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Why don't US Bike Lanes Have Concrete Barriers?

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Why don't US Bike Lanes Have Concrete Barriers?

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Old 01-14-18, 01:03 AM
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raria
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Why don't US Bike Lanes Have Concrete Barriers?

Have been in Europe for six months now.

The Europeans treat cycling as an extra mode of transportation. So:

1) Often one side of the road's on street parking is taken away and replaced with two way bike Lanes.

2) There is a low (18 inch) concrete barrier to separate cars.

Makes for a much safer and better experience. Only need to watch out for cars on cross roads
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Old 01-14-18, 05:01 AM
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Old 01-14-18, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by raria View Post
Have been in Europe for six months now.

The Europeans treat cycling as an extra mode of transportation. So:

1) Often one side of the road's on street parking is taken away and replaced with two way bike Lanes.

2) There is a low (18 inch) concrete barrier to separate cars.

Makes for a much safer and better experience. Only need to watch out for cars on cross roads
You're going to have to be more specific than to say "in Europe...". London doesn't have them and I believe much of Europe doesn't have them, but not absolutely sure; however, I know places like Denmark have them, but not in all locations.


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Old 01-14-18, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
You're going to have to be more specific than to say "in Europe...". London doesn't have them and I believe much of Europe doesn't have them, but not absolutely sure; however, I know places like Denmark have them, but not in all locations.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtV51NUtg4Y
France, Denmark, Sweeden, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium etc.

To be sure, I'm not talking about country roads, rather inner-ish suburban areas.

It makes the world of difference. Lots of kids using bike paths.
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Old 01-14-18, 08:11 AM
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Old 01-14-18, 08:34 AM
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Did you say US as in United States....here, first, bicyclists would need to pay as much as car drivers in taxes.
Clean air is not important.
Good Health is not important.
Practical living is not a desired lifestyle.
Getting from point A to point B the fastest no matter who dies is top priority. If you don't believe me, just ask my wife.
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Old 01-14-18, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by raria View Post
The Europeans treat cycling as an extra mode of transportation.
And there is probably your answer.

We do have areas like Manhattan that are friendly to cycling, but more often people on bikes are seen as pesky nuisances, and we are not seen as co-equal users of the road system.
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Old 01-14-18, 09:04 AM
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Most European countries have centralized governments with the power to pass across the board regulations.

Maybe local governments could elect to erect solid barriers. Not sure that you will see it from sea to shining sea though.

Besides, as someone else posted, painted lines, with pictographs at strategic locations, have super powers.
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Old 01-14-18, 09:55 AM
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In my locale, barriers would complicate snow removal.
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Old 01-14-18, 12:37 PM
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U.S. infrastructure is much sparser than Europe's in general (because of both geography and policy) and bicycle infrastructure in U.S. is in its infant stage.
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Old 01-14-18, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Nycycle View Post
Did you say US as in United States....here, first, bicyclists would need to pay as much as car drivers in taxes.
Clean air is not important.
Good Health is not important.
Practical living is not a desired lifestyle.
Getting from point A to point B the fastest no matter who dies is top priority. If you don't believe me, just ask my wife.
They do. Most roads everywhere in the USA are paid for with income/property taxes, as fuel and wheel taxes do nothing to fund roads and haven't for decades. And most people have-to own a car, even if they aren't driving it actively.
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Old 01-14-18, 01:35 PM
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There are several very different types of bike paths in Oregon, and I presume in most of the USA.

In particular on-street bike paths and off-street bike paths (dubbed MUPS for multi-use path systems).

I presume some places also have separate walking and riding off-street paths.

Here the MUPS are very popular for cyclists, joggers, and walkers. As a river city, the rivers are the natural place for the MUP system that not only allows uninterrupted paths, but shoots through the middle of the city, and are also very park-like in nature.

On-street paths are different, and solve different needs. In many senses, they simply allow cars to safely and quickly pass cyclists. I consider them like a standardized form of road shoulders. It also allows cyclists to easily make left turns, and merge into the traffic lanes as needs arise. It also allows the lanes to provide a buffer for car drivers, and potentially even a break-down lane. Yeah, nobody likes to swerve around cars, but perhaps easier and safer for cyclists to do than for car drivers to do.

Assuming cyclists and cars both move at the same time across intersections, the painted lines with cyclists moving with traffic may well allow the best visibility for cyclists. Separate pathways may trick drivers into dangerous complacency, and hide cyclists behind plants and landscaping.

Of course, it may also all depend on the number of cyclists... one per mile or so vs 100 per mile. I'm not sure that "make the infrastructure, and they'll come" always applies. With few cyclists, one might lean towards shared infrastructure, while with more, one might lean towards dedicated infrastructure.

Also keep in mind that many urban paths are retrofit into preexisting roads, thus space, structures, and other constraints are already determined. If new roads are being built, then building higher quality bike paths is an excellent idea.
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Old 01-14-18, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by raria View Post
Have been in Europe for six months now.

The Europeans treat cycling as an extra mode of transportation. So:

1) Often one side of the road's on street parking is taken away and replaced with two way bike Lanes.

2) There is a low (18 inch) concrete barrier to separate cars.

Makes for a much safer and better experience. Only need to watch out for cars on cross roads
In the last few e-mails and letters I have written to my local advocacy group and the city, I did suggest concrete barriers for bike lanes. In Toronto, at Eglinton Avenue and Leslie Street, construction workers have laid down concrete barriers while they are building the cross town LRT. I use the barriers as a make-shift bike lane and it's great for the one block they are on.

Why don't they use these for bike lanes? Because it makes too much sense. Motorists are always trying to find ways to get around and violate bollards. Can't do that with concrete barriers.
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Old 01-14-18, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by raria View Post
Have been in Europe for six months now.

The Europeans treat cycling as an extra mode of transportation. So:

1) Often one side of the road's on street parking is taken away and replaced with two way bike Lanes.

2) There is a low (18 inch) concrete barrier to separate cars.

Makes for a much safer and better experience. Only need to watch out for cars on cross roads
We do have those in some cities, and they don't have them everywhere in Europe. They have some limitations and problems, including their own dangers and increasing car congestion. Nothing is free.
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Old 01-14-18, 04:57 PM
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How many times have you gone to city, state and county public meetings of say the planning commissions and asked?
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Old 01-14-18, 05:38 PM
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Because they really hurt when you hit them.

Oh, and your city is broke and can't afford them.

A semi will still make mincemeat of one anyhow.

The last perfect world I saw was in a documentary about GM's Futurama at the 1939 World's Fair, then World War II intervened. After the war General Eisenhower and the GI's that saw the Autobahn were so smitten that the entire US Interstate Highway system (named after Eisenhower in 1969 was it?) was designed based on milder components of that road.

But no rails or electronic guidance, the entire base of cars wasn't scrapped and it became entrenched. Cities grew and faded with it just like with the railroad.
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Old 01-15-18, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by raria View Post
France, Denmark, Sweeden, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium etc.

To be sure, I'm not talking about country roads, rather inner-ish suburban areas.

It makes the world of difference. Lots of kids using bike paths.
Ok, now it's not Europe, but some selected countries in Europe....

But again, how much of the routes have protected bike lanes -- I don't know, but would be interested to see a map, but not sure if that's available. See here in France bikes riding with cars.

P.S. I understand you're not talking about rural areas, never was an issue...

BTW, I hate bike paths, slows me down too much
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Old 01-15-18, 08:07 AM
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As ABBA would say - "Money money money"
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Old 01-15-18, 09:48 AM
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The reason why bicycle safety is not progressing fast enough is that cyclists can never agree amongst themselves what they want.

It's no wonder our requests are not taken seriously when some cyclists complain they hate bike paths!

Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
Ok, now it's not Europe, but some selected countries in Europe....

But again, how much of the routes have protected bike lanes -- I don't know, but would be interested to see a map, but not sure if that's available. See here in France bikes riding with cars.

P.S. I understand you're not talking about rural areas, never was an issue...

BTW, I hate bike paths, slows me down too much
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTLpO2GmBUo

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Old 01-15-18, 11:10 AM
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should get some basic terms correct. OP is talking about segregated infrastructure not bike lanes.

People seem to forget North america is not Europe. Size and population density matters. What works in Europe will work only in densely populated urban areas. Also also public transportation matters as people not in cities tend to do bi-modal commutes.

average bike commute in California (per rivenddell) is 14 miles, average distance biked per day in the netherlands is 2.3 kilometers or ~ 1.5 miles.

take san jose as an example is the 10th largest city in the nation with 1 million people an area of 180 sq miles or 467 sq K, density of 5,776.3/sq mi (2,230.24/km2)

compare this with amsterdam with 850,000 people (85 % of san jose) and area of 165.76 km2 (64.00 sq mi) 33% of san jose, population density of 5,135/km2 (13,300/sq mi) 230% of san jose and with better mass transit

the problem to solve is simply different.

San jose has been pretty active, especially in road diets in hi impact areas, but there is no way segregated infrastructure is workable or even desirable for the entire area.
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Old 01-15-18, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by raria View Post
Have been in Europe for six months now.

The Europeans treat cycling as an extra mode of transportation. So:

1) Often one side of the road's on street parking is taken away and replaced with two way bike Lanes.

2) There is a low (18 inch) concrete barrier to separate cars.
This doesn't seem common in Germany or the Netherlands (or Spain) at all.
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Old 01-15-18, 12:21 PM
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Even in Amsterdam there are two-way bikelanes especially once you get out of Centrum.


In Frankfurt there are two-way separated bikelanes on some roads in the center, Hafenstraße under the train tracks for example.

Otherwise, separated bikelanes one-way on each side are common, either with parking on the sidewalk side, or parking on the street side. Salmons are not uncommon on these lanes. (And in some areas, pedestrians common too, even with the blue bikesymbol|mother-childsymbol separated paths.)

Also very common in the 30 kph zones were bikesymbol "frie" signs below do not enter signs, which allowed people on bikes to legally ride contra on one-way streets. In such zones, busier one-way streets had bikelanes marked, smaller and lighter traffic streets you just ride down the center, giving way to the right when a car approached. On smaller one-way streets with stop signs, there are no stop signs facing the contra direction, they expect people on bikes to be smart enough to figure it out.

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Old 01-15-18, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
This doesn't seem common in Germany or the Netherlands (or Spain) at all.
WTH. Most countries are following Netherlands as 35+% of people (surveys vary) in Netherlands list their bike as their primary modality of transport.
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Old 01-15-18, 01:10 PM
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Some bike lanes in New York City use parked cars as barriers for cyclists:
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Old 01-15-18, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by raria View Post
WTH. Most countries are following Netherlands as 35+% of people (surveys vary) in Netherlands list their bike as their primary modality of transport.
average ride in Spain is .1 KM (from some EU statistics)
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