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Intersting article

Old 05-28-06, 08:28 PM
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Intersting article

https://www.iht.com/articles/2006/05/...ess/wbbike.php
Bicycle is king of the road as gas costs rise

By Rick Smith International Herald Tribune

FRIDAY, MAY 5, 2006
Some points:
  1. Increase bike infrastructure and you increase cycling
  2. Urban policy can have an effect on cycling
  3. Increasing cyclist numbers increases the safety of cycling
  4. Money spent on cycling infrastructure goes further than money spent on auto infrastructure, supports 10 times as many cyclists per unit of asphalt, and thus is cost effective, less pavement, and not a waste of money
  5. Roadway designs in the US are currently with the automobile in mind, not the cyclist, and American bicycle advocacy organizations recognize this fact and think it should change

Quotes:
[1]
Consider the case of Enrique Peñalosa, the mayor of Bogotá from 1998 to 2000. In that city of seven million, he set in motion a transformation of the transport grid with measures like peak-hour restrictions on cars and about 300 kilometers, or 185 miles, of bicycle paths. He said that cycling has become a primary mode of transport for 5 percent of the population, up from 0.1 percent when he started. The share using the car as primary mode, by contrast, has fallen to 13 percent of the population from 17 percent.
[2]
"If all citizens are equal, urban policy should be democratic and not everyone has access to a motor car."
[3]
London may be the greatest success story in the new wave. When Mayor Ken Livingstone introduced a congestion charge in 2003 on vehicles entering the city center, a surprising side effect was a 28 percent surge in cycling in the first year...What has also been discovered worldwide is that accident rates have dropped wherever cycling has gained momentum, as cars are forced to slow down and as they become more accustomed to sharing the road.
[4]
...about 6 percent of funds spent in the Netherlands on road infrastructure were devoted to the bicycle, although it accounted for more than 25 percent of all journeys.
In Kenya and Tanzania, it is estimated that 60 percent of spending is devoted to the car, which accounts for only about 5 percent of journeys.
Such ratios make it clear why many mayors are recasting their budgets.
...
The standard formula is that one automobile parking space can hold 10 bicycles.
...
Cycle paths are so much cheaper to build and maintain that some cities have gone to extremes to encourage them.
[5]
"We have to start from scratch and retrain city engineers and administrators," Wittink said. "Most still have a mind-set that makes the car the priority and it's a major shift to go to any mixed solution."
...
"A monoculture is dangerous and that is almost what we've created in the United States with the automobile," said Clarke, of the League of American Bicyclists. "We need to own up to that as an example to others."
So there you go. Some numbers showing that cycling and safety increases with the addition of cycling-specific facilities. And that the money is not a waste, or a burden, but a cost savings for cities.
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Old 05-28-06, 08:42 PM
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very interesting, but pretty much proven in my mind already.

more proof in print worldwide approaches to increasing velo accomodation have increased bicycling across the globe.

Spokesman from the LAB supports the platform that designing roads soley for automobiles is a dangerous homogenity of public spaces. Are the LAB cycling courses and ideology now going to shift strongly in support of cycling infrastructure, bike lanes and proper velotransit?

Last edited by Bekologist; 05-29-06 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 05-30-06, 07:34 PM
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I'm surprised none of the militant anti-bike lane crowd haven't spoken up. I guess they are hoping silently that all this common sense will just fade away.
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Old 05-30-06, 09:05 PM
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no comments from the peanut gallery about how notions of velotransit accomodation just don't work and how roadway stripes that benefit expedited travel by all users are not necessary for internet chestbeating.

Last edited by Bekologist; 05-30-06 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 05-30-06, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
I'm surprised none of the militant anti-bike lane crowd haven't spoken up. I guess they are hoping silently that all this common sense will just fade away.
Actually, the article says very little about bike lanes.
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Old 05-30-06, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
I'm surprised none of the militant anti-bike lane crowd haven't spoken up. I guess they are hoping silently that all this common sense will just fade away.

I didn't see a reference to a "bike lane", but rather cycling infastructure, which could mean bike lanes, or it could mean bike paths (seperate "roads" for bikes), or something in between, co-located lanes, but with curbs or other physical barriers between bikes and motor vehicles.
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Old 05-31-06, 12:45 AM
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I wish they could do somthing like say get 50% of the cost of your bicycle back on your tax refund if you buy a bicycle to commute to work.

Somthing along those lines, as a way to promote the use or purchase of a bicycle or a way to make it cheaper.

The article states it as a "cheap" way to get around but in my experince its pretty expensive ^^

50$ gets me to/from work for 3 weeks in gas on my truck I would have to bike to work for about 5 months just to pay for the bike in the cost of gas.
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Old 05-31-06, 05:19 AM
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I am against bike lanes but not apposed other forms of bike-friendly infrastructure as long as the construction of said infrastructure does not unduly burden the environment.

The problem with bike lanes as commonly constructed in this country is obvious;

1) first and foremost, bike lanes are to narrow. A minimum width if the lane is to accomodate one bike passing another within the lane would be 10 feet - same as a shoulder.

2) and this leads to the second problem of bike lanes - inconsistent width. I have seen bike lanes ranging from 5' wide to 2' wide along the same road.

3) second (or third) class paving surface on bike lanes

4) no accommodation for left turns

5) cyclists subjected to right hooks by motorists

6) not a full grid of bike lanes within a metropolitan area

7) no cleaning of bike lanes

In short, the bike infrastructure systems I have seen personally and been made aware of (through this forum) have absolutely nothing in common with the full-blown Euro cycling infrastructure of wide, dedicated bike 'tracks' with integrated signaling, able to accommodate thousands of cyclists per hour.
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Old 05-31-06, 06:22 AM
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galen. all the more reason for america to move forward on velotransit and reproduce in our country what is being done around the world. Screw america's notions of little tiny, innapropriate, dated, 70's bike lanes and paths, we're talking major metro VELOTRANSIT.

Two radically different concepts...the currently popular criticisms of bike accomodations in north america are "poorly designed" and the "broken network", as if flawed, incomplete design is somehow rationale to scrap entire velotransit networks.

accomodations, networks, bike lanes, integrated velotransit, seperate bike freeways, driving disincentives, all this works elsewhere around the globe....why NOT in america??
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Old 05-31-06, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
very interesting, but pretty much proven in my mind already.

more proof in print worldwide approaches to increasing velo accomodation have increased bicycling across the globe.

Spokesman from the LAB supports the platform that designing roads soley for automobiles is a dangerous homogenity of public spaces. Are the LAB cycling courses and ideology now going to shift strongly in support of cycling infrastructure, bike lanes and proper velotransit?
Problem with bikes lanes is that it gives drivers the illusion that "this is the only place bikes are allowed"....thus the "bikes have no place on the road" attitude that is all too common.

I think the roads need to be designed with a wide outer lane, and have more thorough driver education about how cyclists behave....this would be a good thing, since if they understand how the law states we are to operate (to the right as far as practical, and that we have to follow the same rules as cars, etc), then they are more likely to not get pissed off, or do something stupid.
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Old 05-31-06, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by 古強者死神
I wish they could do somthing like say get 50% of the cost of your bicycle back on your tax refund if you buy a bicycle to commute to work.

Somthing along those lines, as a way to promote the use or purchase of a bicycle or a way to make it cheaper.

The article states it as a "cheap" way to get around but in my experince its pretty expensive ^^

50$ gets me to/from work for 3 weeks in gas on my truck I would have to bike to work for about 5 months just to pay for the bike in the cost of gas.
If you are going to figure the cost of the bike, then you need to include the cost of the truck, insurance and maintenance of said truck.

Not to mention the pounds of pollutants that your truck puts out.

Or you can exclude the cost of your bike from your original equation, and just compare the operating costs (fuel). Since you eat no matter what, the $50.00 for gas in your truck is going to be hard to equal in additional food (bike fuel). I'd be willing to bet (a small bet, say, a granola bar) that the extra fuel for your bike is in the area of a extra forkfull of hamburger helper or such.
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Old 05-31-06, 08:42 AM
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Over the past thirty-five years I've noticed an interesting thing with politicians and newspapers. Each time there is a large "spike" in gasoline prices, the newspapers run articles about how average folks will be using bikes to ride to work, school, and shopping. Politicians promise millions of dollars to make cycling in urban areas easier and safer.

AND, the opposite occurs. New roads and developments are built that making cycling from "point A" to "point B" more difficult, more dangerous, and sometimes flat-out impossible. The number of adults who cycle every day of the year as their primary means of transportation has dropped over the past thirty years, after all the smoke and mirrors.

Today, in Houston, about 200,000 people will commute to work in the downtown area. About 20,000 of them live within five miles of their workplace. Of those 200,000 people, less than twenty or so will commute to work on a bike (not counting bike messengers, whose job IS riding a bike).

The Houston medical center does slightly better. Of the 100,000 folks who work there during the three shifts, perhaps a hundred ride to work. Many of those are students who are studying at schools in the medical district, or doing internships at the hospitals.

And, in Houston, the weather makes it possible to ride about 350 days per year. If 99% of the adults in Houston refuse to ride a bike to work, the chance of selling "cycle to work" in Detroit, Chicago, and New York are not promising...with snow and ice added to the equation.

But, the subject is great for bored newspaper writers, and give politicians just one more opportunity to make empty promises.
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Old 05-31-06, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by catatonic
Problem with bikes lanes is that it gives drivers the illusion that "this is the only place bikes are allowed"....thus the "bikes have no place on the road" attitude that is all too common.

I think the roads need to be designed with a wide outer lane, and have more thorough driver education about how cyclists behave....this would be a good thing, since if they understand how the law states we are to operate (to the right as far as practical, and that we have to follow the same rules as cars, etc), then they are more likely to not get pissed off, or do something stupid.
Tis a noble idea, and one that I wish could be achieved.

But I don't think it's going to happen. The majority of bike riders are scared to death of sharing the road with a motor vehicle. (The people who post in this forum are a vocal minority. Most adult bike riders do not post in, or even read bike forums.) Motorists will continue to see bicycles as obstacles in their path, no matter what the training. The car culture is so ingrained at so many level, that education from a governmental agency is not going to be able to compete with the advertising budgets of auto makers. We are assaulted from birth about the car. It is a major aspect of our ecomony. This isn't Europe. We have not had to rebuild our infastructure following WWII.

There is a rise in bicycle use, due to the rise in oil prices. But I think this rise will flatten out quickly, as people buy higher fuel mileage cars. Americans don't want to exercise. Just look at people at the mall. How many adults do you see overwieght? How many kids?

When you see a bike rider on the street, what do you see? The majority of the time, it is someone wearing regular clothes, long pants, cotton shirts, etc. They don't have money for spandex or lycra. If they did, they would be putting it towards a car. They are ridding becaus they don't have a car, not because they want to.
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Old 05-31-06, 09:38 AM
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The best bike facility is no on street parking. Roads are for moving traffic, they are not storage spaces.
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Old 05-31-06, 09:50 AM
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Ideally, all lanes in congested urban areas would be bike lanes. There is no room for cars in most cities. Unfortunately, this idea is as unlikely to be enacted as bekologist's utopian dream of velotransit. The only hope I see for either dream is that cars will become scarcer, and the car lobbies less powerful, when gas prices hit some critical high point. Money talks, and poor folks walks, all over the world. Meanwhile, we have adequate facilities for riding already in place, for those who bother to learn how to use them.
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Old 05-31-06, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by AndrewP
The best bike facility is no on street parking. Roads are for moving traffic, they are not storage spaces.
+1
We basically provide taxpayer-subsidized private motorvehicle storage with all this free on-street parking. And don't get me started on the giant parking garage monstrosities that they have to build for same.
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Old 05-31-06, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by from article
In some cases, merchants who were initially nervous actually saw sales rising as the population of more fluid bus and cycle lanes fed them more customers.
It is interesting to note the mindset which is alltogether wrong in the initial thoughts of the merchants. People in cars are not free to "just stop" and pick something up from the store. You've got to find a parking stop, be in the correct lane, get out of the car, and walk into the store from across the parking lot or parking space. Such a hassle.

On the other hand, a cyclist need only ride up to the door, ditch the bicycle next to the window, and walk in. Even more true for a pedestrian or bus rider (who is a defacto pedestrian for at least part of the trip).

Businesses spend so much time and money trying to get drivers to stop their car to walk into their store. Why should they be up in arms about being fed a steady stream of people who are in a position to be attracted by a simple store front window and a sticker sign at eye level?
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Old 05-31-06, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody
Ideally, all lanes in congested urban areas would be bike lanes. There is no room for cars in most cities. Unfortunately, this idea is as unlikely to be enacted as bekologist's utopian dream of velotransit. The only hope I see for either dream is that cars will become scarcer, and the car lobbies less powerful, when gas prices hit some critical high point. Money talks, and poor folks walks, all over the world. Meanwhile, we have adequate facilities for riding already in place, for those who bother to learn how to use them.
You speak too soon. Some cities in Europe and the USA are experimenting with doing just what you suggest: banning cars during peak hours from the city center.

It is all about political will and leadership. A good politician is a good leader who can see into the future and reasure people that they are not getting screwed by policies which seem, on the surface, to be counter-intuitive. Like building fewer roads to deal with congestion; forcing people to make choices they otherwise didn't have to make. Like building roads with bike lanes and strongly enforcing the laws related to bike lane useage. Like building bike paths which serve their purpose and actually go somewhere.

What is missing from our frequent discussions in this forum is the distinction between what can be done technically, and what cannot be done because of the present state of mind of our politicians. If there were no interstate today, it would be these same people who explain patiently that it absolutely could not be done because no one will ever have the leadership required to do it. We have an interstate, however, so apparently, it really could be done.

Elevated, direct route bike highways? Can't be done? What about the 6 lane elevated freeway which runs the length of downtown Seattle? What about the El in Chicago? It really is a simple thing to do, if only someone had the leadership to know it has to be done and how to do it.

For instance, an alternative purpose was used to get the interstate system in. Remember what it was? It wasn't so that millions of Americans could drive on vacation. That stated purpose was to move the US army inside the boarders of our nation in case of a Soviet invasion. For a bike highway, what if the stated purpose was to make it wide enough to let emergency vehicles use it as a street bypass to avoid conjested streets on their way to an emergency? I got this from a different article posted somewhere on these forums. Suddenly, the bike highway idea, which doesn't cost much when compared to building a new road, makes sense for more than just cyclists. And it ensures that the bike highway goes somewhere.

I doubt all these people who state that "such and such" cannot be done because of "a very practical reason" which exists only because of a failure of leadership. These doubters are simply unimaginative. It is very easy to explain patiently that something cannot be done because it hasn't been attempted yet. It is harder to figure out what needs to be done and lead people in doing it.

For instance, in to above case, it could be the downtown businesses, which rely on snap decisions by customers to walk into their stores, which can be led to lobby for a carless district to funnel and attract more customers who are more likely (and able) to actually stop on impulse and walk in. There may be a lot of people in the downtown areas now, but if they are all in cars, then very few will stop on impulse and buy something. Money talks; leadership is simply finding ways of getting money to talk to the right people.
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Old 05-31-06, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
+1
We basically provide taxpayer-subsidized private motorvehicle storage with all this free on-street parking. And don't get me started on the giant parking garage monstrosities that they have to build for same.
I agree with the on-street parking, but why fight parking garages? People who park in the garages are defacto pedestrians when they need to make the final leg of their journey. Better yet, parking garages are compact, much more compact than open air lots, and you can very easily charge people to use them. Lobby to get rid of on-street parking; lobby to get rid of parking garages, but you shouldn't do both. Got to leave the people in a car a way to get to the city center in the first place.

Me, I'd like to see the city center free of cars during business hours, both moving and parked, and a ring of (tastefully built) parking garages around the city center. This way all visitors are pedestrians or cyclists in the city center, and the car is restricted to only where it is most useful: on the arterial roads leading into the city center. The roads inside the city (again, during regular business hours) are restricted to inner city commerce, public transportation, cyclists and pedestrians.
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Old 05-31-06, 03:47 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by galen_52657
1) first and foremost, bike lanes are to narrow. A minimum width if the lane is to accomodate one bike passing another within the lane would be 10 feet - same as a shoulder.
Why should a bike lane allow passing in the same lane? Pass like every other vehicle - change lanes. A 2m bike lane is sufficient in most places.


Originally Posted by galen_52657
2) and this leads to the second problem of bike lanes - inconsistent width. I have seen bike lanes ranging from 5' wide to 2' wide along the same road.
The width does not need to be consistent, it just needs to be sufficient. I agree that standards are needed, and some places are worse than others. In some cases it may be desirable for the bike lane to widen for a bit then narrow again... just like any other lane.


Originally Posted by galen_52657
3) second (or third) class paving surface on bike lanes
Not sure what you mean, here all bike lanes use the same pavement as the other lanes. The lighter traffic results in fewer potholes and rough areas, though.


Originally Posted by galen_52657
) no accommodation for left turns
Bikes, like all other vehicles, execute left turn form the left-turn lane. No magic about that. (In a few cases a left-turn bike lane or bike box may be helpful.)


Originally Posted by galen_52657
5) cyclists subjected to right hooks by motorists
As they would be sharing the lane, as they would be taking the lane to the right of another lane.... this has nothing to do with bike lanes


Originally Posted by galen_52657
6) not a full grid of bike lanes within a metropolitan area
Who would want one? Is anyone actually expecting that, or asking for it? The point of bike lanes is to provide a better option for cyclists on roads otherwise problematic, typically due to fast and/or heavy traffic. Sometimes a small bike lane will also be installed as a climbing lane on a steep hill.


Originally Posted by galen_52657
7) no cleaning of bike lanes
Get your city to clean them, many do.
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Old 05-31-06, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
It is interesting to note the mindset which is alltogether wrong in the initial thoughts of the merchants. People in cars are not free to "just stop" and pick something up from the store. You've got to find a parking stop, be in the correct lane, get out of the car, and walk into the store from across the parking lot or parking space. Such a hassle.
I don't get merchants, I really don't. Here they object to cycling, transit, wider sidewalks, basically everything except more roads and more parking. Neither experience nor statements from the public makes them change their minds. We have malls that have doubled in size after an adjoining transit station was built, yet downtown merchants are threatening a lawsuit over light rail being built on "their" streets.

As a business owner myself, I wonder how these guys can be so blind and yet stay in business!
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Old 05-31-06, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
I agree with the on-street parking, but why fight parking garages?
Just encourages more driving down town. The lure of free parking right in town means you can not only drive all the way to the center of town, you can drive from garage to garage as you make your way to the stores you want to visit.

Maybe without so much free parking people would use mass transit, bikes, or park once and make the whole journey on foot.
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Old 05-31-06, 03:58 PM
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Yeah, I don't get the merchants, either. There is talk about closing State Street to car traffic and making it more like the Promenade in Santa Monica. I think that would be great. But the merchants are opposed. Don't they notice that
a) You can't drive more than 2 miles an hour during the busy hours on State Street,
b) There's no parking on State Street so those people aren't shopping--the people walking around are shopping.
c) You can't make a left turn on State Street most hours of the day, so seeing into a store while driving by, then pulling over to park and go buy something is practically impossible
d) If anybody did number c above, they'd have to be a local because nobody can remember the names of our streets or the order they're in and it could be several blocks before you found an empty parking lot/garage.
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Old 05-31-06, 04:08 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff

Me, I'd like to see the city center free of cars during business hours, both moving and parked, and a ring of (tastefully built) parking garages around the city center. This way all visitors are pedestrians or cyclists in the city center, and the car is restricted to only where it is most useful: on the arterial roads leading into the city center. The roads inside the city (again, during regular business hours) are restricted to inner city commerce, public transportation, cyclists and pedestrians.
Nice plan... saw something like that in a city in France... I think it was Cassis, but I really cannot remember. The parking was at the outer edge of the city, with the area below and along the water front cut off to motor vehicles... thus it was only pedestrians on the streets. Streets did exist, but were blocked of... at least during the prime part of the day.

Saw similar things in the Latin Quarter and at the Rue Cler street market in Paris. The streets were closed off to motor traffic during the prime part of the day, but in the early morning, the streets were open for deliveries... it was actually quite amusing to watch the morning deliveries; the French enjoy food as art... large slabs of meat were "presented" to the shop owners on swing out arms from refrigerated trucks. The selected slabs were then carried in by the delivery man.

All the deliveries were made in a similar manner... as the various trucks moved down the block to make deliveries, each carefully negotiating past the other.

Later, and before 9 AM, the sidewalk/streets were washed down by the shop owners. The patrons arrived to clean, pedestrian only, sidewalks and sidewalk cafes.


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Old 05-31-06, 04:58 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
Just encourages more driving down town. The lure of free parking right in town means you can not only drive all the way to the center of town, you can drive from garage to garage as you make your way to the stores you want to visit.

Maybe without so much free parking people would use mass transit, bikes, or park once and make the whole journey on foot.
Who said anything about free? I've never seen a free parking garage in my life (actually I have, but they've all belonged to retail businesses, thus not open for general use or were free after 5:00pm). Point is, is that people have to get to downtown somehow, and many are going to come in cars. Better have the cars parked on the perimeter than having them orbiting the streets looking for on street parking. It's the "park once and me the whole journey on foot" way of dealing with traffic in city centers.
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