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How about banning cars on the Back Bay Trail?

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How about banning cars on the Back Bay Trail?

Old 04-16-19, 09:34 AM
  #1  
bikeme
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How about banning cars on the Back Bay Trail?

I've want to ban cars for years on that stretch. Yesterday cemented it for me. As my daughter and I were starting to climb the hill to exit the BB, some idiot couldn't wait the 30 yds for us to get to the top and HAD to get by us passing us going into the downhill bike lane and ped lane--thankfully no one was coming down. I yelled , "What are you doing?!" He yells back, "Get out of the way!" I pointed out the Sharrow and explained that bikes have the right of way. His wife quips back that cars are allowed in the BB. I countered with "Yeah, but bikes have the right of way in this lane" He, his wife, and their dog started to road rage, so we u-turned on the hill to get them away from them, then got onto the side walk path and got out of there. He yelled at us from the street but we ignored his rant. Unfortunately, I didn't get his plate. He was in a black Mini Cooper, 60ish, fat, brown hair, moustache, glasses, wife is 60ish, short brown hair, dog is some terrier-mix, brown, very aggressive. Maybe a petition to the City of Newport and/or the County of Orange to ban cars except for school bus field trips and disabled access needs to be started?
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Old 04-16-19, 10:02 AM
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couldn’t agree more.
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Old 04-16-19, 02:13 PM
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Totally agree with you! I've been riding down that long downhill a few times and had a tourist in a rental car come blasting up the other way at well over 45mph.
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Old 04-16-19, 02:53 PM
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Most cars I see on the trail are very well behaved. It's us cyclist who blast through the one stop sign near the end of the trail. Of course there are bad apples. just like you see on the rest of the roads every day. I even saw one clueless person driving the wrong way on the trail. I'd be thrilled if cars were banned, but there are all the nature watching spots that people set up cameras, etc in, and it would be hard to lug a lot of gear there. So, I understand it. The current configuration was the result of years of discussion and compromise, so my guess is that it's not likely to be revisited. Maybe a request to police speeds would be received well. Remember when there was all this talk of charging to use the trail? I'm just happy that didn't happen.
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Old 04-16-19, 03:20 PM
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I haven't been on that road down in California, but we have a few places that are closed to motor vehicles a few days a year which is nice.
  • McKenzie Pass. This has a seasonal closure. So, during the spring, it is popular for cyclists and pedestrians (can't necessarily count on ice free conditions though). The weekend before it opens to cars is usually quite popular among cyclists.

    I'd actually like to see the pass closed at the peak, so vehicles could get up to the observatory from either the east or west side, but no through traffic.
    .
  • Crater Lake now has two saturdays in the fall when they close 2/3 of the rim road to vehicles. It is extremely popular for cyclists.
    Wow, riding the road the following Sunday, Crater Lake has some of the worst drivers I've met. The biggest issue was my "taking the lane" on a descent, and cars having to either pass me at 40+ MPH, or pass other cyclists coming uphill, taking half of my lane (with no shoulders and dropoffs).
I could imagine a popular cycling road that isn't so far out in the middle of nowhere could argue to have alternating Fridays/Saturdays throughout the summer as vehicle free days.
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Old 04-16-19, 04:48 PM
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Yes, what @MikeEckhaus said, the current configuration is the result of much back and forth and unlikely to change.

The speed limit is 15 mph. In my experience most cars go pretty close to this, or slower, and a few drivers exceed it significantly. It would be good to see some law enforcement there, especially right there at the end with the hill. There is a lot of activity there with bikes and pedestrians coming and going, the on-street parking on Eastbluff, and cars exiting the BB trail there as well. I'd suggest contacting NBPD and tell them about the illegal unsafe pass you experienced. But he's certainly not the only driver who thinks "Share the Road" means bikes should stay out of his way.

Speaking of enforcement, many road cyclists exceed 15 mph there, and some by a lot. I try to hold my speed down. Most of the time I'm doing 17-18 mph and getting passed by other cyclists. So any enforcement initiative along there is likely to snag some speeding riders too (and maybe some blowing the stop at the intersection of SJH Rd too). IMO on nice weekends, going more than 16-17 isn't prudent for a car or bike. Just too many other users on the trail.
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Old 04-17-19, 02:06 PM
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I've ridden there many times myself when I lived up in OC. Never had an issue with a car, but always wondered why it wasn't restricted to pedestrians and bicycles.
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Old 04-17-19, 07:50 PM
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I wish they'd ban cars on MOST southern california roads. I think most of us would get along just fine... it would nearly completely solve our smog problem, would greatly improve the local health situation... no downside as far as I can see.
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Old 04-18-19, 01:53 AM
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Awareness

I was just wondering are cyclists the only ones who are aware of just how BIG of a problem we have on our hands?. ?? Consider the loop we are in? We rely on cars soo much for our economic engine
if we dont have cars our economy collapses💲💲💲, >>> if we have cars it is destroying our environment 🌏🌎🌍. Not only are cars such a curse on humanity but our day to day living is being ruined. When you are constantly sitting in a car for hours at a time polluting , and racing here and there , one has to question the sanity of humanity?? PS , think of all the other industries and jobs directly and indirectly related to the automotive industry, take road building in it of itself, the vast impact on earth.
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Old 04-19-19, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by rossiny View Post
I was just wondering are cyclists the only ones who are aware of just how BIG of a problem we have on our hands?. ?? Consider the loop we are in? We rely on cars soo much for our economic engine
if we dont have cars our economy collapses💲💲💲, >>> if we have cars it is destroying our environment 🌏🌎🌍. Not only are cars such a curse on humanity but our day to day living is being ruined. When you are constantly sitting in a car for hours at a time polluting , and racing here and there , one has to question the sanity of humanity?? PS , think of all the other industries and jobs directly and indirectly related to the automotive industry, take road building in it of itself, the vast impact on earth.
Seems to be a particular problem out west, where we are attracted to those wide open spaces! A car in every driveway, amirite? Does it need to be a 400 HP rip snorting SUV though? 1 person in a car that can transport 8?

Here's a fun stat: I work AT HOME and I put 15-20,000 miles a year on my car. (and not for work reasons either). I just can't get my kid all the crazy places he needs to be on a bike. I'll drive downtown to pick him up ... 26 miles in lovely LA traffic can take an hour and a half. That right there is bikeable, especially with an e-bike. A nice tandem e-bike and I'm in the clover... if only there were places to ride the thing.
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Old 04-19-19, 11:16 AM
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We can all nod back and forth to each other in this cyclist's forum until our heads fall off, but Orangutan County and similar cultures will never change. Even though it's outlawed in California and there is even a hotline to report them, I still see idiots rolling-coal (aka conspicuous pollution) who state clearly they get a kick out of it precisely because it pi$$es the rest of us off.

I grew up in Chino, CA in the late 70's: 2nd and 3rd-stage smog alerts, we weren't permitted to play during recess because the smog was so bad; you'd get the tightness in your chest simply from walking home a mile after school; and even though the San Gabriel Mountains were less than 10 miles away, we didn't see them all summer.
Change takes time. I remember everyone *****ing about catalytic converters back then, but the smog has gotten better, even though there are easily twice as many cars on the road now.

IMO texting drivers are a bigger problem right now. All we can do is vote, and stay alive until things change. At least it's better than the time before catalytic converters.
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Old 04-20-19, 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
We can all nod back and forth to each other in this cyclist's forum until our heads fall off, but Orangutan County and similar cultures will never change. Even though it's outlawed in California and there is even a hotline to report them, I still see idiots rolling-coal (aka conspicuous pollution) who state clearly they get a kick out of it precisely because it pi$$es the rest of us off.

I grew up in Chino, CA in the late 70's: 2nd and 3rd-stage smog alerts, we weren't permitted to play during recess because the smog was so bad; you'd get the tightness in your chest simply from walking home a mile after school; and even though the San Gabriel Mountains were less than 10 miles away, we didn't see them all summer.
Change takes time. I remember everyone *****ing about catalytic converters back then, but the smog has gotten better, even though there are easily twice as many cars on the road now.

IMO texting drivers are a bigger problem right now. All we can do is vote, and stay alive until things change. At least it's better than the time before catalytic converters.


played club soccer out in claremont, upland, diamond bar as a pre-teen/teen from approx 1981-1986. maan, you couldn't breathe deeply for 2-3 days afterwards without it seriously hurting.
hard to believe but the air quality is better...even with more people here.
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Old 04-20-19, 07:44 AM
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Grew up in Riverside, 60s to 72. The prevailing westerly wind would blow the smog into town in the afternoon, and it was like a fog bank and I could see it roll across our neighbors’ houses, then cross the street and envelope our house. Just before it reached us we could smell it, sort of a wet concrete smell. Some days after a bike ride my lungs would ache.
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Old 04-21-19, 04:12 PM
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Thanks for sharing your memories of the good ol' days. Whenever I get discouraged about how we're doing now, it helps to take a look back at how much worse we were doing back then.
That and seeing movies from the 60's and 70's set in NY and other big cities are also stark reminders of how much $#itti3r life in general back then was.
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Old 04-22-19, 08:01 PM
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Yeah, the smog back then was gross - I lived in San Diego at the time (70s) and spending the day at Disneyland back then was a sure fired headache and sore eyeballs for a day or two afterward. Definitely bad.

I was a little shocked when my wife pointed out that LA used to have a private, mass transit system that moved well over a million passengers a day, and it went a lot more places too! So not everything is better...
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Old 04-23-19, 09:55 AM
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Cars today aren't the issue with smog, most new cars actually put out cleaner air than they take in. Air quality in southern California for the most part very good. There's just too many cars and too many people here.
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Old 04-30-19, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by TJClay View Post
Cars today aren't the issue with smog, most new cars actually put out cleaner air than they take in. Air quality in southern California for the most part very good. There's just too many cars and too many people here.
huh.. you mean cars purify the air?? You mean car manufacture, road building,, oil refineries, are cleaning up the air.. wow good news . I never knew!!
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Old 04-30-19, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rossiny View Post
huh.. you mean cars purify the air?? You mean car manufacture, road building,, oil refineries, are cleaning up the air.. wow good news . I never knew!!
Apparently you can't or didn't read my post entirely. Did I mention car manufacturers, road building or oil refineries cleaning the air?
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Old 04-30-19, 10:11 PM
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time to have the area closed to personal automobiles and have it serviced by one (weekdays) or two trams (weekends and holidays). have a tram stop/pickup every half mile.
make sure the trams can accommodate at least 10-12 people and be suitable for handicapped/disabled needs. it works for yosemite, zion and the grand canyon, it'll work there.
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Old 05-01-19, 09:26 PM
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Re: Banning cars on Back Bay - Absolutely (at least on weekends). Those who drive there are ****ing morons. Just because it is allowed, it doesn't mean you should do it. Same applies to other roads (e.g. GMR) which can make great recreational areas not just for cyclists, but for runners, hikers, skateboarders, etc.
Re: Air quality - I'm not qualified enough to judge, but IMHO, bragging about the good air quality today compared to the 70s, is like a morbidly obese guy bragging about slimming down to the "just obese" category. Still ugly and unhealthy.
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Old 05-01-19, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TJClay View Post
Cars today aren't the issue with smog, most new cars actually put out cleaner air than they take in. Air quality in southern California for the most part very good. There's just too many cars and too many people here.
Absolutely, most new cars actually purify the air. Also Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are real and Elvis is alive.
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Old 05-07-19, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by JimmyNH View Post
Re: Banning cars on Back Bay - Absolutely (at least on weekends). Those who drive there are ****ing morons. Just because it is allowed, it doesn't mean you should do it. Same applies to other roads (e.g. GMR) which can make great recreational areas not just for cyclists, but for runners, hikers, skateboarders, etc.
Re: Air quality - I'm not qualified enough to judge, but IMHO, bragging about the good air quality today compared to the 70s, is like a morbidly obese guy bragging about slimming down to the "just obese" category. Still ugly and unhealthy.
Well the unfortunate truth is cars generate much more REVENUE than bikes, joggers, and hikers combined and inasmuch cars seem to get a “pass” in many places where they really aren’t optimal.

The old adage “follow the money” applies here.
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