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Growing acceptance of bicycles and bike lanes.

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Growing acceptance of bicycles and bike lanes.

Old 06-02-13, 08:12 PM
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Growing acceptance of bicycles and bike lanes.

Alternet has an interesting article about the growing acceptance of bicycles and bike lanes.
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Old 06-02-13, 08:53 PM
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Interesting that opposition is only at 27%. That's a really good sign.

Now if we could only get cyclists to like bike lanes. I do notice there's fewer flame wars over lanes vs. taking the lane. Although admittedly I rarely hang out in A & S.

Most cyclists I know seem to prefer riding streets with bike lanes. You just have to keep an extra eye open for doors and the traffic is usually very forgiving of riders moving to the outside of the land. Also businesses along the bike routes seem to be in wide acceptance... mainly for the new business!!
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Old 06-02-13, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Interesting that opposition is only at 27%. That's a really good sign.

Now if we could only get cyclists to like bike lanes. I do notice there's fewer flame wars over lanes vs. taking the lane. Although admittedly I rarely hang out in A & S.

Most cyclists I know seem to prefer riding streets with bike lanes. You just have to keep an extra eye open for doors and the traffic is usually very forgiving of riders moving to the outside of the land. Also businesses along the bike routes seem to be in wide acceptance... mainly for the new business!!
We just got a new bike lane on the major thoroughfare near my house. It's the first "buffered" bike lane in the city. I like it pretty well, but I was a little disappointed to see that most cyclists are still using the sidewalk just next to the bike lane.

more on topic, there was some minor opposition prior to installation of this bike lane, but nowhere near as much as there was to a bike lane proposed for the same road a few years ago. At that time, opposition was so fierce that the city gave up the federal grant for it.
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Old 06-02-13, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Interesting that opposition is only at 27%. That's a really good sign.

Now if we could only get cyclists to like bike lanes. I do notice there's fewer flame wars over lanes vs. taking the lane. Although admittedly I rarely hang out in A & S.

Most cyclists I know seem to prefer riding streets with bike lanes. You just have to keep an extra eye open for doors and the traffic is usually very forgiving of riders moving to the outside of the land. Also businesses along the bike routes seem to be in wide acceptance... mainly for the new business!!
I used to be somewhat opposed to bike lanes, but I've grown to accept them. Older bike lanes put cyclists into the "door zone," but the new ones are better. More importantly, bike lanes eliminate (most) turf wars between bicycles and cars. It's less stressful, it calms traffic, and makes it safer and more pleasant for everyone, even motorists (as long as they don't mind driving <40 mph on a 30 mph street).
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Old 06-03-13, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bragi View Post
I used to be somewhat opposed to bike lanes, but I've grown to accept them. Older bike lanes put cyclists into the "door zone," but the new ones are better. More importantly, bike lanes eliminate (most) turf wars between bicycles and cars. It's less stressful, it calms traffic, and makes it safer and more pleasant for everyone, even motorists (as long as they don't mind driving <40 mph on a 30 mph street).
My thinking on bike lanes has evolved in much the same way as yours. I used to believe in the VC jungle model, where the fittest cyclists would fight for survival with motorists. That worked fine for me, but I saw that it wasn't working to attract new transportation cyclists. Without facilities, transportation cycling is always in danger of extinction. Sometime in the future our roadways may evolve into integrated systems that work for all users. In the meantime, Intelligently Designed bike lanes seem to be our best bet.
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Old 06-03-13, 10:51 AM
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I was never necessarily concerned with whether or not a road had bike lanes (the area in NJ where I lived had none), but being in a large city with a decent number of bike lanes, I find myself utilizing them and to some extent planning my trips/riding around them.

I guess I'm along the same lines as others in this thread, opposed/apathetic towards them, growing to accepting them and realizing their importance amongst both the motorist and cyclist communities.
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Old 06-03-13, 11:44 AM
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A driver almost crashed into a median while speeding, crossing the solid line, and trying to pass me unsafely, so he got out of his vehicle and ran after me yelling at me to get in the bike lane the other day.

Guess he was really enthusiastic about bike lanes or something. I mean I partly agree, if I was in the bike lane I could have saved him at most 10 seconds of his drive! Only at the cost of many minutes of my ride, due to the fact that it starts and changes side of the road frequently.

If you want us on bike lanes, don't make them so ****ing stupid.
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Old 06-03-13, 01:41 PM
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When done right, they are great. I worry that too many motorists think cyclists are restricted to the lanes whereas shared streets/lanes ("bike routes" around here) don't give them an obvious line to point at.

The bike lanes all the way to the local park and library have made my wife comfortable with riding on the streets, so I definitely see the advantage for luring new riders. We're getting closer to car-free every week. Just have to keep working on her endurance on the hills.
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Old 06-03-13, 02:24 PM
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I really wish they would install bike lanes on Great Mills Road. Lexington Park/Great Mills (especially as you get closer to the Great Mills end of Lexington Park) has the highest concentration of cyclists in this county. Mostly, these are guys obviously undertaking the "poor man's last choice" end of cycling, but as the weather has improved I've seen a few more who are rather obviously not the "poor man's last choice" variety.

They recently redid the roads here, and didn't install them. This is frustrating, because Three Notch Road and even the less traffic intense Chancellor's Run have bike lands. Chancellor's Run even has a bunch of really nice, noticeably wider bike lanes with flares for turns. Few people cycle on Three Notch, and even Fewer on Chancellors. I don't even know why (or when) Chancellors had some built at all, compared to Great Mills, which has none. Three Notch has them from at least Rt 4 intersection to the Great Mills intersection, after which there isn't anything for a short stretch and then it becomes a wide shoulder.

Great Mills is, as far as St. Mary's is concerned, one of those "busy roads with fast traffic". Posted at 35mph, but more realistic it is about 50mph. And then you have the usual jokers who fly. Going with traffic doesn't usually go well - the few I see doing it are doing it early in the day when traffic is low. Lots of "fly past and shout sh*t" types, which does get on the nerves. Entitled box-jockeys, the lot of them.

Then there's also rumors of at least a few different people who have taken it upon themselves to pull up to cyclists and have the passenger physically SHOVE them off the bike before speeding off.

M.
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Old 06-03-13, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Jared. View Post
I was never necessarily concerned with whether or not a road had bike lanes (the area in NJ where I lived had none), but being in a large city with a decent number of bike lanes, I find myself utilizing them and to some extent planning my trips/riding around them.
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They are pretty convenient for navigating heavy traffic streets. Quite often they aren't set up to keep you out of the door zone... which can be a big setback.
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Old 06-03-13, 11:16 PM
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I conducted a door-to-door survey of residents and businesses along a street in my neighborhood that was about to be repaved. The current striping has parking on both sides and horrific door-zone bike lanes next to the parking. One-third of the "doors" (household or business) were asked if they were willing to give up the on-street parking on one side of the road in order to remove one door-zone problem and minimize the other. Over 90% of the respondents wanted the parking removed to make for an improved bike lane.

Now, I live in a slightly odd neighborhood. 20% of the residents use bicycles to get to work, another 20% ride the bus and 12% walk (and are tired of dealing with cyclists on the sidewalk). Only 45% use cars as their primary means of transportation, however even the car-folks supported improving the bike lanes.

Of course there were a few flies in the bike-love ointment. Three people appealed the parking removal (two rental property owners and one city-subsidized non-profit) and I am waiting to find out if the appeal hearing went our way. It seems like a tough case for us to lose since the state standard for the distance from the curb to the bike lane edge doesn't allow for parking on both sides of a street of this width, but I'll count my chickens after they hatch.

One chicken that is definitely out of its shell is the fact that the people in my neighborhood want better bike lanes. Those old door-zone bike lanes, which are still the standard implementation under the AASHTO standards, have just got to go. I don't know any high-mileage cyclists who will ride in them, even in a mandatory-use state like Oregon.
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Old 06-03-13, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I conducted a door-to-door survey of residents and businesses along a street in my neighborhood that was about to be repaved. The current striping has parking on both sides and horrific door-zone bike lanes next to the parking. One-third of the "doors" (household or business) were asked if they were willing to give up the on-street parking on one side of the road in order to remove one door-zone problem and minimize the other. Over 90% of the respondents wanted the parking removed to make for an improved bike lane.

Now, I live in a slightly odd neighborhood. 20% of the residents use bicycles to get to work, another 20% ride the bus and 12% walk (and are tired of dealing with cyclists on the sidewalk). Only 45% use cars as their primary means of transportation, however even the car-folks supported improving the bike lanes.

Of course there were a few flies in the bike-love ointment. Three people appealed the parking removal (two rental property owners and one city-subsidized non-profit) and I am waiting to find out if the appeal hearing went our way. It seems like a tough case for us to lose since the state standard for the distance from the curb to the bike lane edge doesn't allow for parking on both sides of a street of this width, but I'll count my chickens after they hatch.

One chicken that is definitely out of its shell is the fact that the people in my neighborhood want better bike lanes. Those old door-zone bike lanes, which are still the standard implementation under the AASHTO standards, have just got to go. I don't know any high-mileage cyclists who will ride in them, even in a mandatory-use state like Oregon.
I think it's great that you're working hard to get better facilities in your neighborhood. Do you think the support numbers are higher now than they were 5 or 10 years ago?
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Old 06-04-13, 08:01 AM
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How are bike lanes typically added to areas that have sidewalks directly adjacent to the street? Do they grind up the sidewalks? Some years ago, the same road I was whining about above had replaced a good deal of their old, broken up sidewalks with newer stuff and just two months ago redid the paving even further. Neither time did they install bike lanes. I guess they'd be rather adverse to having to grind up those relatively new walks, especially considering most of them don't even go in a straight line to begin with (bending around poles and whatnot).

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Old 06-04-13, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
How are bike lanes typically added to areas that have sidewalks directly adjacent to the street? Do they grind up the sidewalks? Some years ago, the same road I was whining about above had replaced a good deal of their old, broken up sidewalks with newer stuff and just two months ago redid the paving even further. Neither time did they install bike lanes. I guess they'd be rather adverse to having to grind up those relatively new walks, especially considering most of them don't even go in a straight line to begin with (bending around poles and whatnot).

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All of the bike lanes I see were taken from the roadway, not from the sidewalk. Maybe they do it differently in other locations.
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Old 06-04-13, 12:13 PM
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Well, maybe we'll find out soon. I dropped a complaint with SHA. Chances are slim they'll do anything, but they did speedily patch that sinkhole I reported, even though it was tiny. They even did it twice when the first patch didn't go so well.

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Old 06-06-13, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I think it's great that you're working hard to get better facilities in your neighborhood. Do you think the support numbers are higher now than they were 5 or 10 years ago?
Interesting question. I don't have any real data, so I'll just venture a totally unsupported opinion. I do think that the local support for improved facilities for cyclists is much higher now than it was ten years ago. If I look back five years, I would say that there was a similar level of support but that it was less focused. What I mean by that is that people didn't understand the difference between a good bike lane and a door-zone bike lane. People are just now beginning to see that the side path and cycletrack fads that got started here about five years ago are probably bad deals for cyclists as well.

I should mention that the majority of the cyclists I spoke with in the course of surveying the people who live and work along the road that is being repaved/restriped had been doored. Sadly, I suspect there are a large number of former cyclists in my neighborhood who gave up cycling all together after such an event. How else can we explain the loss of one-third of our cyclists between 2009 (10.8% of commuters) and 2011 (7.3% of commuters)?
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Old 06-06-13, 01:01 AM
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I think a lot has to do with the facilities available. Here in Houston, many of the newer neighborhoods are getting their own walk/bike paths all over (especially in outside the city limits). In my neighborhood, we have paths that run along lakes, and to the local elementary school. Kids ride to school, parents, even grandparents, ride with them. I see many ride or walk to the local market as well. All these paths make people feel safe because cars are not allowed on them.

Now in my old neighborhood, it was a grid of roads and just beat up sidewalks. I only noticed two other riders in the entire neighborhood (other than kids). I believe accessible facilities inspire usage, to a point.

Of course, what you live by matters too. The old place did not have anything really close to it other than a gas station. The new place has all kinds of stores within 3-miles. And many more, including a mall and a LBS, within 7-miles. Also, there are several back roads a person can take to stay off the main streets. The old place had just one way to get to the stores, and it was a rather busy street. I'm sure many would not feel safe on it, even though people did always give me a ton of room. In the end, I wouldn't be surprised if people just were afraid to sweat unless they are in a gym or working out in the yard.

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Old 06-06-13, 06:45 AM
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All this reminds me of this MUP not far from where I live. I discovered it over a year ago when I was living pretty close to it. It runs parallelish to a major road (which has a bike lane) and alongside a shopping centre that has a Panera, Best Buy and some other things. But it's the most random MUP ever...firstly, it has this series of bars on it meant to keep mopeds (I guess?) off of it. It comes in off a sidewalk, but has no "on" ramp like for wheelchairs anywhere, so you always have to dismount to get onto it. If you try and hop the curve, you are going to smash into those bar things. What's awesome is that at either end, just pas those bars, it's a hill. So you have to bike up that, though it's not steep, you are at a dead stop. It runs for probably 100' max. It basically serves no purpose. The only times I've ever used it is to be silly.

Weird.

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Old 06-06-13, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
All this reminds me of this MUP not far from where I live. I discovered it over a year ago when I was living pretty close to it. It runs parallelish to a major road (which has a bike lane) and alongside a shopping centre that has a Panera, Best Buy and some other things. But it's the most random MUP ever...firstly, it has this series of bars on it meant to keep mopeds (I guess?) off of it. It comes in off a sidewalk, but has no "on" ramp like for wheelchairs anywhere, so you always have to dismount to get onto it. If you try and hop the curve, you are going to smash into those bar things. What's awesome is that at either end, just pas those bars, it's a hill. So you have to bike up that, though it's not steep, you are at a dead stop. It runs for probably 100' max. It basically serves no purpose. The only times I've ever used it is to be silly.

Weird.

M.

Sounds like an artifact of central planning. Or the city finagled a grant, but the grant didn't include any planning money.

I've gotta say MUPs around here are pretty sweet. I have a direct 4.5 mile commute, mostly on a bike lane. Or I can take a detour through a 1,500 acre wooded park which delivers me downtown through a series of trails. It makes the trip 7 miles, but guess which one I take as often as possible?
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Old 06-06-13, 06:26 PM
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I know which one I'd take!
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Old 06-06-13, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
All this reminds me of this MUP not far from where I live. I discovered it over a year ago when I was living pretty close to it. It runs parallelish to a major road (which has a bike lane) and alongside a shopping centre that has a Panera, Best Buy and some other things. But it's the most random MUP ever...firstly, it has this series of bars on it meant to keep mopeds (I guess?) off of it. It comes in off a sidewalk, but has no "on" ramp like for wheelchairs anywhere, so you always have to dismount to get onto it. If you try and hop the curve, you are going to smash into those bar things. What's awesome is that at either end, just pas those bars, it's a hill. So you have to bike up that, though it's not steep, you are at a dead stop. It runs for probably 100' max. It basically serves no purpose. The only times I've ever used it is to be silly.

Weird.

M.
It sounds like an off-road sidewalk on the progression from bike paths (what we started with in the '70s) to MUPs (bikes permitted, but not encouraged) to off-road sidewalks (bikes not allowed, or nearly so).
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Old 06-07-13, 08:40 AM
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Maybe. Here's a picture: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=38.29...96167&t=h&z=17

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Old 06-07-13, 08:52 AM
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I don't agree with a move towards more bike lanes (or cyclepaths as we call them over here). The only way to make motorists behave better and be safer around bikes is to get more bikes on the road. Segregation doesn't work, and roads are not inherently unsafe, only behaviour on them is.

Having said that, I can understand that nervous cyclists, and the young or inexperienced might prefer segregated lanes. Not for me (except in Netherlands, but there they go everywhere).
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Old 06-07-13, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by chewa View Post
I don't agree with a move towards more bike lanes (or cyclepaths as we call them over here). The only way to make motorists behave better and be safer around bikes is to get more bikes on the road. Segregation doesn't work, and roads are not inherently unsafe, only behaviour on them is.

Having said that, I can understand that nervous cyclists, and the young or inexperienced might prefer segregated lanes. Not for me (except in Netherlands, but there they go everywhere).
The flaw in your argument: will there ever be more cyclists on the road without bike lanes? You say yourself that the "inexperienced" riders prefer bike lanes.
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Old 06-07-13, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
The flaw in your argument: will there ever be more cyclists on the road without bike lanes? You say yourself that the "inexperienced" riders prefer bike lanes.
Not sure if it's a flaw. I said "might". We have a few organisations taking inexperienced cyclist onto roads to show them how to ride safely and assertively.

If we had less emphasis on bike lanes, reinforced driver training, the roads would eventually become safer. More bikes on the road means motorists are more used to them and respond appropriately (as they do in France for example).

Spend the money which would go on bike lanes to enforce driving (and cycling) standards. In the UK cyclepaths are largely not compulsory. My worry is that if there are more cyclepaths there will be a push to make them compulsory.

We have a great network of bike lanes here- they are called roads. I pay for them by my taxes, and shouldn't be forced off them because people can't drive properly.
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