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Traffic IS TERRIBLE!

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Traffic IS TERRIBLE!

Old 10-03-22, 12:39 PM
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Man, this thread is really making me feel some type of way. So maybe Iíll take a break. But Iíll just say 1) traffic is indeed a problem 2) I support reasonable, non-car-specific transportation and infrastructure and 3) itís important to make streets equitable, safe and beneficial for all, not just cars.
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Old 10-03-22, 01:31 PM
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I rode before the pandemic. I rode throughout the pandemic. I am now riding in the post-pandemic traffic.

In my area, something has changed for the worse.

It isn't just ebikes. It isn't just more cars. It isn't just more pedestrians walking on the bike path instead of the immediately adjacent sidewalk.

It seems to be the attitude of a few too many that's making bicycling more dangerous for all - on and off the bike path.

I am going to duck out this thread, as it seems to have gotten off topic.




P.S. - Kurt seems to have an advocacy position with respect to development of official bike path infrastructure. Is he a professional in this arena? That is not what I intended this thread to be about.

Kurt, honestly, I do not think infrastructure can solve the problem I am highlighting. It seems to be a people problem.

Last edited by Bad Lag; 10-03-22 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 10-03-22, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag
Kurt, honestly, I do not think infrastructure can solve the problem I am highlighting. It seems to be a people problem.
It has been a people problem since the beginning of time. There will always be someone with a bone to pick somewhere, as there will always be someone who doesn't have the common courtesy to respect others in public. It doesn't even require a vehicle; humans are very capable of having a transportation disagreement simply over walking.

Nevertheless, safe design does drastically reduce auto-to-bike conflicts that shouldn't happen in the first place. A protected bike lane can prevent someone from being hit, it solves the unsolvable squabble of drivers vs. bicycles sharing road space (outside of neighborhoods, where slow streets are generally more effective for all users), and it makes the option of bicycling for transportation an actual option for those who are risk-averse.

The risk-averse group is also the largest demographic, even though they may not be the most frequently represented nor visible of the groups. Granted, they may be seen using high-stress facilities on occasion, but that's usually out of necessity, not out of preference.




Mind, the benefits of protected bike lanes isn't an opinion either. There's a fair number of studies behind them, but one of the most impressive is a recent (2019) 13 year study of 12 US cities (https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/05/...ts-study-says/) that found that cities that built PBL infra would see a projected 50% reduction in car-vs-bicycle crashes. Some of the cities in the study actually performed far better than the projection. That's not even calculating the same effects that Dutch infrastructure design has had for about 25+ extra years over our own experience, but the study effectively proved that neither locale nor cultural difference prevented the PBLs from having an immense positive improvement on bikeability.

-Kurt
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Old 10-03-22, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag
I rode before the pandemic. I rode throughout the pandemic. I am now riding in the post-pandemic traffic.

In my area, something has changed for the worse.

It isn't just ebikes. It isn't just more cars. It isn't just more pedestrians walking on the bike path instead of the immediately adjacent sidewalk.

It seems to be the attitude of a few too many making bicycling more dangerous for all - on and off the bike path.

I am going to duck out this thread, as it seems to have gotten off topic.




P.S. - Kurt seems to have an advocacy position with respect to development of official bike path infrastructure. Is he a professional in this arena? That is not what I intended this thread to be about.

Kurt, honestly, I do not think infrastructure can solve the problem I am highlighting. It seems to be a people problem.

Yeah, this has run the course, I think. The sad thing is it only takes a relatively small number of angry, aggressive drivers to make the road rough for everyone else, especially those of us on a bike. But we press on, because riding is why we're here.
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Old 10-03-22, 04:00 PM
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First offÖ I have not read through the 4 pages of replies.

I have one major observation, from 15 years or so of commuting:

I have never before smelled so much marijuana smoke in all my previous years. This is not an exaggeration, I smell it coming from a car on 100% of my rides now. Iím not making an anti pot statementÖ I donít like that people are driving under the influence though.
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Old 10-03-22, 05:57 PM
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Ironically enough I was reading this thread when I realized a particularly errant driver in the errant driving DMV region had the Maryland (of course) license plate UBER-1. A minivan with that plate cut me off to suddenly make a right turn across the bike lane. Eh, par for the course here haha. We're not exactly famous for good drivers lol.
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Old 10-03-22, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mkeller234
I have never before smelled so much marijuana smoke in all my previous years.
While I doubt this behavior has any impact on my cycling activity, the ubiquitous waft of skunk has become sort of obnoxious. (And I'm one who lights up at home.)

Until recently, it had been years since I had any dangerous interactions with cars. But this past month, I had two after I had taken the lane both times. I escaped unharmed, but they left me pretty shaken. I need to remind myself that some of these people think I'm a real enemy trying to harm their way of life.
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Old 10-03-22, 08:14 PM
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While this thread started out as discussing increased traffic, it evolved into A&S. So it’s moved from C&V to A&S
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Old 10-03-22, 08:43 PM
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I do most of my riding on rural routes. Nothing much different than it was 25 years ago.

When I do ride in the city there's more traffic, but I don't think the drivers in these parts are much worse. More cheating using the turn lane, but that doesn't impact cycling. I suspect there may be parts of the city that have grown much worse. My riding is generally on the unreconstructed side of town
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Old 10-03-22, 10:19 PM
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Los Angeles here. Somebody was telling me recently that her commute takes even longer now than it did before the pandemic. I have definitely seen drivers being more aggressive and risky. When riding recreationally, I try to pick my routes to avoid the rush hour traffic as much as possible. Commuting is commuting, so only so many route choices there.
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Old 10-04-22, 03:06 AM
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I recently drove from California to Illinois. Aside from the crazy behavior I witnessed, I saw several of those highway information signs addressing road rage in multiple states. (I liked the one that said, "Calm down, Hulk. Leave the road rage behind." or something like that.) Something has definitely changed.
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Old 10-04-22, 09:07 AM
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Here the same in Canada
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Old 10-04-22, 10:06 AM
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I'm either here:

Tammany Trace Mandeville, LA

Or here:



Wahoo Core Smart Trainer

I agree with the OP and many here. For me it's unbearable. I had a great 50+ years mixing it up on the roads and highways. Enough is enough. I guess the cars win for now. I have had enough aggravation.
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Old 10-04-22, 02:59 PM
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I have been following this thread for a few days giving some serious thoughts to how I feel about traffic. Yes, it is getting worse in my area. I have altered my bike routes to avoid the worst stuff. That works for the most part.
Today I went for an afternoon ride, 30 miles mostly repeating a 4 mile loop in a residential neighborhood. One person ran a stop sign looking right at me. Another backed out into my path. In both cases the drivers looked into my eyes. Lack of respect is what I call it.
In the case of the guy running the stop sign I never put my hands on the brakes. Stupid on my part but he was forced to drive on the wrong side of the road or run me off. I held my line.
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Old 10-08-22, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by iab
either Outdoor or NYT, I don't recall which.
Prolly the NYT's. Outdoor is totally captured by Outdoor Contraption Manufacturers Asso. or some such thing.
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Old 10-08-22, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
19 posts and only one of you kvetching luddites even mentioned protected bike lanes:
+ A 13-year study of a dozen cities published in the Journal of Health and Transport found that protected bike-lanes led to a drastic decline in fatalities for all road users. While painted bike-lanes yielded no safety improvements at all.
...so there!
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Old 10-09-22, 11:18 AM
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Just looking back at the posts here I see that one particular member owns over 25% of the posts in this thread, has included many dozens of pictures, quotes, memes and links in his posts, written thousands of words in futility, and lashes out at anybody who disagrees with him. This is the internet at it's best!
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Old 10-09-22, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldairhead
Just looking back at the posts here I see that one particular member owns over 25% of the posts in this thread, has included many dozens of pictures, quotes, memes and links in his posts, written thousands of words in futility, and lashes out at anybody who disagrees with him. This is the internet at it's best!
A&S gets even better when there is a clique of about 3 or 4 ardent advocates and/or self appointed safety experts who are in agreement that they have the one true universal answer (cause and solution) to whatever bicycling problem is under discussion. They sing to each other in the A&S choir and are outraged (yapping "Trolls" and "Ignore!") when everyone or anyone doesn't share their rigid viewpoint or see the wisdom of their proposed "good idea" for solving the problem
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Old 10-09-22, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
A&S gets even better when there is a clique of about 3 or 4 ardent advocates and/or self appointed safety experts who are in agreement that they have the one true universal answer (cause and solution) to whatever bicycling problem is under discussion. They sing to each other in the A&S choir and are outraged (yapping "Trolls" and "Ignore!") when everyone or anyone doesn't share their rigid viewpoint or see the wisdom of their proposed "good idea" for solving the problem
Well, I normally don't lurk here because as you mentioned the discussion often gets pretty strident and can quickly devolve into name calling or insults. I only followed this one here since it originally started in the Classic and Vintage section before it was moved. I did make one snarky remark but after it drew a discourteous response I deleted it. It is pretty easy to get dragged down into the dark side if you let yourself!
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Old 10-09-22, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mkeller234
First offÖ I have not read through the 4 pages of replies.

I have one major observation, from 15 years or so of commuting:

I have never before smelled so much marijuana smoke in all my previous years. This is not an exaggeration, I smell it coming from a car on 100% of my rides now. Iím not making an anti pot statementÖ I donít like that people are driving under the influence though.
Don't worry, they aren't doing it to get a buzz, they like the taste.
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Old 10-09-22, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldairhead
...It is pretty easy to get dragged down into the dark side if you let yourself!
It's also pretty easy to avoid persons here who try to drag you to that place (dark side):


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Old 10-14-22, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldairhead
Just looking back at the posts here I see that one particular member owns over 25% of the posts in this thread, has included many dozens of pictures, quotes, memes and links in his posts, written thousands of words in futility, and lashes out at anybody who disagrees with him. This is the internet at it's best!
Since you might as well have called me out by name, I might as well respond:

15 years ago, I would have greatly appreciated the ability to Google up a thread like this to find multiple points of view being brought forth - preferably with some studies cited, not exclusively opinion-as-fact - so I could form my own views. Perhaps Streetsblog might have had something to offer at the time, but it was not that common to get any other viewpoint than vehicular cycling anywhere else - and I initially bought into Foresterism.

Somewhere along the line, it finally clicked: 50 years of VC, driver enforcement, and road safety education had failed to achieve any improvement in safety for cycling, nor has the general attitude of drivers improved any; if anything, as the OP and many others have pointed out, it has become significantly worse. Nor has VC ever addressed the needs of youth, elderly, or society in general; it's a solution devised exclusively for the strong and fearless.

I wish someone had been providing an alternative viewpoint back then, whether good, bad, levelheaded, or presented as an outright flamewar. At least the options would be on display for critical thought.

That said, those "words of futility" have succeeded in getting a deadly and superflous off ramp that crossed a local (unprotected) bike lane closed off and protected. Sadly, it also took two simultaneous deaths for anyone in local goverment to listen and take action, but they actually did something because us local advocates had been busy...with our words of futility.

These same "words of futility" were also shared by all but one who recently partook in a public meeting with our state DOT objecting to the removal of an existing bike lane for an unnecessary redistribution of ROW to create an extra lane in a new roundabout project. Those "words of futility" also got our local RTA to practically commit to connecting one of their grade crossings to a nearby sidewalk so kids walking to school wouldn't have to walk through dirt and limestone rock.

Say what you want about words of futility. They seem to get the job done.

Computers, airplanes, and light bulbs were all belittled for being toys of little value at one time in history too. Remember that.

-Kurt
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Old 10-14-22, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
"words of futility"
Kurt,

What, no attachments in your reply?

I did not call out your name before but you are right, for anyone viewing this thread it is pretty clear who I was referring to. I do believe that you misunderstand my point however. The "words of futility" I was referring to were yours written in this thread. For all of the time you spent writing them I do not believe you got much of a result for your effort. There seemed to be few who were swayed by your words and the sheer volume of them is off-putting to many. Then when you carpet bomb us with dozens of links, quotes, memes, and tweets in your 25 posts (so far) in this thread peoples eyes start to glaze over.

The OP was primarily referring to traffic in southern Cal and secondarily to the proliferation of Ebikes and the hazards that they additionally create for traditional cyclists. You however took the opportunity to drag the thread towards your own personal crusade regarding protected bike lanes. Hijacking a thread frequently happens here but not often as thoroughly as you have done! Also, the frequent name calling and mild insults do little to improve your argument.
Originally Posted by cudak888
"kvetching luddites"
I'm sure that you do not see it but the way you approach the subject (I believe) drives people away from what otherwise might be a perspective shared by others. The effect that zealots have on an argument is often counter productive to their desired outcome. Even though I am a lifelong cyclist I would find it hard to be supportive of any argument that you present in the manner which you have. I have little else to add but I expect that you will want the last word anyway!
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Old 10-14-22, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldairhead
I do believe that you misunderstand my point however. The "words of futility" I was referring to were yours written in this thread. For all of the time you spent writing them I do not believe you got much of a result for your effort.
On the contrary, I understood perfectly. I never expected to convince any random BF members here to begin with. While I do stand behind the data and arguments I've put forth, I'm also aware that this thread was never about solutions and never had any chance of becoming anything else.

I wouldn't have even considered speaking up except that the OP had the misguided idea to post it in the Classic & Vintage forum instead of in A&S. It belonged in A&S from the start. Some of us don't take kindly to those who insist on dragging the ugly, politicized facets of cycling into the joyous hobby side - that's half of the reason the A&S subforum exists, to keep a friendly separation of the two.

Originally Posted by Oldairhead
Even though I am a lifelong cyclist I would find it hard to be supportive of any argument that you present in the manner which you have.
I suppose those who call bike lanes for people of all ages and abilities "communist" is a platform that's simpler and easier to support.

I've said my piece and you seem to have read it, so let's leave it at that.

-Kurt
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Old 10-15-22, 10:12 PM
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cudak888:
> I suppose those who call bike lanes for people of all ages and abilities "communist" is a platform that's simpler and easier to support.

Sure, communism is "things I don't like." I checked my dictionary. Under "subsidization" it also reads "a waste of money for trains that don't make a profit" and for "double standards" it reads "1. Well, highways don't need to turn profits because of all the positive externalities and economic benefits of suburbanites driving everywhere, 2. Shut up, you damn commie."

Oh wait, this isn't a dictionary. Whoops. I've been reading from a Facebook group for homeowners in American suburban town #292,103 ... or was it #191,203? Whatever, they all look the same and the residents all parrot the same responses.

On a serious note, this is a touchy bunch, eh? "Luddite" is somehow the worst insult ever. Maybe they are thrown off by "kvetching." In my travels I have noticed that people not from the Northeast or with a lot of Jewish acquantainces -- i.e., those unaccustomed to Yiddish words -- think the words mean much worse things. I don't know if it's ignorance or what, but it's a thing. Maybe it's like how when someone hears two people in their presence say something in another language, that person assumes they are talking dirt about the person. I can't understand it, but it must be about me, because I'm special ... but what they're saying is possibly bad, even worse than anything I could imagine.
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