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bike lanes increase pollution?

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bike lanes increase pollution?

Old 08-20-08, 08:34 PM
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bike lanes increase pollution?

San Francisco always gets the real interesting news.

http://online.wsj.com/public/article...tured_articles
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Old 08-20-08, 08:36 PM
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Dupe. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=456328
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Old 08-20-08, 08:37 PM
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I wondered how the article could have been omitted. Although it is in another forum.
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Old 08-20-08, 10:57 PM
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How the heck did one unqualified curmudgeon gain such influnce?
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Old 08-20-08, 11:02 PM
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oh the irony

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Old 08-21-08, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Allister View Post
How the heck did one unqualified curmudgeon gain such influnce?
Blame the law that he sued under.

Troll is born. Troll exploits loophole to prove point.

Close loophole?
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Old 08-21-08, 05:20 AM
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You know what - I think Mr. Anderson's argument that bicycles probably help contribute to pollution and traffic problems is correct.

In fact, I am sure it is correct because I have seen it. Heck, I have been part of the problem.

His argument is simple; The automobile is now and will continue to be the primary mode of transportation in the USA. Bicycles on roads slow down traffic which burns fuel, and causes traffic bottlenecks.

Anybody who has seen bicycles on busy streets has surely seen the slow down and traffic frustration that bicycles create.

As a motorist, I get very frustrated at our city's antiquated traffic-light system. We can have a dozen cars on both sides of the street waiting for the light to change to green while there are no automobiles in sight on the street with the green light. I often wonder how much fuel is being wasted because of the poorly mismanaged light timing causing so many cars to sit idleling their engines. Then, of course, the light finally turns green and you move on to the next red light.

Bicycles are not much different from a traffic-light in that respect.

Although I am a strong bicycle advocate and believe that bicycles could save the planet, I have to agree that in reality, Mr. Anderson's thinking that bicycles cause traffic slow-down and traffic congestion may be more realistic than my hopes for bicycles saving the planet.

The solution, of course, is to do what the Chinese have done and have bicycle specific lanes physically separate from the automobile lanes. This allows the automobiles enjoy their own traffic jam AND the motorists can enjoy the pleasant view of bicycles floating by in the bicycle lane as they wait.

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Old 08-21-08, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
The automobile is now and will continue to be the primary mode of transportation in the USA. Bicycles on roads slow down traffic which burns fuel, and causes traffic bottlenecks.
This argument falls apart when you consider that through city streets, a bicycle will beat a car in most point to point races. I doubt you could drive across San Francisco during rush hour faster than you could bike it.

If you are sitting in Bay Area traffic with your engine idling, I'll guarantee that 99.99% of the time, it's because of automobile traffic, not bikes.

Therefore, if you increase the number of bicycles, you decrease the number of cars, and it becomes easier, not harder, to drive through the city.
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Old 08-21-08, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
This argument falls apart when you consider that through city streets, a bicycle will beat a car in most point to point races. I doubt you could drive across San Francisco during rush hour faster than you could bike it.

If you are sitting in Bay Area traffic with your engine idling, I'll guarantee that 99.99% of the time, it's because of automobile traffic, not bikes.

Therefore, if you increase the number of bicycles, you decrease the number of cars, and it becomes easier, not harder, to drive through the city.
+1. Bicycles are not slowing down traffic. Bicycles do not get in the way of emergency vehicles. Bicycles do not cause gridlock. Mr. Anderson's annoyance at cyclists because he thinks they're all PC and self-righteously environmental (FYI, PC went out in about 1992) made him just want to throw a wrench in the works.

Yes, lets study the environmental impact of bike lanes, and of lots of other things too, like the number of parking spaces in an urban area, the size of the lanes and what the optimal size car people should drive, the width of sidewalks, etc., etc. I suspect Anderson's true goal isn't helping the environment.

He thinks our car culture is as immutable as the laws of nature, yet it's changing all the time. People are rethinking the way they get around at least every decade and the last few years have seen major changes in attitudes. Saying that Americans always have and always will love cars is as stupid as 200 years ago saying we'll always love slaves. I'm sure at the time it seemed like common wisdom.
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Old 08-21-08, 06:43 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
You know what - I think Mr. Anderson's argument that bicycles probably help contribute to pollution and traffic problems is correct.

In fact, I am sure it is correct because I have seen it. Heck, I have been part of the problem.

His argument is simple; The automobile is now and will continue to be the primary mode of transportation in the USA. Bicycles on roads slow down traffic which burns fuel, and causes traffic bottlenecks.

Anybody who has seen bicycles on busy streets has surely seen the slow down and traffic frustration that bicycles create.

As a motorist, I get very frustrated at our city's antiquated traffic-light system. We can have a dozen cars on both sides of the street waiting for the light to change to green while there are no automobiles in sight on the street with the green light. I often wonder how much fuel is being wasted because of the poorly mismanaged light timing causing so many cars to sit idleling their engines. Then, of course, the light finally turns green and you move on to the next red light.

Bicycles are not much different from a traffic-light in that respect.

Although I am a strong bicycle advocate and believe that bicycles could save the planet, I have to agree that in reality, Mr. Anderson's thinking that bicycles cause traffic slow-down and traffic congestion may be more realistic than my hopes for bicycles saving the planet.

The solution, of course, is to do what the Chinese have done and have bicycle specific lanes physically separate from the automobile lanes. This allows the automobiles enjoy their own traffic jam AND the motorists can enjoy the pleasant view of bicycles floating by in the bicycle lane as they wait.
While a cyclist may at times cause a momentary delay... they will never cause the slowdown and bumper to bumper situation that occurs daily on the nations' roads.




A cyclist or even a group of cyclists did not cause the above situation... which no doubt is repeated across the nation twice a day... the pollution from such a situation is far far greater than that which a cyclist may cause by their tiny delay of any sort.

Motorists are their own worst enemy when it comes to congestion and delay, yet they chose to blame cyclists for even the tiniest rare delay that said cyclists may cause while motorist ignore their own obvious plight.

The fact is that if 10% of that traffic were riding bikes instead of driving, or even sharing cars, the delays and congestion shown in the picture would be dramatically reduced... That problem is not caused by cyclists.

The writer of that article is making a huge mountain out of a tiny molehill and overlooking the reality of what causes real traffic congestion. But no doubt he has loyal readers that will fail to see that exaggerated molehill for what it is... and that is the tragedy of the situation.

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Old 08-21-08, 06:52 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
You know what - I think Mr. Anderson's argument that bicycles probably help contribute to pollution and traffic problems is correct.

In fact, I am sure it is correct because I have seen it. Heck, I have been part of the problem.

His argument is simple; The automobile is now and will continue to be the primary mode of transportation in the USA. Bicycles on roads slow down traffic which burns fuel, and causes traffic bottlenecks.
Whether you're correct or not the bicycles will still be there and they'll still do the damage. The bike lane may result in more congestion when no bikes are present, but when bikes are present they should move motor traffic more quickly. The need to partially change lanes to pass is not present when the riders are in a bike lane, and lots of lane changes is worse than one fewer lane.

That said. You can't blame one road user for the affect he has on another road user. This is a failing of current auto designs: They're too wide and their visibility sucks. Narrower cars with better visibility have a better chance of sharing a lane with a bike.

Second, we can't move away from our dependence on motor vehicles by assuming there is no alternative and pandering to them. Less infrastructure for cars does mean less cars: People avoid inconvenient actions. You can see it happen in many cities by just comparing downtown (where parking, for cars, sucks) to their suburbs: You'll see dozens of bikes being ridden downtown and you probably won't see one in the suburbs. Bikes are convenient downtown, they're punished in the suburbs by a lack of side streets, 4 lane speedways, freeways they can't enter, extra distance between businesses, and a complete lack of standard parking.

Mr. Anderson is doing a very good job of thinking in the short term. He seems to hate bikes because so many riders try to share the sidewalk with him and so he fights bike lanes which should move some of those riders to the street. Trouble is, the fight he's fighting isn't going to get rid of any bikes on the sidewalk. Maybe he should spend his effort convincing police to enforce the law with regard to bicycles.
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Old 08-21-08, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
While a cyclist may at times cause a momentary delay... they will never cause the slowdown and bumper to bumper situation that occurs daily on the nations' roads.




A cyclist or even a group of cyclists did not cause the above situation... which no doubt is repeated across the nation twice a day... the pollution from such a situation is far far greater than that which a cyclist may cause by their tiny delay of any sort.

Motorists are their own worst enemy when it comes to congestion and delay, yet they chose to blame cyclists for even the tiniest rare delay that said cyclists may cause while motorist ignore their own obvious plight.
I see this every time I drive through Omaha. There's a section where the right lane, of a 3 lane freeway (3 lanes in my direction) ends. Drivers scream down the right lane to get as far ahead of the congestion as possible. What they don't realize is that traffic is stopped up letting people merge from that right lane. Some of it is because of an on-ramp and some of it is because of greedy jerks trying to reduce their wait in congestion.

Of all of the traffic slow downs I've seen (this year), driving, I've never seen a bicycle at the end. I'm not kidding. I'd notice if there were a bike at the end. However, I don't drive in many areas with lots of cyclists. I'm sure San Fransisco does have some congestion due to bike traffic.
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Old 08-21-08, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
This argument falls apart when you consider that through city streets, a bicycle will beat a car in most point to point races. I doubt you could drive across San Francisco during rush hour faster than you could bike it.

If you are sitting in Bay Area traffic with your engine idling, I'll guarantee that 99.99% of the time, it's because of automobile traffic, not bikes.

Therefore, if you increase the number of bicycles, you decrease the number of cars, and it becomes easier, not harder, to drive through the city.
Valid points, but really, there's not much point using logic against an argument that has none itself.

I'm betting at this point that the 'environmental study' will easily reveal what a buffoon this guy is, but when you read "Mr. Anderson is running for supervisor again this November -- around the time the city will unveil the first draft of its bike-plan environmental review. He's already pondering a challenge of the review." you've gotta wonder how open to reason he is. I mean what kind of moron judges something before they've even seen it?
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Old 08-21-08, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by 40 Cent View Post
Mr. Anderson's annoyance at cyclists because he thinks they're all PC and self-righteously environmental (FYI, PC went out in about 1992) made him just want to throw a wrench in the works.

On reading the article, I reckon the real source of his whinge is that he's been buzzed by cyclists a few times in crosswalks, and now he's on a Mission to eliminate them. Nothing new really.
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Old 08-21-08, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Plenty gaps wide enough to ride a bike through there.
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Old 08-21-08, 07:41 AM
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If there's a city law that says you have to have an environmental impact study for things like this, why wasn't it done in the first place? Was this an oversight on the city's part, or did advocates drop the ball?

Pretty much for any commercial or public development in my town, an environmental impact study has to be done. The law was passed with a bunch of comprehensive zoning not too long ago, and developers and town gov't were extremely surprised when various individuals started demanding the impact studies, slowing down and adding to the cost of planned developments and public projects. It was very much used as a stalling tactic by opponents of such construction to delay and vindictively add cost to a project in hopes of making it unattractive, or scaring off developers in the first place. Also townspeople who had to vote to pay for impact studies before public projects could actually be voted on. Sometimes these were used in conjunction with lawsuits to make it too costly to build, or simply delay until a lawsuit could be filed or decided.

What sounds like a great and needed idea--environmental impact studies--can be misused. Like this guy is doing. And like any number of groups would do if there was a proposed nuke plant on the table. To tell the truth, it's usually the extreme environmentalists in town that take unfair advantage of the process in my neck of the woods, but there have also been cases where they've gotten red in the face and stamped their feet when someone points out that they need to do the same when they plan something big, like an addition to a trail system in protected open space land.

You can fault the guy for his personal views, but not his tactics.
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Old 08-21-08, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Allister View Post
Plenty gaps wide enough to ride a bike through there.
...without delaying a single motorist, I might add.
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Old 08-21-08, 08:48 AM
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Mr. Anderson is evidently ignorant of the numerous traffic calming studies in which slowed, narrowed streets with a reduced lane count move more traffic than before their remake. Traffic congestion is caused by too many cars in too little space and by traditional intersections, which force motorists to stop periodically, not by bicyclists. He needs to talk to Dan Burden and other traffic engineering experts, who can show him a win-win scenario for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

I do concur with him that bicyclists need to respect pedestrians and to yield to them unconditionally when riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks.
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Old 08-21-08, 12:51 PM
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He's a troll.

He doesn't have a valid point to make. Until this WSJ article, he was getting refreshingly little attention; now everyone is treating this weaselly old man like he has some sort of point to debate.

He doesn't. Ignore him. His entire beef against cyclists is because he doesn't like what we "stand" for... he's been fighting a one-man battle against what he perceives to be the force of "progressivism" in San Francisco... anyone who honestly believes that the only reason people ride bikes are "to prove a point" and "for thrill" doesn't deserve a moment's thought. He's thoroughly detached from reality. I've met him and debated him. It's like talking to a brick wall, or a schizophrenic. You can't pierce through his wall of fantasy.

Seriously, someone close this thread.
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Old 08-21-08, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
While a cyclist may at times cause a momentary delay... they will never cause the slowdown and bumper to bumper situation that occurs daily on the nations' roads.




A cyclist or even a group of cyclists did not cause the above situation... .
Twice a day? I thought gridlock was very much a part of every megalopolis throughout the day. ? In any case, alot of this gridlock could be substantially eased by staggering work times---both arrival and dismissal. While this is not popular with workers and managers, if some of the cost savings (from roads 'not constructed,' etc..) were passed back thru to workers and businesses, it might work. Just a thought.

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Old 08-21-08, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff View Post
Twice a day? I thought gridlock was very much a part of every megalopolis throughout the day. ? In any case, alot of this gridlock could be substantially eased by staggering work times---both arrival and dismissal. While this is not popular with workers and managers, if some of the cost savings (from roads 'not constructed,' etc..) were passed back thru to workers and businesses, it might work. Just a thought.

roughstuff
Bottom line is that bikes are NOT the cause of either congestion nor pollution... and a variety of solutions, including cycling will help clear the air...

and any nonsense by this "Mr. Anderson" is pure BS and does more to stink up the air than any cyclist.
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Old 08-21-08, 05:23 PM
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This guy, his lawyer, and the judge are all tools. SF can't even install bike racks or locker at government buildings right now, because of this injunction. Items which don't affect the roads at all.
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Old 08-21-08, 06:44 PM
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BTW, how anti-PC (read anti-liberal) can he be if he accepts a government stipend for caring for his mother that he uses to publish his blog?
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Old 08-21-08, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by pueblonative View Post
BTW, how anti-PC (read anti-liberal) can he be if he accepts a government stipend for caring for his mother that he uses to publish his blog?
He's a troll.

Since when do trolls have to be consistent?
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Old 08-21-08, 07:12 PM
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Your law, not followed by entity, contested as the law allows. Your law. Contact your government if your law isn't working the way you want and work hard to get your law changed. Or participate as your law allows, as this gentleman has. Context is everything.

A smart entity will anticipate challenges and will cross Ts and dot Is with all the oversight laws.
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