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Thread: Bike Lanes - Spot the flaws in the argument

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Bike Lanes - Spot the flaws in the argument

    a.k.a. "When Citizens are Dumb Volume 1"

    The opponents to these bike lanes really need to combine their brains so they have one between them...

  2. #2
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Hills? - OMG -Why bicycles would have to have GEARS to cope with hills! It just can't be done with the current state of technology. Besides that one fellow has never seen any bicycles, therefore they don't exist. I'm with the simple country folk who want to stop this homosexual agenda driven need to provide "bike lanes." Why don't they just say it. They want to spend this money to pervert young boys and feed their sick desires.

  3. #3

    Hold your horses on the criticism - what grade is the hill

    Well,

    It seems to me that a lot of engineering departments jump on this whole "build bike lanes everywhere" kick without actually doing any thought about whether bikes could actually use it. I encounter this with my own city engineering department. They seem to think that bicycles can go up the same sort of grades that cars can, and look all surprised when its pointed out that bikes are, in fact, human-powered, and bike lanes built for regular commuting (not recreational) need to have flatter grades. Not knowing the hill in question, I do still get a little nervous when someone proposes running a bike path from point A to Point B STRAIGHT UP a hill. It seems like a great way to make sure noone ever uses it - except for the really avid cyclists, but then they don't use bike lanes regardless. Witness the ongoing debate that is Wide-Curb Lanes vs. Bike Lanes in velo discussion groups.

    Bike lanes are meant for the average commuter and recreation cyclist, and need to be designed with that in mind, which means taking a more gradual approach to hills. Certainly, maintaining a climb of 6% over more than a short distance is outside the envelope of the average commuter cyclist. I argue that 4% is the most significant grade any velo commuting lane should ever reach, within the gearing range of the average cyclist. I'm currently designing a 10 km commuter bike facility right now, and am shooting for that peak grade for a traverse up a river valley.

    So what is the grade for the road in the article?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    People do not seem to understand the cost of roads. One neighbor complained that the project would cost $500,000 (actually $400,000) for a mile of road. What do they think, that it should cost a couple thousand, like blacktopping their driveway? Of that, the cost of the bike lanes is in most cases only about 10%. Public process brings out the idiots.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    When I lived in Toledo, many years ago, I was a regular user of the bike path that wound its' way through Ottawa Park, in central T-Town. NW Ohio is pretty flat but the Ottawa Park area has some decent hills, including a "killer" hill on the west side of the park.

    Because I was riding every day and in decent shape (and had and still have a great Myata lightweight 12-speed) I looked forward to the hill. I would hit the hill at full blast and pass (or try to pass) everybody else struggling up. The path usually had good crowds.....and many of those bikers would walk up most of that hill.

    The trail is through the park and does not share roadway with vehicles. Any killer hills (such as in the article) might be less-traveled because of sharing and struggling to get it up the hill.

    On the other hand.....bicycle technology (and gearing and weight) is so advanced now, one (1) could climb a tree.....almost.

    And.....I have not been on the Ottawa Park trail in many years. My guess is that the threat of inner-city crime and safer paths in the suburbs have made the usage on the Otttawa path negligible.

    Geared-Up Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  6. #6
         
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    Traffic on the street is already too busy and the road is too hilly for bicyclists to benefit from bike paths proposed for each side of Hillside Road, said Don Seib, the spokesman.
    Don't know about the hills, but I'm not sure how traffic could be too busy for cyclists to benefit from bike lanes.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian permaplanjuneau's avatar
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    too busy for bikes

    As Juneau is built along the shoreline(s) where the Pacific meets glacially-formed fjords, all of our transportation routes are nearly flat, except where they leave the shoreline. As such, many of our most popular trails have few, if any major changes in grade. A notable exception is the bridge from downtown Juneau (mainland) to Douglas Island, where nearly all of the development is residential. This means that everyone on Douglas has to cross the bridge in order to shop, work, or do nearly anything else. The only bridge is fairly narrow--two lanes, one bike shoulder, and one "protected" walkway. The State's answer to the congestion on the bridge during rush hour? They plan to remove the bike shoulder and too-narrow-to-use shoulder between the walkway and traffic lane to create a "reversible" middle lane for use during rush hour. This will require that bicyclists either ride in traffic or ride in the walking lane, which is approximately five feet wide--barely wide enough for two people to pass on foot comfortably, and far too narrow for two bicyclists to pass without slowing considerably and riding very carefully. Never mind that the bridge is already steep enough that most bicyclists have a hard time dealing with crossing it (you often see people weaving back and forth up the bike lane trying to use the "switchback" technique to make the climb easier).

    This disservice to biking commuters is compounded by the chronic shortage of parking in Juneau's downtown. The Alaska DOT is reducing the feasibility of alternative modes of transportation, which reinforces the "need" to drive automobiles into an area with far too little parking for the current demand.

    But now I'm getting into territory better covered in a new thread...

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    The main issue I have with bike lanes is that it forces inconsistent and unsafe driving patterns... basically, a lot of them effectively create a left/straight/right turning lane to the right of a right or right/straight turn lane.. if you have to turn left with a straight lane to the left of you, or vehicles turn right with straight travelling vehicles to the right of them, you are going to have T-bone style accidents. Bicycle riders don't fare well in side collisions, to put it lightly. Bicycle advocates I see recently tend to propose NO bike lanes, wider right travel lanes (so that they can travel as if there were said lanes up to the point where they have to behave like a car at an intersection in order to preserve their safety by acting in a fashion consistant with other vehicles flowing on the road), and consistant enforcement of traffic laws between bicycles and autos, rather than police ignoring unsafe behavior by bikes.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally posted by JusticeZero
    The main issue I have with bike lanes is that it forces inconsistent and unsafe driving patterns... basically, a lot of them effectively create a left/straight/right turning lane to the right of a right or right/straight turn lane.. if you have to turn left with a straight lane to the left of you, or vehicles turn right with straight travelling vehicles to the right of them, you are going to have T-bone style accidents. Bicycle riders don't fare well in side collisions, to put it lightly. Bicycle advocates I see recently tend to propose NO bike lanes, wider right travel lanes (so that they can travel as if there were said lanes up to the point where they have to behave like a car at an intersection in order to preserve their safety by acting in a fashion consistant with other vehicles flowing on the road), and consistant enforcement of traffic laws between bicycles and autos, rather than police ignoring unsafe behavior by bikes.
    I'm not sure I fully agree. I have little problem merging over to the center turn lane when approaching an intersection-at least for me and my friends (semi-serious recreational riders. I prefer having a fairly clearly marked shoulder lane or bike lane to riding in traffic down a busy commercial street, for instance.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    True, but it doesn't solve the problem of cars turning right in front of the bike lane. Part of this is a psychological/training issue, people seeing the lane for bikes and thinking that they have to be constrained by the lane marker all the time regardless of circumstances, sort've a 'glass wall' effect. I wonder if it would work to keep the bike markers, but remove the set boundary?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    The City of Chicago and Chicago Bicycle Federation commissioned a study of bike lanes that addressed the issues you raised. The short answer is that they decided to have the lane end about fifty feet before the intersection with a large sign saying "shared lane yield to bikes," or to have it become a combination right-turn lane with a sign saying "bikes only except right turns."

    The report is avaliable here: http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/de/bikelaneguide.htm

  12. #12
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I liked the comment about houses being so close to the road that the owner could hand a cup of coffee to passing cyclists.

    If that's the case, maybe the city should consider a bicycle race and use the house as a water station! You have to use every marketing tool you have, right?! :-}

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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