government has gifted us with infrastructure. Cyclist built the sport, hobby, habit of cycling..... not politicians.

    With the exception of high speed expressways there isn't a road, lane, or street on the entire planet that doesn't have cyclist pedaling on it. Yet.... the infrastructure crowd thinks that cyclist will (magically somehow) benefit if they are pushed onto MUPs? I think some people are just... afraid of traffic... and are trying to high-jack alternate transportation to cater to their own fears.
    I'm not sure why you quoted my post since your rant has nothing to do with it.

    https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman
    Last edited by Brennan; 12-24-13 at 01:43 PM.

  25. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by FanaticMN View Post
    The magnitude of the MOE still covers the differences some of us are citing. The semi-controlled comparison numbers I cited a page ago won't support making up facts. 2012: 4.5% +/- 0.8% MOE is larger than 2005: 2.4% +/- .5% --that's real data, and real growth. And, as I alluded to, I suspect that a lot of that MOE is month-of-year variation due to climate--the ACS is conducted every month, so Minneapolis, and other leading cycling areas, probably show lots of variance, but probably also approach or exceed double digit mode share in good weather in some areas . Yes, there is longitudinal variation. Yes, the numbers are still small. But there are data that need to be interpreted, not dismissed. I realize this is A&S, but numbers matter, too.
    Yes, the margin of error covers the differences SOME of us are citing. So, looking at the Minneapolis numbers, what did you all do wrong in 2009, 2010, 2011, and what did you do so very right in 2012? (Or is it that the margin of error does *NOT* cover some of those year over year differences?) The story that you can truthfully tell is there is higher primary commute by bicycle in 2012 than in 2005. But panic over the noise in the measurements? Why?

    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. 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.

    Oh, did I mention that bicycle parking at Alewife went from 200 unsecured, to 300 secured/200 unsecured, to 450 secured/200 unsecured?

    Yes Virginia, if you build it, they will come.

    -mr. bill
    Last edited by mr_bill; 12-24-13 at 01:55 PM.

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