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Traffic IS TERRIBLE!

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Traffic IS TERRIBLE!

Old 10-03-22, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
MUPs are car infrastructure, just like pedestrian bridges are car infrastructure. Both marginalize their users to ultimately encourage more automobile traffic and higher speeds. They only exist because someone at a city's public works cared only to get people on bikes and people on foot out of the way, not to accommodate pedestrians and micromobility (I include bicycles in that term, FYI) in any meaningful, respectful way.
Interesting perspective- that MUPs are car infrastructure. I see MUPs in suburbs mostly, where micromobility really doesnt exist because of the space between locations. Pedestrians dont really exist in large numbers there either and they are the exception rather than the norm.
In a dense urban area, pedestrians and micromobility can flourish. I dont see many MUPs in dense urban areas though. And thats not just my city, but many cities I have lived/visited/ridden in. There will often be the MUP alongside a river in a city, but recreation is the primary motivator for those paths/trails. Most of what I see in urban areas where micromobility and pedestrians are common are bike lanes as part of the roads.

I cant say I have ever looked at a pedestrian bridge and thought- 'hey, they built this to help reduce stress and improve safety, so I dont like it because it somehow doesnt accomodate me!'
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Old 10-03-22, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
You are mixing 'MUP' up with 'bike path'. Dont ride MUPs and expect to ride fast- they are multi-use and not intended to allow cyclists to stretch their legs and ride hard.
I don't ride fast. I just need room to ride , there is none on whatever you want to call it.
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Old 10-03-22, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by mhespenheide
I recently moved back to Seattle after having been away for six years. I don't know if the aggressive drivers got significantly worse during the pandemic when law enforcement officers basically weren't pulling anyone over, or if it's just a function of more people squeezed into the same infrastructure. But it's noticeably worse than it was before I left.

It's also exacerbated by the fact that my six years away were in rural areas, so the riding was far more enjoyable there. I've been back in Seattle for a year now, and I'm still trying to re-adjust. Of course, it doesn't help that I've got a three-year old and don't have time to drive out of the city to ride.

Sadly, most of the municipal police in the PNW are on a "blue-strike". The worse crime gets, the more voters they think they can sway to vote red. Which would probably work better if that side didn't keep throwing bat**** crazy candidates out there.
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Old 10-03-22, 07:57 AM
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I think we all need to take the day off and get out on a ride!
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Old 10-03-22, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Interesting perspective- that MUPs are car infrastructure. I see MUPs in suburbs mostly, where micromobility really doesnt exist because of the space between locations. Pedestrians dont really exist in large numbers there either and they are the exception rather than the norm.
In a dense urban area, pedestrians and micromobility can flourish. I dont see many MUPs in dense urban areas though. And thats not just my city, but many cities I have lived/visited/ridden in. There will often be the MUP alongside a river in a city, but recreation is the primary motivator for those paths/trails. Most of what I see in urban areas where micromobility and pedestrians are common are bike lanes as part of the roads.

I cant say I have ever looked at a pedestrian bridge and thought- 'hey, they built this to help reduce stress and improve safety, so I dont like it because it somehow doesnt accomodate me!'
True, it depends on the context and the city. Miami happens to have a number of urban trails which the County created in the 1970's as glorified asphalt sidewalks though, so it's very much a thing here. Plus, the sheer lack of bike infrastructure, even narrow, un-protected death lanes on high-speed arterials, make these trails (and their improvements) a frequent darling for the transportation "professionals" who know jack about bicycle infrastructure, but want to appear bike-friendly.

However, being that some of these are the only practical bike connection through the County in some areas, they're actually used quite frequently for commuting - enough so that even the recent rework of one of them into a linear park (The Underline) is ensuring far improved separated facilities moving forward. There's a walking path to the right of the bike facilities shown in this concept:



For context, the same space you see there is currently the complete mish-mash in the following video - the trail's glorified sidewalk state since the 1980's:


That's not to say that I'm expecting that much of an improvement with the new config though. It'll be a nicer place to be, but as a commuter tool, there's no real improvement other than a straighter, wider path. The areas surrounding this trail spine still suffers from the same lack of connectivity that it has since it was built.

That's not a criticism of the non-profit responsible for this trail though. They're also the only ones organizing local riders into uniformly advocating (read: "fighting tooth and nail") for the missing connections along the trail.

On a side note, here's a great video about why the majority of pedestrian bridges are car infrastructure:


Skip to 23:10 if you only want to see the section about pedestrian bridges.

-Kurt
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Old 10-03-22, 08:24 AM
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Kurt, last week, I was riding on a MUP that had a configuration I've seen before (I was in Rhode Island, so maybe it's a thing there) but had forgotten about. The MUP is divided into two sides, right and left. Cyclists are instructed to stay to the right; runners and pedestrians are told to take the left lane. That creates quite a dilemma when you're cycling where you're told to be, and runners and walkers are coming towards you in the same fairly narrow lane! Plus, a good number of walkers and runners are staying to the right, despite the signage. I wonder if this is some larger transportation body's idea of best practices? Very confusing.
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Old 10-03-22, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
Kurt, last week, I was riding on a MUP that had a configuration I've seen before (I was in Rhode Island, so maybe it's a thing there) but had forgotten about. The MUP is divided into two sides, right and left. Cyclists are instructed to stay to the right; runners and pedestrians are told to take the left lane. That creates quite a dilemma when you're cycling and runners and walkers are coming towards you in the same fairly narrow lane! Plus, a good number of walkers and runners are staying to the right, despite the signage. I wonder if this is some larger transportation body's idea of best practices? Very confusing.
Divided by paint only, right, like this kind of nonsense?



The only place this belongs in is the book of worst practices. Any transportation professional churning this garbage out in the year 2022 should be fired.

What's more, a lot of these types of trails aren't properly protected at crossings with automobile traffic, invariably leading to some inane, myopic motorist driving onto the trail.

-Kurt
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Old 10-03-22, 08:28 AM
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^ Yes, that's it! I almost yelled at a runner for being in the wrong lane when I first came onto the path, but then saw those markings on the lanes. Urp.
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Old 10-03-22, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
^ Yes, that's it! I almost yelled at a runner for being in the wrong lane when I first came onto the path, but then saw those markings on the lanes. Urp.
I still don't know why it's so damn difficult to get municipalities to understand separation such as the artwork below. There's no ambiguity.



And even still, Miami-Dade continues to obsess over trails and continues to pay little consideration to the connectivity necessary that isn't possible with a trail. Not isolated to us, of course - it's just one part of the scourge of US traffic engineering.

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Old 10-03-22, 09:02 AM
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The Ocean Parkway Bike Path in Brooklyn is the country's oldest bike lane. The current configuration is: going northbound, you have a pedestrian lane separated by a fence, then the bike lane. Then across the six main traffic lanes on the other side, you have another pedestrian walkway (which I still remember it once being a bridle path) that is as wide as the bike lane/pedestrian walkway combined. With all of this, probably 40-50% of all the pedestrians are walking in the bike lane. I was actually taken down by a pedestrian that jumped out of a group that was walking in the bike lane. You can't win.
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Old 10-03-22, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
Class 3 is throttle-only, topping out at 28. They're generally banned by most municipalities on dedicated bike infrastructure.

Anything over Class 3 is not a bicycle. It's a moped or motorcycle. Period.

-Kurt
generally they are not banned but they should be along with class 1 and 2. Micro mobility is a term that has been very effective in discouraging any limitations on electric vehicle use. Clever marketing. The regional chamber of commerce is advocating for a low speed network of paths, lanes, and signage for low speed traffic. Low speed is 25 mph and they want our bike lanes.
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Old 10-03-22, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
I still don't know why it's so damn difficult to get municipalities to understand separation such as the artwork below. There's no ambiguity.



And even still, Miami-Dade continues to obsess over trails and continues to pay little consideration to the connectivity necessary that isn't possible with a trail. Not isolated to us, of course - it's just one part of the scourge of US traffic engineering.

-Kurt
Something like that where I live would be very difficult to create because of two factors: cost and legally obtaining the right of way to construct. Infrastructure money here struggles just to maintain the existing roads, let alone new construction. Our infrastructure money is way up, but the cost of materials, labor, prevailing wage, and the like has made it so that costs have eaten up almost every additional dollar of infrastructure money received. Second, we have a very, very hard time obtaining easements for construction of even basic sidewalks now. One of the municipalities I represent recently was able to get easements to build a simple sidewalk from several properties, but several others held out. They didn't want a sidewalk or pedestrians on the edge of their property. Even after months of back-and-forth a couple owners simply refused to provide any easement for sidewalk construction and maintenance. The other option would be eminent domain, but elected officials have no appetite or money for that. The concept art is nice, but it's the dream of an architect or engineer or planner. The legal realities and personalities involved, as well as the budgetary issues, make life harder. Maybe elsewhere the land rights are easier to obtain, or the public already owns them. But here, where land rights and property lines go back hundreds of years in some cases, it's a real struggle even to build a simple sidewalk now.
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Old 10-03-22, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by gearbasher
The Ocean Parkway Bike Path in Brooklyn is the country's oldest bike lane. The current configuration is: going northbound, you have a pedestrian lane separated by a fence, then the bike lane. Then across the six main traffic lanes on the other side, you have another pedestrian walkway (which I still remember it once being a bridle path) that is as wide as the bike lane/pedestrian walkway combined. With all of this, probably 40-50% of all the pedestrians are walking in the bike lane. I was actually taken down by a pedestrian that jumped out of a group that was walking in the bike lane. You can't win.
Oh, you can win, but not with a path with laughably narrow pedestrian space tacked onto it. Whenever pedestrians get substandard space next to a wide and unencumbered bike path, people will just file onto the wider path. It doesn't necessarily help, psychologically, that the seating areas face towards the bike path and not the apartments. Granted, who wants to look at a bunch of parked cars? Nobody.

The smart thing to do, now, would be to take some automotive ROW to expand the walking path to provide enough separation. Shift the whole thing if necessary, while keeping the original tree line intact. Sure, there might be the occasional pedestrian in it, but if the walking path becomes as inviting as the bike path, you'll have a lot fewer people using the wrong one.

Remember, Ocean Parkway used to be a 100% bike-only facility. It doesn't matter how long it's been there or when they changed it, the pedestrian section is a kludge. Time does not heal bad infrastructure.




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Old 10-03-22, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
generally they are not banned but they should be along with class 1 and 2. Micro mobility is a term that has been very effective in discouraging any limitations on electric vehicle use. Clever marketing. The regional chamber of commerce is advocating for a low speed network of paths, lanes, and signage for low speed traffic. Low speed is 25 mph and they want our bike lanes.
There's no need for anything over 20 for micromobility, regardless of what the micromobility is.

The aforementioned electric-assist family cargo bikes fall under Class 1 and 2. Unless you're interested in establishing another class, I'm going to argue against the position of banning C1/2 off bicycle facilities - you'd be creating a great burden for many families.

Originally Posted by SirMike1983
Something like that where I live would be very difficult to create because of two factors: cost and legally obtaining the right of way to construct. Infrastructure money here struggles just to maintain the existing roads, let alone new construction. Our infrastructure money is way up, but the cost of materials, labor, prevailing wage, and the like has made it so that costs have eaten up almost every additional dollar of infrastructure money received. Second, we have a very, very hard time obtaining easements for construction of even basic sidewalks now. One of the municipalities I represent recently was able to get easements to build a simple sidewalk from several properties, but several others held out. They didn't want a sidewalk or pedestrians on the edge of their property. Even after months of back-and-forth a couple owners simply refused to provide any easement for sidewalk construction and maintenance. The other option would be eminent domain, but elected officials have no appetite or money for that.
The ROW for the trail above is an ex-rail line. Same for the M-Path/Underline. Was easy enough for the County to get it.

There's federal Safe Streets and Roads 4 All funding and Safe Routes to School that are counterbalancing the ridiculous amount of federal funds thrown at automobile roadways. If you haven't been able to get that, then is your state DOT failing to distribute these funds?

I'm hesitant to pass judgement on the road you speak of without seeing it, but it sounds as if your municipality could benefit from an ordinance that doesn't require concurrency for easement rights that constitute a public health safety improvement for connectivity. Or, if the road allows for it, reconfigure the ROW for the sidewalk; one way the auto traffic, if necessary.

-Kurt
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Old 10-03-22, 09:42 AM
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Come on! Push a button and go 20 miles
per hour is much too fast for sharing current bicycle infrastructure. But focus groups indicate that is the lowest speed which is acceptable for cagers to get off the couch and go joy riding on the path.
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Old 10-03-22, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
Come on! Push a button and go 20 miles
per hour is much too fast for sharing current bicycle infrastructure. But focus groups indicate that is the lowest speed which is acceptable for cagers to get off the couch and go joy riding on the path.
Then you're referring only to Class 2. Class 1 has no button; it's pedal-assist only.

There doesn't seem to be an uproar over either C1 or C2 cargo bikes that will do 20mph, nor has anyone broached the occasional weekend warrior who will gladly blast through an MUP at those speeds on an analog road bike - but I don't see any cyclists saying to ban road bikes. Again, it's the user, not the mode.

-Kurt

P.S.: Press a pedal and go 120mph is much too fast for current car infrastructure too.
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Old 10-03-22, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
Then you're referring only to Class 2. Class 1 has no button; it's pedal-assist only.

There doesn't seem to be an uproar over either C1 or C2 cargo bikes that will do 20mph, nor has anyone broached the occasional weekend warrior who will gladly blast through an MUP at those speeds on an analog road bike - but I don't see any cyclists saying to ban road bikes. Again, it's the user, not the mode.

-Kurt

P.S.: Press a pedal and go 120mph is much too fast for current car infrastructure too.
How could there be an “uproar” when a motorbike means one less car😆
Most cyclists that I know would ban cyclists for doing 20mph on a MUP. (They are usually riding carbon disk di2 so F them)
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Old 10-03-22, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
Most cyclists that I know would ban cyclists for doing 20mph on a MUP. (They are usually riding carbon disk di2 so F them)
Most of our local 20mph-capable weekend warriors will gladly blast their entire peloton past any slower rider with inches to spare. Then they'll say that wind blew their precious peloton across every available lane.



These idiots have also managed to prevent protection from being installed along this entire corridor too (FFS, just claim the travel lane if you don't want to deal with a PBL!). And yes, even though they're hard-core vehicular cyclists, any of them splitting from the group will bomb down whatever trail exists when convenient.

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Old 10-03-22, 10:31 AM
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Oh boy, good points being raised here. I'm from Vancouver, BC and yes, we have dedicated bike lanes, but they are poorly designed and have caused much animosity. I moved to Vancouver Island to get away from the urban mayhem, and now the 'densification' is following me here. I see hoards of boomers blitzing around on e-bikes, I guess the solution to our problems is to stick Chinese exploding electric motors on everything with wheels. We also have a communist city council in the capital, Victoria. They built a whole ton of dedicated bike lanes, without consulting real cyclists, and presto! You have a bunch of expensive, dangerous lanes that are badly designed. I've ridden them, I know. But hey, the optics are good for a re-election, which is all that counts. Meanwhile, I'm going to continue riding my real bikes and avoiding cager conflicts.
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Old 10-03-22, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by VtwinVince
Oh boy, good points being raised here. I'm from Vancouver, BC and yes, we have dedicated bike lanes, but they are poorly designed and have caused much animosity. I moved to Vancouver Island to get away from the urban mayhem, and now the 'densification' is following me here. I see hoards of boomers blitzing around on e-bikes, I guess the solution to our problems is to stick Chinese exploding electric motors on everything with wheels. We also have a communist city council in the capital, Victoria. They built a whole ton of dedicated bike lanes, without consulting real cyclists, and presto! You have a bunch of expensive, dangerous lanes that are badly designed. I've ridden them, I know. But hey, the optics are good for a re-election, which is all that counts. Meanwhile, I'm going to continue riding my real bikes and avoiding cager conflicts.
"Communist?" "Real cyclists?" Take your political dogma and ableism somewhere else, thanks.

The rest of the Not So Real Cyclists need a safe place where riding for transportation can flourish without this type of self-serving attitude. Your desire to hang with drivers isn't representative of the facilities necessary for people of all ages and abilities - i.e., the needs of a functional society - not a society one that caters to the narrowest of sub-interests within cycling itself.

I dare say you'd call that "communist," but the alternative is the current bloodbath of American roads where it's everyone for themselves - last Glock fired wins.

If you don't like it, go claim the lane, it's still there.



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Old 10-03-22, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag
I've been riding a lot recently and I have come away with the distinct impression things have changed.

Automobile drivers are noticeably less respectful of the vehicle code, "the rules of the road". Also, they are less respectful of other drivers, exhibiting behaviors that almost qualify as "predatory" - lane changes, passing on the right, accelerating from a red light,....

The other thing is, there seems to be a LOT of traffic, lots of cars on the road at all times of day.

I mean all of this in an absolute sense, not just relative to the reduced levels seen during the pandemic shut down.

One more thing I'm seeing is an ever-increasing number of ebikes. They are everywhere, all the time. People (kids and adults) are riding them at ever increasing speeds. They have morphed into and are driven like electric motorcycles not electically-assisted bicycles, yet they occupy the bike lanes and bike paths and are entirely disrespectful of the rules of the road. Oddly, these have added to the number of vehicles on the road, not reduced the number of cars.

Taken together, bike riding, especially at peak traffic times, feels distinctly more hazardous and a bit less fun. THAT is a BAD thing!

Thoughts, anyone?


How long has it been for you? I've been under the impression that a lot of it is the mass integration of the smart phone into our culture - so about the last decade. I completely empathize. i have a tendency to drive my bike to a nearby small municipal airport and just do laps on the service road for exercise at times .

My situation is different in that im on the outskirts of suburbia where the landscape starts to morph from MCMansions to smaller 5 acre hobby farms --- the roads are lightly travelled most of the time, but there's no shoulder - plus in Oklahoma - lightly travelled doesnt guarantee any additional layers of safety as the 12 vehicles you encounter are lifted F-250's dump trucks and 50% of the driving public could be on the beer at any given time --- (and cellphones too )

Im investing in one of the Garmin blinker devices soon and i hope that will help with my comfort level -- it seems counter-intuitive to have to put my road bikes on the rack and actually drive them to places to ride
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Old 10-03-22, 11:40 AM
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ABLEISM
That is another marketing buzz word enabling the industry to ensure access to bike paths and bike lanes for motorbike customers. Who would deny disabled persons the right to joyride at 20mph down the bike path.
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Old 10-03-22, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
ABLEISM
That is another marketing buzz word enabling the industry to ensure access to bike paths and bike lanes for motorbike customers. Who would deny disabled persons the right to joyride at 20mph down the bike path.
Oh, get off it. E-bikes have opened up a world of opportunities for older people who would have trouble riding on conventional bicycles too.

It's this attitude that ensures a stagnant society of people pointing fingers at each other, generally getting more and more pissed off at each other. It leads to discussions similar to this thread, simply questioning why there's so much damn animosity going around.

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Old 10-03-22, 12:12 PM
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Old people who have trouble riding a bike should not be able to go 20 mph by soft pedaling or pushing a button. It is not safe for anyone.
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Old 10-03-22, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
Old people who have trouble riding a bike should not be able to go 20 mph by soft pedaling or pushing a button.
Yea, their reduced physical ability means they should stay shuttered up at home to wither up and die nice and quickly, right?

Have you ever ridden a Class 1? Would appreciate it if you could answer that.

Originally Posted by Classtime
It is not safe for anyone.


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