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Old 03-13-10, 08:07 AM   #1
John E
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squaring free turns and diverges

For many years, windmills at which I have been jousting Don Quixote style are the incredibly pedestrian- and bicyclist-hostile freeway-style high-speed free merges, diverges, and unions. We see these in every city, particularly, but not only, at the mouths of freeway access ramps. We do not have to accept these dangerous facilities, if we can muster enough political support to get them changed, starting with the simplest, most cost-effective modifications. I suggest encouraging the efforts of Americans with Disabilities Act advocates and enlightened traffic engineers such as Bob Shanteau of Monterey CA, who actually admits to being ashamed by the auto-centric bias of his profession.

Speak up, get noticed, and point out why these facilities are dangerous, why they discourage walking and bicycling, and how they can be traffic-calmed or otherwise controlled. We can win this war, one intersection at a time. Interest in environmental problems is still near a cyclical high, and awareness of the obesity epidemic is finally reaching the health care debate, so there is no time like the present to go after this dragon. This is one place we cyclists can probably stand together, without our usual infighting over bike lanes and other special facilities. Slow down traffic at intersections, and many of our other problems are ameliorated.
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Old 03-13-10, 08:36 AM   #2
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Old 03-13-10, 10:40 AM   #3
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Good on you John... Bringing in allies such as disabled Americans and folks with a green agenda can only help to boost and strengthen our resolve.

The infrastructure out there often is quite usable for cyclists, if some of the automobile-centric design is toned down... I have seen great examples of this in the Bird Rock area where all the new traffic circles have replaced stop signs and the road was narrowed. The road diet of Clairmont Mesa Drive right off of highway 5 also seems to be working.

Cars have their place, but not at the expense of others. Balance for all road users is the best way forward.
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Old 03-14-10, 06:43 AM   #4
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We had a case here where there was a wide sweeping turn from a major road to a minor road and they "tried" to make it bike friendly with a side path that exited on the far side of the turn (i.e. where driver are not looking.) I put forth comments why they even needed such a high speed turn onto a low speed road which left the designers rather tongue tied and as a result better design options came forth.

But I agree that freeway elements from roads where bikes and pedestrians are prohibited have no place where bikes and pedestrians are allowed. I will also assert by making local roads more freeway like validates the impression that bikes are prohibited. (Car centric designs mean car centric use.)
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Old 03-14-10, 08:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Cars have their place, but not at the expense of others.
Just thought that needed repeating.
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