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Cycling Infrastructure

Old 06-30-21, 07:19 AM
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gthomson
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Cycling Infrastructure

I know this topic has been discussed before and this can vary from country to country, state to state but just wondering how much safer is your community getting for cyclists? In the general area around me, communities are doing more to build in cycling infrastructure but you have to pick and choose where you want to ride and which areas actually are safe. Cycling deaths around here seem to occur more in busy industrialized areas where there are lots of transport trucks so to me, those would be places I would stay away from but I guess some people need to cycle to work in these areas.

I'm really happy with the town I live in and what they've done after a major construction project recently in our downtown "main street". This is only a small part of our community and it's mostly for visitors but a good gesture. Hopefully, more initiatives to come.

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Old 06-30-21, 08:02 AM
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I live in city that is adjacent to Jackson Ms that was just listed as one of the 10 worst cities in the US for cycling. However in all the cities that border Jackson, cycling is alive and well. Miles of MUPS and cycling lanes on some roads.

I don't know what criteria the study used, but in Jackson's defense, it's a very old city with fairly narrow roads already established before Schwinn's were even a thing. I'd be interested in knowing how many of those other cities in the ten worst are actually like the Jackson Metropolitan Area and actually have a good cycling community surrounding them.
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Old 06-30-21, 08:18 AM
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The area around here has exploded with new housing developments and very large apartment complexes. A huge increase in the number of cars on the road, but very little (if any) improvement / widening of the roads. Most are narrow with ditches for shoulders. The only "bike lane" runs for a short area along a 4 lane road, and is typically a collection area for all the nails, glass, and trash - great if you need practice fixing flats.
SC is among the worst states for bicycle / pedestrian safety. Laws that would help (hands free law, 3 feet to pass law) are consistently blocked from passage by one particular senator (Sen Loftis) who believes cyclists don't belong on the road.
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Old 06-30-21, 09:22 AM
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A couple of years ago, Lincoln Ne put a protected bike lane across the down town. It has its own lights and works great.
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Old 06-30-21, 10:02 AM
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Our city gets a gold rating from the League of American Bicyclists.




It's very easy here to get around town on a bike.
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Old 06-30-21, 10:14 AM
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The main road through my small home town was recently paved. It makes a tremendous difference to my cycling, especially during July when I stick to the main roads to avoid being driven insane by horseflies, which pretty much own the gravel roads during the month of July in my neck of the woods. Not to mention how much safer it is to be able to ride all the way to the right side of my lane without being pummeled constantly by cracked broken pavement. I wish this country would wake up and tax capital, so we could have decent infrastructure overall, rather than once in a while when you get lucky and they pave your road...
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Old 06-30-21, 10:19 AM
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I'm fortunate to live next to a rails to trails route that spans almost half of my state and continues to get longer. It's a linear state park following the path of the old airline route for trains across Connecticut. I really prefer not to ride with cars no matter what sort of bike lane exists. I'm familiar with some bike lanes around south western Cape Cod where people thought it wise to build a separate asphalt lane off the side of the road. The paths make half circles around every phone pole. Because they aren't on the road, the have no right away across connecting streets. They are crowded with residents who use them for stroller walking etc. They were poorly designed. On the other hand there are some very nice rides on paved trails that run behind buildings semi parallel to some major roadways. One such is the Shining Sea trail running north south on the western cape that terminates in Woods Hole. That was a well done plan. (Most of it is an old railroad line)
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Old 06-30-21, 07:21 PM
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To me, the only cycling "infrastructure" that matters is driver attitudes toward other people -- pedestrians and cyclists -- who are legally using the shared infrastructure.

If the zeitgeist of a community regards pedestrians and cyclists as nuisances, or worse, as disposable targets of opportunity, no amount of painted lines and cyclist stencils will make any difference.

I follow the local news and emergency responder news on social media and it's pretty clear there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of motorists in my area who regard cyclists and pedestrians as enemies to be disposed of. They may still be a statistical minority of the entire community, but that's still hundreds or thousands of drivers who publicly display borderline psychopathy with pride online.

The only cycling/pedestrian infrastructure that matters is an overhaul of the entire driver education and licensing system. It can be done with willpower and responsible government. If you read the entire history of European cities that are now considered cycling friendly, this didn't magically happen simply because Europeans are some sort of lovable hobbits. Nope, it took a determined effort and planning to revise the attitudes that cars were kings and cyclists were mere speed bumps.
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Old 07-05-21, 01:25 PM
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not much progress to speak of around here
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Old 07-08-21, 09:14 AM
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Cheyenne has over 40 miles of non-motorized paved Greenway paths plus lots of marked bike lanes on major streets. Given the nature of the population, I am surprised by the number of cars/trucks that give a wide pass to cyclists. Worst incident in the last year was a diesel pickup that rolled coal on my partner, who is on oxygen 24/7 and recently had a pacemaker installed. I have been close passed a couple of times, once in a narrow construction zone by an RV with road bikes on the back. Go figure.
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Old 07-08-21, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Inusuit View Post
Cheyenne has over 40 miles of non-motorized paved Greenway paths plus lots of marked bike lanes on major streets. Given the nature of the population, I am surprised by the number of cars/trucks that give a wide pass to cyclists. Worst incident in the last year was a diesel pickup that rolled coal on my partner, who is on oxygen 24/7 and recently had a pacemaker installed. I have been close passed a couple of times, once in a narrow construction zone by an RV with road bikes on the back. Go figure.
I’ve always had great experiences riding in Wyoming. It felt like the trend was for drivers to give you as much room as possible, especially tractor trailers.I rode in Wyoming riding across the US plus participated in Tour de Wyoming a few times. Great place to ride!
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Old 07-08-21, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
The area around here has exploded with new housing developments and very large apartment complexes. A huge increase in the number of cars on the road, but very little (if any) improvement / widening of the roads. Most are narrow with ditches for shoulders. The only "bike lane" runs for a short area along a 4 lane road, and is typically a collection area for all the nails, glass, and trash - great if you need practice fixing flats.
SC is among the worst states for bicycle / pedestrian safety. Laws that would help (hands free law, 3 feet to pass law) are consistently blocked from passage by one particular senator (Sen Loftis) who believes cyclists don't belong on the road.
Very similar just up the road from you in NC. Still a tremendous amount of growth in the metropolitan areas. I might be one of the few in my cycling clan that still uses some of the main roads to get around. Charlotte has developed a lot more paved MUPs but they’re disjointed and not easily connected. There have been more opportunities to provide infrastructure on some of the main roads but neither wide shoulders nor bike lanes were provided. There are more trails close by but it’s as if they’re wanting to push us off the roads???

Same here with hands free. Heck, with as much weaving as I’ve seen vehicles do on the roads around here for the life of me I don’t understand why NC hasn’t gotten there. Hands free was a requirement where I worked before I retired. In fact they later requested we not even carry on phone conversations while driving even hands free.
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Old 07-15-21, 09:49 AM
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My community has been exploding in growth, too many high density housing projects, and no added infrastructure. The state added painted bike lanes and SHARE lanes on 2 streets and the local community forums were full of negative comments, money wasted, nobody rides there anyway and so on. Our community is not bike friendly, and of course, I live at the top of the hill in town and have issues descending (crashed downhill, breaking my back), and am a poor climber, but getting better. I hate riding here in town as nobody is looking at me as anything BUT a target...
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Old 07-15-21, 10:53 AM
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I am with Canklecat .... educated drivers are all that is needed.

My new hometown has a lot of bike lanes .... but most of the roads I prefer to ride are narrow and twisty and lane-free. I count on drivers being willing to share the road---and I ma very pleasantly surprised by how patient most drivers can be. I have met a few real losers and a few fools, and had a couple questionably close passes .... but I did many, many years and many thousands of miles in the Greater Orlando, Florida area when it was the cycling death capital of the nation every year---and proud of it. After that experience, if nobody is throwing stuff at me, I feel pretty lucky.

The marked bike lanes are a real plus when I need to do utility riding---errands, or for work, or whatever, where I cannot pick my route and./or time of day (morning and evening transit hours always suck, no matter what) but it is the (apparent) impact of "share the road" education which makes me feel safer.

Though, I am not sure Orlando is any better. Could be just as bad as it was 25 years ago .... though Tampa and St. Pete seem to trade off the "Cycling Death Capital" crown lately, leaving poor Orlando off the podium.

(Interesting differences between "dangerous" and "deadly", too.

https://www.peoplepoweredmovement.or...or-bicyclists/
https://www.gearpatrol.com/outdoors/...-for-cyclists/
https://www.carinsurance.org/deadlie...more%20rows%20
https://www.outsideonline.com/outdoo...g-deaths-year/
https://www.outsideonline.com/2409749/outside-cycling-deaths-2020/#content
https://www.governing.com/archive/most-bicycle-cyclist-deaths-per-capita-by-state-data.html


Here's the good stuff ....
Rank Metropolitan Area Cyclist Fatalities Deaths per 100,000 Residents
1 Cape Coral, Florida 5.43 0.82
2 Tampa, Florida 10 0.77
3 Abilene, Texas 1 0.74
4 Sacramento, California 10.43 0.71
5 Clearwater, Florida 6.57 0.7
6 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 12.57 0.68
7 Lakeland, Florida 4.29 0.68
8 Stockton, California 4.71 0.67
9 Orlando, Florida 11.71 0.66
10 Jacksonville, Florida 5.71 0.64
11 Savannah, Georgia 1.71 0.62
12 West Palm Beach, Florida 8.43 0.61
(https://www.valuepenguin.com/cities-...ist-fatalities)
Eight of the top twelve.

Somehow I am not real sorry I moved.
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Old 07-17-21, 02:14 PM
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There are cycling facilities that enhance safety and there are others that increase hazards at intersections and driveways. One of the biggest drawbacks of most bike lanes is that they discourage (or worst case, prevent) motorists from executing a proper (and in most states, legally required) near-side turn from the curb, rather than from the left side of a bike lane. Many motorists are completely unaware that the California Vehicle Code requires them to merge safely into the bike lane, while yielding to cyclists, before executing a right turn into a driveway or at an intersection. I have seen right-turn-only lanes to the right of through bike lanes (good), but on the other side of one of these intersections we have a through-or-right lane to the left of a through-only (freeway entrance, so cyclists can't go right, anyway) bike lane. One of the biggest "tricks" to staying alive out there is to be not just visible, but relevant, to motorists, which often involves merging away from the gutter. Too many cycling "advocates" reject the notion of destination-appropriate lateral lane positioning. In Encinitas we have also seen safety issues caused by posts and especially curbs placed between cycletraps (oops -- cycletracks) and main travel lanes, and we had to fight like hell to get sharrows and a reduced speed limit. I still miss the Class II bike lane we had previously, and which had served us efficiently and safely for decades.
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Old 07-18-21, 11:20 PM
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If you want to see infrastructure done correctly, go to southern Germany, Bavaria. Miles and miles of off road paved MUPs. A cycling paradise.

I live in the boondocks, so no dedicated infrastructure for roadies, except miles of well maintained gravel rails to trails conversions and 100s of miles of single track. I am lucky to live in what’s considered to be one of the nicest rural cycling areas near Seattle. Used to enjoy riding in the valley so much, I moved here.
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Old 07-19-21, 01:02 PM
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MUPs are great .... I guess.

Thing is, for a bicycle to be a valid mode of transportation, and not a bit of sporting gear/a toy, people have to be able to get to places by bike---including to those MUPs. And once on the MUPs, of course, cyclists have to cope with people walking multiple dogs on 12-foot leashes or rollerblading with earbuds on full volume ... but that is not infrastructure.

If MUPs actually link business districts or stores, and exit onto roads that are safe for riding ... well, great. The thing is shopping districts are notoriously dangerous for cyclists because of all the driveways, entries, and exits, and people trying to maneuver across roads to get tot eh driveway they want, pretty much ignoring everything except getting to the next mall or strip mall or store.

Greater Orlando, when they finally started including bike lanes, was notorious for putting the lanes the the right of "Right Turn Only" lanes, so cyclists had to cross traffic that expected to have clear road to the right---because there was no "road," just a bike line which everyone ignored and treated as a breakdown lane---or a way to cheat to get into the turn lane a little earlier.

People would cut across multiple lanes of traffic at high speed to get to a driveway, totally ignoring the cyclist who was forced to go straight across a "turn only" lane .... and the "bike lanes" usually tapered down and turned along with the turn lane, ending up in the curb, so the cyclist would have to come to a stop, and be stuck partially blocking the driveway while cars tried to squeeze in and out. Brilliant.

I could take an MUP into the main mall district, okay ... but once I got there, I had to take my life in my hands to go anywhere except for one mall. Anyone who had a job at any o those stores, or at any of the office parks interspersed between strip malls and stores, would have been safer wearing black clothes and a blindfold, sprinting randomly across the road at night, than to try to ride according the the way the bike lanes were laid out. Of course, a lot of the city simply had no lanes, so no bike problem, right?

Where I live now has a decent MUP which doesn't get a lot of traffic during much of the day, and which actually crosses from downtown to to other towns --- but I have to negotiate several miles of "always under construction" roadway to get there. it is safer to use smaller surface streets and to avoid the fast route---but that adds miles, and if I need to get a few things done in one day neither the MUP nor the surface roads (the ones not being constantly "improved") and good alternatives.

Still a lot better---by a factor of a thousand---that Orlando back in the day, but utility riding is not going to catch on until all the construction is done---after which time, from the looks of things, there will be decent bike lanes through most of the town's major business districts, so props for that---should that day come. I figure by the time the project is done, the first parts of it will be ready to be re-done.
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Old 07-19-21, 01:42 PM
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I live in an unincorporated part of our big Seattle county - King County.

On most roads around my home, we get nothing. Bike lanes?, hahahaha, the white line is often the edge of the pavement with a ditch to your right. The first and last 4 - 5 miles of every ride is Share the Road and Trust the Drivers. It was delightful riding during the worst of the pandemic, but now = back to 'normal'.

The town of Issaquah has bike lanes and is the terminus of a trail heading North toward Redmond.
The next closest town, Renton, has some decent paved trails that connect to others.

However, if I were still driving (to a location to start a ride) - lots of good roads and excellent trails abound within a 15 mile radius. For the rides I enjoy most, I should move to North Bend, or Buckley/Enumclaw.

I have stopped worrying about riding with the auto/truck traffic, that's reality on semi-rural but busy King County roads.

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Old 07-25-21, 05:39 PM
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Kalamazoo, MI
The vast majority of "bike routes" are shared lanes on roads with a 45mph speed limit. Not too bad if you are a Class A rider and can hold your own with traffic, but if you're a 15mph plodder, or worse, family with young kids, you are relegated to the Trailways system, and a couple of them go through some VERY sketchy areas. Last time I rode the River Valley trail, there were homeless camped out on the trail surface where a bridge crossed under the main drag along the river.

Interestingly, Holland MI with it's large Dutch population and a network of bikeways that interlaces all over town, isn't even rated.
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Old 07-26-21, 11:37 AM
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El Paso has built-in Bicycling "infrastructure" because it's quite possible to get almost anywhere in town by using side streets, especially on the east side of town where I live. Nevertheless, the city is putting in a lot of bike routes and paths on and along busy busy streets - which very few bicyclists use.
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Old 07-26-21, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
...it's a very old city with fairly narrow roads already established before Schwinn's were even a thing.
Those roads may be old, but the first paving of those roads was likely done for the benefit of the cyclists, possibly decades before cars existed there: https://www.vox.com/2015/3/19/825303...s-cars-history
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Old 07-30-21, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by zjrog View Post
My community has been exploding in growth, too many high density housing projects, and no added infrastructure. ...
That is a common problem everywhere. Sacrifice quality of life on the altar of the Urban Growth Machine, see how many people you can cram in to a given city or neighborhood.
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Old 07-30-21, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Stone View Post
El Paso has built-in Bicycling "infrastructure" because it's quite possible to get almost anywhere in town by using side streets, especially on the east side of town where I live. Nevertheless, the city is putting in a lot of bike routes and paths on and along busy busy streets - which very few bicyclists use.
When I lived in west Los Angeles, with its well-connected grid of side streets, I always mapped out my rides in advance to minimize time on the fastest, busiest boulevards. Here in north coastal San Diego County, I can't avoid major streets for most origin-destination pairs, although I can do some of my exercise/recreational riding on smaller side streets.
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Carlton: 1962 Franco Suisse, S/N K7911
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
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