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Are you happier without bike facilities?

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Are you happier without bike facilities?

Old 03-15-08, 03:09 PM
  #351  
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Originally Posted by ChipSeal View Post
"Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs by facts." -Henry Rosovski



Facts are stubborn things. Perhaps you think it would be prudent to abandon what we know to be factually true and embrace contrary emotional beliefs? Do you think through your position before you post?



"Some things are believed because they are demonstrably true. But many other things are are believed because they are consistent with a widely held vision of the world-- and this vision is accepted as a substitute for facts." Thomas Sowell; Economic Facts and Fallacies

It would be a wise man who made sure his vision of the world corresponded with how the world actually works. There is a value in dismissing false emotional beliefs. If those beliefs are demonstrably false, why keep them? To what end would you cling to them? We all have enough difficulties without that too.
Am I to conclude that you are a wise man?

Your ponderous, irrelevant quotations aside, I'll venture that you hold numerous unprovable beliefs and choose to call them facts. You probably would have made a good missionary back when the bible was used as a cudgel to destroy cultures and races.

Why should anyone think through their position before posting when you and others already have all the 'facts' and we primitive tribes need only adopt your 'facts' as ours and we will be saved.

I'm amazed at the amount of rhetoric and opinions that the extremists put forward as fact.

In my world, facts require substantiation and supporting data. Not louder shouts and 'consensus' by proclamation to make them so.

Since when do facts rule? You must be living in some dream world.
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Old 03-15-08, 04:10 PM
  #352  
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Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
...arguing that vehicular cyclists have to disobey those instructions [rules of the road], is clear proof that bike-lane stripes contradict the rules of the road.
Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
The contradiction is between what the bike-lane stripe tells the public and the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles.
Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
I can't be bothered to (re???)answer this question.
Your assertion is that a VC has to disobey the rules of the road only when a bike lane is present. And these rules of the road exist in the mind of the public. So therefore anytime a cyclists is riding where the general public does not expect/desire a cyclist, it is the cyclists alone who is contradicting/disobeying the rules of the road. Sorry but I am not buying this argument.

You seem to confuse "rules of the road" as outlined by laws and driver of vehicle instructions with the desire of the motoring public to see us out of their way. You seem to conveniently switch definitions to suite whatever purpose you have in mind. My apologizes to comprehend such a convoluted argument.

Rules of the road as outlined by laws and driver of vehicle instructions allow a cyclist to leave the right side of the roadway whether a bike lane is present or not.

Rules of the road as defined by what the general public expects/desires a cyclist to stay to the far right whether a bike lane is present or not.

Please pick a definition and stick with it.

Using the former definition a VC can ride safely while obeying the rules of the road whether a bike lane is present or not.

Using the latter definition a VC can only ride safely while disobeying the rules of the road whether a bike lane is present or not.

Summary: No difference in regards to "rules of the road" with bike lanes or without.
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Old 03-15-08, 04:20 PM
  #353  
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
THC's basic principles:
Reality can be proven.
Arguments that rely on pontifications, exaggerations and abstractions are highly suspect of being just superstitions.


Despite how many principles you pontificate the reality is bike lanes do not increase accidents. You can try all you want to make up some fantasy world where bike lanes might, maybe, possibly be something different but it comes down to it is you that are selling silly arguments that are full of superstitions.

other stuff snipped
Boy, and stated in purple prose, no less. "Reality can be proven." What a claim, indeed. Which school of philosophy do you belong to, from which you have acquired such a belief?

However I will grant you a bit of grace in answering my obvious question about the subject under discussion. Upon what extremely strong evidence do you base your advocacy of bike lanes?



Enough about yourself. Well, not quite. You claim that I am "selling silly arguments that are full of superstitions." With your emphasis on a reality that can be proved, surely you have the facts to demonstrate the validity of your claim. Please identify the superstitions that fill my arguments, and what characteristics make my arguments silly. I am quite prepared to consider whatever facts you present.
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Old 03-15-08, 05:06 PM
  #354  
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
Your assertion is that a VC has to disobey the rules of the road only when a bike lane is present. And these rules of the road exist in the mind of the public. So therefore anytime a cyclists is riding where the general public does not expect/desire a cyclist, it is the cyclists alone who is contradicting/disobeying the rules of the road. Sorry but I am not buying this argument.

You seem to confuse "rules of the road" as outlined by laws and driver of vehicle instructions with the desire of the motoring public to see us out of their way. You seem to conveniently switch definitions to suite whatever purpose you have in mind. My apologizes to comprehend such a convoluted argument.

Rules of the road as outlined by laws and driver of vehicle instructions allow a cyclist to leave the right side of the roadway whether a bike lane is present or not.

Rules of the road as defined by what the general public expects/desires a cyclist to stay to the far right whether a bike lane is present or not.

Please pick a definition and stick with it.

Using the former definition a VC can ride safely while obeying the rules of the road whether a bike lane is present or not.

Using the latter definition a VC can only ride safely while disobeying the rules of the road whether a bike lane is present or not.

Summary: No difference in regards to "rules of the road" with bike lanes or without.

My original statement was: "That argument is more illogical malarkey. Claiming that the operating instructions produced in drivers' minds by the bike-lane stripe agree with the rules of the road, when simultaneously arguing that vehicular cyclists have to disobey those instructions, is clear proof that bike-lane stripes contradict the rules of the road."

It is quite clear that I was stating your argument, not mine, up to the conclusion. I concluded that if you (or whoever it was) are confused about the effect of the bike-lane stripe, that is pretty good proof that the concept produced by the stripe violates the rules of the road.

And I am utterly astonished by the first part of your argument, that I confuse the rules of the road with the publics' desire to have us out of their way. I can say only that such a thought has never crossed my mind.

But I do understand the argument that you are making. You argue that, in the mind of the public, the bike-lane stripe has no greater significance than the mythical zone that demarcates being "as close as practicable" to the edge of the road. OK, I'll bite, but whether I bite on your bait or bite you and your argument remains to be seen.

I think that your argument is more malarkey. Just visually, the bike-lane stripe is clearly obvious, while the individual member of the public has no clear idea of what constitutes as close as practicable, and the sum of all the individual views is even more diffuse. Furthermore, that stripe was put there by a government organization that is charged with the responsibility of acting properly, according to standards applied with good judgment. As such, the stripe must be given, and treated with, the respect appropriate to such official products. Also, the stripe provides a clear and precise demarcation between the area in which a cyclist is safe and the area in which he is in danger. Any item with that function is granted a great deal of respect. Still more, bike-lane stripes were placed there as the result of considerable effort exercised by the public toward the government. Since so many people believe that bike-lane stripes are worth exerting such personal effort, a bike-lane stripe must carry great significance. Since so many people believe that bike-lane stripes make cycling safe, there must be a great deal of truth in that belief.

For all of these reasons, I think that a bike-lane stripe carries much more significance in the mind of the general public than does the rather vaguely defined zone that is "as close as practicable" to the edge of the road.
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Old 03-15-08, 06:01 PM
  #355  
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Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
Boy, and stated in purple prose, no less. "Reality can be proven." What a claim, indeed. Which school of philosophy do you belong to, from which you have acquired such a belief?

However I will grant you a bit of grace in answering my obvious question about the subject under discussion. Upon what extremely strong evidence do you base your advocacy of bike lanes?

Enough about yourself. Well, not quite. You claim that I am "selling silly arguments that are full of superstitions." With your emphasis on a reality that can be proved, surely you have the facts to demonstrate the validity of your claim. Please identify the superstitions that fill my arguments, and what characteristics make my arguments silly. I am quite prepared to consider whatever facts you present.
There are three kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who can't.

Similarly there are three kinds of cycling advocates, those who are for bike lanes and those who are against.

Since you are against bike lanes and we are having this discussion you erroneously assume that I must be for bike lanes, since there can only be two types of people in this world since obviously I can't count.

Ah, but what if I really can count and there is more then two types of bicycling advocates? You seem to have a childish expectation that everything must be ether good or bad and nothing can be neutral. But with scientific inquiry we can determine if there is a correlation between thing A and thing B or not. If there is no correlation then there is no good or bad about what was studied it simply has no influence or is neutral. This is the world of mathematical science and the discipline of statistics. This is my "philosophy" and you trying to discredit that discipline only discredits yourself in trying to use unproven methods for proof.

In plain in simple terms their is no correlation between bike lanes and the increase or decrease in bicycle crashes therefore bike lanes are for all practical purposes neutral in regards to cyclists safety.

As much as you have a disdain for people who try to infer that bike lanes increase safety by using silly arguments, I have a disdain for people who try to infer that bike lanes decrease safety by using silly arguments. Without a correlation no inference can be made.

Attempting to make an inference that bike lanes decrease cyclists safety is where you begin to introduce "silly" arguments, you need to first prove a correlation which you have not. I could go into more detail but that would only detract from the main error.
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Old 03-15-08, 07:27 PM
  #356  
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
There are three kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who can't.
Oh man, such binary thinking! There are actually 10!
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Old 03-15-08, 08:01 PM
  #357  
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Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
My original statement was: "That argument is more illogical malarkey. Claiming that the operating instructions produced in drivers' minds by the bike-lane stripe agree with the rules of the road, when simultaneously arguing that vehicular cyclists have to disobey those instructions, is clear proof that bike-lane stripes contradict the rules of the road."

It is quite clear that I was stating your argument, not mine, up to the conclusion. I concluded that if you (or whoever it was) are confused about the effect of the bike-lane stripe, that is pretty good proof that the concept produced by the stripe violates the rules of the road.

[snip]
First and foremost it is you that inserted "vehicular cyclists have to disobey" the rules of the road. Please provide a situation with a bike lane and the rule of the road that is being violated by a VC AND stop and desist attributing such a nonsensical statement to me.

So far all the pretty good proof we have is that you need to insert stuff into others peoples statements in order to discredit them, that is a shameful ploy. Please back up you assertion for this conversation to continue.
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Last edited by The Human Car; 03-15-08 at 08:19 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 03-15-08, 08:34 PM
  #358  
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
There are three kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who can't.

Similarly there are three kinds of cycling advocates, those who are for bike lanes and those who are against.

Since you are against bike lanes and we are having this discussion you erroneously assume that I must be for bike lanes, since there can only be two types of people in this world since obviously I can't count.

Ah, but what if I really can count and there is more then two types of bicycling advocates? You seem to have a childish expectation that everything must be ether good or bad and nothing can be neutral. But with scientific inquiry we can determine if there is a correlation between thing A and thing B or not. If there is no correlation then there is no good or bad about what was studied it simply has no influence or is neutral. This is the world of mathematical science and the discipline of statistics. This is my "philosophy" and you trying to discredit that discipline only discredits yourself in trying to use unproven methods for proof.

In plain in simple terms their is no correlation between bike lanes and the increase or decrease in bicycle crashes therefore bike lanes are for all practical purposes neutral in regards to cyclists safety.

As much as you have a disdain for people who try to infer that bike lanes increase safety by using silly arguments, I have a disdain for people who try to infer that bike lanes decrease safety by using silly arguments. Without a correlation no inference can be made.

Attempting to make an inference that bike lanes decrease cyclists safety is where you begin to introduce "silly" arguments, you need to first prove a correlation which you have not. I could go into more detail but that would only detract from the main error.
On the basis of this latest posting, you clearly have little understanding of philosophy and little more than that of statistics. And, equally clearly, you have not paid attention to what I have written about bike lanes and car-bike collisions.

It appears that you think that I have been trying to prove that bike-lane stripes significantly increase car-bike collisions. I have never so held; I don't know why you think that I have made that claim. I repeat, that it is obvious that bike-lane stripes can make only a very small reduction in car-bike collisions of the motorist-overtaking-cyclist types, while they probably increase those involving turning and crossing traffic, and that the balance is probably a slight increase. No more than that is justified, in my opinion. You claim that my position is wrong because it has not been shown by empiric data. That is no a valid claim. Nobody has done a study to determine these things, so there is no empiric data to be used by either side, and it may be that the effect is insufficiently large to be detectable by the usual kind of study. If such data emerge, then they will govern, but until then we need to use our best judgment.

So that has been your reason for inventing what I term silly, meaning unrealistic, arguments about driving skills and the like? Thinking that I was trying to prove by argument an effect that can be determined only by empiric data? That was not my intent at all. I have repeatedly stated that the major problem regarding American bicycle transportation is that very few American bicyclists operate in the known proper manner, which is vehicular cycling, operating in accordance with the rules of the road. A major cause of this failure is the belief that cyclists should not so operate, that it requires extreme courage, skill, and physical power. And that belief was first fostered by the motoring organizations to serve their own interests, then it became publicly accepted as necessary faith, and then justified the bike way program. The bike-lane part of the bikeway program amplifies this superstition and, also, confuses people as to the proper way to operate. While the safety effect is not large, the political, social, and psychological effects are large. That's primarily what's wrong with the government's bikeway program, that is founded on, and thereby magnifies, the harmful superstitions about bicycling in traffic. I reached this conclusion some twenty years ago, or more, and I have frequently reiterated it.
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Old 03-15-08, 08:39 PM
  #359  
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I wrote: "My original statement was: "That argument is more illogical malarkey. Claiming that the operating instructions produced in drivers' minds by the bike-lane stripe agree with the rules of the road, when simultaneously arguing that vehicular cyclists have to disobey those instructions, is clear proof that bike-lane stripes contradict the rules of the road."

It is quite clear that I was stating your argument, not mine, up to the conclusion. I concluded that if you (or whoever it was) are confused about the effect of the bike-lane stripe, that is pretty good proof that the concept produced by the stripe violates the rules of the road.

[snip]


Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
First and foremost it is you that inserted "vehicular cyclists have to disobey" the rules of the road. Please provide a situation with a bike lane and the rule of the road that is being violated by a VC AND stop and desist attributing such a nonsensical statement to me.

So far all the pretty good proof we have is that you need to insert stuff into others peoples statements in order to discredit them, that is a shameful ploy. Please back up you assertion for this conversation to continue.
Read what I wrote. I referred to the "instructions" produced in drivers' minds by the bike-lane stripe, and then I explicitly referred again to vehicular cyclists, by your own argument, having to violate those same "instructions". I did not say that the vehicular cyclists violated the rules of the road. Had I meant that I would have written it.
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Old 03-16-08, 12:28 AM
  #360  
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Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
I wrote: "My original statement was: "That argument is more illogical malarkey. Claiming that the operating instructions produced in drivers' minds by the bike-lane stripe agree with the rules of the road, when simultaneously arguing that vehicular cyclists have to disobey those instructions, is clear proof that bike-lane stripes contradict the rules of the road."

It is quite clear that I was stating your argument, not mine, up to the conclusion. I concluded that if you (or whoever it was) are confused about the effect of the bike-lane stripe, that is pretty good proof that the concept produced by the stripe violates the rules of the road.

[snip]

Read what I wrote. I referred to the "instructions" produced in drivers' minds by the bike-lane stripe, and then I explicitly referred again to vehicular cyclists, by your own argument, having to violate those same "instructions". I did not say that the vehicular cyclists violated the rules of the road. Had I meant that I would have written it.
Read what I wrote! I make no mention of mind reading or disobeying what other people think. Those are your assertions so please make that clear and do not attribute it to me.

So are you arguing that '"instructions" in drivers' minds' is in direct contradiction to the rules of the road?

I'm having trouble locating my copy of "Instructions in drivers' minds" manual, could you please cite a reference or enumerate what the heck you are talking about. Please produce this document for your "clear proof that bike-lane stripes contradict the rules of the road." And how it supersedes the rules of the road. Otherwise you are just making stuff up.
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Old 03-16-08, 12:30 AM
  #361  
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Originally Posted by WaltPoutine View Post
Oh man, such binary thinking! There are actually 10!
Can you imagine if there were twice as many, 100!
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Old 03-16-08, 05:57 AM
  #362  
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A TACIT and clear endorsement of bike infrastructure from the mighty VC poobah and naysayer john forstor!!!!!

Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
........

A compromise has been suggested by Dan Gutierrez that has my support. The end result of the compromise, of course, must have two sides. The operational side is to be that all cyclists be allowed to operate according to the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles, without the bicyclist only restrictions that now apply to the side-of-the-road, to bike lanes, and to side paths. Equally for motorists must be allowed to cross or enter bike lanes whenever required by the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles.....

wow. its really that simple? its taken john decades of stonewalling to come to a grip with facilities implementation? all a community or state has to do is eliminate mandatory sidepath laws, and let cars cross bike lanes when needed?

a shocker all AASHTO compliant bike lanes in Washington state meet johns approval. john forstor endorses bike lanes!!!!!!
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Old 03-16-08, 06:04 AM
  #363  
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
Read what I wrote! I make no mention of mind reading or disobeying what other people think. Those are your assertions so please make that clear and do not attribute it to me.

So are you arguing that '"instructions" in drivers' minds' is in direct contradiction to the rules of the road?

I'm having trouble locating my copy of "Instructions in drivers' minds" manual, could you please cite a reference or enumerate what the heck you are talking about. Please produce this document for your "clear proof that bike-lane stripes contradict the rules of the road." And how it supersedes the rules of the road. Otherwise you are just making stuff up.
As an outside looking in on this conversation, maybe I can shed some light on what John is trying to say.

John can correct me if I'm wrong but here is how I read his logic (which makes perfect sense to me):

1. Bike lanes give motorists the instruction that cyclists should always stay to the right even when that position would put them to the right of right turning motorists.
2. The vehicular cyclist who proceeds to leave the bike lane to position himself to the left of right turning traffic is seen by motorists as disobeying the basic instruction of bike lanes (cyclists stay to the right).
3. This instruction is in direct contradiction to the rules of the road (right turning traffic should be on the right and straight to the left of right turning traffic) and highlights the most obvious fault in bike lane striping, which is the number one reason (and possibly the only significant reason) that John objects to bike lanes.
4. Whenever John speaks about bike lanes as increasing the danger of cycling, it is an assumption based on the fact that bike lanes give the instruction to disobey the rules of the road and that instruction is an inherent risk when operating a vehicle on the road.
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Old 03-16-08, 07:43 AM
  #364  
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
As an outside looking in on this conversation, maybe I can shed some light on what John is trying to say.

John can correct me if I'm wrong but here is how I read his logic (which makes perfect sense to me):

1. Bike lanes give motorists the instruction that cyclists should always stay to the right even when that position would put them to the right of right turning motorists.
2. The vehicular cyclist who proceeds to leave the bike lane to position himself to the left of right turning traffic is seen by motorists as disobeying the basic instruction of bike lanes (cyclists stay to the right).
3. This instruction is in direct contradiction to the rules of the road (right turning traffic should be on the right and straight to the left of right turning traffic) and highlights the most obvious fault in bike lane striping, which is the number one reason (and possibly the only significant reason) that John objects to bike lanes.
4. Whenever John speaks about bike lanes as increasing the danger of cycling, it is an assumption based on the fact that bike lanes give the instruction to disobey the rules of the road and that instruction is an inherent risk when operating a vehicle on the road.
JoeJack thanks for the comment, if that is indeed John's concerns then this is my response:

1. Not an AASHTO bike lane
2. Not an AASHTO bike lane
3. Not an AASHTO bike lane
4. Not an AASHTO bike lane

So basically John is against (what should be) nonexistent type of bike lanes.
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Old 03-16-08, 08:55 AM
  #365  
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
2. Not an AASHTO bike lane
I'll forgo commenting on the others as this is the one where I think you repeatedly don't appreciate the point. It doesn't matter what AASHTO standards or the actual rules of the road say in terms of motorist perception of what bike lanes mean. If you paint a bike lane stripe on the road then motorists are going to think that it means that we should not be leaving the lane. You can have all the bureaucratically mandated standards you like but if you create a confusing situation by adding complexity to the roadway markings then motorists will interpret the confusion to suit their own ends. (This is natural and not a behavior unique to motorists.)

There are mountains of anecdotal evidence to confirm this, some of it my own. The bike lane stripe reinforces (or as JF put it above "amplifies") incorrect motorist assumptions about bicycle positioning.

It might be possible to perform a massive re-education effort (of both motorists and cyclists) to make the nuanced and non-intuitive behavior which you recommend for safe bike lane travel (namely leaving it frequently in order to position oneself properly at every intersection). You, however, have dismissed the probability that such re-education efforts can succeed for the simpler case of merely following the existing non-striped destination+speed-positioning behaviors.

So what you are proposing is to create a situation which requires more explanation while simultaneously denying that such explanation is likely to happen. I really, and honestly don't get why you're so hot for such a dodgy outcome.
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Old 03-16-08, 09:20 AM
  #366  
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Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
I wrote: "My original statement was: "That argument is more illogical malarkey. Claiming that the operating instructions produced in drivers' minds by the bike-lane stripe agree with the rules of the road, when simultaneously arguing that vehicular cyclists have to disobey those instructions, is clear proof that bike-lane stripes contradict the rules of the road."

It is quite clear that I was stating your argument, not mine, up to the conclusion. I concluded that if you (or whoever it was) are confused about the effect of the bike-lane stripe, that is pretty good proof that the concept produced by the stripe violates the rules of the road.

[snip]




Read what I wrote. I referred to the "instructions" produced in drivers' minds by the bike-lane stripe, and then I explicitly referred again to vehicular cyclists, by your own argument, having to violate those same "instructions". I did not say that the vehicular cyclists violated the rules of the road. Had I meant that I would have written it.
I am much happier ignoring (or laughing at) this kind of "stuff" from self proclaimed bicycling wizards and would recommend that others interested in being happier do the same. Don't waste time trying to reason with the generators of this kind of malarkey.
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Old 03-16-08, 09:23 AM
  #367  
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Originally Posted by WaltPoutine View Post
I'll forgo commenting on the others as this is the one where I think you repeatedly don't appreciate the point. It doesn't matter what AASHTO standards or the actual rules of the road say in terms of motorist perception of what bike lanes mean. If you paint a bike lane stripe on the road then motorists are going to think that it means that we should not be leaving the lane. You can have all the bureaucratically mandated standards you like but if you create a confusing situation by adding complexity to the roadway markings then motorists will interpret the confusion to suit their own ends. (This is natural and not a behavior unique to motorists.)

There are mountains of anecdotal evidence to confirm this, some of it my own. The bike lane stripe reinforces (or as JF put it above "amplifies") incorrect motorist assumptions about bicycle positioning.

It might be possible to perform a massive re-education effort (of both motorists and cyclists) to make the nuanced and non-intuitive behavior which you recommend for safe bike lane travel (namely leaving it frequently in order to position oneself properly at every intersection). You, however, have dismissed the probability that such re-education efforts can succeed for the simpler case of merely following the existing non-striped destination+speed-positioning behaviors.

So what you are proposing is to create a situation which requires more explanation while simultaneously denying that such explanation is likely to happen. I really, and honestly don't get why you're so hot for such a dodgy outcome.


I'll add to this with some of my anecdotal experiences, even on sections of roadway where there are no bikelanes present, motorists' perceptions of where I should be positioned are only reinforced by what bike lanes that they have observed. Unfortunately, the majority of bike lanes here locally are either in the door zone or share with the gutter pan.
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Old 03-16-08, 09:42 AM
  #368  
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
As an outside looking in on this conversation, maybe I can shed some light on what John is trying to say.

John can correct me if I'm wrong but here is how I read his logic (which makes perfect sense to me):

1. Bike lanes give motorists the instruction that cyclists should always stay to the right even when that position would put them to the right of right turning motorists.
2. The vehicular cyclist who proceeds to leave the bike lane to position himself to the left of right turning traffic is seen by motorists as disobeying the basic instruction of bike lanes (cyclists stay to the right).
3. This instruction is in direct contradiction to the rules of the road (right turning traffic should be on the right and straight to the left of right turning traffic) and highlights the most obvious fault in bike lane striping, which is the number one reason (and possibly the only significant reason) that John objects to bike lanes.
4. Whenever John speaks about bike lanes as increasing the danger of cycling, it is an assumption based on the fact that bike lanes give the instruction to disobey the rules of the road and that instruction is an inherent risk when operating a vehicle on the road.
Actually to this response I have noted that the "issue" mentioned in the first two items seems to be motorists...
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Old 03-16-08, 11:24 AM
  #369  
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Originally Posted by waltPoutine
If you paint a bike lane stripe on the road then motorists are going to think that it means that we should not be leaving the lane.
there is much talk in the these threads about demonstrable evidence, study and statistics as a foundation for the arguments that people make. What evidence can you provide, other than anecdotal, assumption or out and out mind reading to support your assertion?

Since we are operating in the realm of non-statistical "evidence" I will provide the following observation based on my own anecdotal experience of riding bike lanes in NYC. I use bike lanes when they serve me and exit them and take the lane when they do not. Drivers seem to care little whether I am in the bike lane and "out of their way" or in the lane with them. I am simply part of the flow of traffic. Bike lanes in NYC are treated much in the way bus lanes are- there is no expectation that buses will travel only in the bus lane but that other traffic is restricted from using that lane. A rule NYC drivers seem to disregard with great regularity though there is increasing support for more enforcement due to the demonstrable efficacy of NYC's bike lanes (see the 2006 NYC Bike Study).
I have posted this link before but to observe my use of bike lanes and the response of traffic to how I ride here's some video I shot last summer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcIAluwR9ws

Granted in locations where the bike lane is less apt to be blocked by traffic, pedestrians and what have you there may be an expectation on the part of motorists that the bicyclist would remain in the lane but that, for me, is no different than the VC concept of riding predictably. Even without a bike lane a driver might logically expect the cyclist to ride in roughly a straight line of travel unless there were some obvious obstacle in their path or an indication or signal given that they would be changing that path. Why should this be any different when a bike lane is present?
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Old 03-16-08, 11:48 AM
  #370  
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
there is much talk in the these threads about demonstrable evidence, study and statistics as a foundation for the arguments that people make. What evidence can you provide, other than anecdotal, assumption or out and out mind reading to support your assertion?

Since we are operating in the realm of non-statistical "evidence" I will provide the following observation based on my own anecdotal experience of riding bike lanes in NYC. I use bike lanes when they serve me and exit them and take the lane when they do not. Drivers seem to care little whether I am in the bike lane and "out of their way" or in the lane with them. I am simply part of the flow of traffic. Bike lanes in NYC are treated much in the way bus lanes are- there is no expectation that buses will travel only in the bus lane but that other traffic is restricted from using that lane. A rule NYC drivers seem to disregard with great regularity though there is increasing support for more enforcement due to the demonstrable efficacy of NYC's bike lanes (see the 2006 NYC Bike Study).
I have posted this link before but to observe my use of bike lanes and the response of traffic to how I ride here's some video I shot last summer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcIAluwR9ws

Granted in locations where the bike lane is less apt to be blocked by traffic, pedestrians and what have you there may be an expectation on the part of motorists that the bicyclist would remain in the lane but that, for me, is no different than the VC concept of riding predictably. Even without a bike lane a driver might logically expect the cyclist to ride in roughly a straight line of travel unless there were some obvious obstacle in their path or an indication or signal given that they would be changing that path. Why should this be any different when a bike lane is present?

Are you saying that the motorists in your area are indifferent to a cyclist taking the lane when a bike lane is present? I'm not referring to making a left turn or passing an obstruction in the bike lane, but just taking the lane for no paticular reason, if so, send some of them my way.

Last edited by dynodonn; 03-16-08 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 03-16-08, 01:31 PM
  #371  
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Originally Posted by WaltPoutine View Post
I'll forgo commenting on the others as this is the one where I think you repeatedly don't appreciate the point. It doesn't matter what AASHTO standards or the actual rules of the road say in terms of motorist perception of what bike lanes mean. If you paint a bike lane stripe on the road then motorists are going to think that it means that we should not be leaving the lane. You can have all the bureaucratically mandated standards you like but if you create a confusing situation by adding complexity to the roadway markings then motorists will interpret the confusion to suit their own ends. (This is natural and not a behavior unique to motorists.)

There are mountains of anecdotal evidence to confirm this, some of it my own. The bike lane stripe reinforces (or as JF put it above "amplifies") incorrect motorist assumptions about bicycle positioning.

It might be possible to perform a massive re-education effort (of both motorists and cyclists) to make the nuanced and non-intuitive behavior which you recommend for safe bike lane travel (namely leaving it frequently in order to position oneself properly at every intersection). You, however, have dismissed the probability that such re-education efforts can succeed for the simpler case of merely following the existing non-striped destination+speed-positioning behaviors.

So what you are proposing is to create a situation which requires more explanation while simultaneously denying that such explanation is likely to happen. I really, and honestly don't get why you're so hot for such a dodgy outcome.
I think that a little amplification is desirable here. The message that bike-lane tripes give is given to all, be they motorists, cyclists, or the general public. It is that cyclists should be to the right of the stripe and motorists to the left of the stripe, and that these placements are necessary for cyclist safety.
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Old 03-16-08, 03:59 PM
  #372  
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
there is much talk in the these threads about demonstrable evidence, study and statistics as a foundation for the arguments that people make. What evidence can you provide, other than anecdotal, assumption or out and out mind reading to support your assertion?
The only evidence which I can provide is anecdotal. That's why I called it anecdotal. If I had strong evidence which proved that (by taking a motoring population which had never been exposed to deceitful bikelane propaganda, splitting it into three cohorts and exposing them respectively to: 1)roads with bikelanes; 2) roads without bikelanes; 3) roads with a mix) then I'd have mentioned it.

Unfortunately such a non-propagandized motoring population exists in the same alternate reality which is paved with non-dangerous, non-inconveniencing bike lanes. It might have existed 30 years ago before you guys got going on your fear trip but I doubt it exists anywhere now. Among the most infuriating anecdotal experiences I've had involved a lady who sat behind me blowing her horn after I'd carefully taken an appropriate position at an intersection. After I'd explained the rules of the road to her and the reason this was safer for me and she stopped blustering she apologized and then explained that it was scary to see me out of the bike lane for my own safety.

Although it's correct to be skeptical of anecdotal evidence as proof it can also be pretty foolish to ignore some of it.
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Old 03-16-08, 04:08 PM
  #373  
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
t Even without a bike lane a driver might logically expect the cyclist to ride in roughly a straight line of travel unless there were some obvious obstacle in their path or an indication or signal given that they would be changing that path. Why should this be any different when a bike lane is present?
As you've so pithily pointed someone familiar with the normal behavior of traffic would expect other traffic to be travelling in a straight line at a certain distance from the edge of the roadway unless there are other factors at work. That's normal. That's expected. That's the way things are now. ...... so, the extra stripe on the road must mean something else ... right? Otherwise why put it there? What? It means something different from the other solid striped lanes? It means that cyclists can behave completely differently and go in and out at will (which is pretty weird if they're going in a straight line as you suggest) but that other vehicles can't? Well durn it that's different from every other solid striped line on the road and I'm real sorry for running you down but I just didn't expect it. Now get out of my way back into your special kiddy bike zone and be safe in there.
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Old 03-16-08, 09:11 PM
  #374  
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Originally Posted by WaltPoutine View Post
As you've so pithily pointed someone familiar with the normal behavior of traffic would expect other traffic to be travelling in a straight line at a certain distance from the edge of the roadway unless there are other factors at work. That's normal. That's expected. That's the way things are now. ...... so, the extra stripe on the road must mean something else ... right? Otherwise why put it there? What? It means something different from the other solid striped lanes? It means that cyclists can behave completely differently and go in and out at will (which is pretty weird if they're going in a straight line as you suggest) but that other vehicles can't? Well durn it that's different from every other solid striped line on the road and I'm real sorry for running you down but I just didn't expect it. Now get out of my way back into your special kiddy bike zone and be safe in there.
Did you look at my use of a bike lane in the video? I move in and out of the lane because it's blocked with cabs, pedestrians or is just not serving me- no problem. It's just a lane, a specially marked lane for bikes, it's not a boogy man, not a special kiddy zone it's just another lane that cars should not be in- unfortunately, that is often ignored but NYC is making efforts to enforce the rule that cars should not be in it- there is not, so far as I have encountered, any effort to force cyclists into it.

So the striping means leave that space for bikes. Don't drive your car there. In NYC it means when there's gridlock cyclists should have an advantage. You see the problem is without the striping every possible inch of road space is filled with cars creeping their way along. It has more to do with keeping autos out of the bike lane than forcing bikes into it.

Given that 93% of NYC cyclists report preferring streets with bike lanes when riding on streets in NYC (2006 NYC bike survey) you would be in the small minority of cyclists who would prefer streets without bike lanes- why do you think that is? What is it that you know that so many other cyclists don't?

Perhaps in your area or other areas it's different. NYC is still adapting to bike lanes I'm just telling you what I've experienced, which is far removed from the "propaganda/fear mongering" that you describe.

Originally Posted by Walt Poutine
30 years ago before you guys got going on your fear trip...
BTW, I was riding 30 years ago (pre-bike lanes) and encountered drivers just as you described that honked at me stopped in the lane positioned where I should be- that kind of driver behavior has little to do with bike lanes or not- it's just ignorance. I have to laugh at the "you guys got going on your fear trip..." and the "special kiddy lanes" comments. Given the amount of riding I've done in my life time and the broad spectrum of places and conditions I've ridden in I would not classify myself as on a "fear trip".

I suppose when your anti-bike lane argument is so weak you feel the need to bolster it with petty inaccuracies.

Last edited by buzzman; 03-16-08 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 03-17-08, 12:48 AM
  #375  
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
Given that 93% of NYC cyclists report preferring streets with bike lanes when riding on streets in NYC (2006 NYC bike survey) you would be in the small minority of cyclists who would prefer streets without bike lanes in New York City- why do you think that is? What is it that you know that so many other cyclists don't?

Perhaps in your area or other areas it's different. NYC is still adapting to bike lanes I'm just telling you what I've experienced, which is far removed from the "propaganda/fear mongering" that you describe.
What you have experienced is far removed from where I live. What works in NYC is not likely to be ideal in the rest of the USA. NYC is an outlier of American society. For example, one out of four people in NYC get to work on mass transit. The closest city to that rate of users is Chicago with 11%. In fact, 40% of all the people in America who use mass transit live in NYC!

Just as it would be foolish to suggest that NYC adopt the street plan of Dallas with it's NOLs and no curb-side parking, so to it would be for you to say bike lanes would improve things here. (It is of course, a shame, that you New Yorkers can't enjoy the ideal environment for urban cycling like I can! )

It may be interesting to know what NYC cyclists prefer, but pretty much irrelevant outside the city. I also find the cycling preferences of the folks in Bogotá interesting, and about as relevant to me as those in New York.

Last edited by ChipSeal; 03-17-08 at 10:13 PM. Reason: response to Buzz's complaint
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