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The case for bike lanes

Old 06-12-19, 09:56 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
In my area, the seam at the gutter pan is often broken or deteriorated much more than the pavement. Riding into the seam creates a situation that is difficult to maneuver out of because the wheel is trapped in a linear groove. It is very difficult to countersteer to get out of that groove so the wheel remains trapped until such time as the groove goes away or until such time as the cyclist falls over. Front suspension helps tremendously but most bicycles used for road riding are so equipped.
Sounds like tires too narrow for the conditions. By all means avoid bad paving when there is an alternative, but being able to roll over it when necessary to avoid something else is important, too.

While it's not excuse for degraded conditions in lanes, modern urban bike lanes on city streets aren't really designed with road bikes as their base assumption, rather something upright and moving slowly, at which point comfort bike tires aren't unreasonable, essentially what bike shares deploy without the weight of the bombpoof frame. And yes, that kind of must-use bike infrastructure is annoying to those who learned to integrate into and make good time through the bicycle unfriendly version of cities. To some extent, cities just aren't conducive to fast movement, and bikes are not as much an exception to that as might be wished. For that to happen, bikes would need intersection-free expressways just as cars historically got, which creates some of the same problems with cutting off pedestrians from riverfronts and parks, etc.

Are those due to cyclists jumping out into traffic to avoid dooring or due to contra-flow cyclists? I would suspect the latter for mid-block crashes.
Some have been door and illicit taxi stop in bike lane dodges, some have been motor vehicles simply not allowing enough room (being willing to wait until it there is enough room) when passing cyclists who were holding a steady line at the edge of the door zone - exactly the situation that people unwilling to ride with traffic fear.

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Old 06-12-19, 10:51 AM
  #52  
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Oi. Now we are told that only certain styles of bikes can be safely ridden in cities? And that cycling infrastructure id designed to make some bikes unsafe?

Really? Did anyone really think about that before typing it?

Look .... there are drawbacks to certain bike-lane designs. Anyone who denies that is saying that any, all, or even no bike infrastructure is just as good.

Problems are .... people won't ride if they feel unsafe, and if people get hit often other riders won't feel safe. Badly designed infrastructure can lead to otherwise avoidable accidents as people who Think that they are safe, learn the ugly reality when things go wrong.

The idea that cyclists, particularly cyclists with decades of urban cycling experience, cannot criticize cycling infrastructure, and are just weak and cowardly and should shut up and HTFU ... sure sign of having no rational argument when one tells the opposition to "Shut up."

On top of that people here seem to think every one who disagrees rationally with another poster's position is making a personal attack it seems. The idea that people can actually disagree without hating one another, or without thinking the other is stupid, seems foreign to this site. It seems all the Cat 6 racers come here---the ones who won't actually sign up for competition but still crow about passing people on MUPs and such.

Me, I can be right, and I can be wrong, and I can cope with both. I can see other people's points and listen to their explanations ... and sometimes change my position (anyone here ever heard of that? it Does actually happen.)

As far as I am concerned, bike lanes which have solid barriers tend to be badly built---based on what I have actually seen, and photos I have seen. If the barriers are strong enough to actually protect the cyclists from cars, they take up too much space and the bike lanes are limited, and the bike lanes cannot be kept clean ... and the bike lanes also end up riddled with storm drains, badly laid patches, access hatches, and whatever other dangerous pavement irregularities which cyclists could normally swing left (into traffic) to avoid.

Access to protected lanes is Always problematical.

Equally bad at least are pretend-protected lanes set off by plastic bollards or cones (shudder) which create the illusion of safety---simply because the provide no real safety. They do, however, impede cyclists from moving smoothly out of the "protected" lane when that is the safest course of action.

Worst of all are lanes which obscure bikes from cars---as has been mentioned, if cars cannot see bikes ahead, the drivers won;'t plan for bikes ahead, and when bikes suddenly appear, the drivers might have already committed to paths of travel which include the space where the bikes reside.

And yes, getting doored is always an issue when the "divider" is a row of temporarily parked cars. And the idea that a cyclist getting doored or simply crashing trying to avoid a door is somehow okay because the cyclist is not falling into traffic---is either a person who is not honest or a person who has never crashed while traveling 15 mph or more. 15 mph is enough to shred skin, snap bones, and cause concussions. Anyone who finds all that "okay" is free to prove it by doing it.

Yes, cyclists can adapt. many of us started riding before bike lanes ever existed, and have ridden in all kinds of situations. And even in municipalities with good bike infrastructure, road construction and maintenance often changes safe situations into dangerous situations---which is okay the next day, if the rider can reroute (not always possible) but kind of sucks the first day the rider crests a hill and sees two twelve-foot lanes filled with spilled gravel while trucks tear up the concrete on the far side of sloppily laid jersey barrier. That happened on a route I used to ride a lot---and while i know it will only be for a few months, those roads are tremendously unsafe for cyclists for that few months. I pity any rider who needs to take those roads to get where he/she is going.

For the record, I have ridden them a few times in each direction, and survived ... but it is Not a good gamble.

And I am sure everyone here can tell similar tales.

So let's stop acting like anyone who disagrees is stupid or inexperienced. And let's stop pretending that everything we post proves everyone else is wrong. (That is only the case with my posts.)

That said ... what I said about protected lanes, floating parking lanes and such ... no one has refuted it except to say "HTFU" or to point out that the crashing cyclist at least didn't crash into traffic, so crashing is fine.

Also ... the "goal," as I understand it, of building "bike infrastructure," is to get more people riding. The fact that experienced commuters can safely navigate dangerous situations ... that's sort of like saying drivers at Le Mans hit speeds of 220 mph, so let's raise the spreed limits. The idea is to build Safe cycling infrastructure. Safe for new cyclists wanting to try out riding instead of driving ... not new cyclists looking to be thankful that the crash which left them unable to work for a week wasn't fatal.

There is a lot of video by this guy (https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...9&&FORM=VDRVRV) about cities designed for safe cycling .... and how some cities have increased from the maybe one percent normal in most cities (mostly drunks and cycling nuts) to seven or ten percent.

The first idea is to design around the bike, not the car. Every design which involves squeezing a bike lane into a road so it doesn't interfere with cars will almost always short-change the cyclist---and that will almost always lead to increased risk for the cyclist. All of the solutions above seem to be aimed at shutting up those stupid cyclists without annoying our precious drivers. And to top that with a strong round of insults for the cyclists who point out the logical and practical flaws ... yeah, that is unquestionably the formula to increase cycling ... fatalities.
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Old 06-12-19, 11:14 AM
  #53  
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Oh and @UniChris---you say a few times that bike lanes cannot be adjacent to roads because drivers, typically delivery drivers, will not respect them.

Well, there are laws ... laws which are not enforced are not respected.

But to that point, All traffic laws which are not enforced, are ignored. So yes, some paint on the road surface is not going to block cars vans, or trucks. But if cops start ticketing those criminals ...

drunk driving used to be a joke, now it is a serious crime. Attitudes changed, enforcement changed. Unless drivers' attitudes toward cyclists on the road change, cycling will always be a lethal gamble. This hearkens back to eh "design with bikes in mind" idea. if bikes are an obstacle, an afterthought, and impediment, then frustrated drivers in a hurry (most drivers) will shortchange cyclist safety. if it is allowed it will happen.

No matter Where bike lanes are, keeping them safe and clear for actually use by cyclists is paramount or the whole program is wasted. it is the same with bike lanes which are effectively extensions of the gutter, or protected lanes which are not swept---building them is good for getting grants, but not maintaining them makes them useless for safe transportation.

Another point--when I said bike lanes are supposed to allow cyclists to move swiftly, I wasn't talking about the Cat 6 racers running red lights and screaming "Strava, Strava!" I mean your normal bike commuter. if they have to ride at walking speed to watch for bad pavement, frequent road obstacles, doors, pedestrians crossing the bike lane unannounced ... then people will not ride bikes.

I have watched fleets of cyclists commuting in cities and no, they are not all hitting 20 mph---but they are going two to three times walking speed, which makes cycling a worthwhile alternative.

If you watch the video by Michael Colville-Andersen, he says that some huge number--like 90 percent--or people who cycle in cycle-friendly cities do ti because it is faster and easier than any other transport mode. If riding a bike is not significantly faster than walking or taking a cab or bus or driving, no one is going to go to the trouble of buying and maintaining a bike, finding safe places to lock up, finding ways to carry what they need ... people choose whatever transport mode is safe, simple, and swift, and if that is a bicycle, they use it.

So if a cyclist has to either ride slowly and be on constant lookout for obstacles or face an unacceptable risk of crashing (whether or not into traffic) not many people are going to cycle.

I don't care, personally, where the bike lanes are. What i care about is that your average man or woman---NOT a "cyclist---can ride a bike to work or to run errands and not have accidents.

We cyclists, we don't care. Bike lanes, no lanes, whatever, we can make it work. But if the goal of building bike lanes is to Increase Cycling, then we have to accept that the people who will be riding are not cycling enthusiasts, just people who see it as a sound alternative---the same people whose inattentive driving we curse when they thoughtlessly endanger us on the road.

Bike infrastructure has to work for average people who ride bikes, not for people who log there data and take pride in being good cyclists (just as most drivers are not "good" drivers---they are barely competent. See what happens when a little rain or snow is added to the mix---the ones who don't know what "steer into a skid" means, the ones who floor the brake pedal when anything unusual happens, the ones who panic if the car slides .... those are not "drivers" they are "car operators." And they will bring the same expertise to cycling.)

Bike infrastructure Needs to suit the Non-cyclist, the "person who sometimes rides to work." Otherwise it Is wasted, because it only serves the dedicated one percent who would ride whether or not the bike infrastructure was there or not.
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Old 06-12-19, 12:49 PM
  #54  
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Dayum Maelochs, you are on a roll today. I felt judged, convicted, castigated and exonerated in just one post. In the second you outdo yourself and bring it to a perfect summation. Not bad for a days work. You are done for today, right?
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Old 06-12-19, 12:49 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Well, there are laws ... laws which are not enforced are not respected.

But to that point, All traffic laws which are not enforced, are ignored. So yes, some paint on the road surface is not going to block cars vans, or trucks. But if cops start ticketing those criminals ...
First they'd have to stop parking there themselves. And the mayor would have to stop saying on the radio that it's okay to.

In a place where the lanes are honored, or at a time when traffic is light enough that their occasional disrespect (I'm talking to you, taxi driver who chose to wait in the lane over the adjacent empty parking spots) isn't too constant a hazard, on street lanes are fine once you get used to them and increase mutual awareness. Unfortunately, that's often not the case.

Another point--when I said bike lanes are supposed to allow cyclists to move swiftly, I wasn't talking about the Cat 6 racers running red lights and screaming "Strava, Strava!" I mean your normal bike commuter. if they have to ride at walking speed to watch for bad pavement, frequent road obstacles, doors, pedestrians crossing the bike lane unannounced ... then people will not ride bikes.
My point is that these everyday not-fast folks are exactly who lanes are designed for. And lanes should be in a good shape. But when they're not, that's a lot less of an issue if you're on a hybrid with large tires. And if the design assumption is that everyday folks are maybe getting up to 12-14 mph in clear stretches but slowing to maybe 8 in the areas like intersections or squeezes requiring full heads-up vigilance, there's little reason not to be riding that sort of city-adapted bicycle. The design goal tends to be last miles users, not long haul from outer regions that might include long open sections; a lot of people riding short distances, not a few riding long ones.

So if a cyclist has to either ride slowly and be on constant lookout for obstacles or face an unacceptable risk of crashing (whether or not into traffic) not many people are going to cycle.
That's a reality of pretty much any faster-than-walking transport in a dense area with a lot of intersections; it's exactly what's being requested of drivers, too. You could ban cars entirely and you'd still need that sort of vigilance for pedestrians.

Bike infrastructure Needs to suit the Non-cyclist, the "person who sometimes rides to work." Otherwise it Is wasted, because it only serves the dedicated one percent who would ride whether or not the bike infrastructure was there or not.
I completely agree. And sadly a lot of it is "right intention, wrong execution". Except when it goes wrong it doesn't even serve the fraction who would ride without it - they're often the most negatively impacted because now they're not allowed to do what used to work. But they weren't its design audience in the first place, the people who would only even contemplate riding if there were sheltered bike routes, and will ride those slowly, are.

That said, I find Maelochs' sudden argument that anyone has been told they are not entitled to an opinion quite surprising. Are there posts arguing such that I've missed?

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Old 06-12-19, 01:20 PM
  #56  
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Since our previously beloved Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, had declared that bike lanes were a war on cars, I have noticed an improved change of behaviour and attitude by motorists.

When I see a car in the bike lanes, I also notice that the driver tries to finish whatever he's doing there and get out before I get there.

Polls have shown in Toronto, there is a general acceptance of 70% in favour bike lanes. And that includes motorists and pedestrians. The only problem is that most of these people are opposed to the spending required to install new bicycle infrastructure.

The last time I had an argument with someone, he said why spend all that money just for 5% of the population. Well, it's actually 15%. 5% who currently ride. 5% who want to get out of their cars to ride but are afraid to. And 5% of motorists who want cyclists to get out of their way.

Well, the 5%(?) or so who want to ride but are afraid to is certainly true because everytime Toronto installs a new protected bike lane, ridership on that street jumps way high in the multi-100 percentages.
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Old 06-12-19, 04:17 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
JC!! There is no pleasing some of the more rabid infrastructure intolerant among us. Y'all's are really going to have to get over it. There is no perfect bike lane. If you continue to agitate for Holland style infrastructure in the U.S. you will just get bicycles banned from the public theater. America does not have a VAT tax structure that can flow millions of dollars towards socially responsible infrastructure and safety net economic undergirdment. This is as good as it gets. How often does a car door open ALL THE WAY so as to block 1/2 of the bike lane running parallel to it? That bike lane and the one on the other side of the street already cost a lane of traffic. And 20 bikes an hour (generous estimate) use it! But (some) cyclists want more. Need more to feel safe. ... ... I'm just saying ... there is no gun (that I know of) to anyone's head, forcing them to throw that leg over the top tube and play "will I be home for dinner or will I be doored to death"?
Sure there is -- just get it right. That's the reason we pay them the big bucks is to come up with ideas that work. The ideal solution would be a NO PARKING ZONE. After all, how may roads contain bike lanes?

One road devoid of parked car is not going to shut down the economy. In fact, it will get a lot more timid people out and on bicycles and improve traffic congestion and flow for everyone. Win, win. This really isn't rocket science.

At minimum, create angled parking. Not the perfect solution, but a lot better one than the fake bike lane monkey business they've got going on now.
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Old 06-12-19, 04:35 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Most accidents are going to occur at intersections and most of those, according to statistics I've seen involve a turning vehicle...usually left turning.
What "statistics" on this subject have you seen?
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Old 06-12-19, 04:48 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Sure there is -- just get it right. That's the reason we pay them the big bucks is to come up with ideas that work. The ideal solution would be a NO PARKING ZONE. After all, how may roads contain bike lanes?

One road devoid of parked car is not going to shut down the economy. In fact, it will get a lot more timid people out and on bicycles and improve traffic congestion and flow for everyone. Win, win. This really isn't rocket science.

At minimum, create angled parking. Not the perfect solution, but a lot better one than the fake bike lane monkey business they've got going on now.
I don't want just 'one road' I can ride on! that's what the situation is in NYC. A Greenway on the Westside. A Greenway on the Eastside and ... sucks to be you if you need to go to ... say 23rd and Madison. Unless you (like many intrepid NY'ers) can HTFU and mix it up with the heavy iron in Midtown Manhattan traffic hell. What if the traffic engineers are not wrong? What if second guessing exactly what is and is not a 'door zone' isn't the cyclists job? True story: Me and mine when new to this area went riding with a couple that had been here all their lives. We were going to do an out and back on the back roads but first we had to ride through town for a mile or so. I took my usual road position where there were no bike lanes and of course used the bike lanes that we found, and got to the start of the ride in no time. Soon enough along comes the other couple on their tandem. Ignoring the bike lane, way the #$$% out in the road being yelled at, cursed, flipped off, just horrid. I'm like ... dude... wtf?? He is like "I'm taking the road, that's a door zone bike lane". I'm like ... they're all like this! He is like, that's right so I don't use any of them ... Sweet JC. I don't know. But ... on the chance, the chance, of a dooring vs the guaranteed abuse from 'taking the lane' when a 'door zone' bike lane is right there. Call me stupid, call me an organ donor, I'm taking the bike lane.
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Old 06-12-19, 04:50 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
What "statistics" on this subject have you seen?
Don't start. He's got this one. I've seen the same 'statistics'.
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Old 06-12-19, 05:32 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Sounds like tires too narrow for the conditions. By all means avoid bad paving when there is an alternative, but being able to roll over it when necessary to avoid something else is important, too.
It’s not the tires that are the problem but the conditions that are the problem. I know how to handle linear cracks and ruts from years of mountain biking but an inexperienced cyclist may not. And even with knowledge on how to deal with this kind of rut, it is best to avoid having to deal with them in the first place. That said, it is also extremely difficult to pave a road with a gutter pan and make the pavement smooth and solid.

While it's not excuse for degraded conditions in lanes, modern urban bike lanes on city streets aren't really designed with road bikes as their base assumption, rather something upright and moving slowly, at which point comfort bike tires aren't unreasonable, essentially what bike shares deploy without the weight of the bombpoof frame. And yes, that kind of must-use bike infrastructure is annoying to those who learned to integrate into and make good time through the bicycle unfriendly version of cities. To some extent, cities just aren't conducive to fast movement, and bikes are not as much an exception to that as might be wished. For that to happen, bikes would need intersection-free expressways just as cars historically got, which creates some of the same problems with cutting off pedestrians from riverfronts and parks, etc.
You are missing the point. The problem is with the ad hoc manner in which many of these protected lanes are added to the system. A bike lane on the driver’s side of the parking lane put the bicycle on a solid surface without the gutter seam. It doesn’t matter if the car sits on the gutter pan/pavement seam. We also tend to place service access...manhole covers, water shut offs, various underground telecommunication ports, etc...under the parked cars because cars constantly driving over these kinds of access points tend to break the pavement. Simply moving the cars away from the curb puts those access points, which are seldom at street level, under the wheels of our bikes. It’s jut more stuff for us to avoid in a lane that is already narrow and constrained.

Bottom line: The protected lane isn’t “designed” so much as just shoehorned into an existing system. It’s often shoehorned in by well meaning but poorly informed people who aren’t really bicycle riders. Traffic engineers are often car traffic engineers, not bicycle traffic engineers.

Just to be clear, I’m not against bicycling infrastructure. I’m just against poorly designed and poorly implemented bicycle infrastructure.
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Old 06-12-19, 05:51 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
It’s not the tires that are the problem but the conditions that are the problem.
Tires that don't suit the conditions are a problem one can personally do something about. Some of the worst degraded-pavements conditions I deal with are nowhere near cars. That's in part why they are bad - no-motor-vehicles paths don't get maintained as frequently as streets.

Just dropped by a Citibike rack and found 50mm Marathon Plus tires on them - that's what suits their habitat.

We also tend to place service access...manhole covers, water shut offs, various underground telecommunication ports, etc...under the parked cars because cars constantly driving over these kinds of access points tend to break the pavement. Simply moving the cars away from the curb puts those access points, which are seldom at street level, under the wheels of our bikes.
My recollection of anywhere I've lived is that this kind of stuff tends to be in the middle of travel lanes either because that is where the vaults are or so they don't have to tow cars when unplanned access is needed. With rare exceptions only drains are at the edge. And most of those exceptions were quite smooth. I've ridden over plenty of tree roots cracks on MUPs that are worse. Update: just got back from doing a short survey in my current neighborhood and found that they're pretty well sprinkled - probably more than half in the travel lane, a few at the curb, a few in what would be the door zone of a parking protected lane. Most near the curb were impressively even with the pavement; some in the middle of ordinary lanes less so. I did see one suspicious looking iron structure between parked cars, but then remembered there's a larger and worse condition version of the same thing on the near end of the greenway that after initial caution years ago I now know I can routinely ride right over. Saw a couple of badly sunken curbside drains, and one with the bars the wrong way; those happen to be in places where the lane not only isn't curbside but isn't even exclusive.

Bottom line: The protected lane isn’t “designed” so much as just shoehorned into an existing system. It’s often shoehorned in by well meaning but poorly informed people who aren’t really bicycle riders. Traffic engineers are often car traffic engineers, not bicycle traffic engineers.
Overly squeezed lanes certainly happen.

But on the question of parking protected vs. traffic side, you are welcome to your opinion, but it happens our local cycling advocates are pretty vocal about considering parking protected lanes a higher class of infrastructure than paint protected ones, basically saying the DOT wimped out anytime they pick paint. I'd say I hear a lot less criticism of the downsides of protected lanes in those circles, than I have concerns about them in my own head.

I suspect the thinking is that real safety comes from numbers; numbers means getting hesitant people to try; and for that perceived fears are just as important as actual risks; plus while less than the intersection risk, the mid-block risk is demonstrably real and not just perception too.

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Old 06-12-19, 06:10 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I don't want just 'one road' I can ride on! that's what the situation is in NYC. A Greenway on the Westside. A Greenway on the Eastside and ... sucks to be you if you need to go to ... say 23rd and Madison. Unless you (like many intrepid NY'ers) can HTFU and mix it up with the heavy iron in Midtown Manhattan traffic hell. What if the traffic engineers are not wrong? What if second guessing exactly what is and is not a 'door zone' isn't the cyclists job?
Be we're the customer -- and isn't the customer "always right?"
True story: Me and mine when new to this area went riding with a couple that had been here all their lives. We were going to do an out and back on the back roads but first we had to ride through town for a mile or so. I took my usual road position where there were no bike lanes and of course used the bike lanes that we found, and got to the start of the ride in no time. Soon enough along comes the other couple on their tandem. Ignoring the bike lane, way the #$$% out in the road being yelled at, cursed, flipped off, just horrid. I'm like ... dude... wtf?? He is like "I'm taking the road, that's a door zone bike lane". I'm like ... they're all like this! He is like, that's right so I don't use any of them ... Sweet JC. I don't know. But ... on the chance, the chance, of a dooring vs the guaranteed abuse from 'taking the lane' when a 'door zone' bike lane is right there. Call me stupid, call me an organ donor, I'm taking the bike lane.
We want what we want. Does that really need to be explained?

If its there, you're required to take it.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:41 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Don't start. He's got this one. I've seen the same 'statistics'.
Anyone care to post a reference to THE "statistics"?
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Old 06-12-19, 10:37 PM
  #65  
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As has been touched upon here .... almost all U.S. bike infrastructure is shoehorned in so as to give bikes a place to be, safe and useful or not, among the cars. Roads are designed by automobile traffic engineers, and bikes are at best an afterthought.

Bicycle infrastructure designed to prioritize safety and usefulness for Bikes .... what a concept.

Places where a lot of people ride are places where city planners decided to make cycling a priority and designed for cyclists. Cities where traffic engineers were forced to give up automobile space to accomodate those whiny bikers or to get federal grant money .... provide all those statistics about riders getting hit.

When even people who ride bicycles start saying it is okay to get doored because you only crash on a concrete curb and not in front of a car, or that only certain bicycles should be considered safe for commuting---but No One Is Ever Told---then you know the current thinking about road design is warped and twisted and needs to be scrapped.

Face it---a lot of roads don't work for cars, and a lot of those roads don't work for bike either. I have done rush-hour in a car and on a bike in a lot of cities .... and I could generally be as fast on a bike as in a car, even needing to go slowly because of the amazing traffic constriction and the frustrated, impatient drivers doing stupid things to gain an extra foot of "progress" through traffic.

When I lives in the Greater Orlando, Floridda area it was usually faster for drivers to take surface street that to take the Interstate, because Both moved at less than 15 mph, but because no one would let cars merge, the on- and off-ramps were even worse. From what I hear, that has only gotten worse.

Our current road systems fail horribly in a lot of cases, and no one wants to address the issue. We need to make a lot of changes, but people would rather sit in traffic stewing, while listening to talk-radio about how their taxes are too high .... which leaves the drivers unwilling to fund infrastructure improvement and unhappy about crappy infrastructure.

For all the danger, rush hour was a great time to ride for me, because I was Riding my Bike past all these evil-looking, dyspeptic, enraged drivers who were still going to be waiting at that light long after I had reached my destination.

We have learned so much, and are too stupid to use it.
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Old 06-13-19, 12:31 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Tires that don't suit the conditions are a problem one can personally do something about. Some of the worst degraded-pavements conditions I deal with are nowhere near cars. That's in part why they are bad - no-motor-vehicles paths don't get maintained as frequently as streets.

Just dropped by a Citibike rack and found 50mm Marathon Plus tires on them - that's what suits their habitat.
This is city riding we are talking about. If there is a home for narrower tires, cities should be it. A 2"+ tire shouldn't be a requirement for riding in the city and I certainly wouldn't need one all the time...only when trapped in a poorly designed and implemented band-aid of a bike path.

Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
My recollection of anywhere I've lived is that this kind of stuff tends to be in the middle of travel lanes either because that is where the vaults are or so they don't have to tow cars when unplanned access is needed. With rare exceptions only drains are at the edge. And most of those exceptions were quite smooth. I've ridden over plenty of tree roots cracks on MUPs that are worse. Update: just got back from doing a short survey in my current neighborhood and found that they're pretty well sprinkled - probably more than half in the travel lane, a few at the curb, a few in what would be the door zone of a parking protected lane. Most near the curb were impressively even with the pavement; some in the middle of ordinary lanes less so. I did see one suspicious looking iron structure between parked cars, but then remembered there's a larger and worse condition version of the same thing on the near end of the greenway that after initial caution years ago I now know I can routinely ride right over. Saw a couple of badly sunken curbside drains, and one with the bars the wrong way; those happen to be in places where the lane not only isn't curbside but isn't even exclusive.
The issue is that the ones out in the travel lane seldom are going to be below grade. People in cars (with 4 wheel suspension) don't like to drive over holes and bumps. Those get attention. The ones along the curb are invisible and so what if there is a 2" drop for bicyclists without suspension? Who pays attention to those whiners anyway? "We gave 'em bike lanes, what more do they want?!"


Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Overly squeezed lanes certainly happen.
Which is just another way of saying that those lanes don't have a place. If the road is overly squeezed before the lanes were put in place, they are even worse afterwards.

Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
But on the question of parking protected vs. traffic side, you are welcome to your opinion, but it happens our local cycling advocates are pretty vocal about considering parking protected lanes a higher class of infrastructure than paint protected ones, basically saying the DOT wimped out anytime they pick paint. I'd say I hear a lot less criticism of the downsides of protected lanes in those circles, than I have concerns about them in my own head.
I've been a cycling advocate for years. I've served on city planning boards for my city. I've even educated a traffic engineer who knew nothing about bicycling needs or bicycles in general and just got stuck with the bicycle planner job. The "advocates" I'm hearing that advocate for protected lanes are doing so from a standpoint of fear more than anything else. They want to get more people on bikes but people don't want to ride bikes except out of traffic so they "advocate" for protected lanes to be shoehorned into the system. Most of the riders who want them haven't a clue about the hazards of them. Unfortunately, I get stuck with having to use them because they are there.

Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
I suspect the thinking is that real safety comes from numbers; numbers means getting hesitant people to try; and for that perceived fears are just as important as actual risks; plus while less than the intersection risk, the mid-block risk is demonstrably real and not just perception too.
Mid-block risks are going to be similar to intersection risks and could just be called intersection risks since (I suspect) that most of those involve cars turning into or out of driveways. It's not technically an "intersection" but it is where the two different types of traffic are "intesecting". Being run down from behind is a fairly rare although it is the most feared of car/bicycle accident modes. This study from Denver is fairly typical and in line with other studies I've seen in the past. Broadsides are the most common. The accident mode that could best be characterized as "mid-block" would involve cars or bicycle changing lanes and few from overtaking. Their second category of crashes in the report could be actually broken down into 3 categories. And some of those could be probably be categorized as left and right hooks.

Yes, mid-block accidents are real but the protected lane...especially the floating parking protected lane...exacerbates the problem. As shown in mr_bill's pictures, people entering the church parking lot would be masked from the cyclist and the cyclist would be masked from the cars. When illegally parked vehicle figure into the mix, the problem becomes even worse. The Fex-Ex truck parked illegally sets up a situation where a cyclist could easily be hit. If there are no mid-block breaks in the lane, there would be no possibility of collision but there are often driveways, alleyways and other access points on these kind of lanes.
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Old 06-13-19, 01:00 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
This is city riding we are talking about. If there is a home for narrower tires, cities should be it. A 2"+ tire shouldn't be a requirement for riding in the city and I certainly wouldn't need one all the time...
That sounds a lot like a lack of experience coping with actual cities. The people who design tires seem to have some, and they know their market. You seemed to have some complaints about newbies not being adequately warned; but in my book, 2" tires on share bikes is exactly giving them tools to cope with what they will actually encounter.

only when trapped in a poorly designed and implemented band-aid of a bike path.
It's not just on street paths, it's off street ones, streets themselves, rural trails, gravel... You don't need to run 2 inch tires, but the only reason to limit yourself with road bike tires is if you plan to ride fast in good conditions only, or find they work for you in actual conditions. If they're not working, change them or ride for pleasure where they do work. All around cycling demands more versatility, especially when you can't go that fast anyway.

Of course, you can pick any tires you like; but keep in mind you were the one with complaints about specific surface conditions that created safety problems with them.

The issue is that the ones out in the travel lane seldom are going to be below grade. People in cars (with 4 wheel suspension) don't like to drive over holes and bumps.
They might not like to; but they often have to.

Those get attention.
Again, a lack of practical experience with actual cities where the main travel section of roads can be patch upon patch upon needed but unapplied patch. Crumbling infrastructure is hardly limited to bike facilities.

The ones along the curb are invisible and so what if there is a 2" drop
2" drops are quite visible to an aware cyclist ;-) But actually the bike lanes I looked at this evening were for the most part some of the smoothest parts of the road, despite their various routing flaws with respect to other traffic.

The "advocates" I'm hearing that advocate for protected lanes are doing so from a standpoint of fear more than anything else. They want to get more people on bikes but people don't want to ride bikes except out of traffic so they "advocate" for protected lanes to be shoehorned into the system.


They're pretty drastically changing the face of cities, actually. Bill's pictures of Cambridge are nothing like what I remember, and I don't recall being too worried getting around on my bike the way it used to be.

Most of the riders who want them haven't a clue about the hazards of them.


That a dooring can still happen there in a few circumstance is worthy of thought, but on the whole when designed with proper width they're not as hazardous as you seem to think when used as intended, at the speeds envisioned - I cannot for example recall any news stories about someone being killed mid-block in a protected lane, but plenty about mid-block deaths in traffic. I do agree with you though on the discomfort with rejoining traffic flows at intersections.

Mid-block risks are going to be similar to intersection risks and could just be called intersection risks since (I suspect) that most of those involve cars turning into or out of driveways.


No, entirely different - most of these blocks don't have any driveways. But people get killed mid block holding a consistent line by busses and trucks trying to squeeze by them where there isn't room, or when they swerve to avoid a door or sudden merge into the lane to illegally drop off a taxi passenger there.

I get stuck with having to use them because they are there.


Yes, I agree with you; lanes to get the people who weren't riding before riding can unfortunately break what used to work for the people who were previously riding. And sadly, the more people who cycle likely the slower it will get. Societies tend to be about numbers not the individual; adapting what I do to work in relation to the constraints of what the rest of society can support has been a reality pretty much my entire life.

Last edited by UniChris; 06-13-19 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 06-13-19, 07:22 AM
  #68  
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So much defense of position here .... so little interference from pesky facts.

Whatever.

I frankly don't care if more people cycle or not---how does it Immediately affect me? Generally, the more cyclists I see, the more salmon, anyway.

As for bike lanes, not using them is often the best option, even though it is illegal in some jurisdictions. The way it stands, with so much Stupid being applied to road design, I'd just as soon not see Any new "bike infrastructure."

Saying that city bikes should have to have certain tires .... and that bike lanes should actually be cyclocross courses---is just freaking ridiculous. A brand new rider carrying a day's groceries with her two-year-old son in the carrier over the rear wheel goes tooling down a bike lane, and suddenly it turns into an MTB trail ... great! Exactly what cyclists want! The Best Thing! Good lord folks .... know when to quit. It is okay to have been wrong. When you are in a whole, stop digging.

There are plenty of cities---none in the U.S. from what I have seen---where city planners have started clean basically, reworking certain downtown areas to facilitate safe cycling. In every case, those engineers designed starting with bikes as part of the plan. Trying to squeeze bikes into a space devoted to cars without upsetting the cars leaves, cyclists' safety out of the equation.

The fact that people are defending roads so bad that a person needs suspension and MTB tires to ride them ... pretty much shows how far from sense this discussion has traveled.

If I said, "Cars should all have eight inches of suspension travel, 4WD, and studded off-road tires .... that's just how it is," everyone would say I was stupid.

One last time, for the people who are listening and the people with their ears plugged shouting "I refuse to learn!": Until bikes are Equal with cars in importance to the road designers, and given as much space and design features so that they can use the roads for daily transport safely and efficiently---As Only cars are now---we will never see much of an upsurge in commuter cycling.
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Old 06-13-19, 07:58 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by asmac View Post
Good economic arguments in favor of bike lanes.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/bik...alth-1.5165954
It doesn't matter if studies and results from various cities from around the world are presented, people will continue to stick to their old opinions.

The me-first attitude prevails.
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Old 06-17-19, 01:08 AM
  #70  
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We have two streets with them I believe. You ride on the sidewalks elsewhere (ain't nobody in this ghost town but this ghost and cars).
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Old 06-20-19, 11:31 AM
  #71  
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Toronto doctors are calling for protected bike lanes on the Danforth.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toron...orth-1.5182755

I've ridden along this road many times. It's basically 1.5 lanes in each direction. When there are cars parked at the curb, there's still enough room to bike beside them and stay out of the door zone. But motorists hate it because you're blocking them while they still try to squeeze into that lane.

The other problem with this street is that there's only one north-south bike lane and at the north end, there's really no place a bicycle can continue safely.
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Old 06-22-19, 10:04 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
That sounds a lot like a lack of experience coping with actual cities. The people who design tires seem to have some, and they know their market. You seemed to have some complaints about newbies not being adequately warned; but in my book, 2" tires on share bikes is exactly giving them tools to cope with what they will actually encounter.
Got news for you, Bucko, Denver isn’t a cowtown (never was). It’s not as large as NYC but it has paved roads and cars and busses and trains and all kinds of stuff you’d find in an “actual” city. For that matter, an “actual” city has roads that are passable on relatively narrow bike tires. I have lots and lots and lots of experience riding on roads, paths and single track on 2” tires that aren’t paved. That kind of tire is absolutely unnecessary to ride around a village, town or even a city.





And my city riding experience isn’t just limited to Denver. I’ve ridden in many cities and all of them are suitable for a 35mm tire...max!

It's not just on street paths, it's off street ones, streets themselves, rural trails, gravel... You don't need to run 2 inch tires, but the only reason to limit yourself with road bike tires is if you plan to ride fast in good conditions only, or find they work for you in actual conditions. If they're not working, change them or ride for pleasure where they do work. All around cycling demands more versatility, especially when you can't go that fast anyway.




You can’t lecture me about riding versatility and tires. I’d wager that I know as much about riding as you do. Most of the time, a narrow road tire...even a 23mm...will work in a city.

Of course, you can pick any tires you like; but keep in mind you were the one with complaints about specific surface conditions that created safety problems with them.


You are missing the point. The protected lane conditions aren’t something I choose. They are forced on me.


They might not like to; but they often have to.
Not for long, not by design and not because the road was shoehorned into a space where it should be.

Again, a lack of practical experience with actual cities where the main travel section of roads can be patch upon patch upon needed but unapplied patch. Crumbling infrastructure is hardly limited to bike facilities.




If nothing else, the patches in the main travel lane get run over by hundreds to thousands of vehicle over time. Those patches upon patches get flattened out over time. The ones in the protected lanes...and they exist here...don’t. Bicycles simple don’t have the weight to flatten them.


2" drops are quite visible to an aware cyclist ;-) But actually the bike lanes I looked at this evening were for the most part some of the smoothest parts of the road, despite their various routing flaws with respect to other traffic.
What you are missing is that those are manhole covers...about 3’ in diameter...in the middle of a narrow lane without any maneuvering room. If the lane were out on the driver’s side of cars lining the curb, a bicyclist could maneuver around them. But when the lane is constrained there is no where for the bicyclist to go. There are cars on one side and a curb on the other. Hitting a parked car wouldn’t that much of a problem but catching a curb could result in an injury that takes a lot of time to heal.

That a dooring can still happen there in a few circumstance is worthy of thought, but on the whole when designed with proper width they're not as hazardous as you seem to think when used as intended, at the speeds envisioned - I cannot for example recall any news stories about someone being killed mid-block in a protected lane, but plenty about mid-block deaths in traffic. I do agree with you though on the discomfort with rejoining traffic flows at intersections.
The problem is that the protected lanes aren’t “designed” nor do they have a proper width. A “proper” width would be at least 11 feet which is standard driving lane. But the width of the ones I’ve seen (not just in Denver) are the wide of a car...about 6 feet plus a little bit. Overall, the width of protected lanes is about 8’ or 3’ below standard.

As for news stories, I can’t recall one about someone being killed mid-block of any kind.

No, entirely different - most of these blocks don't have any driveways. But people get killed mid block holding a consistent line by busses and trucks trying to squeeze by them where there isn't room, or when they swerve to avoid a door or sudden merge into the lane to illegally drop off a taxi passenger there.
You are talking about overtaking crashes. Those are rare by any statistic I’ve seen. It’s the one that scares people the most but the Denver study clearly shows the largest percentage of crashes involve turns, not sideswipes.
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Old 06-22-19, 10:16 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
If nothing else, the patches in the main travel lane get run over by hundreds to thousands of vehicle over time. Those patches upon patches get flattened out over time. The ones in the protected lanes...and they exist here...don’t. Bicycles simple don’t have the weight to flatten them.
Reality just doesn't work that way. Consistently worst *roadway* conditions I encounter? In the travel lanes of a *parkway* which is to say a limited access car-only highway, closed occasional Sundays for recreation. And yes, the patches are asphalt.

Actual reality is that spots with bad conditions can happen anywhere, sometimes you can go around, sometimes you have to go through; that's how life works in general.

You can’t lecture me about riding versatility and tires. I’d wager that I know as much about riding as you do. Most of the time, a narrow road tire...even a 23mm...will work in a city.


Go ahead and make things harder for yourself with narrow tires for whatever fraction of a mile per hour that aids you, but realize the cost of being unable to cope with everyday conditions that give others little trouble is more on you than the locality. You are the one complaining, while refusing to change what it is in your individual power to improve.

Meanwhile people who want to have an enjoyable ride - and people who spec share fleets - pick tires with anywhere from somewhat to far more width and volume, to give easy comfortable rides over a variety of conditions.

You are talking about overtaking crashes. Those are rare by any statistic I’ve seen. It’s the one that scares people the most but the Denver study clearly shows the largest percentage of crashes involve turns, not sideswipes.
Unfortunately, they are not by any means rare. A substantial fraction of our deaths locally happen this way. Your uninformed denials won't bring those people back.

Last edited by UniChris; 06-22-19 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 06-22-19, 06:00 PM
  #74  
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Fortunately, for all the complaints "experienced" cyclists have against bike lanes, they aren't enough of a deterrent for the majority of new cyclists that will keep the growth of cycling on streets with bike lanes from growing past several hundred percent.
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Old 06-23-19, 07:01 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Fortunately, for all the complaints "experienced" cyclists have against bike lanes, they aren't enough of a deterrent for the majority of new cyclists that will keep the growth of cycling on streets with bike lanes from growing past several hundred percent.
I can show you bike lanes and paths around the Boston area that go pretty much unused by anyone. I can also show you ones that are some of the liveliest parts of town. These things aren't all created equal. Design and location need to be done right.
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