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An interesting read about bike lane development in the USA

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An interesting read about bike lane development in the USA

Old 03-03-18, 11:12 PM
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FBinNY 
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An interesting read about bike lane development in the USA

Offered without comment
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Old 03-03-18, 11:36 PM
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Well I suppose there is an engineering aspect, but it's clear that the author as an "urban planner" sees his role as coercing people to conform to his desired outcomes.

scott s.
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Old 03-04-18, 01:43 AM
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Hmm, he's very impressed with the situation in NYC, which "boasts" a cycling rate that is all of twice our paltry national average and has been flat for half a decade. He quotes Geller of Portland, OR, where the rate of bicycle use has been unchanged for a decade now in spite of the constant addition of ever-more "protected" infrastructure. Oddly, he calls bike lanes the spawn of "vehicular cyclists" which is going to come as news to anyone who has been around a while; vehicular cyclists didn't want any bike lanes anywhere.

The pragmatics among cycling advocates usually see room for a lot of different facilities. Bike lanes are great in many places, but frequently fail when they are either overly narrow or are placed in door zones. Off road paths certainly have a place, but trying to call a sidewalk an off-road path is generally a recipe for disaster because of the intersection issue (which also dooms many so-called "protected" facilities).

Fanatics like this guy aren't going to listen to any evidence that their religion is killing cycling, but that's what they are doing. I get especially worked up over their constant harping on the perceived dangers of cycling when it's safety record is on a par with motoring and is much safer than walking; where are the calls for motoring and walking helmets? Subtract the drunk riders coming home from the bar (often without lights) and cycling may be safer per mile than driving, but you'd never suspect any such thing if you listened to these folks.
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Old 03-04-18, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Sounds good to me.

I'm perfectly fine cycling in mixed traffic but would rather cycle in bike lanes where the antagonism from motorists is eliminated. It's also a good incentive to get others intimidated by motorists and those who rely on the claim that cycling is dangerous to get out of their cars and cycle instead.

Let's admit that the bike lanes are not for the die-hard mixed traffic anti-bike lane cyclist. Bike lanes are for the general public in response to traffic congestion, pollution and health.
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Old 03-04-18, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Hmm, he's very impressed with the situation in NYC, which "boasts" a cycling rate that is all of twice our paltry national average and has been flat for half a decade. He quotes Geller of Portland, OR, where the rate of bicycle use has been unchanged for a decade now in spite of the constant addition of ever-more "protected" infrastructure. Oddly, he calls bike lanes the spawn of "vehicular cyclists" which is going to come as news to anyone who has been around a while; vehicular cyclists didn't want any bike lanes anywhere.

The pragmatics among cycling advocates usually see room for a lot of different facilities. Bike lanes are great in many places, but frequently fail when they are either overly narrow or are placed in door zones. Off road paths certainly have a place, but trying to call a sidewalk an off-road path is generally a recipe for disaster because of the intersection issue (which also dooms many so-called "protected" facilities).

Fanatics like this guy aren't going to listen to any evidence that their religion is killing cycling, but that's what they are doing. I get especially worked up over their constant harping on the perceived dangers of cycling when it's safety record is on a par with motoring and is much safer than walking; where are the calls for motoring and walking helmets? Subtract the drunk riders coming home from the bar (often without lights) and cycling may be safer per mile than driving, but you'd never suspect any such thing if you listened to these folks.
Right, because "vehicular cycling" was increasing cycling modal share soooo successfully.

Meanwhile, "build it and they will come," apparently IS working...

As the research predicted, better bike lanes have led to far more people biking. Over three-quarters of a million people ride a bike multiple times a month in New York, a 49 percent increase over 2009. Between 2005 and 2015, the share of commuters who bike to work more than doubled in Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., according to an analysis of U.S. Census data.
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Old 03-04-18, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Hmm, he's very impressed with the situation in NYC, which "boasts" a cycling rate that is all of twice our paltry national average and has been flat for half a decade. He quotes Geller of Portland, OR, where the rate of bicycle use has been unchanged for a decade now in spite of the constant addition of ever-more "protected" infrastructure.
Originally Posted by “Steven Higaside”
When I first started working in New York, in 2007, bicycling seemed like an activity best left to the pros. One of the city’s stock characters was the fearless bicycle messenger, wearing a heavy chain lock around the waist and whipping through traffic with supreme confidence.

Ten years later, the bicycle always feels like an option. It’s not my primary means of transit, but I’ve racked up 723 miles in four years on the Citi Bike bike-share service—a significant accumulation of short trips to and from the subway, after-work rides to friends’ apartments, and fun rides on sunny days.
He does not count?

In spite of not riding a bicycle in 2007 but riding a bicycle ten years later, he does not count?

The ACS ONLY counts people like you. Steven is almost certainly a “Subway or elevated.” I’m a “car, truck or van, 1 Person(s).”

We don’t count?

-mr. bill
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Old 03-04-18, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Offered "without comment"...
If only more of the internet worked this way...especially social media.

(just kidding)

The author mentions "...standards can also replicate failure. Sometimes, that’s because codified “expert judgment” turns out to be wrong. But it can also be because standards embed value judgments in ways that are rarely examined."

This +100, and not just for traffic engineering, but urban planning in general.

The general anonymity afforded by large population centers, multiplied by the impersonality of concealing one's identity in an enclosed vehicle makes for selfish, thoughtless traffic participation, and anti-social civic behavior.

If people just thought more about how their behavior and actions affected others and how one could be more courteous towards others the world would be a more pleasant place. Of course, traffic would grind to a standstill; and that is what self-driving cars and autonomous vehicles will teach us in the coming decades.
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Old 03-04-18, 10:43 AM
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I do not automatically assume that the well intentioned or even experts are always stupid, despite some evidence to the contrary. An example is a story I read about where an NGO, having observed that women of a certain village walked miles each day to do their wash and fetch water for household use. To help improve their lives, the NGO had dug a well near the village. To their surprise, the women continued to walk miles for water. After the fact investigation revealed that the walk to the communal water source and the meeting up and gossiping with other women in the area, was an important social part of the day. The NGO's first action might better have been to ask the villagers how best to help.
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Old 03-04-18, 04:52 PM
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I suppose I used to be the "Strong/Fearless", but have lately been tending towards the "Enthused/Confident"

However, I will say that I much prefer riding without cars to riding with cars. On my ride yesterday, I swung through the town of Talbot, and was thinking, there are busier, more direct routes, but I rather enjoy being on roads where there may be 2 or 3 cars passing every 10 miles or so.

Anyway, I do like bike lanes. And like even more the off-street MUPs that serve as cycling arterials to our local community.

However, there are no one-size-fits-all answers. Most of the streetside bike lanes that I ride in really wouldn't benefit from curbs, bollards, and plastic posts. And, i consider them as much of a buffer for cars as a buffer for bikes. A little extra road shoulder. If anything, they might benefit from rumblestrips in the fogline, or raised (or recessed) reflectors (not cut across the pavement like on freeways).

I also merge from bike lanes into traffic lanes as needs warrant including left turns. And cars may need to move through bike lanes for right turns or parking.
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Old 03-04-18, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
I do not automatically assume that the well intentioned or even experts are always stupid, despite some evidence to the contrary. An example is a story I read about where an NGO, having observed that women of a certain village walked miles each day to do their wash and fetch water for household use. To help improve their lives, the NGO had dug a well near the village. To their surprise, the women continued to walk miles for water. After the fact investigation revealed that the walk to the communal water source and the meeting up and gossiping with other women in the area, was an important social part of the day. The NGO's first action might better have been to ask the villagers how best to help.
Yes, as promoted by Mikael Colville-Anderson and Janette Sadik-Khan, traffic professionals and urban planners should study what pedestrians do. Desire lines indicate how traffic should flow instead of traffic dictating where pedestrians should be. Vibrant cities and communities are where pedestrians congregate. And above all, pedestrians are motorists (and cyclists, and transit riders) who aren't in their cars.
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Old 03-04-18, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Yes, as promoted by Mikael Colville-Anderson and Janette Sadik-Khan, traffic professionals and urban planners should study what pedestrians do. Desire lines indicate how traffic should flow instead of traffic dictating where pedestrians should be. Vibrant cities and communities are where pedestrians congregate. And above all, pedestrians are motorists (and cyclists, and transit riders) who aren't in their cars.
Interesting thoughts about pedestrians. I know in my Portland neighborhood, the neighbors have had ongoing issues with the city.

The city refuses to maintain the roads because they don't have sidewalks. But, the neighborhood was built up 50+ years ago without sidewalks, and none of the neighbors actually want, nor really need sidewalks. Now many of the houses have landscaping that would generally be incompatible with sidewalks.

Unfortunately, the city planners have apparently never come into the neighborhood and spent a day simply walking around, seeing the sights, and taking to the neighbors. Perhaps bringing their dogs with them.
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Old 03-05-18, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
I do not automatically assume that the well intentioned or even experts are always stupid, despite some evidence to the contrary. An example is a story I read about where an NGO, having observed that women of a certain village walked miles each day to do their wash and fetch water for household use. To help improve their lives, the NGO had dug a well near the village. To their surprise, the women continued to walk miles for water. After the fact investigation revealed that the walk to the communal water source and the meeting up and gossiping with other women in the area, was an important social part of the day. The NGO's first action might better have been to ask the villagers how best to help.
This is a fable, often told as an example during NGO volunteer training. In the fable, the round trip to the communal well is "10 km" or "miles". The women usually gossip about their husbands.

While the moral of the story is sound, the fable itself is almost certainly not true.

-mr. bill
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Old 03-05-18, 08:06 AM
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I enjoyed the article; thank you for posting. I've done my share of vehicular cycling in the past (it's not as if there was a choice in the US for a long time) but honestly I much prefer not to mix it up with cars--if given a choice--today especially with all those distracted drivers out there.
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Old 03-05-18, 08:30 AM
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Meh, I'll still continue to use the path of least resistance.

Segregated bike lanes can be problematic when they are used by pedestrians, motorcycles, and scooters.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
Segregated bike lanes can be problematic when they are used by pedestrians, motorcycles, and scooters.
Lots of that, ‘In my opinion … therefore it is proven” sort of writing. Might fool some people.

“As one participant in Aldred’s study wrote, biking in traffic or unprotected lanes requires 'ceaseless vigilance.'” Yes, because whether in a car or on a bike, paying attention while in traffic is such a bad idea.

“By contrast, riding in a protected lane offers an opportunity to relax, to trundle along at your preferred pace, enjoy city sights, and Zen out.” Perfect. Tranced-out, blissed-out, self-absorbed, inattentive cyclists and I ma trapped in a confined lane with them.

I like bike lanes. I don't want plastic bollards confining me---they won't stop a car, but might wreck a bike.

And I do not want people enjoying the city sights and trying to "Zen out' in or on Any vehicle on the road in a city. You want to sight-see, park the bike.

I well understand that some people will not ride in traffic. My question is ... what would it take? Five-foot bike lanes? Seven-foot bike lanes? Plastic bollards? K-rails?

As far as I am concerned any road with three to four feet of good shoulder outside the fog line is a great road for biking. However, some people will get freaked out when cars pass at 55 mph even with three or four feet of space .... what can be done with those folks? Are they Ever going to feel safe?

As far as urban streets goes ... the Only way to ride is heads-up, full awareness all the time. Unless there are K-rails between auto and bike traffic, cyclists are at risk. And with frequent buses and bus stops, intersections, turn lanes, and pedestrians stepping off the curb wherever they want, plus the drivers of cars zoning out, spilling coffee, missing turns and trying to cut across traffic, running lights or not seeing lights and panic-stopping ... only a Completely isolated bike system would be safe.

Creating the illusion of safety and thus encouraging a bunch of zenned-out sightseers not responsibly accepting the risk doesn't sound like a good idea. The first time a cyclist panics at a sudden bus stop he or she was too busy "sightseeing" to notice, and swerves into those bollards and goes down into traffic ... or the first time a car comes through those bollards into a pack of cyclists ... see what this new "bible" will be worth then.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by maelochs View Post
lots of that, ‘in my opinion … therefore it is proven” sort of writing. Might fool some people.

“as one participant in aldred’s study wrote, biking in traffic or unprotected lanes requires 'ceaseless vigilance.'” yes, because whether in a car or on a bike, paying attention while in traffic is such a bad idea.

“by contrast, riding in a protected lane offers an opportunity to relax, to trundle along at your preferred pace, enjoy city sights, and zen out.” perfect. Tranced-out, blissed-out, self-absorbed, inattentive cyclists and i ma trapped in a confined lane with them.

I like bike lanes. I don't want plastic bollards confining me---they won't stop a car, but might wreck a bike.

And i do not want people enjoying the city sights and trying to "zen out' in or on any vehicle on the road in a city. You want to sight-see, park the bike.

I well understand that some people will not ride in traffic. My question is ... What would it take? Five-foot bike lanes? Seven-foot bike lanes? Plastic bollards? K-rails?

As far as i am concerned any road with three to four feet of good shoulder outside the fog line is a great road for biking. However, some people will get freaked out when cars pass at 55 mph even with three or four feet of space .... What can be done with those folks? Are they ever going to feel safe?

As far as urban streets goes ... The only way to ride is heads-up, full awareness all the time. Unless there are k-rails between auto and bike traffic, cyclists are at risk. And with frequent buses and bus stops, intersections, turn lanes, and pedestrians stepping off the curb wherever they want, plus the drivers of cars zoning out, spilling coffee, missing turns and trying to cut across traffic, running lights or not seeing lights and panic-stopping ... Only a completely isolated bike system would be safe.

Creating the illusion of safety and thus encouraging a bunch of zenned-out sightseers not responsibly accepting the risk doesn't sound like a good idea. The first time a cyclist panics at a sudden bus stop he or she was too busy "sightseeing" to notice, and swerves into those bollards and goes down into traffic ... Or the first time a car comes through those bollards into a pack of cyclists ... See what this new "bible" will be worth then.
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Old 03-05-18, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Lots of that, ‘In my opinion … therefore it is proven” sort of writing. Might fool some people.
Its called an anecdote.

Bike lanes are great when they are not misused.

Also, I'm fairly sure a bus or any large commercial vehicle could easily defeat any barrier that is used in most bike lanes.

Another common issue is when motorists drive in the bike lane, leaving little or no escape route for anyone in their way.
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Old 03-05-18, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
“As one participant in Aldred’s study wrote, biking in traffic or unprotected lanes requires 'ceaseless vigilance.'” Yes, because whether in a car or on a bike, paying attention while in traffic is such a bad idea.

“By contrast, riding in a protected lane offers an opportunity to relax, to trundle along at your preferred pace, enjoy city sights, and Zen out.” Perfect. Tranced-out, blissed-out, self-absorbed, inattentive cyclists and I ma trapped in a confined lane with them.
At least some of the "protected" lanes are 2-way, so one can still run into other bicycles or trail users.

Also, most street-side lanes periodically go through intersections, so one must be able to snap one's attention back.

Nonetheless, when I hit 1/2 mile long uninterrupted sections of streetside lanes (simple paint), I do find my riding relaxed, although one still has to watch out for the salmon cyclists and roadside debris. And, of course, usable tools to pick up
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Old 03-05-18, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Right, because "vehicular cycling" was increasing cycling modal share soooo successfully.

Meanwhile, "build it and they will come," apparently IS working...
1. We were all VC when cycling boomed in the '60s and '70s, so I guess there's some evidence that those particular fanatics could achieve some ridership.
2. As I noted, bike lanes are very anti-vehicular. (Or is it that VC is anti-bikelane?) Those guys hate them, but quality bike lanes are a joy and have contributed in the past to getting people out of cars and onto bikes. Segregated stuff, like this guy is advocating for, not so much ime.

Portland built and continues to build separated stuff, and it's participation plateau has been a scandal for a decade. Eugene, ditto, but it's a severe drop in ridership. Davis? Built and built separated stuff, but omg, where did all the bikes go? World Capital of cycling no more.

I'd love to see some long-term success independent of outside influences like a dramatic rise in the price of gasoline in the US, but everywhere I go it's more of the same: wherever separation fanatics have taken over the traffic planning department, limited funds are spent on very short segments of not-so-good separated facilities with real intersection issues at the expense of simply doing quality bike lanes (which would be hated by VC folks, btw). These projects get lots of PR, but not so many people onto bikes.

Could separated work well if fully funded? Perhaps, but that's not the world we live in. We have limited funds for road projects. I'm interested in what happens in San Francisco as they toss out the usual process and just use paint and wands to trial miles of separation. Will it work? Will it be safer? Will it actually lead to something approaching a build-out by being cheaper per mile? Will it actually get people to ride instead of driving? We'll see soon enough.
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Old 03-06-18, 07:04 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
“By contrast, riding in a protected lane offers an opportunity to relax, to trundle along at your preferred pace, enjoy city sights, and Zen out.” Perfect. Tranced-out, blissed-out, self-absorbed, inattentive cyclists and I ma trapped in a confined lane with them.
Not sure if that's what the intended meaning. I understood it, and agree that riding on segregated bike lanes/paths is more relaxing and less tense because the cars are separated from you, however tenuously. Doesn't mean that I am in a trance or inattentive. My attention is still focused on the road ahead and potential hazards.
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Old 03-06-18, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Not sure if that's what the intended meaning. I understood it, and agree that riding on segregated bike lanes/paths is more relaxing and less tense because the cars are separated from you, however tenuously. Doesn't mean that I am in a trance or inattentive. My attention is still focused on the road ahead and potential hazards.
Well ... not sure what the guy intended ... but "Zen out" definitely indicates being in a thoughtless trance state. if you can be thoughtless and fully aware ... optimal. I seek that. Tranced-out and drifting ... that is why there are so many stupid low-speed auto accidents.

I might be using the same degree of hyperbole the author used ... but certainly, if you want to sightsee in a city ... WALK. I don't want to you crashing into me , cutting me off, suddenly stopping .... People need to be aware that a bike lane Is a traffic lane, and you can no more "sightsee" or "Zen out" there than you could in a car in traffic.

I don't worry so much about the people who post here. it is the people who go to "The Big City" and rent a bike and wobble around staring at the sights that worry me. I don't want to encourage that behavior.

Look ... if I am in a city with bike lanes or not, segregated bike lanes totally unprotected by plastic wands, or by a thin concrete wall which wouldn't stop a car but might knock a cyclist sideways into traffic, or a line of K-rails ... I will adapt. Fifty years on a bike, I can manage. I suspect Most posters here would as well. But we are talking about increasing the number of riders .... which means novices. Telling novices to sightsee and "Zen out" is like telling new drivers to text behind the wheel.

By the way, I have seen cars move K-rail on more than one occasion. Plastic wands? I lol.
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Old 03-06-18, 08:08 AM
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@Maelochs, I do agree with what you're saying about more riders-->more novice riders who aren't engaged in what's happening around them, especially in a busy urban setting. If it were the case where these segregated bike lanes were populated with pedestrians/strollers/dog walkers/zoned-out novice cyclists, then yeah, I'll take my chances on the road.

Fortunately I don't live in a busy urban setting. The roads are wide, some with bike lanes. I actually wish there were more cyclists using them.
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Old 03-06-18, 10:02 AM
  #23  
Daniel4
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The one and only time I shot a sniper r*fle was when a friend invited me to a r*fle range. I zenned-out, being one with the universe and my g*n when I was getting bulls eyes.

If you are playing tourist by bike, you probably shouldn't go to Copenhagen or Amsterdam. And that goes for tourists who rent cars everywhere in the world.
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Old 03-06-18, 10:06 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Oddly, he calls bike lanes the spawn of "vehicular cyclists" which is going to come as news to anyone who has been around a while; vehicular cyclists didn't want any bike lanes anywhere.
You misread that.

And your "spawn" is your editorializing (it doesn't represent the tone of the source at all).

In 2007, a local planner could read the entire MUTCD, as well as the Green Book and every other design standard released by AASHTO—including the bicycle-specific Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities—and not find any guidance to help design the kind of protected bike lanes that had already existed in Denmark and the Netherlands for 30 years. Instead, they only offered guidance for two types of bike facility: Pleasant off-street paths (usually in waterfronts and parks), and painted on-street bike lanes.

In part, this reflects the influence of the American “vehicular cycling” movement, which taught that the safest way to bike is to act like you’re driving a car: Confidently “take the lane” so that drivers stay behind you, use hand signals, and ride fast. In the 1980s, when Northern European countries were building protected bike-lane networks, U.S. cyclists were being taught to bicycle in the roadway. And U.S. engineers were adopting the attitude that cyclists didn’t need infrastructure, just proper training.
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Old 03-06-18, 10:16 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Hmm, he's very impressed with the situation in NYC, which "boasts" a cycling rate that is all of twice our paltry national average and has been flat for half a decade.
You don't indicate where what your statistics are or where you got them from.

NYC DOT - Bicyclists - Cycling In The City
https://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/download...s-by-month.pdf
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