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Stripes II

Old 04-23-07, 04:04 PM
  #126  
John C. Ratliff
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Analogy to River Canoeing

Originally Posted by galen_52657
Man, am I glad I don't have to go through all that crap when I want to get some place. I simply roll out my front door and commence pedalling...
That is the equivalent of saying, "I'm just going to on the river to paddle downstream," without knowing the river's hazards (rapids, falls, rocks, jet boats, etc.), while river canoeing. On the river its a good way to get in trouble. I think that if you do the same on the roadway with a bicycle instead of a canoe on a river, you're also headed for a potential mishap.

John
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Old 04-23-07, 04:12 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
That is the equivalent of saying, "I'm just going to on the river to paddle downstream," without knowing the river's hazards (rapids, falls, rocks, jet boats, etc.), while river canoeing. On the river its a good way to get in trouble. I think that if you do the same on the roadway with a bicycle instead of a canoe on a river, you're also headed for a potential mishap.

John
Not really the same. Road/traffic conditions are generally consisent, predictable and follow types. One generally knows what the most 'challenging' type of roadway could be before heading out on a bike vs. having a spring storm change previously moderate rapids into dangerous.

Al
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Old 04-23-07, 04:16 PM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
That is the equivalent of saying, "I'm just going to on the river to paddle downstream," without knowing the river's hazards (rapids, falls, rocks, jet boats, etc.), while river canoeing. On the river its a good way to get in trouble. I think that if you do the same on the roadway with a bicycle instead of a canoe on a river, you're also headed for a potential mishap.

John
John,

Read your own words and consider the implications: Comparing the hazards of going for a bike ride down some familiar roads, or even some unfamilar roads, to, say, those encountered during Powell's expedition of the Colorado, is bizarre, to say the least.

But it's very revealing that you see these activities to be comparable with respect to risk.
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Old 04-23-07, 05:32 PM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
That is the equivalent of saying, "I'm just going to on the river to paddle downstream," without knowing the river's hazards (rapids, falls, rocks, jet boats, etc.), while river canoeing. On the river its a good way to get in trouble. I think that if you do the same on the roadway with a bicycle instead of a canoe on a river, you're also headed for a potential mishap.

John
John,

That has got to be the dumbest comparison ever posted in A & S, bar none. When one rides 8k + miles a year, year in, year out for 20 -odd years, roads - no matter how much traffic they have on them - just become roads. All pretty much the same. A lane is a lane is a lane. Cars have to slow down behind you and move over to pass. A very few drivers get angry/upset/frustrated but who cares? In twenty years of cycling I have never really even had a close call with a car. I have had some rednecks try to intimidate me, but they are not really going to do anything. And, it's never in an urban setting with high traffic that they try that crap. It's out in the boonies when nobody is around and the traffic and road conditions have nothing to do with it. It's just asshats being asshats. And, because I have minimum 3-4' of buffer to my right at all times, I have plenty of room to brake and turn if necessary.

Get a grip fella
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Old 04-23-07, 07:45 PM
  #130  
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That's very interesting, that you consider canoeing hazardous. I don't, and I used to have a river beside my house and take the canoe down at least 3-5 times a week. It's a means of transportation, but you still have to know the river, where things are, how to use the currents, plan the trip, etc. But I still look at the river, wear my PFD, sometimes wear a wet suit (cold water), and enjoy my paddling.
You may not realize it, but Lewis and Clark, on their expedition down the Columbia River and back, did not loose one person to a water mishap. They almost lost some gear, but not a person. Comparing my analogy to the Powell's expedition on the Colorado is also interesting, and shows where your heads are at. You guys don't know me at all, nor do you know much about canoeing. I have not been hurt paddling a canoe; but I have riding a bicycle.

You are also in denial about the safety of the roads. We have a major problem in this country about roads, and the use of it by cars. Here in Oregon, in fewer than the first 100 days of this year, we have had 100 deaths on the roads:

https://www.bta4bikes.org/btablog/200...ays-slow-down/

To quote this article, "A traffic crash occurs every 13 minutes and a fatality occurs every 18 hours in Oregon. Alcohol and drugs are involved in 40% of all crashes and speed is involved in over 50%. Nationally, the leading cause of death for persons ages 3 to 33 is a traffic crash." I think the BTA is listing four deaths to bicyclists in Oregon so far this year (if I'm reading the website correctly). So bicyclists are in this mix too.

I have the NHTSA study titled "The Economic Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes 2000" which put the cost of these crashes at $230.6 billion, or approximately $820 for each person in the USA, and about 2.3% of our GDP for the year 2000. In that year, there were 41,821 fatalities in the United States. 5.3 million persons were injured in 16.4 million motor vehicle crashes, which included the 41,821 fatalities. Here is the study:

https://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/staticfiles...Impact2000.pdf

Now, if you will please tell me how to get those numbers down to a tenth that level, then I will consider the roads relatively safe. Right now, they are not. Until there is a culture change in this country, and that includes you guys too, it won't happen. Riding a bicycle in these conditions as a vehicle invites mixing it up with people who drive drunk, drive under the influence of drugs, are in road rage, and drive while talking on a cell phone, all of which impare drivers. The normal rules of the road, the VC riding you advocate, will not help in these situations.

I don't see anything that any of the VC advocates, including John Forester, are saying or doing that will help these numbers.

John
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Old 04-23-07, 08:26 PM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
That's very interesting, that you consider canoeing hazardous. I don't, and I used to have a river beside my house and take the canoe down at least 3-5 times a week. It's a means of transportation, but you still have to know the river, where things are, how to use the currents, plan the trip, etc. But I still look at the river, wear my PFD, sometimes wear a wet suit (cold water), and enjoy my paddling.
You may not realize it, but Lewis and Clark, on their expedition down the Columbia River and back, did not loose one person to a water mishap. They almost lost some gear, but not a person. Comparing my analogy to the Powell's expedition on the Colorado is also interesting, and shows where your heads are at. You guys don't know me at all, nor do you know much about canoeing. I have not been hurt paddling a canoe; but I have riding a bicycle.

You are also in denial about the safety of the roads. We have a major problem in this country about roads, and the use of it by cars. Here in Oregon, in fewer than the first 100 days of this year, we have had 100 deaths on the roads:

https://www.bta4bikes.org/btablog/200...ays-slow-down/

To quote this article, "A traffic crash occurs every 13 minutes and a fatality occurs every 18 hours in Oregon. Alcohol and drugs are involved in 40% of all crashes and speed is involved in over 50%. Nationally, the leading cause of death for persons ages 3 to 33 is a traffic crash." I think the BTA is listing four deaths to bicyclists in Oregon so far this year (if I'm reading the website correctly). So bicyclists are in this mix too.

I have the NHTSA study titled "The Economic Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes 2000" which put the cost of these crashes at $230.6 billion, or approximately $820 for each person in the USA, and about 2.3% of our GDP for the year 2000. In that year, there were 41,821 fatalities in the United States. 5.3 million persons were injured in 16.4 million motor vehicle crashes, which included the 41,821 fatalities. Here is the study:

https://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/staticfiles...Impact2000.pdf

Now, if you will please tell me how to get those numbers down to a tenth that level, then I will consider the roads relatively safe. Right now, they are not. Until there is a culture change in this country, and that includes you guys too, it won't happen. Riding a bicycle in these conditions as a vehicle invites mixing it up with people who drive drunk, drive under the influence of drugs, are in road rage, and drive while talking on a cell phone, all of which impare drivers. The normal rules of the road, the VC riding you advocate, will not help in these situations.

I don't see anything that any of the VC advocates, including John Forester, are saying or doing that will help these numbers.

John
Which number is bigger?

a) The number of hours people spent driving their cars today in Portland.
b) The number of hours people spent canoeing in the entire U.S. over the last hundred years.

Put some perspective on it, John.
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Old 04-23-07, 08:33 PM
  #132  
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Mr. Head, I think you are agreeing with john Ratliff's assessment that roads are more dangerous than canoeing, but both carry some risk.

Ever swamp a canoe, mr. Head? ever flailed out of one in whitewater?
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Old 04-23-07, 08:40 PM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
That's very interesting, that you consider canoeing hazardous. I don't, and I used to have a river beside my house and take the canoe down at least 3-5 times a week. It's a means of transportation, but you still have to know the river, where things are, how to use the currents, plan the trip, etc. But I still look at the river, wear my PFD, sometimes wear a wet suit (cold water), and enjoy my paddling.
You may not realize it, but Lewis and Clark, on their expedition down the Columbia River and back, did not loose one person to a water mishap. They almost lost some gear, but not a person. Comparing my analogy to the Powell's expedition on the Colorado is also interesting, and shows where your heads are at. You guys don't know me at all, nor do you know much about canoeing. I have not been hurt paddling a canoe; but I have riding a bicycle.

You are also in denial about the safety of the roads. We have a major problem in this country about roads, and the use of it by cars. Here in Oregon, in fewer than the first 100 days of this year, we have had 100 deaths on the roads:

https://www.bta4bikes.org/btablog/200...ays-slow-down/

To quote this article, "A traffic crash occurs every 13 minutes and a fatality occurs every 18 hours in Oregon. Alcohol and drugs are involved in 40% of all crashes and speed is involved in over 50%. Nationally, the leading cause of death for persons ages 3 to 33 is a traffic crash." I think the BTA is listing four deaths to bicyclists in Oregon so far this year (if I'm reading the website correctly). So bicyclists are in this mix too.

I have the NHTSA study titled "The Economic Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes 2000" which put the cost of these crashes at $230.6 billion, or approximately $820 for each person in the USA, and about 2.3% of our GDP for the year 2000. In that year, there were 41,821 fatalities in the United States. 5.3 million persons were injured in 16.4 million motor vehicle crashes, which included the 41,821 fatalities. Here is the study:

https://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/staticfiles...Impact2000.pdf

Now, if you will please tell me how to get those numbers down to a tenth that level, then I will consider the roads relatively safe. Right now, they are not. Until there is a culture change in this country, and that includes you guys too, it won't happen. Riding a bicycle in these conditions as a vehicle invites mixing it up with people who drive drunk, drive under the influence of drugs, are in road rage, and drive while talking on a cell phone, all of which impare drivers. The normal rules of the road, the VC riding you advocate, will not help in these situations.

I don't see anything that any of the VC advocates, including John Forester, are saying or doing that will help these numbers.

John
Don't be even sillier than usual, John C. Ratliff. It is not your function, nor ours, to make serious attempts to reduce the number of crashes to motor vehicles. What is at issue is what we can do to reduce accidents to cyclists, including, of course, car-bike collisions. That is where vehicular cycling enters, as the leading cause of car-bike collisions is failure to obey the rules of the road, more frequently by the cyclist than by the motorist, and, even when the motorist is considered to be at fault, the actions of the cyclist are frequently not admirable. Bike lanes and bike paths do nothing significant to reduce car-bike collisions, and nothing at all for other kinds of bicycling accident.
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Old 04-23-07, 10:11 PM
  #134  
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Mr. Forester,

It is pretty presumptuous of you to try to tell me what my function is, especially as I work for the safety department of a Fortune 500 company, and auto accidents are one of our primary risks (the other is ergonomic hazards). The reason I bicycle is to get to work, and my work is as a safety professional and industrial hygienist (yes, I am a CSP and a CIH; if you don't know what that is, google it). So I have both a professional obligation to try to reduce auto accidents, and a personal responsibility to do so.

For some reason, the mix of autos and bikes has changed since I was a kid in the 1950s. My sense is that there are more car/bike accidents, and more fatal accidents, now than there were then (I don't have the stats right now on that, but I'm sure they are available somewhere). Kids could bike anywhere without fear of cars then. Heck, my brother, Ken rode a tricycle down the middle of our steet (Evergreen Avenue, Salem, Oregon--it's still there) for over a quarter of a mile before someone figured out who it was and brought him home, at about four years old. Now, we have a 5 year-old girl dead in Portland from a car-bike accident. How does VC techniques help the kids?

Now, if you think that 41,821 fatalities in the year 2000 is a silly thing to talk about, it shows where your head is too. How about 784 bicycle fatalities in 2005 in the United States. Believe it or not, I got this from a comparison table from the International Shark Attack File, comparing bicycle fatalities in Florida and in the United States with shark attacks in Florida and the United States. Talk about silly, sharks are much more hazardous than bicycling on roads, right? Wrong! In Florida, since 1990 through 2005, 1,520 people died bicycling, while sharks claimed 4 people. In Florida, 95,554 bicyclists were injured during that time period, while 265 people were injured by sharks.

https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks...lariskbike.htm

Mr. Forester, if VC techniques would drive down the bicycle fatality rate, then you've had about 20 years to show it. If you'll look at the above table, do you see a decrease in the number of cycling fatalities in the past 20 years that you've been advocating VC techniques? It looks like for the 16 year period in that table, the mean number of deaths was 762 people on bikes being killed per year in the United States of America. The early 2000s were a bit down, but now in 2005, it's higher than the mean. Do you see a statistical difference over these sixteen years? If not, why not?

You can reduce accidents for cyclists by the principles I put forward above, time, distance and shielding. VC puts you into the mix, and that mix can be lethal. I ride, when I ride in traffic, using most of the VC techniques in your book, but you don't talk about recumbant bicycling, nor do you talk much about mirrors. I have found both the switch to a recumbant and use of mirrors very advantagous when riding in traffic. And obviously, I like bike paths that are away from cars. Today, I got to watch two geese landing near a creek on my bike path close to my home. You don't get to see that when riding on a road, as you are too busy looking out for traffic.

John

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Old 04-23-07, 10:13 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Which number is bigger?

a) The number of hours people spent driving their cars today in Portland.
b) The number of hours people spent canoeing in the entire U.S. over the last hundred years.

Put some perspective on it, John.
Have you any idea of the number of canoes being used by native populations in the United States in the early 1900s? I suggest you take a look again at a bit of our history.

https://www.firstpeople.us/canoe/suns...get-sound.html

John
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Old 04-23-07, 10:15 PM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by John Forester
Don't be even sillier than usual, John C. Ratliff. It is not your function, nor ours, to make serious attempts to reduce the number of crashes to motor vehicles. What is at issue is what we can do to reduce accidents to cyclists, including, of course, car-bike collisions.
I find this a very odd attitude, as surely the more "vehicularly" one cycles the more one is exposed to normal motor vehicle accidents. Reducing the number of motor vehicle accidents must make it safer for "vehicular" cyclists as well, almost by the definition of VC.

Random Breath Testing (with loss of licence), red light cameras and mobile roadside speed cameras all work but I understand it is practically impossible to introduce most of these in the USA so I have nothing else to suggest.

That is where vehicular cycling enters, as the leading cause of car-bike collisions is failure to obey the rules of the road, more frequently by the cyclist than by the motorist, and, even when the motorist is considered to be at fault, the actions of the cyclist are frequently not admirable.
I also have a few problems with this, as I think the biggest cause of car bike collisions is a lack of attention or observation of traffic conditions, often on the part of the cyclist.

The observation failures often lead to the breaking of a road rule and an accident, but the rule breakage is not the root cause of the accident. The stats are also skewed by the large number of young cyclists involved in car/bike collisions where it is definatly an error in judgment on their part.

Promoting VC as the cure all just does not work for me.

Bike lanes and bike paths do nothing significant to reduce car-bike collisions, and nothing at all for other kinds of bicycling accident.
Logicially by seperating cars and bikes into differnet lanes you would reduce some types of car/bike collisions (eg, hit from behined in same lane) while increasing others (eg, hit car door). Wether this is of a net positive benifit to cyclists is debateable (especially here ), but it surely must change the car/bike collision dynamic somehow.
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Old 04-23-07, 10:25 PM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
Now, if you think that 41,821 fatalities in the year 2000 is a silly thing to talk about, it shows where your head is too. How about 784 bicycle fatalities in 2005 in the United States. Believe it or not, I got this from a comparison table from the International Shark Attack File, comparing bicycle fatalities in Florida and in the United States with shark attacks in Florida and the United States. Talk about silly, sharks are much more hazardous than bicycling on roads, right? Wrong! In Florida, since 1990 through 2005, 1,520 people died bicycling, while sharks claimed 4 people. In Florida, 95,554 bicyclists were injured during that time period, while 265 people were injured by sharks.
Is there something surprising or significant in these numbers for you?

How does this relate to whether stripes might help or hinder?
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Old 04-23-07, 11:58 PM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Is there something surprising or significant in these numbers for you?

How does this relate to whether stripes might help or hinder?
The significance is that we are loosing almost as many people each year as we lost in the entire Vietnam War, and you feel it should not be a surprise, that it's normal. I'm very curious what number you would find "significant" here for yearly traffic fatalities?

Concerning the stripes, they will help to place responsibility on the driver to keep away from the bicyclist. In Oregon, it is no a means of segregating cyclists, as John Forester claims, but rather a separate lane dedicated to cyclists that they can leave to make turns when that is necessary.

Of greater importance, though, is the City of Portland's strategy for "traffic calming" which is shown on this website:

https://www.portlandonline.com/shared...e.cfm?id=40414

This includes both bike lanes and other enhancements such as bike boulevards, local service bikeways, off-street paths, etc. A strip on a road is just a small part of working toward a solution. The City of San Francisco is actively working at "traffic calming" techniques, and this should help too:

https://www.sfgov.org/site/bac_page.asp?id=11544

From a safety perspective, VC techniques are what we call "administrative controls." Usually, administrative controls do not do as well as engineering controls, as they depend upon the cyclist's and the driver's behavior, and for both to be working by the same set of rules, with the same assumptions, etc. That breaks down fairly easily in industry, and from those stats on fatalities, on the road too.

John
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Old 04-24-07, 12:34 PM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
That's very interesting, that you consider canoeing hazardous. I don't, and I used to have a river beside my house and take the canoe down at least 3-5 times a week. It's a means of transportation, but you still have to know the river, where things are, how to use the currents, plan the trip, etc. But I still look at the river, wear my PFD, sometimes wear a wet suit (cold water), and enjoy my paddling.
You may not realize it, but Lewis and Clark, on their expedition down the Columbia River and back, did not loose one person to a water mishap. They almost lost some gear, but not a person. Comparing my analogy to the Powell's expedition on the Colorado is also interesting, and shows where your heads are at. You guys don't know me at all, nor do you know much about canoeing. I have not been hurt paddling a canoe; but I have riding a bicycle.

You are also in denial about the safety of the roads. We have a major problem in this country about roads, and the use of it by cars. Here in Oregon, in fewer than the first 100 days of this year, we have had 100 deaths on the roads:

https://www.bta4bikes.org/btablog/200...ays-slow-down/

To quote this article, "A traffic crash occurs every 13 minutes and a fatality occurs every 18 hours in Oregon. Alcohol and drugs are involved in 40% of all crashes and speed is involved in over 50%. Nationally, the leading cause of death for persons ages 3 to 33 is a traffic crash." I think the BTA is listing four deaths to bicyclists in Oregon so far this year (if I'm reading the website correctly). So bicyclists are in this mix too.

I have the NHTSA study titled "The Economic Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes 2000" which put the cost of these crashes at $230.6 billion, or approximately $820 for each person in the USA, and about 2.3% of our GDP for the year 2000. In that year, there were 41,821 fatalities in the United States. 5.3 million persons were injured in 16.4 million motor vehicle crashes, which included the 41,821 fatalities. Here is the study:

https://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/staticfiles...Impact2000.pdf

Now, if you will please tell me how to get those numbers down to a tenth that level, then I will consider the roads relatively safe. Right now, they are not. Until there is a culture change in this country, and that includes you guys too, it won't happen. Riding a bicycle in these conditions as a vehicle invites mixing it up with people who drive drunk, drive under the influence of drugs, are in road rage, and drive while talking on a cell phone, all of which impare drivers. The normal rules of the road, the VC riding you advocate, will not help in these situations.

I don't see anything that any of the VC advocates, including John Forester, are saying or doing that will help these numbers.

John
And what prey tell does that have to do with the issue at hand? Everybody knows those numbers. But, thankfully there are far fewer bicyclist deaths, averaging about 800 annually. If one deducted wrong-way cyclists, cyclists riding without lights after dark and bicycles being operated by children out of the total, you would have around half that number. One is statistically more likely to die while walking than cycling.

And, by your own statistics, a large portion of the accidents involve alcohol consumption. What is a white line painted down the road demarcating a bike lane going to do against an impaired motorist? Maybe your next suggestion will be Jersey barriers to separate cyclists from the drunken hoards........

You are a fear monger John, plain and simple. Cycling vehicularly on the road is reasonably safe. No paint stripe needed.
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Old 04-24-07, 01:20 PM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
The significance is that we are loosing almost as many people each year as we lost in the entire Vietnam War, and you feel it should not be a surprise, that it's normal. I'm very curious what number you would find "significant" here for yearly traffic fatalities?

Concerning the stripes, they will help to place responsibility on the driver to keep away from the bicyclist. In Oregon, it is no a means of segregating cyclists, as John Forester claims, but rather a separate lane dedicated to cyclists that they can leave to make turns when that is necessary.

Of greater importance, though, is the City of Portland's strategy for "traffic calming" which is shown on this website:

https://www.portlandonline.com/shared...e.cfm?id=40414

This includes both bike lanes and other enhancements such as bike boulevards, local service bikeways, off-street paths, etc. A strip on a road is just a small part of working toward a solution. The City of San Francisco is actively working at "traffic calming" techniques, and this should help too:

https://www.sfgov.org/site/bac_page.asp?id=11544
I am honestly having a hard time understanding your point, much less its relevance to stripes or anything else that is appropriate to discuss in this forum, much less anything we're actually discussing.

Where "uncalm" traffic is a known problem, I'm all for traffic calming. That is not a VC issue. With respect to stripes, there is also the gun barrel effect to consider: where having a buffered space to the side decreases perceived "side friction" for drivers and actually increases average speeds.

The number of people that died in the Vietnam War is tragic. So is the number that are killed by cars. This is not an issue of VC or stripes... unless you're arguing that stripes have been shown to significantly reduce that number (which is the implication of what you're saying... otherwise what's the point? ... but you avoid actually saying it, perhaps because you know it would be pure baseless conjecture).

From a safety perspective, VC techniques are what we call "administrative controls." Usually, administrative controls do not do as well as engineering controls, as they depend upon the cyclist's and the driver's behavior, and for both to be working by the same set of rules, with the same assumptions, etc. That breaks down fairly easily in industry, and from those stats on fatalities, on the road too.
800 deaths per year. Let's say 400 are due to blatant cyclist violation of basic VC rules (riding at night without lights, riding the wrong way against traffic, etc.).

Of the remaining 400, how many involve the cyclist not practicing advanced VC techniques that would have prevented the crash, much less the death? Here is where you and I probably differ, because I would estimate that number to be 95% or higher, if not 99% or higher, judging by how often I see cyclists ride contrary to these rules. So, by my numbers, 800 deaths per year could be reduced to a handful if we could get cyclists to adopt advanced vc techniques.

More importantly, regardless of what others do, if it's true, then the odds of a given cyclist getting killed in a car crash would be lower than the odds of an average cyclist by about two orders of magnitude, if the given cyclist adopted advanced vc techniques, without a single engineering change, and without a single change in the behavior of any motorist anywhere.

This is why I'm such a strong proponent of VC.

EDIT: If you're limited on time, I'd rather you respond to Mr. Forester below.

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Old 04-24-07, 01:35 PM
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Does this mean I should treat my bike like a canoe?
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Old 04-24-07, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
The significance is that we are loosing almost as many people each year as we lost in the entire Vietnam War, and you feel it should not be a surprise, that it's normal. I'm very curious what number you would find "significant" here for yearly traffic fatalities?

Concerning the stripes, they will help to place responsibility on the driver to keep away from the bicyclist. In Oregon, it is no a means of segregating cyclists, as John Forester claims, but rather a separate lane dedicated to cyclists that they can leave to make turns when that is necessary.

Of greater importance, though, is the City of Portland's strategy for "traffic calming" which is shown on this website:

https://www.portlandonline.com/shared...e.cfm?id=40414

This includes both bike lanes and other enhancements such as bike boulevards, local service bikeways, off-street paths, etc. A strip on a road is just a small part of working toward a solution. The City of San Francisco is actively working at "traffic calming" techniques, and this should help too:

https://www.sfgov.org/site/bac_page.asp?id=11544

From a safety perspective, VC techniques are what we call "administrative controls." Usually, administrative controls do not do as well as engineering controls, as they depend upon the cyclist's and the driver's behavior, and for both to be working by the same set of rules, with the same assumptions, etc. That breaks down fairly easily in industry, and from those stats on fatalities, on the road too.

John
The point is not the absolute number of motor-vehicle crashes, but that, by and large, attempting to reduce motor-vehicle crashes is not a significant task for cyclists. We have plenty to do for our own accidents.

Ratliffe argues that the bike lane stripe is intended to "help to place responsibility on the driver to keep away from the bicyclist. In Oregon, it is no[t] a means of segregating cyclists, as John Forester claims, but rather a separate lane dedicated to cyclists that they can leave to make turns when that is necessary." That's a fine argument, but it does not change the facts at all. Bike lanes were invented to clear the way for motorists, which they do fairly well, without regard to the safety of cyclists. Bicycle advocates now praise bike lanes for doing something else instead, just as Ratliff has done here.

The question is, whether it is worthwhile to put up with the harm that the bike lane was designed to do, and the harm that it does simply because its designers didn't worry too much about harm to cyclists, in the hope that it does something that was not intended by its designers? That's unreasonable. And look at Ratliff's own excuse, that the bike-lane stripe helps keep motorists away from cyclists. That's been debated for years, and recently a series of such tests have been run. The conclusion is that motorists overtake cyclists with less clearance when there is a bike-lane stripe than when there isn't.

The traffic calming bits of the Portland Bicycle Plan are just what should not be imposed on cyclists: curb bulbouts for cyclists to either run into or swerve around.

Now consider Ratliff's argument, as a safety engineer, about vehicular cycling. "From a safety perspective, VC techniques are what we call "administrative controls." Usually, administrative controls do not do as well as engineering controls ... " That is the standard view, but its applicability is limited to situations in which the engineering controls work at least as well as the "administrative controls." While we have many traffic engineering devices, we still have to rely on the rules of the road. If we had engineering devices that worked as well as the rules of the road, we would be using them for motorists, but we have not invented such. Since we have not, with all the effort put into traffic engineering, been able to dismiss the rules of the road, what reason is there to believe that the tiny effort put into bicycle traffic engineering, which has, so far, produced only devices that contradict the rules of the road, has done the job of supplanting the rules of the road? The idea is incredible.
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Old 04-24-07, 04:08 PM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by John Forester
Now consider Ratliff's argument, as a safety engineer, about vehicular cycling. "From a safety perspective, VC techniques are what we call "administrative controls." Usually, administrative controls do not do as well as engineering controls ... " That is the standard view, but its applicability is limited to situations in which the engineering controls work at least as well as the "administrative controls." While we have many traffic engineering devices, we still have to rely on the rules of the road. If we had engineering devices that worked as well as the rules of the road, we would be using them for motorists, but we have not invented such. Since we have not, with all the effort put into traffic engineering, been able to dismiss the rules of the road, what reason is there to believe that the tiny effort put into bicycle traffic engineering, which has, so far, produced only devices that contradict the rules of the road, has done the job of supplanting the rules of the road? The idea is incredible.
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Old 04-24-07, 04:38 PM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by John Forester
The point is not the absolute number of motor-vehicle crashes, but that, by and large, attempting to reduce motor-vehicle crashes is not a significant task for cyclists. We have plenty to do for our own accidents.
In that case, don't assume that others have the same on their plate that you have.

Originally Posted by John Forester
Ratliff argues that the bike lane stripe is intended to "help to place responsibility on the driver to keep away from the bicyclist. In Oregon, it is no[t] a means of segregating cyclists, as John Forester claims, but rather a separate lane dedicated to cyclists that they can leave to make turns when that is necessary." That's a fine argument, but it does not change the facts at all. Bike lanes were invented to clear the way for motorists, which they do fairly well, without regard to the safety of cyclists. Bicycle advocates now praise bike lanes for doing something else instead, just as Ratliff has done here. (slightly edited to spell my name correctly)
That is your impression, based upon the battles you have fought in perhaps a different part of the country.

Originally Posted by John Forester
The question is, whether it is worthwhile to put up with the harm that the bike lane was designed to do, and the harm that it does simply because its designers didn't worry too much about harm to cyclists, in the hope that it does something that was not intended by its designers? That's unreasonable. And look at Ratliff's own excuse, that the bike-lane stripe helps keep motorists away from cyclists. That's been debated for years, and recently a series of such tests have been run. The conclusion is that motorists overtake cyclists with less clearance when there is a bike-lane stripe than when there isn't.
Helmet head just got on my case for trying to test that out, by riding outside the bike lanes. I found that I was passed further by some, and closer by others. I did have several irritated motorists when I did it, and Helmet Head told us all that he would have been irritated too.

Originally Posted by John Forester
The traffic calming bits of the Portland Bicycle Plan are just what should not be imposed on cyclists: curb bulbouts for cyclists to either run into or swerve around.
I don't think that is the main thrust of the traffic calming. In my neighborhood, we also use speed bumps.

Originally Posted by John Forester
Now consider Ratliff's argument, as a safety engineer, about vehicular cycling. "From a safety perspective, VC techniques are what we call "administrative controls." Usually, administrative controls do not do as well as engineering controls ... " That is the standard view, but its applicability is limited to situations in which the engineering controls work at least as well as the "administrative controls." While we have many traffic engineering devices, we still have to rely on the rules of the road. If we had engineering devices that worked as well as the rules of the road, we would be using them for motorists, but we have not invented such. Since we have not, with all the effort put into traffic engineering, been able to dismiss the rules of the road, what reason is there to believe that the tiny effort put into bicycle traffic engineering, which has, so far, produced only devices that contradict the rules of the road, has done the job of supplanting the rules of the road? The idea is incredible.(emphasis added)
I'm curious, then, as to what you call traffic roundabouts? They are shown here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundab...ory_and_safety

Are these not an engineering control? If so, why do you say that they have not been invented yet? In the Bend, Oregon we used to have a straight, two-lane roadway called Century Drive. We could leave the city driving and start a very fast acceleration on a trip to the lakes or to Mt. Bachelor. We cannot do that now, as the first number of miles (something like four miles) has a number of traffic circles (roundabouts) built into the center of the road. A few years back, my wife and I bicycled these, and found them very nice to the bicyclist. Haven't been invented yet? I'm curious why these are not even considered by you, as it most definately is an engineering control. Drivers who are impared would likely end up stranded on the elevated center of the roundabout too, a plus for the design.

By the way, there is a discussion about whether bike lanes are appropriate for cyclists on these traffic roundabouts. They seem to work well in Bend, but here, with the traffic calming that is done by the roundabouts themselves, it may be that it would be best not to have a bike lane here. Because the cars are in a mode of slowing down to make the turns, the bicycle would have a better means of integrating into the traffic.

John

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Old 04-24-07, 05:23 PM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
I

I'm curious, then, as to what you call traffic roundabouts? They are shown here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundab...ory_and_safety

Are these not an engineering control? If so, why do you say that they have not been invented yet? In the Bend, Oregon we used to have a straight, two-lane roadway called Century Drive. We could leave the city driving and start a very fast acceleration on a trip to the lakes or to Mt. Bachelor. We cannot do that now, as the first number of miles (something like four miles) has a number of traffic circles (roundabouts) built into the center of the road. A few years back, my wife and I bicycled these, and found them very nice to the bicyclist. Haven't been invented yet? I'm curious why these are not even considered by you, as it most definately is an engineering control. Drivers who are impared would likely end up stranded on the elevated center of the roundabout too, a plus for the design.

By the way, there is a discussion about whether bike lanes are appropriate for cyclists on these traffic roundabouts. They seem to work well in Bend, but here, with the traffic calming that is done by the roundabouts themselves, it may be that it would be best not to have a bike lane here. Because the cars are in a mode of slowing down to make the turns, the bicycle would have a better means of integrating into the traffic.

John
The traffic circles shown on the Portland Bicycle Plan are the dangerous type. Traffic circles, or roundabouts, can be designed to aid cyclists. I grew up in a nation with good traffic circles, and for several years I cycled in Massachusetts during the years when they had traffic circles. When I cycled to work from Berkeley to Richmond and back, I partially circled a traffic circle, and there is another in Long Beach, on 101, which I used to use sometimes when I lived nearby. I have also cycled those in Washington DC, which are done really wrong, with traffic signals in them. In 1985 Dorris and I took a 5-week cycle tour of England, and found cities that one could cycle right across without stopping, because of traffic circles. And in Swindon there's a setup with seven interlinked traffic circles, which we rode, without previous instruction, without any problem at all. Since then, I have recommended traffic circles of the good type.

Right-of-way at roundabouts has to be set so that traffic entering yields to that already circulating. The entries need to be not tangential, but sufficiently not tangential that the entering driver has to slow and yield if necessary, and the entry should not be cramped so as to force the cyclist to the side. If the roundabout has to carry so much traffic that two lanes are warranted, then the legs have to be sufficiently far apart, making a large diameter, for lane changing to occur between legs.

I rode several of these large roundabouts, and got into trouble only once. In England, riding on the left side of the road, and out in the country. I knew that the next turn should be right, so when I came to it, and being somewhat mislead by the signing, Dorris and I turned right. Smack into traffic coming at us. That was the proper road, but the intersection was a traffic circle so large that it had a coppice of trees in the middle of it. Only something a stranger would be misled by.

There has been discussion in England of bike lanes around roundabouts. Never put them inside the roundabout. Those who perform the function of bicycle advocates here admitted that would be dangerous, so they recommend putting them around outside the traffic circle, with intersections at every leg of the system. That gets a big raspberry from most.

If you had read Effective Cycling, you would have read my recommendations about cycling through roundabout.
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Old 04-24-07, 05:37 PM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by John Ratliff
Originally Posted by John Forester
And look at Ratliff's own excuse, that the bike-lane stripe helps keep motorists away from cyclists. That's been debated for years, and recently a series of such tests have been run. The conclusion is that motorists overtake cyclists with less clearance when there is a bike-lane stripe than when there isn't.
Helmet head just got on my case for trying to test that out, by riding outside the bike lanes. I found that I was passed further by some, and closer by others. I did have several irritated motorists when I did it, and Helmet Head told us all that he would have been irritated too.
Mr. Ratliff, sir, please pay heed. The tests Mr. Forester refers to involve comparing cyclist and motorist behavior on roads with bike lanes to cyclist and motorist behavior on roads without bike lanes. You are speaking of comparing motorist behavior in response to a cyclist (you) riding outside of a bike lane (when faster traffic is present) to motorist behevior in response to a cyclist riding inside the bike lane.

Unless the outside lane is so wide that even to the left of the bike lane you are still more than 3 feet to the right of overtaking traffic, whatever you're testing is not vehicular cycling when you're riding there in the presence of faster traffic in between intersections.

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Old 04-24-07, 05:54 PM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Unless the outside lane is so wide that even to the left of the bike lane you are still more than 3 feet to the right of overtaking traffic, whatever you're testing is not vehicular cycling when you're riding there in the presence of faster traffic in between intersections.
It's not vehicular to take a lane in traffic?! You are only allowed to take the lane near an intersection?!

What's not vehicular about it?

I remember one time you listed a rank ordering of traffic facilities. Here was your answer:

1) wide outside lanes
2) narrow outside lanes
3) bike lanes

Now, then. You also claim that bike lanes are actively dangerous for cyclists to use. Since you list narrow outside lanes before bike lanes, and thinking that bike lanes are dangerous in their own right, why aren't you riding a bike laned road as if it were a narrow outside lane road? Pretend the bike lane line is a curb and ride it as such. Don't let those misguided motorists tell you anything different!

What, you use the dangerous bike lane because of social norms?! Because it is what is expected of you?! And now, because you bow down to society's expectations, you pretend that ignoring the bike lane is not vehicular!

JF at least is consistent in saying that bike lanes are not so bad (at least they provide space, right?) that he rides while ignoring the lane line, using the space it provides but not necessarily the lane positional guidance. That's what I do sometimes, especially on ill-concieved bike lanes. But your claim that riding to the left of a bike lane is somehow not vehicular?! It is the ultimate in vehicular cycling! If you truly feel that bike lanes are so dangerous as to actually promote accidents (see your "Bike Lane Death" thread, if it still exists), then it logically follows that you wouldn't use those lanes and put yourself in danger.
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Old 04-24-07, 06:10 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by John Forester
If you had read Effective Cycling, you would have read my recommendations about cycling through roundabout.
I don't recall that section, have to go back and read it.

But how would you ride a roundabout with three lanes and sweeping intersections... the one in the attached pic is the Weatherford traffic circle in Fort Worth Texas... Google at https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...05037&t=k&om=1

Note that the streets have state highway numbers, but are "surface streets" not highways... the traffic moves at something over the posted 45MPH speed limit on this thing... suitable for biking? (it can be difficult to drive)

I used to ride a bike in that city and frankly did everything I could to avoid that traffic circle. Which usually meant a long way around. There are ways around. But for the record, this is classic auto centric design.
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Old 04-24-07, 06:23 PM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
It's not vehicular to take a lane in traffic?! You are only allowed to take the lane near an intersection?!
Brian, your normally rational core is having some kind of meltdown today.

What's not vehicular about it?
What's not vehicular about riding outside of a bike lane between intersections when that puts you closer than 3 feet to passing traffic is it's violating principle #5 of vehicular cycling:
  • Between intersections, position yourself according to your speed relative to other traffic; slower traffic is nearer the curb and faster traffic is nearer the centerline. [Effective Cycling, p. 246]
I'm genuinely surprised. I thought you knew the basics better than that. Your Dad too. Didn't he read Effective Cycling?

I remember one time you listed a rank ordering of traffic facilities. Here was your answer:

1) wide outside lanes
2) narrow outside lanes
3) bike lanes
Amen, brother.

Now, then. You also claim that bike lanes are actively dangerous for cyclists to use.
False.

My claim is that they encourage the unitiated to engage in dangerous behavior. That's very different from them always being inherently dangerous to ride in, which I've never claimed, and what you seem to think I did.

Since you list narrow outside lanes before bike lanes, ...
Which means I prefer a road striped with a narrow traffic outside lane to a road striped with bike lanes on the outside.

... and thinking that bike lanes are dangerous in their own right,
False (explained above).

... why aren't you riding a bike laned road as if it were a narrow outside lane road?
Because it's not a narrow outside lane road. Typically, between intersections, there is nothing dangerous about riding in the space nearer the curb, about 3 feet to the right of passing traffic, whether or not that space happens to be demarcated with a bike lane stripe. I prefer to ride further left, because that's even safer, but it's not an option when faster same direction traffic is present for whom I'm required by vehicular cycling principle, law and common decency to yield to, as long as it's not unsafe for me to do so.

Pretend the bike lane line is a curb and ride it as such.
Why play such silly games when riding in traffic?

Don't let those misguided motorists tell you anything different!
My choice to abide by Principle #5 has nothing to do with what motorists are telling me.

What, you use the dangerous bike lane because of social norms?! Because it is what is expected of you?! And now, because you bow down to society's expectations, you pretend that ignoring the bike lane is not vehicular!
Strawman alert.

JF at least is consistent in saying that bike lanes are not so bad (at least they provide space, right?) that he rides while ignoring the lane line, using the space it provides but not necessarily the lane positional guidance. That's what I do sometimes, especially on ill-concieved bike lanes. But your claim that riding to the left of a bike lane is somehow not vehicular?! It is the ultimate in vehicular cycling! If you truly feel that bike lanes are so dangerous as to actually promote accidents (see your "Bike Lane Death" thread, if it still exists), then it logically follows that you wouldn't use those lanes and put yourself in danger.
I am astonished that you see some kind of significant distinction between what Mr. Forester says about bike lanes, and what I do.

He's never said, "bike lanes are not so bad" or that they provide space. We both note that the space provides the space, whether the stripe is there or not. And it's not about agreeing, it's simple logic.

Here's something I wrote back in October of 2005:

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Can you really not understand that while the anti-lane rhetoric based on VC principles IS about opposing the creation of bike lanes on roads where slow moving vehicles are not prohibited, and that it IS about supporting the removal of bike lanes on roads where slow moving vehicles are not prohibited, it is NOT about avoiding the USE of bike lanes.

Separate from the anti-BL rhetoric above that stems from VC principles, is VC advice about proper vehicular use of bike lanes: ignore the stripe and choose your position as if the stripe were not there.
link

Why is this so hard to understand that almost two years later you still think I'm saying vehicular cycling means always riding outside of bike lanes? Or that I believe bike lanes "are actively dangerous to use"? Why the strawmen?

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Old 04-24-07, 06:24 PM
  #150  
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Genec,

I don't think that really is in the spirit of a roundabout described earlier. It looks more like a circular roadway than an intersection.

John Forester,

I'm glad we agree that there are engineering controls that can work. I was talking about the ones in Bend, Oregon. I haven't seen the Portland ones on a bike (there are some near the Portland Airport, but not usually used by bicyclists).

John
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