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When riding on the road, what traffic speeds do you typically encounter?

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View Poll Results: What kind of roads do you ride... check all that apply
slow streets, and paths 10-20MPH
37
58.73%
residential streets, downtown grids 20-30MPH
52
82.54%
Arterial and feeder roads 30-40MPH
47
74.60%
mulitlane arterial roads 40-50MPH
30
47.62%
country roads (not much traffic) 40-50MPH
37
58.73%
urban "freeways" 3 or more lanes 45-55MPH
21
33.33%
high speed "farm" highways, low traffic 55-65MPH
27
42.86%
High speed muliti lanes 4 lanes or more 55-65MPH+
11
17.46%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

When riding on the road, what traffic speeds do you typically encounter?

Old 12-15-14, 02:39 PM
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genec
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When riding on the road, what traffic speeds do you typically encounter?

Some folks seem just fine riding on their local roads... other folks want better infrastructure, such as paths or bike lanes.

Personally I have never had issues riding on streets where the traffic moved at human speeds... but I find riding on arterial roads where traffic is moving at 45, 55 and 65MPH can at times be a bit unnerving.

So I am curious... how many folks ride on high speed arterial roads.
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Old 12-15-14, 02:50 PM
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Most of the roads I ride have speed limits of 30 or 35mph. Of course, that means the traffic is moving at 40 to 45mph. There are a couple stretches of 40 and 45mph roads, but it's kind of rare that I'm on those streets.
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Old 12-15-14, 02:54 PM
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I ride a lot of high speed arterials, as long as bike lane or shoulder is there. I prefer those and even Interstate highways to the country roads here. They're usually very winding roads with dense forest on either side, blind corners galore, zero shoulder and deep ditches on either side and the locals drive 55mph on them.
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Old 12-15-14, 03:02 PM
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Hmmm looks like I need to clarify this a bit... what do you typically encounter... what are most of your roads like... Sure, no doubt you may have some flavor of all of the roads I mention... but what makes up most of your ride?
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Old 12-15-14, 03:05 PM
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I live in the country and 90% of my riding is on these roads. The other 10% would be through town neighborhoods.
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Old 12-15-14, 03:05 PM
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Most of my commute is on roads that probably qualify as arterials. Nearly all are 4 to 6 lanes.
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Old 12-15-14, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Hmmm looks like I need to clarify this a bit... what do you typically encounter... what are most of your roads like... Sure, no doubt you may have some flavor of all of the roads I mention... but what makes up most of your ride?
Some rides are mostly MUP. Other than that, mostly medium-to-high speed arterials and country roads.

I've been working on riding every inch of every road in my county so the last few rides have been primarily 30mph residential.
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Old 12-15-14, 03:07 PM
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80 MPH

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Old 12-15-14, 03:13 PM
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The streets around here are terrifying.
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Old 12-15-14, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
80 MPH

Oops... missed those... but I thought they were limited access freeways... of course that said... yes, in CA, sometimes those limited access roads are the ONLY roads... and flat out, there is no other choice.

So, uh, enjoy those roads much? Take the lane often?
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Old 12-15-14, 03:47 PM
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Whenever I'm on a road where traffic is moving faster than 40MPH, I really pay attention.....
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Old 12-15-14, 09:23 PM
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Living in a small city (pop 160k), I get big doses of all of the flavors on the list except for urban freeways. It's all good, and it's all horrid. It comes down to things like traffic volume, time of day, not encountering that one joker and one really big thing: NOT having a poorly done bike lane. I'd much rather take the lane on any speed road than have an eighteen-inch bike lane (heavily cambered at that), a come-and-go shoulder/bike lane or a door-zone bike lane (rare on streets with speed limits over 35 mph hereabouts).
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Old 12-16-14, 01:51 AM
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While I live in a small town of 500 with a 15mph speed limit. The cities it borders have speeds of 20-50mph depending on the road. I ride on all but the 45 n' 50mph speed limits. The 40mph speed is pretty much the standard speed limit in the county residential and business zones. There is one multi-lane arterial set at 50mph.

There are speed limits outside of town, 20mph, 25mph, 30mph, 35mph, and 40mph.

I take the lane on all those roads.

I take the lane in town because the road's complete(one side of road to other side) width is too small for a vehicle to pass on roads built for vehicles like a Model T Ford. Not a vehicle as big as a Chevy Suburban like a FedeX, or UPS truck.

Last edited by Chris516; 12-16-14 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 12-16-14, 04:28 AM
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I believe all the country roads around here have a speed limit of 55, although the speeds vary from driver to driver.

In general the larger and more central roads, the better the shoulders and bike paths. It is legal to ride on the Freeways in Oregon, although I don't really like it. I think it is prohibited in Washington.

I'd much rather a through street that goes direct with few stop signs than one that stops every block, and doesn't go through.
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Old 12-16-14, 08:33 AM
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Depends, if I take the most direct and fastest route to work or in doing errands, then I encounter high volume traffic moving at 35 to 45 mph.
If I want to take a route with low volume traffic moving at 25 to 30 mph, then I'll come close to doubling my commute times, and increase my brake pad and rim wear substantially from all the increased slow/stop and go riding.
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Old 12-16-14, 09:00 AM
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Mostly 35-45mph arterials, with some 25mph neighborhood streets mixed in. I've ridden on 55mph multi-lane arterials, but it's very stressful.
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Old 12-16-14, 09:29 AM
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Mostly 40-50mph arterials.
Because the natural and man made geography in my area forces a a north-south orientation, and my commute being east-west, I don't really have any other practical choice than to ride congested multi lane arterials, and the sections with bike lanes are a far better riding experience than those few non arterial options.
My commute home involves a mile long 10-15 % grade, my options are to go several miles out of my way to use the roads that have bike lanes up the hill, zig-zag through old residential neighborhoods, riding the sidewalk on the most direct, convenient route, or taking the bus up the hill. I almost always use the sidewalk option.
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Old 12-16-14, 09:33 AM
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My 'burb is an island surrounded by freeways- so I'm forced onto multi-lane arterials (at least until I can get over the interstate). I really watch my mirror on those.

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.1450...w4yQ!2e0?hl=en
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Old 12-16-14, 09:44 AM
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too bad you can't get a percentage distribution, that would be interesting, example I put in everything i ride, but some like high speed farm highways are rare

and you might get some variance in definition of arterial. such is life in the polls.
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Old 12-16-14, 11:30 AM
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Average is somewhere around 20 mph. This includes a lot of blessed congestion at <10 mph and a few morons speeding at 40+.
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Old 12-16-14, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
If I want to take a route with low volume traffic moving at 25 to 30 mph, then I'll come close to doubling my commute times, and increase my brake pad and rim wear substantially from all the increased slow/stop and go riding.
Lane splitting and the idaho stop saves me money and makes my commute more interesting. Win - win.
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Old 12-16-14, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
too bad you can't get a percentage distribution, that would be interesting, example I put in everything i ride, but some like high speed farm highways are rare

and you might get some variance in definition of arterial. such is life in the polls.
Yeah the data I was really looking for are what people prefer, what they actually have to ride, and how much of their riding would be improved if it were not on high speed roads...

I can't really set that up... and since there are folks like you and I that have to ride whatever is available... and we check "all," that throws the distribution off. I have to ride high speed roads... some 35, lots of 45 and lots of 55MPH arterial roads are all that connect me to other places. But if I had a choice, I would avoid the stuff.

Maybe I need a poll that says, what do you actually ride... and what do you prefer...
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Old 12-16-14, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
Lane splitting and the idaho stop saves me money and makes my commute more interesting. Win - win.
YMMV, in my case, the faster, more direct route is the most economical in time,energy in both commuting and bicycle maintenance, and why the vast majority of the local motorists use it.
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Old 12-16-14, 10:04 PM
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The majority of my riding is on well travelled arterial roads with limits of around 35 mph. No bike lanes on these roads. Gotta stay alert, always checking my mirror!
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Old 12-18-14, 01:30 AM
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Supposed to be 50kmh (~30mph), but people drive way too damn fast. Neighbourhood with a curvilinear road system. Most arterials I ride on are 60kmh (37mph), and country roads up to 80kmh (50mph). Need to take a strong lane position or else I get buzzed by people trying to pass me within the same lane. I've gone on highways that are 100kmh (60mph), but not often or for long.
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