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Florida Number 12

Old 06-09-10, 02:45 AM
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Florida Number 12

Florida seems to get beaten up in these boards as all things bad as far as cycling goes. Now, I am not a Florida chauvinist. But Florida does have some good points. Apparently, the League of American Wheelmen think so too as the following quote shows.



Florida ranks No. 12 for cyclists
Bike Lanes, Bikes, Paved Trails, bicycle commuting, bike laws, bike safety, hammerheads, rides — posted by Liam Miller on June, 6 2010 7:36 PM Discuss This: Comments(0) | Add to del.icio.us | Digg it
Florida Soars in U.S. Bicycle-Friendly State Rankings
- State jumps 20 spots to rank 12th in the nation -

TALLAHASSEE – Florida jumped 20 places to rank 12th in the nation among
the most bicycle-friendly states, according to the League of American
Bicyclists.
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Old 06-09-10, 05:49 AM
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Remember, those rankings are based entirely on infrastructure. That does NOT mean that it's actually a good place to cycle, or that the whole state is that good. You could be on the road with a crazy population of road-raging, bottle throwing, right-hooking, curb squeezing homicidal nutcases - as far as I can see, this ranking doesn't take into account driver attitude.
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Old 06-09-10, 07:45 AM
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I'd like to see the source of that article, before I pass judgment.

Nevertheless, it would suggest that a certain League has its head buried in the sand, like an ostrich.

-Kurt
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Old 06-09-10, 08:10 AM
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It's time for the LAB to rename the Bicycle Friendly Community program to the Bicyclist Friendly Community program.

A bicyclist-friendly community is not a place full of bicycle-specific infrastructure.

Bicyclists are people. A community is people.

A bicyclist-friendly community is one where people treat bicyclists well.

It is a place where other road users treat bicyclists with respect and operate safely around them.

It is a place where cyclists act not as outlaws and sneaks, but as responsible, entitled road users, because they know they are.

It is a place where police actions related to cycling are focused on enabling safe travel by bicycle, not motorist convenience.

A bicyclist-friendly community is one where everyone knows that bicyclists belong on all roads, not just those with bicycle markings, because in a free society the public streets belong to the public - all members of the public: fast and slow, big and small, overtaxed and undertaxed, motorized and not.
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Old 06-09-10, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
. . . Remember, those rankings are based entirely on infrastructure . . . ..
That is a false statement. The LAB rankings use five categories, Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation & Planning. The 28-page application might be instructive.
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Old 06-09-10, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by gcottay
That is a false statement. The LAB rankings use five categories, Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation & Planning. The 28-page application might be instructive.
Thanks for the links. It still looks to me like the award is not a guarantee that a place is a good place to cycle, only that there seems to be an effort in place to make it a nice place to cycle.

You can put all the education in place that you want, if people won't listen to it, it can still be a sucky place to ride. You can have a police cyclist liason designated, that doesn't automatically mean that cops will treat cyclists well.
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Old 06-09-10, 09:01 AM
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its funny, most of what sgoodri said makes sense, except the first statement. The rest of the worlds communities that actualize safer cycling for more of the citizenry really put to shame typical american communities paltry showings.

a bicyclist friendly community IS a place full of bicycle-specific infrastructure!


Originally Posted by sgoodri
A bicyclist-friendly community is not a place full of bicycle-specific infrastructure.

Bicyclists are people. A community is people.

A bicyclist-friendly community is one where people treat bicyclists well.

It is a place where other road users treat bicyclists with respect and operate safely around them.

It is a place where cyclists act not as outlaws and sneaks, but as responsible, entitled road users, because they know they are.

It is a place where police actions related to cycling are focused on enabling safe travel by bicycle, not motorist convenience.

A bicyclist-friendly community is one where everyone knows that bicyclists belong on all roads, not just those with bicycle markings, because in a free society the public streets belong to the public - all members of the public: fast and slow, big and small, overtaxed and undertaxed, motorized and not.
What sgoodri posted above is true, except the first sentence. that one falls apart with any even the most rudimentary scrutiny.
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Old 06-09-10, 09:57 AM
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Bicycle-specific infrastructure doesn't necessarily make a place bicyclist friendly, and one can have a bicyclist-friendly community without a bicycle stencil or sign on any road. Generic multi-purpose road facilities can be designed and used by people in a manner that is very friendly to bicyclists.
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Old 06-09-10, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
a bicyclist friendly community IS a place full of bicycle-specific infrastructure!
Not necessarily. A bicyclist friendly community is (among other things, like lack of hostility towards bicyclists) a place where the infrastructure accommodates cyclists. It doesn't have to be bicycle-specific (like bike lanes, green boxes, etc). WOL+sharrows is not bicycle-specific, but they're very bicycle friendly if the drivers there treat them properly.
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Old 06-09-10, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
a bicyclist friendly community IS a place full of bicycle-specific infrastructure!
Not necessarily. They are not mutually inclusive, but they aren't mutually exclusive either.
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Old 06-09-10, 07:47 PM
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the evidence, the proof, from cities around the world proves those assertions otherwise.

the five E's like the LAB rates, and then take a look at the rest of the globe and cities and countries that plan for bikes 10 times better than the best american city.

Germany as a nation has better ridership in its city with the lowest ridership than america's city with the highest ridership.

show me a US city that beats out any german town, and without the placement of any bike specfic infrastructure, and I'll eat a set of Conti Gatorskins.

you guys just don't like the idea of bike specificity of the roadscape.
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Old 06-09-10, 08:41 PM
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LAB is a joke. They have set the bar so low that even a city that does no traffic enforcement, will not even take a report of assault if the victim was on a bike and has less than .01% of the population on bikes at all for most of the year can meet the "Gold" standard. They should rename their standards: dirt, mud, lead, rebar, soot, etc. P.R. doesn't make a place bike friendly, the facts on the ground are what matter.

As far as "bike specificity of the roadscape" goes, unless these things have connectivity and intersection priority over cagers, they are usually just a way to slow down cyclists and create evermore hazards. In the early '80s a group at Stanford did a study looking at where the injury-wrecks were occurring for cyclists. The conclusion: on a per mile basis, the most dangerous place to ride is a segregated bike path because of the lousy intersections. These paths were rated as far more dangerous than freeway riding.
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Old 06-10-10, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree
In the early '80s a group at Stanford did a study looking at where the injury-wrecks were occurring for cyclists. The conclusion: on a per mile basis, the most dangerous place to ride is a segregated bike path because of the lousy intersections. These paths were rated as far more dangerous than freeway riding.
Oohooh, somebody did a STUDY and reached a CONCLUSION in the early '80's. Groovy!

Any details, ya know, like a reference?
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Old 06-10-10, 09:22 AM
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Maryland ranked #11 and #1 in policy and (49th in spending via another report) I have put in some very strong words to LAB opposing their methodologies and rankings. Like let's reward states that are really good with double talk, that sounds like a great idea for a National program, not! Does Maryland have a law that says bikes must be considered in all phases of transportation planing, construction and repair, you bet. Does Maryland have a policy of only accommodating bikes where practical and feasible (any excuse works not to accommodate bikes. (even "Whoops we forgot" is a valid excuse here,)) you bet we got that too. We also rewrite ALL federal polices in regards to funding bike/ped projects to make sure they don't get much Federal Funding.

But come on America and follow Maryland's lead with a statewide bike master plan complete with metrics (all that LAB requires) that say we have not done a f'n thing in the last 7 years. You know you want one of these and I am so excited that Maryland is getting recondition for all its efforts over the last 7 years.

In short I am really pissed at LAB, and I have strongly asserted asking additional questions that can weed out out if policies and plans are living or dead. If the advocates in Florida want to compare notes or generate a joint statement to LAB to fix up their program, please let me know.
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Old 06-10-10, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Oohooh, somebody did a STUDY and reached a CONCLUSION in the early '80's. Groovy!

Any details, ya know, like a reference?
Sorry, it has been a few years. I don't even remember the journal I read it in. (They say the memory is the second thing to go, I wish I could remember the first.) I do recall that Bicycling magazine had a short review of it around 1983.

I suppose the original article could be found by someone either more skilled or more diligent than me, but who cares? It should be fairly obvious that most bike paths are added as afterthoughts and have piss-poor intersection designs. I've seen situations where bikes have to yield to motorists who will be right-hooking them, situations where driveways get the right of way over bike paths, and, my favorite, an intersection where a bike has to make three stops to proceed in a straight line. All of these can be found in a city that LAB declares platinum! As I said, LAB sets the bar is too low.
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Old 06-11-10, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree
L.. The conclusion: on a per mile basis, the most dangerous place to ride is a segregated bike path because of the lousy intersections. These paths were rated as far more dangerous than freeway riding.

I'm not in a position where I feel I can defend LAB but your post is even worse than I-Like-To-Bike thinks it is- it's not that "somebody did a STUDY and reached a CONCLUSION in the early 80's." It's that YOU read a study somewhere, some time ago and have drawn your own conclusion and are pawning it off as if we should all jump on-board in agreement.

Your synopsis of the study sounds seriously flawed even if the study wasn't. This is like a game of telephone tag by the time you've passed the information along it has little or nothing to do with reality.

and then you ask ".. who cares?" If you aren't "skilled or diligent enough" (your words not mine) to post accurate information you won't appear to be too credible an advocate of anything.
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Old 06-11-10, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
you guys just don't like the idea of bike specificity of the roadscape.
I love the idea of bike specificity in the road scape. I agree, infrastructure encourages cyclists. I love riding on a well designed path, bike lane, or what have you.

I don't entirely believe however that infrastructure is necessary for a bike friendly community. Sure, it does help, but a government policy and community that encourages cycling does far more than paint, concrete and asphalt.
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Old 06-11-10, 10:43 PM
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Oh buzzman. Like I said, sorry for the fact that the study was so long ago that I no longer have a copy and am not inclined to spend what I anticipate would be far too much time to get one. Do you live in a place where the bike paths are not added as an afterthought and have safe intersections? That's great if you do. I have never seen a community where that is the case, but there is no reason it should not be the norm.

As to LAB being a joke with a bar so low you can clear it from a ditch, the examples in my last post are all from Davis, CA, a LAB Platinum Bike friendly community. With friends like that, who needs enemies? Eugene, OR is listed as Gold in spite of the fact that 30% of our roadway deaths inside the city limits are cyclists. LAB wants to promote cycling and seems to think that misleading people about the infrastructure and risks is a good way to do it. Maybe they are right, but the inflated ratings really grate on me.

Let's look at LABs 5 Es:
Engineering: Just tell us it works and we'll believe you. Flooded? No problem. Bike lanes full of leaves? No worries. Intersections from hell? 's alright.
Education: Are you using LAB instructors? Then you are doing a good job.
Encouragement: Love that P.R. In Eugene I love watching the city staff and politicians show up in cars for ribbon cuttings on bike paths to no where.
Enforcement: Put a cop or two on a bike to hassle the homeless kids downtown and LAB is impressed
Evaluation and Planning: Oh great. The same P.R. people get to tell you how great it is working and what they will do next. Both Eugene and Davis have seen dramatic decreases in cycling over the past several decades, and yet they are both highly rated by LAB.

I think we would get more people to ride and better infrastructure if we stopped allowing LAB's inflated ratings to be our guide for success.

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