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How's Your City

Old 08-26-04, 02:12 PM
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How's Your City

For commuting that is. Atlanta sucks it got pollution, traffic, SUVs, road readers, it's hot ten months out of the year, and it's hilly.



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Old 08-26-04, 02:23 PM
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San Jose, CA is pretty bike-friendly. It varies, depending on time and location. My commute between South San Jose and Santa Clara is pretty nice, with an occasional buttwipe to handle.

Spring, Summer, and Fall are all good riding seasons, with low humidity and temps normally in the 60's-80's, and the winter is mild, with realtively low precipitation and mild winds. Honestly, there's no need here for more than a pair of knee warmers, as my warm tights were too much when I rode a few winters ago.
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Old 08-26-04, 02:24 PM
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Houston's about like Atlanta, 'cept it's flat.

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Originally Posted by bikebuddha
For commuting that is. Atlanta sucks it got pollution, traffic, SUVs, road readers, it's hot ten months out of the year, and it's hilly.



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Old 08-26-04, 02:32 PM
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Here in the Minneapolis/St Paul area it's pretty bike friendly. Allot of trail options, bike lanes, etc. We didn't make the "Top 10 Cites" in Bicycling mag but we got honorable mention. I ride year around, they actually plow allot of the trails and keep the roads clear from curb to curb. San Jose still sound pretty appealing as far as climate goes though.
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Old 08-26-04, 02:50 PM
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Pretty good. Flat, good weather most of the year, more and more employers supporting non-car commuting, excellent bike trail along the American River. We have our share of mouth-breathing rednecks and oblivious soccermoms, but drivers are pretty respectful and aware on the whole.
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Old 08-26-04, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Seanholio
San Jose, CA is pretty bike-friendly. It varies, depending on time and location. My commute between South San Jose and Santa Clara is pretty nice, with an occasional buttwipe to handle.
I agree, I'm in South San Jose also, weather is good, streets have large shoulder or bike lane or both. The only trouble is when you approach a freeway onramp or something, people seem to just floor it when they get close. I imagine it'd be about the same elsewhere though. I havn't run into very many rude drivers since my commute is short and I rarely have to take the whole lane.
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Old 08-26-04, 02:53 PM
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With the work of the Path Foundation and others, Atlanta's getting more bike paths and should become more commuter friendly.
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Old 08-26-04, 04:10 PM
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Chicago is pretty good, lots of bike lanes, a couple of good trails, the new bike station for those that work downtown. The weather is probably the biggest drawback, but even that is workable with the right equipment.
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Old 08-26-04, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bikebuddha
For commuting that is. Atlanta sucks it got pollution, traffic, SUVs, road readers, it's hot ten months out of the year, and it's hilly.
I love commuting in Atlanta. I ride from Stone Mountain to downtown Atlanta and back, about 30 miles round-trip, year-round.

Summer mornings are great. It gets a bit hot and humid summer afternoons, but I wear my hydration pack (with lots of ice in it) and I'm just dandy. Winters are mild, perfect for riding (I just don't understand why so many people quit riding just when the weather starts turning cooler in November...)

But to each, his own.
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Old 08-26-04, 06:36 PM
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Seattle is ranked as the #1 city for bicycles for it's size (500K-1M). Apart from the weather (8 mos of the year) and the hills, Seattle is a great city for bicycles. Ample bike lanes, abundant on-street bike racks, and all the buses have bike racks. Geographically, bicycling is also ideal here. Seattle is a compact city surrounded by water, so the land area is actually pretty small. Unless your traveling after 7pm, it's much easier (and faster) to around via bike. During the day, traffic can be awful, and it can take forever to find parking. With a bike, I just swerve around traffic and park just about anywhere. Here's the list of bike friendly cities:

https://www.bicyclinginfo.org/de/friendly.htm
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Old 08-26-04, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Seanholio
San Jose, CA is pretty bike-friendly. It varies, depending on time and location. My commute between South San Jose and Santa Clara is pretty nice, with an occasional buttwipe to handle.

Spring, Summer, and Fall are all good riding seasons, with low humidity and temps normally in the 60's-80's, and the winter is mild, with realtively low precipitation and mild winds. Honestly, there's no need here for more than a pair of knee warmers, as my warm tights were too much when I rode a few winters ago.
There's nothing like being in an area that's thought to be "sue happy" to keep the inconsiderate ones wary. Lots of considerate people driving out there, though.
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Old 08-26-04, 06:43 PM
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I kinda take offense to the SUV comment. As the owner of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, I guess I fit into the SUV category.., I really do think that you should consider before making the broad generalizations. My SUV suits my lifestyle and carries my bikes as well as my tents and scuba tanks.. I always smile and wave to my fellow cyclists as well as give them plenty of road and protection for as long as I can..every little bit helps..I commute to work occasionally and am active in my local bike and scuba clubs.. PUHLEESE...generalizations are so immature. But then, I am 48...so past that.
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Old 08-26-04, 07:12 PM
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Olympia is very bike friendly, lots of bike lanes & much less traffic than either Seattle or Portland since our whole county population is only 200,000 & about 1/2 that is concentrated in & around the Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey area. "Rush hour" here only lasts about 30 minutes! Just a typical government town with a well meaning (if somewhat leftist) bureaucracy. Don
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Old 08-26-04, 07:35 PM
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Honolulu is dangerou in places, but the drivers "drive with aloha," as they say. Very passive aggressive, very timid. The paths are few and far between, and the ones that do exist are poorly kept up. You'd think we'd have better facilities, given the great weather and tiny travel radius, but I guess our city council has no chutzpah.
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Old 08-26-04, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mtessmer
Here in the Minneapolis/St Paul area it's pretty bike friendly. Allot of trail options, bike lanes, etc. We didn't make the "Top 10 Cites" in Bicycling mag but we got honorable mention. I ride year around, they actually plow allot of the trails and keep the roads clear from curb to curb. San Jose still sound pretty appealing as far as climate goes though.
Agreed. The only times I've ever wanted a car here were when I needed to move or buy furniture or something... Thankfully my sister in law owns a truck

A lot of the drivers are courteous, too.
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Old 08-27-04, 05:37 AM
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Let's see... no bike lanes (may be an advantage), generally oblivious motorists (better than hostile, I suppose), no real trails that go anywhere, poorly maintained roads. The only real bear, though, is you're not allowed to ride across most of the bridges over the James river, which bisects the city. You have to dismount and walk your bike on the sidewalk. One of the downtown bridges actually has a bike lane, but I'm sure they'll make it into an extra car lane eventually. I suppose I should be thankfull the bridges at least have sidewalks.

Very little, if any, bicycle infrastructure here. But I like it anyway; it isn't that bad a place to ride.
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Old 08-27-04, 06:11 AM
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Happytrails I certainly did not mean to offend. It's just that in my experience in Atlanta SUV drivers are some of the more dangerous and unpredictable. That combined with the size of their vehicles makes me nervous when they're running up behind me doing 60 in a 35.
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Old 08-27-04, 07:27 AM
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Bryan/College Station Texas its not very bike friendly. There are bike lanes around the university but anywhere else you pretty much have to ride on the sidewalks if its a busy road or stick to residential streets. I know people shouldn't ride on the sidewalks, but you will not run into other cyclists or pedestrians. Everyone drives here unless they are students. Lots of the Suburban sized SUV's and dual wheeled pickups. The drivers of the dual wheeled pickups are actually more dangerous than the SUV drivers around here. Most streets have speed limits way above whats actually safe when and most people speed in the residential areas. Basically, you have to take a very defensive riding attitude and assume the worse from the drivers. Its on the bottom of my list of cities I have lived in for being bike friendly. On the positive side, we do have nice warm winters
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Old 08-27-04, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Moonshot
With the work of the Path Foundation and others, Atlanta's getting more bike paths and should become more commuter friendly.
I like one bike path here, but I'm not sure more would make Columbus more commuter friendly. The only place to put a useful path is along a river. Otherwise, it has to cross traffic too often. Our good commuter path goes along a river. You can go for miles at a time without interacting with traffic. Fortunately, Columbus also doesn't have many bike lanes, which are usually EVIL for commuters. For the most part, drivers are respectful, but you can't escape idiots.
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Old 08-27-04, 08:06 AM
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New Orleans is pretty good. I haven't ridden anywhere else, so I don't have a basic for comparison. There's not a lot of bike lanes though, so you're in the street. The CBD doesn't get too crazy though. Our roads are flat, but pretty thrashed. We're kinda known for having terrible streets. Lot's of potholes and cracks and bumps. Just gotta watch yourself.
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Old 08-27-04, 09:36 AM
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Older parts of the city are good, mostly because the roads pre-date the wide use of automobiles. There are lots of wide avenues and boulevards that make for idea cycling. Most of the neighborhood streets are laid out in a grid pattern. This makes for plenty of alternate routings. Detroit used to be a city of over 1.8 millon folks. It is now about the same size as San Antonio, Texas (about 950,000). There is a lot of empty space here, and traffic can be very light once you get off the "beaten path".

Near-ring suburbs are the worst. They have no facilities for bikes and a generally bike-hostile attitude. The only exception is the mayor of Ferndale a big alternative transport and cycling booster. He is widely viewed as a crack-pot however.

Outer-ring suburbs are less dense, and are generally more bike-friendly, though they have almost no facilities for bikes as transportation. Some of the trails and recreational paths are quite good though. I attribute the less hostile attitude to comparative wealth of the outer-ring suburbs that allows a bigger fraction of the population to use bikes for sport or recreation.

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Old 08-27-04, 06:26 PM
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Vancouver has highs and lows. There are always more bike friendly side streets, but very few bike only routes. Bridges are a glaring weakness, except for the Cambie Bridge. Worst of all are the drivers. We have some of the most ignorant, arrogant, and downright stupid drivers in the country. When I was a courier I would make it my business to take them to Kryptonite Klass, but it's been a long time.
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Old 08-27-04, 06:47 PM
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Denver's pretty good for me. I live 2 residential blocks away from the main bike path that goes into downtown (8.5 miles each way) along a creek. This same path has at least 3 other "spokes" from different parts of the city. Other roads have signs that say share the road and there are some designated bike lanes.

Today, the bike path was flooded due to it raining all day(very rare) and the brilliant Corps of Engineers letting enough water out of the dam upstream to almost flood the creek without the rain. Now Denver will have to pay to clean up the path over the weekend. But it's kind of nice that it will be swept and nice again by tomorrow.

I'd have to say though that after reading some of the stories on this site that if I had to commute along streets, I would probably take the bus again. Not worth it.
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Old 08-27-04, 09:05 PM
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Lexington, Kentucky. Home of the stop sign cluster. I-75 and I-64 are well north and east of the city, so there's no highway traffic. It's all street traffic. Sooooo maaaany traffic lights and stop signs. In all honesty, traffic isn't too bad, but driving is mostly a waste.

I have two grocery stores within walking distance. Starbucks is a couple blocks away. Lexington has the highest number of restaurants per capita in the nation. I can go down to the corner in Chevy Chase and have my pick of no less than a dozen or so restaurants. There's no place that cannot be reached by bike. Attractive bike racks are all over downtown, but go out a ways into the sprawl and railings are the best you can find.

So biking around here makes perfect sense. Like every place in America, the roads suck bad (enough that I won't buy a new car unless/until I move). Public officials need to go to Germany and see what roads should be like. Not a pothole in the whole of Germany. Anyhow, there's a few main streets to avoid, and it is easy to get anywhere without using them. Not many bike lanes, but many streets are wider than usual and allow for some peace of mind when riding.

Summer is sublime when the urchins at UK run off. Fall, Winter, and Spring add what, 25,000-30,000 hormonally charged students to the mix. Driving a car during this time REALLY sucks. Biking is status quo save for that one oblivous student (usually a girl, sorry) running late for a party, class, or job. Always good for one "see your life pass before your eyes" moment a semester.

Get outside of town though around the horse farms...brother, the French countryside ain't got nothing on it.
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Old 08-28-04, 10:52 AM
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Denver is very good. I am able to make my 17 mile commute mostly on trail and path, there are only 2 miles of surface street and even those are light traffic areas. The city has a grid system of well established bike routes that can get you all around.

The main north/south path follows the South Platte River. From downtown to the south east there is a path that follows the Cherry Creek. Either one of these can get you to the downtown area and several other business districts along the way. There are several smaller paths and trails that feed into these main arteries.

Additionally, the public transit system here is very extensive and every bus has bike carriers. The major bus hubs and light rail stations all have bike lockers, making it very easy to do a multi-mode commute. They also have a program that will guarantee you a ride home in an emergency.

Overall, I think it is a great place to commute by bike.
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