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How is your pathway's bicycle friendliness ?

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How is your pathway's bicycle friendliness ?

Old 02-07-20, 07:23 AM
  #1  
The_NinthWave
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How is your pathway's bicycle friendliness ?

I'd like to share that 20 days ago, I filled an online form to the "Transports Québec" ministry asking them about the sh***y road conditions on the only bikable link between my home and workplace. There was two questions: is the shoulder supposed to be plowed and when is it planned to do something about this shame road?

While it took them 20 days to reply, the official was nice and told me about a webtool they have to plan bike trips. It's the "bike friendliness" map. I think that while looking at the map, she realized how bad the commuter's situation was on this portion. Here is an image of what it shows:


My commuting road situation

I'd like to know: How is your local pathways bike friendliness ?

Last edited by The_NinthWave; 02-07-20 at 07:24 AM. Reason: little typo
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Old 02-07-20, 08:49 AM
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pdlamb
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Only about 3/4 mile of my ride is on a separated bike path, and another 3/4 mile has a marked bike lane. The rest of my route is on suburban streets, or roads with light enough traffic and sufficient lanes that motorists can change lanes and pass me safely. I normally only get a couple of incidents every year, mostly loudmouths yelling "I'm so stupid I holler at bicyclists as I pass!" or something like that.

Of course, our snow removal plan is "Wait a couple days and it'll melt," so there are differences between your commute and mine.
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Old 02-07-20, 09:48 AM
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I have to admit, I've definitely lived in worse places than Layton, UT for commuting. My commute is 5 miles. The first 1.5 miles are through 25 mph neighborhood streets that are pretty smooth, but do have some horrendous expansion ruts in them that hurt to hit. The only bad part of these is that if I leave work a little early, I go by a middle/high school and the parents picking up their kids are some of the worst, most distracted drivers you can imagine, but at least they are only going ~20 mph.

Most of the rest of my ride is on a 30 mph street with a ~10 ft wide 'shoulder' that is marked as a bike lane, so it's pretty nice. There's a short stretch of ~80- yards going under the interstate where I hop on the sidewalk. Once I'm on the military base where I work, it's not bad at all. I can cut across a parking lot and avoid a lot of the traffic, but the streets are all only 25 mph, so traffic is pretty easy to negotiate.

Going home, it varies, since I almost never go straight home.
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Old 02-07-20, 10:26 AM
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I was never able to use a bike pathway for commuting to work, not when it was 17 miles, not when it was 13 miles & not now, when it is 22 miles. lots of "kill zones". sad but true. still looking for a good job w/ a good bike commute ...
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Old 02-07-20, 12:06 PM
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Obviously different areas are going to be more or less friendly for bicycle commuting.
Since you asked, I ride 29 miles round trip to work. About 1 mile of that is on a surface shared with cars (most of it in my neighborhood). The rest is dedicated bike paths. I chose the location of my home for this reason.
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Old 02-07-20, 02:15 PM
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It's.... dynamic. Overall, this is one of the friendlier communities in the US. We also have a long, still thriving, tradition of staunch advocay. But that's primarily because maintaining such a good standard requires constant vigilance. The area is growing fast, so there are sprawl issues in the outlying areas, and perpetual construction pressures in the traditionally walkable / bike-able central and near-central neighborhoods. Throw in typical midwest weather, which puts strains on the infrastructure, and on the budgets of those agencies that maintain the infrastructure. This means conditions change constantly, and for regular, stalwart commuters, route "planning" is a nearly daily activity.

My particular commute is only 2.5 km / 1.5 miles each way, with multiple options ranging from zero to about 50% on an MUP. But with the fast growth, things change daily. This morning, without notice, my commute distance nearly doubled, and required sharing a road with a lane closure adjacent to a major construction project, because of an unexpected outage. Unexpected is acceptable, unannounced is what needs to be worked on. Those responsible are working on improving notification processes, but they've just (no pun intended) scratched the surface. The goal is a tool like the one referenced by the OP; meanwhile, it's a piecemeal of Email notifications and word-of-mouth.

Generally, I and the bike commuters I know here consider ourselves fortunate for the options we have. But the constant change keeps us on our toes; I feel for those who aren't adaptable.
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Old 02-09-20, 02:53 PM
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I've got it pretty good. I have 1.5 blocks on a side street from our alley up to a main city street with marked bike lanes. then I'm on that street for .75 miles to the start of an off-street MUP that goes through a linear greenway along a canal. I'm on that MUP for 6 miles and then I hop off onto another main city street with marked bike lanes and ride that for 1.25 miles to my office, the last 3 blocks of which into downtown Evanston are actually protected bike lanes. 8 miles total, almost all of it off-street or in marked bike lanes. Not too shabby for a bike commute in a US city.

When we moved 2 years ago, our new home's close proximity to the trailhead of the MUP that makes up 75% of my route was a significant factor in its favor.

Last edited by Steely Dan; 02-11-20 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 02-09-20, 04:59 PM
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I ride on a very nice MUP much of the time, but this time of the year, it can be very dicey. There are quite a few homeless people with their bikes and shopping carts and they wear dark clothing with no reflectivity and never have lights. When it is dark and raining, which is all the time here, it can be super hard to see them on that dark MUP. I have almost hit one on more than one occasion. They are just so hard to pick out of the blackness. Also, those ninja people or whatever we are supposed to call them, the "cyclists" with no lights or reflectors and dark clothes, they sometimes show up, too.

So, overall, a very nice path, but not without its risks. Really have to have your eyes peeled at all times.
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Old 02-09-20, 05:33 PM
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@The_NinthWave 's map:


It looks like a fairly busy rural/suburban area. Not unlike what many of us encounter on the outskirts of larger cities.

Not enough people for huge infrastructure investments, and yet there still are the people trying to get from A to B by bicycle.

And, unfortunately limited routes possible.

I'm happy enough in town, but out of town, the routes vary significantly here.

I see a few cross-connects near you such as Rue St. Simon. It might be nice if you could hop over the river to CH Bordeleau/Rang Bas de la Riviere.

Yet, I've encountered similar situations in my travels.

Here is a chunk of my ride to Portland. I end up with a 10 mile loop to simply cross a river. That is just a chunk of a very long ride. And, overall, the ride takes me between 1.5x and 2x the distance it would be using the shortest route possible along the freeway.

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Old 02-09-20, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
[MENTION=511636][...]It looks like a fairly busy rural/suburban area. Not unlike what many of us encounter on the outskirts of larger cities.

Not enough people for huge infrastructure investments, and yet there still are the people trying to get from A to B by bicycle.[...]
Yeah, I cross some agricultural fields. More people are going west towards Montreal that east, but the college (not an University but grade 12-13) has 5000 students plus 300-400 employees. A lot of people are going from Longueuil (further west, not shown on my map) to St-Hyacinthe through the 116 road. And my first post shows that there are no "friendly" zone to accomodate all those people.
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Old 02-09-20, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
I ride on a very nice MUP much of the time, [...]
What is a MUP ? I googled-it and Wikipedia-ed-it but can not find what it is.

Thanks
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Old 02-09-20, 06:55 PM
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My 8-mile commute will be entirely by inter-city MUT by late 2021 or early 2022. For now, it's three blocks to the trail, a pretty 3 miles through the marsh to the highway, 4 miles along the "safety corridor" on a 10 foot colored shoulder with rumble strips (and eucalyptus, unfortunately), and the last mile or so through the Target parking lot to the trail and another block or so on the road to work. I can hardly wait for the Humboldt Bay Trail to be finished.
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Old 02-09-20, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by The_NinthWave View Post
What is a MUP ? I googled-it and Wikipedia-ed-it but can not find what it is.

Thanks
Multi-Use Path. Also, Multi-Use Trail = MUT.
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Old 02-09-20, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by The_NinthWave View Post
What is a MUP ? I googled-it and Wikipedia-ed-it but can not find what it is.

Thanks
Bike Path.
Otherwise known as a Multi-Use-Path (Bikes, Pedestrians, Dogs, Homeless Encampments, etc).

Originally Posted by The_NinthWave View Post
Yeah, I cross some agricultural fields. More people are going west towards Montreal that east, but the college (not an University but grade 12-13) has 5000 students plus 300-400 employees. A lot of people are going from Longueuil (further west, not shown on my map) to St-Hyacinthe through the 116 road. And my first post shows that there are no "friendly" zone to accomodate all those people.
There have been "connect" proposals. There was one a few years ago to go between Corvallis and Albany. Around here, some if it is being funded using lottery money.

Unfortunately, I went to one of the meetings and the people who were showing up were intent in taking 100% of the money for urban projects, and ZERO for rural projects.

Rails to Trails?

You might qualify as it is about 10 miles or so that you have to connect.

I was looking at the Google Map, and the occasional East/West road in white, with many of the ag fields oriented North/South.

I wonder if you could convince the government to cut a trail between fields. Or... convince a farmer to put in a gravel road for bikes.
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Old 02-09-20, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
Multi-Use Path. Also, Multi-Use Trail = MUT.
Thanks!
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Old 02-09-20, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by The_NinthWave View Post
What is a MUP ? I googled-it and Wikipedia-ed-it but can not find what it is.

Thanks
Oh, sorry. It's short for Multi-Use Path.
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Old 02-10-20, 07:16 AM
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I have 3 km (1.86 miles) from home to the train station.
All of it is separated bike paths with two roundabouts where I have the right of way, two traffic lights and a crossing to the underground bicycle parking.

All in all it's quite alright though some cycle paths are quite narrow at times which is mostly a problem in the morning rush hour.
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Old 02-10-20, 09:27 AM
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I commute in New York City, a very busy, crowded, and rude place. It's also loud and smelly. Many people would find my route very unfriendly, but since it has improved over the years, sometimes it feels like heaven. Ridership has soared here, and motorists are accustomed to seeing us and steering clear of us for the most part.
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Old 02-10-20, 10:42 AM
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Montreal: Quite nice, beside the horrible pot holes on both streets and bike lanes.
My usual ride is through two progressive voting areas (voting liberal in the last federal election and the left Quebec Solidaire in the last few provincial elections) were they try to do things the right way. Mostly separated (bi-directional) bike lanes.

Friday, in a huge snow storm of 50cm, the morning the bike paths were cleaner then the roads and sidewalks, but on the way home and this morning (another 20cm snow) it wasn't that good. I expect this afternoon will be mostly fine. The last district I cross is the center & old Montreal where my office is, with mixed results. Bike lanes there are not separated but only painted onto the asphalt, so basically not existing in winter.

This morning, cars were definitely less patient and sliding like hell, but Friday was nice, mostly empty roads and the few cars around smiled when seeing bikes around.
Also: Every major snow storm has now in the media a "cyclist in snow" photo, and compared to 6 years ago, I see winter cyclists on every corner. So, normalization of winter cycling, yeah!

All in all: It could be better, were not yet Amsterdam or one of those Finish winter cycling cities, but the city is trying and things are improving. Definitely better then outside the city. And friends from NYC loved cycling here!
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Old 02-10-20, 04:02 PM
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How is your pathway's bicycle friendliness ?:
Originally Posted by The_NinthWave View Post
I'd like to share that 20 days ago, I filled an online form to the "Transports Québec" ministry asking them about the sh***y road conditions on the only bikable link between my home and workplace.

There was two questions: is the shoulder supposed to be plowed and when is it planned to do something about this shame road?..

I'd like to know: How is your local pathways bike friendliness ?
I previously posted to this thread:"Best cycling city in USA?"
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Personally. I'm very happy cycling in Metro Boston,...

It may seem parochial, but I think the cycling around here is great. One can be in scenic countryside within about one hour from downtown, while passing through an interesting, compact urban and suburban scene.

Furthermore you can extend your range with a convenient Commuter Rail that allows fully-assembled bikes during off-peak hours. In Spring through Fall it’s a temperate climate


Besides the cycling, Boston is such a popular tourist [and residential] destination that there will always be something interesting to do off the bike…culture, nightlife, sports and so forth.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…And [on my commute] I cycle a nice distance of at least 14 miles through one of America’s most charming, interesting, and historic metropolises on residential and light commercial roads (and partially on a bikepath in a park) in the reverse commuter direction early in the morning, during all four (pleasant to tolerable) seasons.

For training purposes, I can expand my routes to encompass popular high-level cycling outer suburbs (e.g. Dover, for the cognoscenti)
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...I have ridden out West in the Desert, Rockies, and vast Plains, and while interesting and scenic, the views are unchanging for miles, and I really enjoy the intimate quirkiness of Metro Boston:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
"Does a near-perfect weather place exist?"

Personally the only weather I don’t like to ride in is rain, and no rain would be a desert. That said, I really like riding in all seasons, even winter. So my near perfect weather would present the best of all seasons, without the extremes, and I already live here.

Nice, albeit short Spring with beautiful blossoms and that first few weeks of relief from Winter; glorious summer; cool crispy Autumn with colorful foliage; and even a bracing, and challenging Winter, but not one impossible to ride in.
↓↓↓↓

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Old 02-10-20, 04:07 PM
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ɅɅɅɅ

More recently I posted specifically about recent improvements in Boston MUPS
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
"Cheering on New Bike Lanes...".

There is a current thread on the A&S forum, I almost got doored - yet most drivers blame me. How do we improve car culture?,” with a big brouhaha about riding along parked cars… do or don’t; be watchful, or install new technology in cars.

I was mindful of that thread when two days ago I rode my bike from downtown Boston South Station (Railroad), about five miles out to the Brighton neighborhood. The first quarter mile is through a dense commercial maze with heavy auto and pedestrian traffic, then less than a quarter mile on car-free Boston Common.

Next was about a mile on one-way Beacon Street with parked cars on both sides. That used to be a hazardous ride IMO until a while back this bike lane was installed, safe from traffic, but still beset with more predictable hazards of intersections, pedestrians, salmoning cyclists, but with a buffer zone from opening passenger side doors.







Then a short segment through Kenmore Square to Commonwealth Avenue (“Comm Ave”), with a prominent presence of Boston University with a heavy cycling population, as well as a commercial thoroughfare. It is in the vicinity of a few cycling fatalities in the recent years. Much to my delight I found this new, beautiful separate bike lane with a similar one on the opposite side.



The last mile of my trip was on a typical bike lane I thought was wide enough to comfortably accommodate riding on the left side to avoid sudden door openings.



Later on my return trip, cycling traffic was heavier, and the faster cyclists did use the auto travel lane, but traffic is calmed by fairly closely spaced traffic signals.
If interested I have posted a more detailed Cycling Guide to Metro Boston (link).
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
... All my visitors have a great time here. Not to brag, but e.g…
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Well, all the ones which made it out alive ...
I really enjoy showing visitors around Boston on informal walking tours [or bikes], and I would offer that to a fellow BF subscriber, but I'm a pretty busy person, and would need a heads up to see if I'm available at a mutually agreeable time

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Old 02-10-20, 08:12 PM
  #22  
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My current commute is actually quite okay. Not awesome, not awful - just fine.

If I take the "front way" (as I call it), it's about half MUP, part urban bike lane or downtown streets, and about 3.5 miles on a narrow two-lane road (45-55MPH) with a painted bike lane. The MUP is well-maintained, but trash slides onto it whenever it rains. There are some sketchy sections at night, but less sketchy than the alternative route. I'm happy to have a painted bike lane.

The "back way" is all roads - with narrow roads and no bike infrastructure, but reasonably light traffic. As far as bike rides go, it's more fun, and avoids the downtown people who are simultaneously on phone/GPS/looking for parking. There are more sketchy segments, but it's fine during daylight. Bonus, I don't have to dodge runners/bunnies/trash/high school kids cutting class to get high.

I seriously lucked out on this one. Especially since I hate driving, and the closest public transit drops off three miles from work.
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Old 02-11-20, 06:06 AM
  #23  
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Not very bicycle-friendly I'm afraid.

1.3 km on a 2 lane street, lined with parked cars, medium traffic (can get intense during peak hours)
0.5 km on a MUP (1/3 of it undivided and chaotic)
0.5 km on a narrow sidewalk to cross a railway overpass
3 km on a busy city street (4-5 lanes, no parked cars, lots of public transport)
0.9 km through historic centre (preference for pedestrians and cyclists, lots of distracted and/or drunk tourists in summertime)
1 km on decently wide sidewalk to cross river Daugava
2.2 km on a 2 lane street, medium traffic.

There is an alternative for the middle section (3km), which is somewhat quieter, but is a bit slower.
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Old 02-11-20, 03:12 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by The_NinthWave View Post
a webtool they have to plan bike trips
Well, at least you have a webtool to do that, we don't (by the way, very good to know for my future cycling trips to QC). I thought Quebec's attitude towards cycling was very progressive, with numerous bike lanes and lane separators everywhere (I've been to Montreal and Quebec City). Jim posted some pictures, but the cycling infrastructure here in Boston has improved greatly in the last half a decade. Unfortunately, we are seeing way more traffic on our roads, more distraction from phones, more ride share cars pulling over in bike lanes, and still ongoing injuries and deaths to pedestrians and cyclists. Oftentimes the city uses the bike lanes as snow storage spaces.

My personal commute is still mostly on dedicated bike paths, so I can't complain. I think in general the population needs to be taught that cycling is a valid form of transportation, to respect all modes of transportation, and to slow down a little bit in general.
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Old 02-11-20, 04:47 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
I think in general the population needs to be taught that cycling is a valid form of transportation, to respect all modes of transportation, and to slow down a little bit in general.
I think we're all singing this same song, in every medium-to-large city in North America. "Taught" is the keyword. And everything "we" do is a teachable moment. Just as an observer / "consumer" of the positive changes that have happened here, I see two major factors, somewhat related, driving that education process. One is economics. Money. When those resistant to such change discover that those of us driving the change have potential economic influence, the bar starts to move. It's been found multiple times here that improving the multi-trans infrastructure, and the overall environment for multi-mode transportation, improves the economy at a very local level.

The other is sheer numbers. As "our" numbers grow, the more likely people in the general population know someone -- a co-worker, a family member, a fellow church-goer, a neighbor, etc -- who does what we do. That makes our presence on the road more recognizable, and ultimately more acceptable. So the day-glow geek "hogging" the road a half-block ahead, who might have been an irritation to an average driver a few years ago, that driver now thinks it might be his barber, or his next boss, or his next client.

And of course, the economics drive the participation, and the participation drives the economics, and......
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