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Need ideas - what changes would make commuting a better experience?

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Need ideas - what changes would make commuting a better experience?

Old 02-11-09, 03:04 PM
  #1  
HiYoSilver
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Need ideas - what changes would make commuting a better experience?

Just curious if anyone has any practical ideas on how to improve the commuting experience you face daily.

Here's some things that would improve mine:

1- new law that cities with stop lights and curbs at intersections, have a paved bike path from the road to the cross the road traffic signal button

2- new law, that any motor vehicle operator who hits a cyclists, loses his vehicle for 3 months. It's put in police compound. {family concerned about careless drivers}

3- new law, any motor vehicle driver who inflicts damage on a bike, provides the rider with a new bike of at least the same performance characterics plus 3 x the retail cost in damages paid to the cyclist. Thus a 1,000 bike that has been used a few years and is damaged, the driver buys a similar bike at today's cost and pays a penalty to the cyclist. {Concern here is It's too expensive to provide replacement coverage for a decent bike if someone hits you}

4- new law, all businesses that have more than 200 person capacity, provide secure bike storage. {racks are ok, but must be substantial racks}. All businesses that have more than 400 person capacity, must provide secure longterm bike storage, ie. bike lockers, bike storage trees, etc.}

5- new law, all bikes with 20" and greater wheels cannot be sold unless equipped with working tail light and head light.
Include both businesses and garage sale bikes.


Well there's a start. What ideas do you have?

Any ideas on how to deal with bike theft?

Any ideas on how to deal with harrassing drivers?

Any ideas on how to deal with non-bike friendly businesses?

Any ideas on how to deal with irresponsible dog owners?

Any ideas on how to deal with ...................... ?
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Old 02-11-09, 03:37 PM
  #2  
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#2 and #3 *might* be ok if all cyclists were respectful, safety-conscious bikers who were trying to be as safe as possible. However, I hardly think it's fair to take away someone's car and deprive them of a way to get to work if they hit of those guys/gals who just rode between 5 cars stopped at a red light then ran the light into the intersection where you collided with them because they thought you wouldn't follow through on your right turn, even though you had your blinker on, because they're a cyclist after all. Or one of those people who has no lights and dresses all in black and rides at night. You might think I'm being a little over the top, but I've seen stuff like this happen with pedestrains everywhere where pedestrians know they have the right of way - they'll just walk out in front of your car, barely caring what the light says, because they know if you hit them you're automatically at fault and they're developed a whole persona about how their more important than you because they're walking.

4. Man, I'd love to see that! :-) I'd be happy with companies simply taking bike parking as seriously as they take car parking...

5. This would only work if these bikes also had a dynamo hub (generates power as you pedal). Otherwise everyone would have lights on their bike with dead batteries. And that's if they even bothered to turn them on. And I'd prefer to be able to still be able to buy a racing bike without a dynamo hub, thanks. :-)

I *do* wish they could make it clearly illegal, punishable with a small amount of jail time for a first time offense (1 day for example) for anyone who deliberately harasses someone on a bike by doing stuff like passing very close to them when there's obviously no traffic around.

I think the only thing that would *REALLY* change the situation is completely separating car traffic and bike traffic as separate freeway systems. Imagine bike trails where you can cruise across town and don't even use the same pavement as cars until you get off on an exit ramp. Where there would be intersections with roads, the bike path would go under the road in a small tunnel, or over them on a bridge. Now THAT would be cool. :-)
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Old 02-11-09, 03:49 PM
  #3  
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1 - replace old traffic controls with newer sensors that detect bicycles.
5 - disagree, I like my lights better than the cheap ones.

Also
a - overhead lights on MUPs. There are some areas with trees that are really dark and it's hard to see where the pavement ends and loose gravel ends. Also light the streets better.
b - sealcoat (chipseal) s/b banned. Shoulders and rightmost lanes should be smooth pavement.
c - increase penalties for littering so roads wouldn't have as many hazards for bike tires. Replacement tubes would be heavily subsidized and there would be Courtesy patrol/roadside rescue for bikes under same plan as for cars.
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Old 02-11-09, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
I *do* wish they could make it clearly illegal, punishable with a small amount of jail time for a first time offense (1 day for example) for anyone who deliberately harasses someone on a bike by doing stuff like passing very close to them when there's obviously no traffic around.
I couldn't agree more. It really ticks me off when they yell/ honk or try and scare me by almost running into me when stopped at a stop light when I take the lane to prevent someone from turning right into me.

As for bike racks I would just like more around that you lock the frame to. I hate those wheel thingys. I don't need lockers and all that just a decent rack for the frame.

I know in Texas that it is a law that you must have lights on your bike at night that are visible from at least 500 feet, but I have yet to see it enforced.
 
Old 02-11-09, 04:28 PM
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6- Traffic loop detectors MUST be calibrated for bikes, and the "hot spot" must be clearly marked.
7- In construction zones, "do not pass bikes" and "bikes take full lane" signs must be displayed.
8- Ensure that protected left turn light phases are long enough for cyclists.
9- Abolish normal-width curb lanes.*

* A wide lane is shareable, a narrow lane is not. A normal lane creates the expectation that the lane will be shared, but it may be too narrow to do safely.
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Old 02-11-09, 04:35 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
Just curious if anyone has any practical ideas on how to improve the commuting experience you face daily.

Here's some things that would improve mine:

1- new law that cities with stop lights and curbs at intersections, have a paved bike path from the road to the cross the road traffic signal button

2- new law, that any motor vehicle operator who hits a cyclists, loses his vehicle for 3 months. It's put in police compound. {family concerned about careless drivers} Always? sometimes it's the cyclists fault

3- new law, any motor vehicle driver who inflicts damage on a bike, provides the rider with a new bike of at least the same performance characterics plus 3 x the retail cost in damages paid to the cyclist. Thus a 1,000 bike that has been used a few years and is damaged, the driver buys a similar bike at today's cost and pays a penalty to the cyclist. {Concern here is It's too expensive to provide replacement coverage for a decent bike if someone hits you} See comment above

4- new law, all businesses that have more than 200 person capacity, provide secure bike storage. {racks are ok, but must be substantial racks}. All businesses that have more than 400 person capacity, must provide secure longterm bike storage, ie. bike lockers, bike storage trees, etc.}

5- new law, all bikes with 20" and greater wheels cannot be sold unless equipped with working tail light and head light.
Include both businesses and garage sale bikes. Please no... I like lights on my commuter bike, but I don't want to have lights on my other bikes. And as stated above, the lights we use now are probably much much better than what would come stock.


Well there's a start. What ideas do you have?

Any ideas on how to deal with bike theft?

Any ideas on how to deal with harrassing drivers?

Any ideas on how to deal with non-bike friendly businesses?

Any ideas on how to deal with irresponsible dog owners?

Any ideas on how to deal with ...................... ?
My additions:

Better driver training on dealing with cyclists. I'm not sure what it is like in other states, but there really is nothing in the driving manual or driving test here about what to do when passing a cyclist.

More public awareness. They have commercials about road rage... they should have commercials about "Please don't kill the cyclists." That would be cool.
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Old 02-11-09, 04:56 PM
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Sweep the sides / shoulder of the roads often. And if the side of the road is also a bike lane, sweep it weekly. I hate swerving into traffic because I am expected to ride the roadside garbage dump.
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Old 02-11-09, 05:20 PM
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I agree that all bikes should have lights, all other vehicles have them and they are regulations don stipulate that it only applies at night time. However the choice of light should be up to the cyclist, not the bike shop. As delman pointed out, this would need enforcement.

I would like to see storm drains moved off the roadway and placed under the edge of the sidewalk. This would make it practicable to ride closer to the RH side.
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Old 02-11-09, 05:23 PM
  #9  
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When road crews spread yet another coat of slurry seal on the roads it would be really nice if they would have the guy running the steam roller go all the way to the curb or gutter or whatever... The last mile of my commute I have to ride in the car lane because riding outside the white lines jars the $@#@! of your kidneys/liver/anything inside your body... Cars are always honking at me or cutting it really close when they pass... unfortunately the side walk is even worse in this light industrial/commercial area...
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Old 02-11-09, 05:29 PM
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Oh even more importantly I wish there was an accurate weather source.. I hate seeing snow flakes on tomorrow's forecast, getting the studded snow tire mounted up then having a nice sunny day as I grind up the bike path huffing and puffing unnecessarily on studded tires....
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Old 02-11-09, 05:43 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by breakaway9 View Post
Oh even more importantly I wish there was an accurate weather source.. I hate seeing snow flakes on tomorrow's forecast, getting the studded snow tire mounted up then having a nice sunny day as I grind up the bike path huffing and puffing unnecessarily on studded tires....
Time for a backup bike, so you can just jump on the correct one and go.
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Old 02-11-09, 06:07 PM
  #12  
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I want one of those buttons like they have on fire trucks to change red lights green.

And a bike butler. You know, someone to clean, polish and service my bike while he's washing my kit.

EDIT: Almost forgot

All pedestrians must have cowbells and they must ring them as I ride by.

A finish line ribbon strung from the bookdrop for me to ride through, on the way to the bike butler.

Hey, wait a minute, podium girls!

Last edited by tsl; 02-11-09 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 02-11-09, 06:21 PM
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I don't like this. I ride a bike commuter most of the time but I also drive a car and I walk sometimes. I do not think a cyclists life or way of life is more important than anyone else's. I like riding but I hate meeting other riders because bike people can be such touchy little wimps. If you are going to share the road with cars then you know the risks so be a man about it or get back on the bike path or sidewalk and call me if you need me to run along side of you while holding your hand.

Why don't you make a new law that all non-bike riders are fined $5000 anytime they say anything negative about bike riders and $500 for just not riding a bike and loss of citizenship until they start riding (they way you want them to ride)? And if a car hits a bike rider regardless of who is at fault, the driver must pay for a brand new bike plus an extra 100k and then lose his license and be castrated, burned and beheaded.

There also should be a law that allows employers to fire workers who don't or won't ride a bike to work.

Only bike riders should be allowed to vote too.
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Old 02-11-09, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by NEXUS View Post
I don't like this. I ride a bike commuter most of the time but I also drive a car and I walk sometimes. I do not think a cyclists life or way of life is more important than anyone else's. I like riding but I hate meeting other riders because bike people can be such touchy little wimps. If you are going to share the road with cars then you know the risks so be a man about it or get back on the bike path or sidewalk and call me if you need me to run along side of you while holding your hand.

Why don't you make a new law that all non-bike riders are fined $5000 anytime they say anything negative about bike riders and $500 for just not riding a bike and loss of citizenship until they start riding (they way you want them to ride)? And if a car hits a bike rider regardless of who is at fault, the driver must pay for a brand new bike plus an extra 100k and then lose his license and be castrated, burned and beheaded.

There also should be a law that allows employers to fire workers who don't or won't ride a bike to work.

Only bike riders should be allowed to vote too.
Calm down. I can guarantee you people aren't posting in this because it's things they expect to happen in the next billion years. Everybody needs a place to let off some frustrations about riding through garbage on the road and dealing with everyday commuting stresses.

Although the OP asked for 'practical' ideas, nothing on here will ever fly. A bike locker would be cool, or a bike bodyguard. Leaving my bike alone all day is the most stressing thing for me during the day. I also like the idea of somebody holding up a ribbon when I arrive at work everyday and I can throw my arms up in the air and play 'We are the champions' on my mp3 player.
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Old 02-11-09, 06:39 PM
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How about this one.....more and consistent traffic enforcement during commute hours for all using the road....bikes and cars.

and as a note it is now law in calfornia that traffic signals are to be bike sensitive....but it will take a long time to retrofit and afaik the transportation folks are still definiing the standards. San Jose has a pilot program to switch about 20 signals, experimenting with different technology.
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Old 02-11-09, 08:13 PM
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My state just enacted a new set of bike laws and maybe more, I haven't looked at
the article yet.That big bailout bill with all the infrastucture improvement.Must
certainly be "green" with all the electric cars the gubbamint is gonna buy.
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Old 02-11-09, 08:18 PM
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I think all bikes should have to be registered with police...have a number in the frame etc. If your bike is stolen, it is coded as stolen on their system. If bikes are not registerd under a person, they would be considered thieves. If you sel your bike, new registration papers would need to be filled out. Basically the same as cars but for bikes. It would make them a lot less valuble to steal IMO
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Old 02-11-09, 08:19 PM
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1. We could turn beans into peas.
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Old 02-11-09, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
1. We could turn beans into peas.
We're getting there.... Chick Peas are really Garbanzo Beans
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Old 02-11-09, 08:37 PM
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Black-eyed peas (Vigna unguiculata) are a variety of the cowpea and are part of the family of beans & peas (Leguminosae or Fabaceae in the USA). Although called a pea, it is actually a bean. Both peas and beans are legumes, and both have edible seeds and pods. According to the Penguin Companion to Food, bean is a “term loosely applied to any legume whose seeds or pods are eaten, not classed separately as a pea or lentil.” Beans traditionally were in the genus Phaseolus, but now some of the species, including the black-eyed pea, are in the genus Vigna. Peas are in the genus Pisum.
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Old 02-11-09, 08:53 PM
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I don't suppose taking all cars and trucks off the highway would be a considered change. That would just about do it for me.

Beyond that, designing all roads with enough room for car and bike traffic would be my big one.
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Old 02-11-09, 09:06 PM
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Street sweep the rural highway shoulder I ride down. After the snow melted, the entire shoulder is now covered in small rocks. Sucks riding over that all the time. Another thing is maybe a 3 minute spot during the news each night on rules of the road concerning both riding bikes in a lawful manner and the laws that cars should follow regarding bicycles. Most people I've seen need a good education on how to properly share the road. Cyclists need the same education.
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Old 02-11-09, 09:19 PM
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Any ideas on how to deal with bike theft?

If we stop buying from the thieves there would be no reason for them to steal. Ask for proof of ownership. Any doubt, walk away. But we can't do that can we? Just can't turn down a deal. We have seen the enemy & he is us.
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Old 02-11-09, 09:29 PM
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I support actually ticketing cyclists who break the law. There should be a larger force out there to ticket (or jail, if the case merits) those who feel the need to run red light, roll through stop signs, or ride at night without any form of lighting (active or even passive). There should be clearly defined standards as to what is expected of a cyclist who is going to ride on the road, and cyclists should be held accountable to them.

Imagine then, cars would loose the excuse that cyclists are reckless, that we bike around like we own the place and grudgingly accept our place on the road.

Of course, this new police force would also be in charge of ticketing people who don't signal, who make right turns without first merging into the bike lane, passing on a blind corner, and of course, passing too close when the situation doesn't merit.
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Old 02-11-09, 09:52 PM
  #25  
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A weather controlling machine would come in mighty handy for making bike commuting an even better experience. Failing that, I'll take the road sharing public service announcements mentioned above. Oh, and free coffee and snacks. Lots of snacks.
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