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Could this work in the United States?

Old 10-26-13, 06:46 AM
  #1  
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Could this work in the United States?

Could something like this work in the US?

I know nobody in the video is wearing a helmet, that aside...could the concept work?

The World's Cycling City
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Old 10-26-13, 07:15 AM
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Where the topo is flat and urban sprawl hasn't been invented it can work.

Mackinac Island, Michigan, a resort community, survives with bikes and horses only, and it is hilly once you get out of town.

I moved in the last year close to Lake St. Clair and probably do 50-60% or more of my errand running to the market, post office, bank, hardware store, and yard sales by bicycle, during 8 months of the year. These trips are within 8 miles RT.

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Old 10-26-13, 07:52 AM
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I love the way it's always so sunny and mild in the utility cycling films from Northern Europe.
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Old 10-26-13, 08:19 AM
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Just restricting driving in areas of cities would be a vast improvement and increase cycling.

Marc
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Old 10-26-13, 08:54 AM
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I had some questions but i think i have answered myself
-during winter?
-cities with lots of hills?
-cities that have low density populations and are spread on large areas?

the last 2 problems could possibly be solved with e-bikes or similar
the first one would depend mostly on how well roads are plowed

Last edited by erig007; 10-26-13 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 10-26-13, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
I had some questions but i think i have answered myself
-during winter?
-cities with lots of hills?
-cities that have low density population and are spread on large area?

the last 2 problems could possibly be solved with e-bikes or similar
the first one would depend mostly on how well roads are plowed
I ride all winter in western Michigan where 96" of snow is the annual expectation. Hills are the reason multispeed bikes were invented.

Marc
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Old 10-26-13, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
I ride all winter in western Michigan where 96" of snow is the annual expectation. Hills are the reason multispeed bikes were invented.

Marc
I'm talking widespread use of bicycle which means that it has to be easy to use in order for mainstream to adopt it as a main transportation. I doubt multispeed bikes would do it alone on stiff hills or packed snow on the ground

BTW: Me too i'm a "hardcore" rider doesn't mean everybody is.

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Old 10-26-13, 09:36 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by BicycleCrazy View Post
Could something like this work in the US?

I know nobody in the video is wearing a helmet, that aside...could the concept work?

The World's Cycling City
One reason, among many, why this won't work in the U.S. is because there are too many people here who see/have a problem with the vision of most/all cyclists not wearing a helmet.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 10-26-13 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 10-26-13, 09:38 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
Just restricting driving in areas of cities would be a vast improvement and increase cycling.

Marc
++1 build big parking lots at the periphery set up some buses or trains and bike share, and restrict driving to commercial. Or just freighting. It would work.
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Old 10-26-13, 09:42 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
I love the way it's always so sunny and mild in the utility cycling films from Northern Europe.
Weather here doesn't look so pretty:

https://www.copenhagenize.com/2010/11...g-in-snow.html

Actually, it looks kinda like New York in the winter, minus the bicycles. A perverse part of me is looking forward to getting back to just me and the delivery guys on the bike lanes (if only they would stop salmoning). And bike share might actually become useful again.
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Old 10-26-13, 10:07 AM
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If you really really want folks to use bicycles for transportation-shopping- errands
Two things have to change
1) Encourage 3 wheeled bikes.Older folks simply aren't as safe secure on traditional 2 wheel bikes.We are an aging population.Of course since falls will be less common-the helmet could be optional.We will need wider bike "paths lanes or whatever-"( wide 3 wheelers should be favored by VCers since obviously a 3 wheeler will ENHANCE Manly Lane Control)
2) Bike theft has to be taken seriously- big heavy bulky 3 wheeled bikes have to be stored outside

The outdoor storage shouldn't be a problem- after Katrina I was given a Raleigh 3 speed-made by lime loving former oppressors in England- it spent 23 days under somewhat salty heavily silted water- then 6 months in the side yard. I pumped up the tires(which were 20 years old already) Sprayed 20 year old cables with whatever lube was at hand-off it rode-shifted well-braked as well as it did when it left the factory(pitifully)- yeah bikes are fine outdoors.

Address Bike theft and push 3 wheelers for gimpy oldsters -
Helmets? -who cares-your head do what you want.
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Old 10-26-13, 01:43 PM
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Thank you for this link. The video was great fun to watch. I spent some time in Rotterdam and rode every where in the city as well as some jaunts into the outskirts and down to Amsterdam. I never made it to Groninger- I would have loved it though.

Would it work here in the US? of course it could, BUT to get a sense of the challenges it would face spend some time here in A & S for a while. There is a cadre of folks who go into lock down mode about everything. The video shows combinations of separated infrastructure, bike lanes, sharing lanes and roads with autos, bike share programs, cyclists running randomly through intersections without stop lights or stop signs, helmet less riders, children not in child seats, people riding two to a bike, riding one handed, riding in street clothes and on and on and on.

It would require an open mindedness and flexibility I seldom see demonstrated here in A & S and, unfortunately, some of that entrenchment is similar to some of the obstructionists within the bike community when advocating for the kinds of changes seen in the video.

This is why I've moved a good portion of my eggs out of the bike advocacy only basket and spread them about with groups like Livable Streets, who advocate for better cities for all. Those groups seem to have more creative ideas and are willing to try some stuff that may or may not work but change things up, ultimately for the better.
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Old 10-26-13, 02:14 PM
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Good video.
Too bad so many people are so attached to their cars/ motor vehicles it would be like amputating their legs. And gawd forbid they have to go around and can't park right in front of their favorite wall mart. Also, think about all the lawsuits for not having proper 'handicap' parking. Too many people here are also against cyclist not wearing helmets. Motorist/Cagers will just throw a fit to no end about this.
However, I would love to see this happen. The first city in the US that does this, I will move their nearly instantly.
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Old 10-26-13, 02:32 PM
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Cycling is generally seen as ridiculously dangerous in the US.

Therefore, people get really cranky about requiring helmets, or at least yelling at people not wearing them, and if they're hurt and weren't wearing a helmet, then they were asking for it, even if a helmet wouldn't have made any difference.

And you know that cycling is dangerous, because they wear helmets while doing it, right?

And also, someone once got killed riding a bike.

Somehow they don't make people wear helmets to climb ladders or step into the tub, also places where people get killed.
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Old 10-26-13, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BicycleCrazy View Post
Could something like this work in the US?

I know nobody in the video is wearing a helmet, that aside...could the concept work?

The World's Cycling City

yes. i see similar scenes every day.
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Old 10-26-13, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
Thank you for this link. The video was great fun to watch. I spent some time in Rotterdam and rode every where in the city as well as some jaunts into the outskirts and down to Amsterdam. I never made it to Groninger- I would have loved it though.

Would it work here in the US? of course it could, BUT to get a sense of the challenges it would face spend some time here in A & S for a while. There is a cadre of folks who go into lock down mode about everything. The video shows combinations of separated infrastructure, bike lanes, sharing lanes and roads with autos, bike share programs, cyclists running randomly through intersections without stop lights or stop signs, helmet less riders, children not in child seats, people riding two to a bike, riding one handed, riding in street clothes and on and on and on.

It would require an open mindedness and flexibility I seldom see demonstrated here in A & S and, unfortunately, some of that entrenchment is similar to some of the obstructionists within the bike community when advocating for the kinds of changes seen in the video.

This is why I've moved a good portion of my eggs out of the bike advocacy only basket and spread them about with groups like Livable Streets, who advocate for better cities for all. Those groups seem to have more creative ideas and are willing to try some stuff that may or may not work but change things up, ultimately for the better.


mode share in holland was high PRIOR to the construction of the glorious infrastructure shown in that film. maybe instead of pining away for the next 500 feet of faux-world-class physically-separated infrastructure on a low-speed and low-traffic road we could ask ourselves what the dutch were doing before they spent billions of euros upgrading their infrastructure?

imo, only when copenhamsterdamistas stop scoffing at bike lanes, advisory bike lanes, and even the much maligned sharrow will we see real progress in building a connected cycling network in USAnian cities.
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Old 10-26-13, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post


mode share in holland was high PRIOR to the construction of the glorious infrastructure shown in that film. maybe instead of pining away for the next 500 feet of faux-world-class physically-separated infrastructure on a low-speed and low-traffic road we could ask ourselves what the dutch were doing before they spent billions of euros upgrading their infrastructure?

imo, only when copenhamsterdamistas stop scoffing at bike lanes, advisory bike lanes, and even the much maligned sharrow will we see real progress in building a connected cycling network in USAnian cities.

While mode share for cycling has been high many European cities, like Copenhagen, since the turn of the 19th century there were periods in the 1950's, 60's and 70's when cycling fell to all time lows even in those cycling capitals. In the 1970's a combination of high gas prices, over crowding and pedestrian deaths caused the residents of those cities to demand car free days, car free districts and ultimately more infrastructure.

Yes, there was a relatively high modal share in those cities prior to the addition of much of the infrastructure now in place but certainly the infrastructure has made cycling convenient, safe and manageable in ways that it would not be without it, making for an environment and a culture that encourages and maintains a high modal share of bicyclists.

Regarding bike lanes, advisory bike lanes and sharrows only in the rarified atmosphere in which you live would there be a line in the sand over such structures. For the great unwashed (the rest of us) we'd be happy with such additions. Frankly, I equate such petty squabbling to arguing over skim milk or soy milk in one's latte when the vast majority of us would just like a nice hot cup of coffee.
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Old 10-26-13, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
I love the way it's always so sunny and mild in the utility cycling films from Northern Europe.
It's always sunny when I'm not visiting! lol

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Old 10-26-13, 04:43 PM
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No one wears either a helmet or hi-viz clothing...

How do most of them go to the airport to catch a flight? I guess not by bike if they have a lot of luggage?

Also, if there are young or middle aged people with sound bodies in the Netherland who don't ride bikes, I wonder what the reasons are?
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Old 10-26-13, 07:05 PM
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US is much more spread out. I commute on a bike, but it's planned and require sharing the roads with cars. It would be nice to live in a helmetless/hybrid/flat world...
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Old 10-26-13, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
No one wears either a helmet or hi-viz clothing...
So What?

Originally Posted by vol View Post
How do most of them go to the airport to catch a flight? I guess not by bike if they have a lot of luggage?
How often do you go to a distant location with a lot of luggage, and how do you get there? I imagine the people of Groningen find another means just like you, perhaps a taxi or their own car.
Originally Posted by vol View Post
Also, if there are young or middle aged people with sound bodies in the Netherland who don't ride bikes, I wonder what the reasons are?
They don't feel like it?
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Old 10-26-13, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ben4345 View Post
The first city in the US that does this, I will move their nearly instantly.
This is one of the reasons why it will works someday: the snowball effect.
Once one mayor decide that he/she likes bicycle. He/she will put in place some infrastructures that will attract cyclists from all over the US and will push away other unhappy (drivers/pedestrians/etc) This will increase the ratio of cyclists in the city (who votes) that will starting asking for more infrastructures and will put pressure on the mayor even more. The success of the city (since we know it will works) will call attention to other people...in a perfect world. In reality though the mayor will ask for more funds and the answer will be ...no way

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Old 10-26-13, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BicycleCrazy View Post
Could something like this work in the US?

I know nobody in the video is wearing a helmet, that aside...could the concept work?

The World's Cycling City
Of course it could work here, in any city with a sufficiently large percentage of citizens who are willing to consider getting out of their cars for even a day. But then we're talking about a country where people regularly choose to eat lunch in their cars all by themselves, so I'm not terribly optimistic...

BTW, I think mentioning helmets was ill-advised.

Last edited by bragi; 10-26-13 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 10-26-13, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
imo, only when copenhamsterdamistas stop scoffing at bike lanes, advisory bike lanes, and even the much maligned sharrow will we see real progress in building a connected cycling network in USAnian cities.
Some of these may do more harm than good. We put them in and then when only hard core people use them the folks start screaming that we did all this stuff for cyclists and it didn't work so why do any more. Here's a good article about exactly what you've said: https://www.streets.mn/2013/10/04/do-...-bike-lanes-2/
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Old 10-26-13, 11:00 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by ben4345 View Post
Good video.
Too bad so many people are so attached to their cars/ motor vehicles it would be like amputating their legs.
Legs seem to be well on their way to becoming vestigial organs for most USAnians.
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