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You can't have infrastructure everywhere

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You can't have infrastructure everywhere

Old 10-08-14, 07:11 PM
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squirtdad
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You can't have infrastructure everywhere

It seem that a lot of people here think infrastructure is a magic bullet, especially segregated infrastructure. One of many problems with that is you simply can't put infrastructure everywhere and the most logical place to start a ride, your home, is the least likely place to have any.

As a disclaimer, I am not anti infrastructure per se, I think well designed bike lanes are the most effective from a functional, cost, and driver respect/understanding point of view. I am skeptical about segregated infrastructure as most has serious design flaws and support mandatory bike paths

but back to the the point people have to be able to rid a bike in the street, unless they live right on or drive to heavy duty infrastructure......which defeats a lot of the idea of riding a bike

Here is a typical street view in my area. There is no way to put infrastructure here. (sharrows don't count in my mind) but that doesn't stop kids from riding to school or the park. And most use the streets, not the sidewalks.


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Old 10-08-14, 07:32 PM
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I don't know any person who would advocate separate infrastructure on a road like that. That's a typical residential side street in many cities.

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Old 10-08-14, 07:52 PM
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You're absolutely right -- you can't have infrastructure everywhere. On a side street like the one in the picture, I'm pretty sure it isn't necessary. Personally, I'd like to see separate bike paths running parallel to major arterial roads. Nothing beats total segregation when dealing with heavy traffic, and I'd be just as happy as all those motorists to get myself off the main road.
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Old 10-08-14, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
I don't know any person who would advocate separate infrastructure on a road like that. That's a typical residential side street in many cities.
Agreed... that looks like a typical low speed street... I don't see a problem with it unless motorists are using it for a drag strip.
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Old 10-08-14, 08:17 PM
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My city is absolutely ambivalent towards cyclists/cycling. Yeah, there's some bike lanes and stuff, but the city ignores us - and we ignore them. No segregated infrastructure. For cyclists, this is heaven. No political movement either for or against bicycling makes for peaceful riding on streets. Yes, they look at us sideways like we're unusual - but the driver hatred is missing (for the most part) that I remember from my days riding in "cycling friendly" Denver and Tucson. A city concentrating too much on making infrastructure for bicyclists, in my experience, makes it harder for bicyclists.
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Old 10-08-14, 08:41 PM
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I have only been loitering in A&S for a week or two, but one thing that is readily apparent is that every area and region is different. So things that stand out as obvious to the urban cyclists are very foreign to the rural cyclist. Small cities are different than big cities. Everyone's MUP seems different. So what some may see as an obvious solution to their specific issue is a problem in the making for a different area.

I feel for you folks that have obvious cyclist hate from motorists. That is not something that I heavily encounter. The venom toward motorists is unnecessary in my cycling experience, but that doesn't make it inappropriate for others. It is just eye opening.

So my only point is that cycling advocacy is a tricky thing, and really is best on a local level. As a Central NYer, I worry that rules designed for the "Downstate" urban area will get passed on to the rest of the state, where they may ultimately make no sense, and inflate my local budgets for limited benefits.
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Old 10-08-14, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
It seem that a lot of people here think infrastructure is a magic bullet, especially segregated infrastructure. One of many problems with that is you simply can't put infrastructure everywhere and the most logical place to start a ride, your home, is the least likely place to have any.

As a disclaimer, I am not anti infrastructure per se, I think well designed bike lanes are the most effective from a functional, cost, and driver respect/understanding point of view. I am skeptical about segregated infrastructure as most has serious design flaws and support mandatory bike paths

but back to the the point people have to be able to rid a bike in the street, unless they live right on or drive to heavy duty infrastructure......which defeats a lot of the idea of riding a bike

Here is a typical street view in my area. There is no way to put infrastructure here. (sharrows don't count in my mind) but that doesn't stop kids from riding to school or the park. And most use the streets, not the sidewalks.
True. Another reason why I ride in the road.
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Old 10-08-14, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
I have only been loitering in A&S for a week or two, but one thing that is readily apparent is that every area and region is different. So things that stand out as obvious to the urban cyclists are very foreign to the rural cyclist. Small cities are different than big cities. Everyone's MUP seems different. So what some may see as an obvious solution to their specific issue is a problem in the making for a different area.

I feel for you folks that have obvious cyclist hate from motorists. That is not something that I heavily encounter. The venom toward motorists is unnecessary in my cycling experience, but that doesn't make it inappropriate for others. It is just eye opening.

So my only point is that cycling advocacy is a tricky thing, and really is best on a local level. As a Central NYer, I worry that rules designed for the "Downstate" urban area will get passed on to the rest of the state, where they may ultimately make no sense, and inflate my local budgets for limited benefits.
In other words, most of us may get screwed over by a "one size fits all" solution. No argument there. But for the most part, I think cycling infrastructure, and advocacy for that matter, is done at the municipal level. As it should be.
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Old 10-08-14, 10:38 PM
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I'm pro cycling infrastructure, but also agree its really only necessary on congested arterials, mainlines with high speed differentials, and perhaps some segregated trunk lines that would serve as express routes through urban areas. .

More important is better education to teach clueless motorists that bicycles are legitimate vehicles that do belong on the road, and teach dimwit cyclists that one type of behavior isn't appropriate for all situations, at all times.

Sharing is about "we", not just "me".
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Old 10-08-14, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
I'm pro cycling infrastructure, but also agree its really only necessary on congested arterials, mainlines with high speed differentials, and perhaps some segregated trunk lines that would serve as express routes through urban areas. .

More important is better education to teach clueless motorists that bicycles are legitimate vehicles that do belong on the road, and teach dimwit cyclists that one type of behavior isn't appropriate for all situations, at all times.

Sharing is about "we", not just "me".

This. 10 out of 10, even from the Russian judge. I'm also a big fan of vulnerable user laws, or at least wish we would pass them in the states. This combined with more aggressive enforcement of idiot drivers and cyclists... I would be a pretty happy rider. OK, I wouldn't mind if they plowed the cycle paths, instead of used them as snow dumps, but we have to start somewhere.
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Old 10-09-14, 09:32 AM
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I ride mostly in the outer suburbs and semi rural areas where there isn't and won't be any cycling infrastructure in my lifetime, and very likely for a long time thereafter.

The advocacy initiatives I think would most benefit riders like me are increased road user education and awareness programs.
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Old 10-09-14, 10:25 AM
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I like it when infrastructure is changed or added or there is a conversation about it, but really, I've used a bicycle for transportation since the 60's if you count when I was a kid. I would log lots of miles on my Stingray through many different neighborhoods and into more urban settings around Pittsburgh, PA and it was never a problem to me, maybe because I didn't know enough to think it could be a problem? Now, I'll always find a way to where I need to go, so it's never any big deal on a personal level.
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Old 10-09-14, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
I'm pro cycling infrastructure, but also agree its really only necessary on congested arterials, mainlines with high speed differentials, and perhaps some segregated trunk lines that would serve as express routes through urban areas. .

More important is better education to teach clueless motorists that bicycles are legitimate vehicles that do belong on the road, and teach dimwit cyclists that one type of behavior isn't appropriate for all situations, at all times.

Sharing is about "we", not just "me".
+1 to the education
I tend to think that separate infrastructure is an expensive proposition. After having lived in Europe for 3 years I question
whether it is necessary or not. Do they have some dedicated multi-use paths, yes? Do those Multi-Use paths exist in the city a lot, no. In the cities bikes,
pedestrians, and cars seem to co-exist a lot more peacefully. I attribute this to a cultural difference and the holding of folks accountable. I remember, very
vividly, during the drivers training for a drivers license in Europe them highlighting how different pedestrians and vehicles were to be treated. We spent
time identifying how vehicles, bicycles, powered tractors, push carriages, and horse drawn carriages were to be treated in relation to a vehicle. The training
and education had an impact on me and I remember it distinctly because it was emphasized. I can remember no such teaching in the US licensing system, or any
questions like that on the drivers test.

Three foot rules are good, but simply making the rule is not enough. It has to be codified in the drivers
education programs and the drivers test has to cover it as well. In addition folks who violate the rules must be prosecuted. If those things begin to happen
than perhaps we can affect a culture change.

We have to make the culture change a positive movement though. There appears to be a lot of animosity right
now, fed by activists on both side. Education campaigns work best when they promote a positive message of action.
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Old 10-09-14, 12:43 PM
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I, like some others here, feel that separate infrastructure is only needed in areas where the roads have been designed somewhat like freeways, with fast merges, high speeds and many lanes. If infrastructure such as that described, and freeways can be built for motorists, it seems to me an occasional bike path can be constructed such that cyclists can avoid using those particular types of roads.
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Old 10-09-14, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
I, like some others here, feel that separate infrastructure is only needed in areas where the roads have been designed somewhat like freeways, with fast merges, high speeds and many lanes. If infrastructure such as that described, and freeways can be built for motorists, it seems to me an occasional bike path can be constructed such that cyclists can avoid using those particular types of roads.
Exactly,

Infrastructure is like technique, there is no one correct answer for all conditions, and when one forces one answer to fit all conditions the outcome is usually worse than the issue at hand.
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Old 10-10-14, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Exactly,

Infrastructure is like technique, there is no one correct answer for all conditions, and when one forces one answer to fit all conditions the outcome is usually worse than the issue at hand.
Yes, but vigorous enforcement of existing law is something that can benefit all riders everywhere. It might even make much of the infrastructure so many crave unnecessary.
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Old 10-10-14, 01:26 AM
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There are places where separate cycling infrastructure is not practical. But I don't see why one couldn't/shouldn't have a MUP in the street OP posted. Around where I ride, when city planners draw streets, the concept of "street" contains provisions for all street users, not just cars. How it's actually implemented depends on planned speed limit, role of the street (main route, areal route, small side street), expected density of traffic, physical space available etc. This may mean a MUP, or a separated sidewalk + bike lanes, or even separate path for both peds and cyclists.

Here's an example (copyright Google Street View, I just cropped it to make it smaller), a small residential street:



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Old 10-10-14, 04:49 AM
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I think what we need is just enough location appropriate infrastructure to encourage more folks to get on their bikes more often.
After a point, safety will not be an issue. One or two geese walking in the street will likely get run over. A whole flock? Not likely.
I see it as a numbers game. There will come a point when there will be enough cyclists in the streets that motorists will be aware and behave responsibly.

(yeah, I know this is called critical mass. But massive group rides at infrequent intervals through large urban centers don't seem to be working. Carefully thought out infrastructure
which encourage riders onto the streets can. I suspect there will come a point where additional cycling infrastructure will not be needed because the sheer number of cyclists will insure their own safety. I see cycling infrastructure as a means to that end.
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Old 10-10-14, 07:12 AM
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Y'all do realize that this is "infrastructure", right? Just not cycling specific. It is in effect a MUP supporting Automotive, Human powered, and slow moving equipment at need.

Yeah, ok. I knew you knew that. But the point is, that an argument for Bicycle specific infrastructure is also an argument to exclude bikes from Automotive infrastructure. I certainly don't want that.

What I want is safe infrastructure for all - and the most important factor for the safety of all - is the person operating the vehicle, whatever the vehicle is.

A point often overlooked in comparing North America and Europe from a cycling point of view is that European drivers are embarrassingly better educated about all aspects of road use. Of course, it takes time and treasure to accomplish this. It costs thousands of dollars and hours of time to complete the education required to be licensed to drive in the European states I am familiar with. In North America the process is so inexpensive as to be nearly free, and driver education is optional. Europeans have a better chance to end up feeling privileged to drive. We, in North American feel entitled.

The most vital infrastructure we need to build is the one between the ears. This infrastructure takes generations to build - so we had better get started 40 years ago if we want to see significant change by Thursday.

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Old 10-10-14, 07:21 AM
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Retrofitting cycling specific infrastructure to residential neighborhoods like this is not very practical and politically impossible.

But USA is both growing and maintaining existing roads. Where new neighborhoods are growing, cycling infrastructure could be included and might prompt, or developers might be coerced to pay for, development of cycling infrastructure to connect new construction with existing cyclepaths, or as a much weaker solution, painted bike lanes. When existing roads are maintained and re-paved, it's a perfect opportunity to widen and include addition or augmentation of cycling infrastructure. Much along the Complete Streets model.

All that's needed is the will to do it, and unfortunately, where cyclists who use roads are a minority, the will is just not there. Change minds and the streets will follow.
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Old 10-10-14, 07:49 AM
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There were twenty-one pedestrian and bicycle fatalities in San Jose in 2013. All but one took place on a "stroad."

I wouldn't focus on the neighborhood streets.

-mr. bill

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Old 10-10-14, 11:36 AM
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I disagree. Many residential streets like this can and should be converted to bike streets/greenways/bike boulevards.

*20 mph or less speed limit.
*signs/paint indicating bikes and peds have priority
*intersection improvements for pedestrians.
*speed bumps and other traffic-control devices.
*periodic diverters that eliminate through traffic.

I also think that many low-speed commercial and collectors need bike infrastructure. IMO, buffered/enhanced bike lanes and curb/grade separated cycle tracks work best in this environment. The dutch approach of spending billions of euros to implement full separation on many minor arterials and collecters is unlikely to be replicated any where else any time soon. (The danish, belgian and german approach relies more on in-road bike lanes or cycletracks than full separation.)

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Old 10-10-14, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
There were twenty-one pedestrian and bicycle fatalities in San Jose in 2013. All but one took place on a "stroad."

I wouldn't focus on the neighborhood streets.

-mr. bill
I don't think our neighborhood streets need anything, nor would I try to implement bike specific infrastructure on the narrow inner city streets. It's just not necessary.
The "stroads" and arterials.. that's where it's needed.
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Old 10-10-14, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by FenderTL5 View Post
The "stroads" and arterials.. that's where it's needed.
Not even necessarily there; look at how much Dallas and Fort Worth benefit from the White Rock and Trinity River trail systems. It's actually pretty difficult to parallel those by car, but they eliminate several miles of street riding for many useful routes. If there were equivalent E-W trails, one could easily turn a 15-20 mile ride to anywhere in the city into at most 2-3 miles of streets to get to a trail and then a fully separated ride on riverbank trails without any really serious elevation changes.

The trick, IMO, would be to work out a grid overlay of trails, with "squares" of a reasonably large size, (2-5 miles for a large area like that) then focus on getting proper infrastructure along that grid. After that, it becomes a much easier process of just watching where conflicts still arise and addressing those individually.
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Old 10-10-14, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
I disagree. Many residential streets like this can and should be converted to bike streets/greenways/bike boulevards.

*20 mph or less speed limit.
*signs/paint indicating bikes and peds have priority
*intersection improvements for pedestrians.
*speed bumps and other traffic-control devices.
*periodic diverters that eliminate through traffic.
...
This is common practice in much of Europe. Maddening to drive around in when you're not a local. One keeps getting sent away from where one wishes to be. It seems to be an effective solution where population density warrants, allowing automotive traffic, pedestrians, bikes, and children to share very nearly the same space. I have seen this in large European Cities, in suburban situations, and in most any tiny village.

I have also noted a kind of suburban planning in Europe (and some North American cities) where new residential developments are planned as a series of cul-de-sacs. Traffic enters from one side, and green space, including a segregated through path for bikes and pedestrians, is on the other side. I have also seen this kind of pattern retrofitted to more grid like suburban settings by blocking off certain cross streets with planters, creating a series of cul-de-sac for automotive traffic, while allowing a through flow of bikes and pedestrians. The Europeans are helped here by the fact that their cities and individual developments are normally much more compact.
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