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in planning for the future what bikes should we plan for??

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in planning for the future what bikes should we plan for??

Old 09-16-13, 03:19 PM
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in planning for the future what bikes should we plan for??

In general all the discussions here focus on classic 2 wheel bicycles (with some recumbents ).

But is that enought to really plan for the future, especially when thinking of infrastructure options?

I got to thinking about this when I saw an Elf bike in person at a place I volunteer at (www.goodkarmabikes.org) They assemble these for west coast distribution.

Beyond that I am seeing increasing number of Adult trikes (used by a mix of young and older people) and even more cargo bikes of the likes of bakfiest, Madden, etc.

Add in recumbent trikes, and increasing numbers of adaptive bikes (hand cycles and other) and you have a far from homogenous mix.

Many of these bikes would not work with many bike lanes, MUPs and some of the more bike specialized segregated infratructure. Other like trikes have problems with lanes thea work great for bikes (i.e not flat road surface for drainage)

Should these vehicles be planned for? (If we don't support them are we any different from motorists who don't want bikes on their roads?)

How should we plan for them?

Personally I have just ve just started thinkng about this and it is a facinating question. My initial reaction is more road diets and dedicatted non motorist lanes or really big bike lanes and more take the lane VC type riding.


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Old 09-16-13, 03:39 PM
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Wider pedal powered vehicles are certainly something to keep in mind when designing facilities for bikes. The Elf is 48 inches wide, so the biggest problem will be trail barriers designed to keep motor vehicles off of the road. They're already a problem for people who use trailers. Think of that infamous set of fence chicanes on the Oregon Expressway bike bridge over Highway 101 in Palo Alto or the "WALK YOUR BIKE" signs we have in the South Bay.


Bicycle Chicane X 3
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Old 09-16-13, 04:28 PM
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I've long been a pro-ponent of assumption of half lane width infrastructure for bicycles. Or in other words saying that bike lanes should be no narrower then half of a standard vehicule travel lane wide. With standard vehicular travel lanes that vary from about 7' to 16' width from the narrowest to the widest with normal "narrow" vehicular travel lane widths being in the 9'-11' width range and normal "wide" vehicular travel lane widths being in the 11' to 14' width (often for higher speed roads) that would translate to a "narrow" bike lane of 4.5' to 5.5' width and a "wide" bike lane of 5.5'-7' width.

I personally would strongly prefer a standardization of bike lanes that are just a little bit more then 4' wide which is about the same width as a golf cart needs. Nice and wide for regular bikes and just wide enough for most wider bikes. Just as standard vehicular travel lanes are nice and wide for regular cars which are about 6'-7' wide and just wide enough for heavy trucks and buses which tend to be 8'-8.5' wide. Also, if you make the bike lanes 4.5'-5.5' wide it makes them too narrow for all but the very smallest cars to try to squeeze into them.

In fact I put in a long post in an older thread that was asking what one's dream for the future of bicycle transportation infrastructure was and my response would be that all low speed roads, especially in-town urban area low speed roads, should have all the lanes on all those rides divided in half with another dashed line down their center and would be used in that narrow half wide width by bicycles and other small efficient vehicles and that all the big automobile vehicles would have to use two lanes straddling one of the white dashed lines. This would make the lane widths correct for smaller more efficient vehicles anything from bicycles to small electric vehicles the size of golf carts and those big automobiles would have it made very clear to them that they didn't own the road and were in fact the "odd one out".
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Old 09-16-13, 05:42 PM
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I love Turbo's dream for allocating plenty of space for bikes.

I believe the OP is in the city of San Jose. The bike lane standard there is six foot bike lanes, and we're starting to see a few buffered lanes going in. To your point that wider lanes might seem like a car lane, that's certainly something to consider and I've seen cars use some of our wider bike lanes exactly like that, as a passing lane. We also have plenty of sub-standard gutter lanes, too, sadly enough.
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Old 09-16-13, 06:13 PM
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Yup, you got to be careful not to make them too wide otherwise cars try to use them (this can be used to good advantage by the way when you want right turning cars to merge into the bike lane before turning right so they don't right-hook bikes in the bike lane). 4'-5' bike lane is narrow enough to keep cars out except for idiot drivers who don't care anyway where as 6'+ is wide enough to start encouraging cars to merge into the bike lane especially when you get to 8' width. This can be used to strategic advantage by a smart road line painter to discourage cars using the bike lanes in the straight stretches and encourage cars to merge into the bike lane before taking a right turn on approach to major intersections with a high percentage of right turning automobile traffic by adjusting the width of the bike lane to either discourage or encourage cars using it as well as is appropriate for that section.

A diagram showing a "hill climbing" bike lane strategically narrowed and then widened to encourage cars to merge before taking a right so as to not right-hook (up on the picture is up the hill):



This is assumed to be a low speed road where bikes can ride in the main traffic lanes except for when they get slowed way down when climbing the hill. Bike lane is "buffered" by two white lines about a foot and a half apart with a rumble strip in-between them except where the bike lane widens to also be used as a right turn lane by automobile traffic. Down-hill side of the road is shared by bicycles and automobiles (downhill allows bikes to easily keep up with cars) and is marked with Sharows accordingly as is the road off to the right side of the T-intersection that has on-street parallel parking on both sides of it and thus has no bike lanes because door-zone bike lanes would be unacceptable.

There are many hills in my area where I would absolutely love it if they installed "hill climbing" bike lanes like this on the uphill side of the road that were properly widened on approach to major intersections to encourage cars merging over to prevent right-hooks. By scale the main traffic and parking lanes are 9' wide, the buffered bike lane is 4.5' wide with a 1.5' buffer zone and the dual use section that also serves as a right hand turn lane is 11'-12' wide.

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Old 09-16-13, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by richardmasoner View Post
I love Turbo's dream for allocating plenty of space for bikes.

I believe the OP is in the city of San Jose. The bike lane standard there is six foot bike lanes, and we're starting to see a few buffered lanes going in. To your point that wider lanes might seem like a car lane, that's certainly something to consider and I've seen cars use some of our wider bike lanes exactly like that, as a passing lane. We also have plenty of sub-standard gutter lanes, too, sadly enough.
True enough....san jose type...

As noted I am seeing more adults on 3 wheelers also (especially around grant road area in Los altos...which has a ton of cyclists. And even those would be challenged by some of the local MUP entries or even narrow points of some of the MUPS

I have no idea how much these things like the ELF will take off, but it would be a bit shortsited not to think about them in planning.

part and parcel may well have to be more consistent enforcement....like big ticket for drivers who use a wide bike lane as their own short cut.
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Old 09-16-13, 07:13 PM
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Considering that golf carts are standard 4' wide at the outer edge of their wheels and frame and only have small protrusions such as rubber fenders or such that might stick out an extra inch or two on ecah side and are capable of seating two people side by side in an open sides situation or even a closed side situation if you scrunch up a little I think planning that assumes that cycles are no wider then golf carts at the widest and letting that be known to be the standard that is being planned too to the manufactures would work quite well.

Yes, of course if at all possible give a little bit of elbow room and make the cycle lanes a little wider then 4' but pretty much make it such that so long as your not wider then 4' you can make it through just fine. As to length, that really isn't a huge concern unless your building in really tight corners, tighter then would be found on a road made for cars, which isn't a good idea anyway. Just tell the infrastructure engineers that they have to make the lanes wide enough for 4' wide and 12' long "4x6 John Deer Gator ATV's" and 4' wide by 7' long "Bobcat Skid-Steers" need to be able to use the lanes and paths while staying within the lanes because those are the vehicles that are going to be used to maintenance the lanes and paths and plow the snow off of them. Just about any sensible cycle vehicle will then also be able to fit and the transportation engineers are going to be more likely to accept that explanation then trying to explain to them that cycle vehicles may also get that wide and long as well.

One should realize that where I come up with this is from when my grandparents (now deceased, may they RIP) used to live in the retirement community of Sun City, AZ where within city limits and the surrounding suburbs golf carts were considered to be entirely street legal. It was not at all uncommon, actually quite the norm for about 20% or more of the traffic on the roads to be golf carts and similar type ATV ranch vehicles that are the same size as golf carts just with bigger ATV type tires. Quite often you would see two or more golf carts going down the road each using half of the lane and treating the lanes like there were two lanes instead of just one and passing each other side by side in the same lane because they were narrower then regular cars and trucks and it just worked out that for them a single lane was like two lanes. It also slowed the automobile traffic down to a more sensible pace as well (although I don't for one moment deny that some of those old folks did drive their golf carts and ATV ranch vehicles rather aggressively as well).

Double road capacity just by splitting the lanes in half ~ why not? Is certainly wide enough for my needs and if its wide enough for golf carts and ATV ranch vehicles to seat two adults side-by-side and its already an established standard of width for that class of vehicles already, its not like you actually need more width then that for most sensible cycle vehicles present and future.


P.S. ~ (added in edit) The 20% golf carts and ATV ranch vehicles estimate I give for Sun City, AZ is many years ago as well as my observations of the "one lane as two" for those smaller vehicles. A quick internet search with some well chosen keywords found me some people giving more recent estimates that such vehicles currently equal or slightly outnumber cars in traffic in that town. I cannot personally confirm that of course nor could I confirm that the "one lane as two" behavior is still being practiced as I saw it years ago. I did cycle a little bit on the roads back then and I found the situation generally beneficial for a cyclist although some of the golf cart drivers could be just as bad as the car drivers but at least they weren't as big and fast or as intimidating as the cars.

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Old 09-18-13, 11:40 PM
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AASHTO says bollard/chicane/access control spacing must be at least 6 feet, and pavement width in turns must be at least 10 feet, more for tight turning radius.

FHWA notes that opening width must comply with ADA access requirements, which includes large wheelchairs, adult trikes, etc.
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Old 09-19-13, 07:43 AM
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HPV's that have more than two tandem wheels will always be, and I feel should always be, the exception for those with disabilities that limit balance. You can have utopian dreams, and an ego that has you convinced that dazzling us with BS will make everyone see it your way, but reality says that keeping bikes compact is what will work best.

In the sumertime I have come to avoid certain MUPs were these things are for rent, and lumber along at mearly walking speed https://www.surreycompany.com/images/...Surrey_000.JPG
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Old 09-19-13, 08:15 AM
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From a planning angle, if you planned for trikes, you've planned more pretty much everything. Seeing how there are more trikes on the road, that probably makes the most sense. Something like the Elf, is more carlike and probably is best in a car lane rather than a bike lane.

Commuters need room for these:


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Old 09-19-13, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
. . . You can have utopian dreams, and an ego that has you convinced that dazzling us with BS will make everyone see it your way, but reality says that keeping bikes compact is what will work best. . .
Anyone specific your referencing or just a general frustration?

I personally would agree that there is rarely any legitimate reason for a bike to get as wide as a car for goodness sake, but I think asking for and expecting half the lane width as provided for cars for bike lanes isn't asking too much and allows accommodation of HPVs that are wider then a normal bicycle without things getting too out of hand.

I will note that most of the HPVs that are more car like and less bicycle like as the picture directly above shows as well as the picture in the OP put the riders head too low to the ground considerably compromising both the rider seeing and being seen which is one reason I personally would hesitate to ride on the road with cars using one of them. All it takes is one lane change when your right next to the car and your too low so they don't see you and side-swipe right into you and you end up as a speed bump getting sucked under their rear wheel.

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Old 09-19-13, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
I will note that most of the HPVs that are more car like and less bicycle like as the picture directly above shows as well as the picture in the OP put the riders head too low to the ground considerably compromising both the rider seeing and being seen which is one reason I personally would hesitate to ride on the road with cars using one of them. All it takes is one lane change when your right next to the car and your too low so they don't see you and side-swipe right into you and you end up as a speed bump getting sucked under their rear wheel.
The top of the shell on the velo above is about 3' and your head would be about even with a car driver's.

YMMV but IMO it'd be hard to miss seeing a 9' banana going down the road at 30 mph. That said, it's always better not having to deal with car traffic because there's no guarantee a motorist would see you regardless of what you're riding.

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Old 09-19-13, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
. . . You can have utopian dreams, and an ego that has you convinced that dazzling us with BS will make everyone see it your way, but reality says that keeping bikes compact is what will work best . . .
Your inappropriate hostility is not at all helpful.
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Old 09-19-13, 10:04 PM
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If you look at, CommuteCommando's, entire post I can sort of understand at least some of his frustration. Think about someone going down a bike path or MUP with a pedal vehicle so wide it blocked up the entire path so that no-one could pass without going off the path including oncoming traffic.

Just like a lot of cyclist find in very annoying when two, three, or more peds. will walk down a MUP side by side blocking the whole path from one edge to another with absolute no regard for anyone else. It's the same kind or rudeness and disregard for anyone else when someone blocks up the entire path with a human pedal powered vehicle, possibly even more so.

Even when cyclist "take the lane" on a road preventing cars from passing them unsafely in the same lane they still leave the oncoming lane open to leave a clear open path for oncoming traffic and allow faster overtaking traffic to pass when there is a break in oncoming traffic. Riding a big wide HPV down a MUP that takes up the whole path is like someone moving a house down the road taking up both sides of the road so no-one coming or going can get around. For roads you can't do that without a special permit and having official traffic controls to reroute and detour around you and they schedule the move during an off hour for the road in question. But on MUPs and bike paths some people with big wide HPVs that take up the whole path from edge to edge think they can do it at will and everyone else can just go F#(& themselves. That is indeed very selfish and rude behavior.

Which is why I personally would like to see HPVs standardized to no more then 4' width and then build the bike lanes, paths, MUPs, etc . . . with at least 4' wide lanes (paths and MUPs always two lanes wide except for maybe a few strictly one way paths with a yellow center line down the middle) to ensure there is always enough room for oncoming traffic to have an open path and allow overtaking traffic to pass. It's just the right thing to do for everyone's sake in a civilized society.
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Old 09-20-13, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
.

Which is why I personally would like to see HPVs standardized to no more then 4' width and then build the bike lanes, paths, MUPs, etc . . . with at least 4' wide lanes (paths and MUPs always two lanes wide except for maybe a few strictly one way paths with a yellow center line down the middle) to ensure there is always enough room for oncoming traffic to have an open path and allow overtaking traffic to pass. It's just the right thing to do for everyone's sake in a civilized society.
No worries for velomobiles then, they're much narrower than 4'.
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Old 09-20-13, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
No worries for velomobiles then, they're much narrower than 4'.
The vast majority of the ones I've seen, I agree, but I have seen pictures of few that were double wide (Quest Duo model for example) with two people seated side-by-side up front (and sometimes a third centered seat behind them or even a second set of double wide riders in the rear as well) that were about 5-6 foot wide. When riding on the roads in the main traffic lanes with cars those might actually be safer because cagers might be more likely to actually treat them with the same respect as they would treat another car but I would agree that they are too wide to use bicycle specific infrastructure and MUP paths and such and doing so is extremely rude and inconsiderate of other people which is what I believe CommuteCommando was trying to address with his post.
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Old 09-21-13, 07:20 AM
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I agree and think we really need to broaden our thinking on this. It's invetiable that at some point in the future extraterrestrials will arrive, and being of highly evolved intellengence and technology, will all get about on ETPVs (ExtraTerrestrial Powered Vehicles). Knowing as little as we do about ETs it is difficult to anticipate what size or configurations these ETPVs might be, but it's something we should still give some thought to when drawing up cycling infrastructure plans.
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Old 09-22-13, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
HPV's that have more than two tandem wheels will always be, and I feel should always be, the exception for those with disabilities that limit balance.
While I generally agree, I'd still suggest facilities shouldn't be planned for the average vehicle, but for the great majority of vehicles. Roads could be much smaller if we only designed for passenger cars, not trucks or SUVs. But as long as trucks and SUVs continued to use those roads, having clearances only for average vehicles would be unsafe for larger vehicles *and* for anyone sharing the facility with those larger vehicles.
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Old 09-22-13, 01:04 PM
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^ Exactly, just as the vast majority of regular automobile vehicle travel lanes need to be planned and built to accommodate not just regular cars but also heavier, wider, and longer cargo trucks including 18-wheel rigs. Bike vehicle lanes also need to be planned and built to accommodate not just regular two wheel in-line bicycles but also trikes, quads, etc . . . of reasonable width.

We could argue as to what is and is not reasonable width but to my mind 4' width is plenty and is already an established standard for golf carts and most ATV ranch vehicles (John Deer 4x6 Gator for example). A normal bicycle with a normal single rider takes up about 2.5' of width or so depending on the rider and the handlebar style used and how wide the riders arms are positioned are as a result. An extra 1.5' isn't a whole lot extra to ask to accommodate a larger array of cycle vehicles.

For automobile vehicles 5'-7' width is normal, but heavy cargo trucks, buses, motor-homes, etc. . . the width jumps up to 8'-9' and "Wide Load" tractor trailer rigs can run even wider, up to 12' width without requiring a special permit and only needing a pilot warning vehicle front and rear with the proper signage. No reason why pedal cycle vehicles wouldn't follow a similar pattern approximately 2.5' width for normal cycles and up to 4' for the wider ones. Seems reasonable enough to me and basically the same pattern.
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Old 09-23-13, 09:37 AM
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One of the questions is where is the line for usage of "bike" infrastructrure?

I think that golf carts and ATV and any thing that has not human powered element is clearly out.

But when you think of a all the potential HPV vehichles out there in, in use now there are planning and design issues to think about...off the top of my head

* standard 2 wheel upright bikes..... we all know about these.
* cargo bike like extra cycle....enought bigger some thinking about parking would need to be done
* Cargo bikes like baksfiet, madden, cetma. lot bigger than standard bike, parking ??
* 2 wheel recumbents...... may need some consideration as to visibility as the often are lower than the classic bike
* Adult 3 wheel bikes, upright. Wider than standard bike Sensitive to road flatness, turning ability lower, especially at speed (try one if you havn't)....I see increasing numbers of these
* Low 3 wheeler bikes..like the cattrike. Wider than standard bike, very low to ground so visibility plannning
* 4 wheel bike/pedal cars. Wider that standard bike, Slower?

Then the real fuzzy area is electric assist and electric bikes
* electric assist (as I define) is added power to help pedaling....bike can't start or really run on electric only. Electric assist whould only work when pedaling
* Electric bikes....... or BINO bikes in name only. from what I see a lot of electric bikes would never be capable of practically being pedaled more than short distance...the pedals are there to get around motorcyle licensing

my thinking on these is electric assist is ok, and maybe a 20mph speed limit enforced by a governer on the bike would work


also trikes seem to be in the 29-30 inch width (workcycles and cattrike)... bakfies arount 30ish, the elf from the op is 48"
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Old 09-23-13, 10:33 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
The vast majority of the ones I've seen, I agree, but I have seen pictures of few that were double wide (Quest Duo model for example) with two people seated side-by-side up front (and sometimes a third centered seat behind them or even a second set of double wide riders in the rear as well) that were about 5-6 foot wide. When riding on the roads in the main traffic lanes with cars those might actually be safer because cagers might be more likely to actually treat them with the same respect as they would treat another car but I would agree that they are too wide to use bicycle specific infrastructure and MUP paths and such and doing so is extremely rude and inconsiderate of other people which is what I believe CommuteCommando was trying to address with his post.
I'm with you there. A Quest duo should be on the road (although they've only made one of them). Same with the OE trike in the top post or a Surrey. Unfaired trikes (e.g. cattrike etc,) and single velos should be able to use paths.
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Old 09-23-13, 01:58 PM
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WOW! That is COOL!

How do you keep bicycle comfortable (air conditioning? or even environmentally better air vents?)?


Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
From a planning angle, if you planned for trikes, you've planned more pretty much everything. Seeing how there are more trikes on the road, that probably makes the most sense. Something like the Elf, is more carlike and probably is best in a car lane rather than a bike lane.

Commuters need room for these:

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Old 09-23-13, 02:08 PM
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I could not agree more with you/turbo1889!

You know the problems we (not just my community's bicyclist) have is that the roads are built to standards and even some are built to previous standards or dirt roadways and Etc. are not applicable to the standards and the standards are that Ag. vehicles (especially CMIs, those huge tractors and such vehicles <which should be parked and loading their packages on smaller vehicles to transport or put on trailers, in our community) are just too large for the lanes and when they are not driving the park on the roadways. I have had argument with CMI drivers, because they think they own the roadways, parked and driving.
; and our non-emergency police and State/County/City Governments are sick of having to deal with it.



Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
^ Exactly, just as the vast majority of regular automobile vehicle travel lanes need to be planned and built to accommodate not just regular cars but also heavier, wider, and longer cargo trucks including 18-wheel rigs. Bike vehicle lanes also need to be planned and built to accommodate not just regular two wheel in-line bicycles but also trikes, quads, etc . . . of reasonable width.

We could argue as to what is and is not reasonable width but to my mind 4' width is plenty and is already an established standard for golf carts and most ATV ranch vehicles (John Deer 4x6 Gator for example). A normal bicycle with a normal single rider takes up about 2.5' of width or so depending on the rider and the handlebar style used and how wide the riders arms are positioned are as a result. An extra 1.5' isn't a whole lot extra to ask to accommodate a larger array of cycle vehicles.

For automobile vehicles 5'-7' width is normal, but heavy cargo trucks, buses, motor-homes, etc. . . the width jumps up to 8'-9' and "Wide Load" tractor trailer rigs can run even wider, up to 12' width without requiring a special permit and only needing a pilot warning vehicle front and rear with the proper signage. No reason why pedal cycle vehicles wouldn't follow a similar pattern approximately 2.5' width for normal cycles and up to 4' for the wider ones. Seems reasonable enough to me and basically the same pattern.
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Old 09-23-13, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by GreatWhiteShark View Post
WOW! That is COOL!

How do you keep bicycle comfortable (air conditioning? or even environmentally better air vents?)?
Vents.
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Old 09-29-13, 02:24 PM
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In broad response to the OP of this threads most recent post and along the main topic line of this thread:

I think a considerable distinction needs to be mad between "separate off-roadway cycle infrastructure" and "combined on-roadway cycle infrastructure". They are two entirely different worlds at least in my view point.

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For the "separate off-roadway cycle infrastructure" category I would agree in principle that human or animal muscle power is all that should be allowed with the possible exception for those who are handicapped (electric wheelchairs). I would argue, however, that cyclists need not be snobs and get all upset when other forms of travel are present. Skateboarders, rollerbladers, stroller pushing parents, dog walkers, horse back riders, cart pulled by goats or miniature ponies, etc . . . should all be welcome. With the animals there is a problem of solid waste especially on paved paths but that is addressable and the dog walkers which are the most numerous and way beyond the possibility of being banned or realistically prevented from using the facilities contribute to the solid waste issue way beyond any horse riders or small animal pulled carts.

But see many cyclist don't want to share, just like motorists that think they own the road, they think they own the rails to trails path. I've even personally witnessed a cyclist hit a horse with a U-lock while passing and nearly get the rider thrown and it wasn't even a paved path it was a dirt one. The horse rider chased him down and I followed closely ~ when caught and cornered he belligerently claimed that horse riders had no business on the path, it was a bike path as far as he was concerned. In that moment he looked no different to me then a belligerent motorist who had just deliberately sideswiped a cyclist he thought didn't belong on the road.

Yes, I agree that for the most part MUPs are chaos. But that is not because there are users other then cyclist on them, but rather because there aren't any clear rules for the paths like there are for the roads and no one is expected to follow them.

As I've stated before on this forum. For separate path infrastructure all forms of human powered transport within reason should be allowed and encouraged, and yes indeed I'll throw animal powered transport whether horse riders or animal drawn carts into that mix as well without hesitation. Make the paths minimum 8' wide. Put a dashed yellow line down the middle dividing them into two 4' wide lanes and put white directional arrows and hang up a few signs that say all forms of human powered transport are welcome and encouraged and that no-one should block the whole path and faster users should pass with care.

Why limit to human powered transport and only begrudgingly also allow animal powered transport and otherwise powered transport for the handicapped? Because such facilities with minimal exceptions are not built or intended to cover true transportation needs but rather recreational and athletic needs of the public. So yes, athletic, clean, and quiet are the primary considerations along with keeping speeds way down to minimize danger if when there are collisions.

So in conclusion, if its off-roadway separated paths, they need to be MUPs that are open to more then just cyclists. You get a broader base of support that way (and you can’t keep other users off them anyway and its nasty to do so anyway). But they do need to be kept halfway civilized with some very basic rules of the path and wide enough width to accommodate multiple types of users allowing both oncoming traffic to pass and overtaking faster traffic to pass.

And, yes, for reasonable reasons that such paths are rarely for serious transportation but rather for recreational and athletic use purposes rather then meeting real transportation needs limiting use to human power and the occasional animal powered user with acceptable accommodations for the handicapped to make use of motorized wheelchairs is perfectly reasonable. Here are three picture links to what I personally view as how to accomplish such. First one is a picture of path surface markings (assume minimum 8’ wide total path width), second is an example for signage, and third is a 2x close up of two sections of that sign to show detail:


https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5481/9...8fec5c89_o.jpg
https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7419/9...297e7953_o.jpg
https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3765/9...8f444474_o.jpg

I’ll admit I certainly am not all knowing by any means, and I’m open to suggestions but that is the best suggestions I can come up with along with an 8’ minimum width consisting of minimum two 4’ wide lanes one in each direction as standardization for such separate path off roadway infrastructure. I consider planning just for conventional bicycles only and ignoring other forms of sensible transit options for such paths to be highly suspect of being the same kind of nasty “own the road” mentality as many cagers have.

--------------------------------------------------








But for the "combined on-roadway cycle infrastructure" its quite a different story. We are no longer talking about meeting primarily recreational and athletic public needs but rather about meeting the real point-A to point-B transportation needs of the public and offering viable alternatives that are better for us and for the environment then driving an automobile especially a petro powered internal combustion powered one.

This is where I strongly disagree with the Black & White view point of most cycling advocates. The shades of grey and color between the two extremes of automobile vehicle transportation (Black) and pedal only bicycle vehicle transportation (White) need to be taken into consideration. This is not an old western movie with the one lone hero in the white hat who wins all by himself against the army of black hat bad guys. This is real life, to even have a chance of winning the white hats are going to need help from the other sort of okay guys who don’t wear either a black or white hat but wears a brown one.

There are not enough of us cyclist and short of oil suddenly disappearing by magic overnight there never will never be enough of us to get decent on roadway infrastructure accommodations through only are own efforts alone. We are just too far outnumbered and outgunned. We need allies who are also willing to look at transportation options that are better for both us individually and as a species and the environment of this planet in the long run. So long as they are willing to look at better options “in the grey zone” they are potentially our allies so long as we don’t alienate them and treat them as enemies something that most cyclists seem to do. Some cyclists even treat potential allies “in the grey zone” more venomously and brutally then they treat aggressive abusive automobile drivers ~ It’s sick, its despicable, and its arrogance that in the long run will only hurt our cause. I personally have had substantial acts of vandalism and even criminal physical assault and battery committed against me by other cyclists because some of my bikes are hybrid powered (more on exactly what I mean by that later). It’s despicable, If I’m riding an e-bike you should be glad I’m potentially an ally you desperately need as a pedal only cyclist that is not a danger to you and recognizes the danger of car drivers who think they own the road. You should not treat me as just or bad or worse because my hat isn’t as white as yours is. If you do so you are no better then the car drivers who think they own the road and want to drive everyone else off, it’s the same kind of haughty nasty attitude that has no respect for the rights of others to not have to make the exact same choices as you have.

For that reason I support "combined on-roadway cycle infrastructure" that is built to suit the needs and fully usable by of a large range of low speed, light weight, smaller more efficient vehicles. I would especially include hybrid vehicles that equally combine the human motor with another source of power into this category. It’s a lot better then ignoring the human motor and just using the alternate source of power alone.

Yes, I totally understand what you are saying about not liking the commercial “Mo-Ped” type vehicles that have pedals on them that are only there “for show” and to meet legal requirements and do not give the human motor the respect that it deserves as one of the primary sources of powering the vehicle.

This is why I primarily focus on adding a motor to a pedal bicycle and thus retain a fully operational and functional human pedal drive system. But I will go even further then that, and as a result I have often have had to resort to building my own from the frame up when necessary. Specifically I like to set-up my hybrid powered cycles in such a manner as to be specifically designed to encourage the operator to continue pedaling through persuasion of design. There are multiple ways to accomplish this.

The simplest way to do this is to set-up an additional power source (almost always an electric motor in this case) at a low gearing ratio such that a regular person on the flat can easily pedal the vehicle faster then the motors top-end no-load speed. Thus it becomes pointless to use the additional power source except when climbing a hill that slows the vehicle down below its normal level ground human pedal powered speed. I have built such a bicycle with an electric assistance motor that is geared down and attached to the rear wheel with a second chain. Works absolutely wonderfully, I have no reason to use the motor on the flat and just pedal because using the motor would be slower, but when climbing a hill its wonderful to have an extra boost and maintain a reasonable speed and not get slowed way down. Don’t need to carry a very large battery pack either since the motor is only used in short bursts when climbing hills.

A more complex way which I am especially partial too is the closely match the sweet points in the power curves of both the human motor and alternate power source(s) such that it is extremely noticeable to the rider as to the improvement in performance that is obtained by pedaling. You have good knowledge of both the human power curve for pedal cadence and the additional power sources power curve and closely match the two with just the right gearing ratio between the two. I have successfully built multiple hybrid light vehicles using this philosophy using either an electrical motor for the additional power source or a very small efficient clean burning internal combustion engine and once using both together in a three way combination with a true bicycle type efficient human pedal drive system. Both electric motors and internal combustion motors normally have two “sweet spots” in their power curve the first lower in the RPM range is the peak power point where the highest power output occurs and then at little higher RPM with a little less power output is the peak efficient point where you get the most power for the least amount of input with the lowest waste margin. If you gear the pedals with the motor at just the right ratio (and also get the gearing to the drive wheel for the combined power right) you can make it such that if the operator doesn’t pedal the vehicle will proceed along at a lower speed and if the operator starts to pedal the pedal cadence will feel too slow and as the operator pushes into the pedals and “spins up” the pedaling speed to a more comfortable pedal cadence for the human motor the extra power put into the system by the rider pedaling substantially and more importantly quite noticably increases the vehicles speed and acceleration while at the same time unloading the motor so that its speed moves into the peak efficiency sweet spot. If an internal combustion motor is used the initial acceleration from a stop or low speed already provides a strong incentive to pedal since the bottom end torque of internal combustion engines is “gutless” and far inferior to the human motor in low end torque so much better acceleration performance is possible by the rider pedaling, with a better quality programmable electric motor controller the same can be done with an electric motor by deliberately limiting the high bottom end torque of the electric motor. Either way if both of these methods are used in combination the rider will get a substantial and noticeable improvement in performance at all speeds across the available gear range and under all conditions by pedaling and not just letting the motor do all the work, in addition at cruising speed continuing to pedal at a comfortable cadence pace pushes the motor into its most efficient zone.

And, yes, there is a third way; namely to put a sensor on the pedal crank that turns the motor off and on so that the motor won’t run unless the rider is pedaling. I consider this a cheap dumb way to accomplish the issue. Usually it serves as an excuse for poor design and not closely matching the human and other power source to each other and they are usually very poorly and even contradicatly matched. Secondly it usually serves not as a means to encourage athletic effort by the rider but rather as an annoying harassment. I consider gentle encouragement and the human egotistical desire to go faster and accelerate quicker as far better options to encourage the rider to continue pedaling. I’ve had many people who do not normally use bicycles as serious transportation take a ride with me. I always let them use one of my hybrid powered cycles that use this principle and most of them look very relieved by the idea that they don’t have to pedal if they don’t want to. But so far almost without exception all of them have figured out pretty quickly that pedaling along substantially improved the performance and they ended up pedaling most if not all of the way. Where as on the other hand unless it’s a higher end European model that uses a variable torque sensor controller on the pedal drive with a good match on the motor gearing even I myself can’t stand the pedal sensor controlled units. And by the way, I can usually keep up with them just riding the bike with just the hill helper motor because I’m a stronger rider with a lot more oomph in my human motor.

I do completely understand the annoyance with many commercial units that have pedals “just for show”. I like a good bicycle type quality pedal drive that is a true hybrid and does not ignore the human motors potential to do its part of the work. But that isn’t a reason to look down on hybrid powered light vehicles, especially the electrics, as a far better alternative to a car to cover many transportation needs with considerable benefits for everyone as a result. Even vehicles that do not take advantage of the human motors potential at all and have no pedal drive but are smaller, lighter, and slower then cars offer substantial improvement benefits for everyone, especially cyclists if they are built to specs. that allow them and us to share the same kind of infrastructure improvements and offer the so far unrealized opportunity of a waiting ally to obtain such improvements that could be a more powerful lobby then our own in a very short time.

Although small, low-speed, efficient electric vehicles offers the greatest potential due to considerable benefits in terms of both of the environment and in cost to the consumer provided that the unreasonable standard of trying to copy the size and capabilities of petro powered automobiles isn’t attempted at current technology level (60 mph capable 100 mile range full size electric car = approx. 8-Kw power level and $50,000 cost level where as 25 mph capable 50 mile range golf cart sized electric vehicle = approx. 1-Kw power level and $5,000 cost level) it doesn’t stop there. Even the internal combustion petro engine when powering a smaller, lighter-weight, and lower-speed vehicle has the potential for significant savings in resources (namely a whole lot better gas mileage) which offers considerable reductions in both CO2 emissions and possibly even more importantly offer considerable reductions in stress on the limited supply. Stress on supply is partially what leads to the kind of disasters we saw in Deep Water Horizon in the gulf and all kinds of continuous pollution during the refining and transportation process. Yes, it is certainly true that for many years the smaller internal combustion motors were not subject to pollution controls and were never built with that in mind as any kind of design goal. But that has changed and although things still aren’t up to par as far as I’m concerned it’s a fact that currently if you shop carefully you can get small motors that produce no more of the conventional non-CO2 pollutants then a car and use far less petro and produce far less CO2 emissions per distance traveled. That’s an improvement over a full size automobile vehicle and in my mind any improvement that should be encouraged, especially if it’s a smaller, lighter-weight, and lower-speed vehicle that pushes them to use the same kind of infrastructure that cyclists needs and certainly offer far less of a hazard to us cyclist then a full sized high speed large and heavy automobile that puts the operator in a protected and insulated cage.

When we are talking about covering on-roadway real transportation needs, looking at this as a strictly Black & White, Car vs. Bicycle argument is asking for ultimate defeat. We need allies and we need a lot of them on our side and the potentially vast middle ground of all kinds of slower, smaller, lighter, cheaper, and more efficient vehicles then automobiles that aren’t strictly and only human powered is the place to look for those allies.

For that reason, I strongly support the idea of “half lane width” low speed vehicle infrastructure for on-roadway accommodation of bicycle traffic shared with multiple other forms of other low-speed, small, light-weight vehicles that fit in such narrower “half width” traffic lanes.

Within that, I strongly support the idea of making such other vehicle options to be true hybrid powered vehicles that make full use of the human motor through a good quality pedal driver and strongly encouraging the use of electric power except for applications that require longer sustained range beyond what is currently within the reasonable capabilities of electric power drive systems. There is also some weather extreme issues which are not really an issue of the current electric technology level but rather a matter of the quality expectations of currently available hardware which has been a great frustration to me personally having to resort to IC power in cold and fowl weather conditions for trips that are within the range of electric power.

I do, also, strongly support limiting the speed capabilities of such vehicles. Anything more then about 25mph top speed capabilities is unnecessary at best and dangerous and intimidating to cyclist at worst. Beyond 30mph it becomes a case of criminal endangerment in my opinion if we are going to expect cyclist and such LSLVs (Low Speed Light Vehicles) to share the same infrastructure improvements together and offer a wide enough lobbing block to actually get such improvements made on a broad scale.

I’ll admit I certainly am not all knowing by any means, and I’m open to suggestions but that is the best suggestions I can come up with basically the implementation of “half lane wide lanes” as standardization for all types of LSLVs as on-roadway infrastructure. I consider planning just for bicycles and ignoring other forms of sensible options that are far better then cars to be highly suspect of the same kind of nasty “own the road” mentality as many cagers have.

And, yes, indeed if such hybrid LSLVs are taken on an MUP (if its even legal to do so) the rule is turn the motor OFF and pedal only. All the way OFF !!!

I would also mention that by their website the “Organic Transit” bike pictured in the originating post of this thread is a human electric true hybrid with both a good quality pedal drive and an electric motor and can be powered either by pedaling alone, by the electric motor alone, or both at the operators discression. It is exactly the kind of hybrid LSLV that I strongly support and get very annoyed with violently aggressive pedal only advocates for attacking.
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